Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Sometimes, Rod Brind'Amour said, he wonders who is the laidback veteran impervious to pressure, himself or his 21-year-old teammate Eric Staal. “He sits besides me and doesn't ask much,” the Carolina Hurricanes captain said on the eve of the Stanley Cup final. “Occasionally, I give him a couple little things that I see. But the kid doesn't need anything. I'm almost going to ask him for stuff. “You see how he plays and he just doesn't look like a first-timer in the playoffs, that's for sure. You know, I haven't honestly given him a word of advice at all. He's taking it all on himself.” After his coming-out in the regular season, with 45 goals and 100 points in his second NHL campaign, Staal did not falter in the playoffs as so many young players do. He kept going in the first two rounds, playing his way to the top of the playoff scoring race.continued
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Nobody, but nobody forecast the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes meeting at this time and this place to jostle and scrap for the Cup. "That's what is going to make this series great," said Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe yesterday. "There's great drama out of both dressing rooms. There are all kinds of storylines and lots of good ones. I just hope the Oilers are the main storyline when it's all over." Yesterday, there were questions about many of these different stories, from Cory Stillman's attempt to do a Claude Lemieux and win consecutive Cups with different teams to Fernando Pisani's sniping to Ray Whitney's days as an Oiler stickboy to toothless Ryan Smyth as the face of this fine Edmonton team.more
We have all read the NHL ratings bashing articles, so it is very nice to see some in-depth research done on this subject, . Also, note the article was co-written by Caps hockey beat writer Tarik El-Bashir. from the Washington Post,
"In the short term, we gave up some TV subscribers," Bettman said in a telephone interview, referring to the league's move from the high-visibility of ESPN to the lesser-known OLN. "And in return, with patience, we will have better coverage, better production. And over time, both we and OLN will grow our presence." He said OLN's coverage, involving six hours of hockey each night, will help bring back old fans and introduce the game to potential new ones. The coverage includes feature stories, hockey-themed movies, as well as highlight and wrap-up shows. Next season, the Comcast-owned OLN will switch its name to Versus as it expands its sports programming, using the NHL as its centerpiece. "That is the type of treatment we have always coveted," Bettman said.read on (reg. req.)...highly recommended read... added 8:13am, alternate link (no registration) to the same article, picked up by MSNBC... added 3:59pm, Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals expresses his take on OLN...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Every year, he pours $1 million into minor hockey programs. In 1995, he started the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in his hometown of Detroit in honor of his former wife and high school sweetheart, who died of breast cancer in 1989. His donations, which now top $26 million, have helped transform the institute into one of the largest cancer treatment centers in North America. A Greek immigrant, Karmanos didn't learn to speak English until elementary school and has never learned to skate, but used to appear on the ice during father/son hockey games playing goal. "He needed something to hang onto," longtime business partner Thomas Thewes said. That's always been the challenge with Karmanos, trying to reconcile the often visceral reactions to the man with the man himself. In some ways, it is the same for his Carolina Hurricanesread on
from the Ottawa Citizen,
The players that hoist the Stanley Cup later this month will lift it higher and more easily than ever before. That's the conclusion of a unique, newly published study that dramatically documents the historical super-sizing of National Hockey League players. But after 80 years of steady increases in player size and weight, the era of NHL giants may have reached its peak this season, say Canadian sports physiologists. On average, today's Canadiens players are about 10 centimetres (four inches) taller and 17 kilograms (37 pounds) heavier than in hockey's early years. In 2003, the average Canadiens' player stood 185 centimetres (six-feet-one-inch) tall, and weighed in at 92-kilograms (202 pounds), compared with an average height of 175 centimetres (about five-feet-nine inches) and a weight of 75 kilograms (165 pounds) in the 1920s.more
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Detroit, Denver or Philadelphia this is definitely not. "It's a little bit of a different venue here than maybe what is the norm in the Stanley Cup finals,'' MacTavish said. Different is what the NHL wanted when it fought for a new deal with players. Owners demanded a salary cap to ensure that 30 teams could not only survive financially but also have a realistic chance to play for the Stanley Cup. After a yearlong lockout, two small-market teams are the only ones standing as was the case two years ago when Tampa Bay edged Calgary in Game 7. "You can't judge it yet,'' Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said. "You have to wait until three years from now. Edmonton and Carolina are in the finals this year, but there is a very fine line from winning and losing this year. There's really good teams that missed the playoffs.''read on
Peca, Pisani & Stoll interview today...
