Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Edmonton Sun,
Have you seen this new game on TV? It's called "hockey" and it's fast-paced and high-scoring and hard-hitting and tremendously fun to watch! And we can't believe that the NHL denied for so long that there was a problem with Canada's beloved national sport! It's only a couple of weeks into the start of the new season of the new National Hockey League, but the earlier reviews are overwhelmingly positive. We certainly can see why. We were skeptical that the NHL lockout would return anything to the ice other than the same old, boring, clutch-and-grab game - except paid by players earning less money than before. It turns out to be anything but the old game on the ice. And boy, are we glad. It seems that the really revolutionary change made during the league's one-year sabbatical from our lives was not the salary cap - although that's helping to make the Oilers a lot more competitive - but the comparatively minor tinkering of the rules. The two rule tweaks that seem to be doing the most to increase the speed and flow of the game are the two-line passes, as the centre red-line is ignored when it comes to passing the puck up the ice, and what the NHL terms "zero tolerance on interference, hooking and holding/obstruction."
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
A lot of the games have been a lot more entertaining and that's good, there's no doubt about that. It's far more difficult, if not impossible, for teams to sit on leads for 30 or 40 minutes, and that's good, too; no doubt about that, either. But at the same time, a number of the games played through the first 10 days of the NHL's return from the dead haven't even resembled hockey, and that's bad. A number of the games have more or less resembled basketball, and that's bad, too, no doubt about that, either. Everyone's all for improving the game. But, after watching too many games in which too many players were permitted to skate freely without fear of being touched as they circled the perimeter while their teammates stood around watching them go one-on-one, we wonder whether Sixth Avenue's motive is to improve the game or whether Sixth Avenue's motive is to change the game entirely in order to try and sell it to consumers who wouldn't know Rocket Richard from Roger Clemens.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Commissioner Gary Bettman defended the NHL's decision to lose the entire 2004-05 season Saturday night as opposed to rushing into an agreement that might have saved part of the year but would failed to have fixed the game's most deep-rooted problems. "We knew we were at the stage where we had to make the right deal," Bettman said in a visit with the South Florida media before Saturday's Panthers-Sabres game at the BankAtlantic Center. "That's why it took as long as it did. ... Rushing to get in half or 40 percent of the season at the cost of not getting the right deal would not have been worth it.
via TSN (will open in wmp video), Hull announces his retirement from the NHL.
via the Arizona Republic,
Brett Hull, the NHL’s third all-time leading goal scorer, has played his last game. Hull plans to announce his retirement today at 5 p.m. before the Coyotes play the Detroit Red Wings at Glendale Arena, according to multiple NHL sources. Hull, 41, played five games for the Coyotes this season, but his playing time has dwindled. Coach Wayne Gretzky used him on just 12 shifts Thursday night vs. Nashville. Hull scored 741 goals since joining the league in 1985-86.update 5:10pm. OLN should put him in the studio, now!!! update 5:30pm, from Sportsnet,
The 41-year-old spoke with Coyotes' management following Thursday's game and said he felt it was time for him to hang up his blades. Phoenix general manager Mike Barnett asked Hull to take yesterday off to speak to his family before making a final decision. Hull did that and today announced to the team his intention to call it quits. Although Hull managed to get himself back into reasonable shape to play, he feels in his own mind, his skills have diminished. Furthermore, he wants to go out near the top of his game.update 5:50pm, Brett Hull was always good for a quote or a one-liner, here are a few:
Anything that's signed by me on EBay is a forgery and not authentic. Baseball has all the money. Canadian hockey fans... They boo me every time I go anywhere. Because I play for Team USA. Do I catch flak because I'm so much smarter than everyone else? I don't know.many more... update 8:32pm, The Coyotes will likely get some salary cap relief with his retirement. If Hull signs a Voluntarily Retired List league form - which means he can't return to the NHL for a year - then his salary, minus his the first paycheque which arrived Friday, is wiped off the books for Phoenix. A source indicated he would sign the form.
For all the verbal barbs exchanged, for all the mayhem on the ice, when all is said and done, the only player who will be suspended as a result of Friday night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Thrashers is Atlanta defenceman Andy Sutton. TSN has learned the NHL had a disciplinary hearing with Sutton on the telephone this morning and will announce a suspension, probably this afternoon, of four games or less.more update 4:18pm, The NHL suspended Atlanta Thrashers defenceman Andy Sutton for four games for delivering a blow to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker in a game. Sutton won't be paid for the games missed as a result of the suspension, which began Saturday night with Atlanta's game in New York against the Rangers. The $38,775.52 US that Sutton will forfeit goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
That quote from Ovechkin is my favorite of the past week. Check out the rest of the best from Phil Coffey of NHL.com.
Many NHLers in the east already were snoozing in the wee hours yesterday morning when Kirk Maltby slammed his fist into the schnozz of NHL bad boy Sean Avery out in Los Angeles. Thank heaven for replays. You can bet there was a collective cheer later in the day from Maltby's peers around the league when they finally had the opportunity to watch the video of the roundhouse left hook that pancaked Avery's nose in the waning moments of the Red Wings' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. His schtick obviously having worn thin throughout the league, Avery has become the most targeted man in hockey.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Well, it might not be hockey, but whatever they're playing out there on the ice, it sure is different. "This is some weird stuff," Keith Primeau said after the long night of whatever-it-is was over. He and the Flyers had built, then lost, a 5-1 lead before finally outlasting the Penguins, 6-5, in overtime. The referees were enforcing the new laws of the game down to the very letter in this one - and then some. If an attacking player fell down in the offensive end, whistle two minutes on the closest defender and let's have us a power play. There were 14 power plays in the game, and more than 25 of the 63 minutes were skated with some kind of man advantage. This made for some wide-open, entertaining play, but it also meant that the value of working hard and building a four-goal lead wasn't what it once was. "I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what transpired," Primeau said. Fine for him, but some of us have to try to explain it anyway. "It's the new NHL. Get used to it," coach Ken Hitchcock said, and that might have to serve as the motto for the evening and maybe for the season.
from the Arizona Republic,
With Brett Hull's ice time dwindling, coach Wayne Gretzky reiterated that patience is the best approach for the star, yet aging, right wing to take. Hull, the NHL's third all-time leading goal scorer, played only 12 shifts on Thursday night against Nashville, logging eight minutes, 46 seconds of ice time. "He's one of the elite players ever to play the game," Gretzky said. "As I told him two weeks ago, he just has to be patient. He missed a full year. He's 41 years old.On a sidenote to Yotes/Wings game tonight, Curtis Joseph has recovered from his injury and will start tonight.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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