Q. This is the first time in two years there's a Stanley Cup Final and with two small-market teams, and the new C.B.A., it's definitely benefitted you. MICHAEL PECA: I think it's great for the game. It all depends. You know, if the game is marketed well the next few years, then smaller market teams are going to get much more exposure. And then you're not going to get those -- I think those hits when you get the teams on TV in the Stanley Cup Finals. I think it's great for the game and for those markets to have our two teams respecting our respective cities in the Stanley Cup Finals. Both teams are deserving and really it's a matter of how many people you've got living in a city. Q. Do you look at the post-season as a coming out party for yourself? FERNANDO PISANI: Yeah, it's a different time of year, exciting time of year and gets us that much more motivated than the regular season. Q. What about you personally? FERNANDO PISANI: Well, like I said, playoffs are a special time of year. I think everybody tries to step their game up a couple of notches. I've been pretty fortunate to get the goals going in.more in the comment section of this post...
from the Boston Herald,
A year ago at this time, the general thinking in hockey circles was if a team had any hopes of landing Phil Kessel in the draft, it had to finish dead last, cross its fingers in the lottery and get the first overall pick. The Bruins’ 2005-06 season went horribly awry, of course, but it didn’t get that bad. Yet, with three weeks to go before the June 24 draft in Vancouver, the Bruins seem to have a real shot at landing the speedy Kessel. Halfway through his freshman season at Minnesota, Kessel dropped from the Central Scouting Bureau’s No. 1 ranking among North American skaters to second behind American defenseman Erik Johnson in the midterm rankings. In the final rankings, he fell to an eyebrow-raising fifth. The B’s have the No. 5 pick in what promises to be an unpredictable draft. “I think you can throw the first 10 guys in a bag and take your pick,” one league scout said.continued
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
In the matchup between Carolina and Edmonton in the Stanley Cup finals, the Hurricanes have a lot going for them, most notably great depth, home ice, and the fact they aren't coming off a long layoff like the Oilers are. That leads me to believe that Carolina will emerge as the NHL's champion in the first season post lockout, but I think Edmonton will push the Hurricanes to seven games before finally falling short of a title. ...Laviolette and his Hurricanes are in the driver's seat in the Stanley Cup finals. Not only do they have many strengths, they don't have an exploitable weakness that Edmonton can go after. That all adds up to a Stanley Cup for Carolina.read on
Rod Brind'Amour, Cam Ward & Doug Weight held a tele-conference.
Q. It seems to be a much different mindset going into this series than 2002. ROD BRIND'AMOUR: Well, it's still cool, but it is different because we have a lot -- we're just such a different team. We're a lot more confident going into this one than the last one. Last time we were a team playing a Red Wing team that's got 8 million Hall of Fame players, they were all All-Stars, it just didn't match up. Didn't look like an evenly matched series whereas this one looks a lot more evenly matched and I think we are a much better team going into it now than we were even then. So it makes us feel a little better about it. Q. Cam and Doug, you both have allegiances to Edmonton for various reasons, growing up there or playing there, and I just wonder if both of you could reflect on what it's going to feel like to go to that arena and play for the Stanley Cup on this team. CAM WARD: Well, I think it's definitely exciting to have the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup in your hometown. I think it's something that you definitely dream about as a young kid. You know, it doesn't seem like long ago that I was there watching as a fan and cheering on the Oilers. This will be a first for myself to have the opportunity to play on the ice. It's something I'm definitely looking forward to. DOUG WEIGHT: Yeah, me as well. Cam told me how old he was when he was watching the Dallas series. (Laughter) Took me aback for a couple days. (Laughter).read the rest in the comments section of this post... added 4:53pm, Laviolette & Rutherford tele-conference can be viewed in the 2nd comment of this post...
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.
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