Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Uni Watch at ESPN,
All of which shows that changing an entire league’s uniforms en masse, as the NHL and Reebok have done this season, is a tricky proposition. There’s no precedent for it among the major team sports—the closest parallel is the sea change in baseball triggered in 1970 by the Pirates, who switched from button-up vests, belted pants, and flannel fabric to a pullovers, elastic waistbands, and double-knit polyester. Within three years, all 24 MLB teams had gone to polyester, 14 had switched from button fronts to pullovers, and 16 had switched from belts to waistbands.
But that gradual transition happened incrementally, whereas the NHL changes—which involve graphics and aesthetics as much as new fabrics and tailoring considerations—are being thrust upon us all at once. With the regular season slated to begin this weekend, every single team has new uniforms, although some of the changes are more modest than others.
from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
A certain Web site has suggested the Blue Jackets are in hot pursuit of a Vancouver Canucks center. Also, that the Blue Jackets are fixin’ to trade Nikolai Zherdev to the Edmonton OIilers for a draft pick.
Let’s break this down: Which Canucks center? Brendan Morrison? Doubt it. He centers Markus Naslund on the Canucks’ No. 1A line. If they trade him, who’s the No. 1 center? That creates a huge hole in the lineup of a club that already struggles to score goals.
Get your Center Ice package!!!
NEW YORK (September 27, 2007) – NHL stars Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames, Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks and Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators are featured in a new national TV spot promoting NHL Center Ice®, the NHL’s out-of-market subscription package, and the HD games available in the package. The ad will run on cable systems’ digital information channels and during the NHL Center Ice free previews from Sept. 29 – Oct. 9 in the United States and from Oct. 3 – Oct. 9 in Canada.
In the 30-second ad, NHL players are seen grooming and obsessing over their appearance in anticipation of the clarity and high-resolution picture of HD game broadcasts available on NHL Center Ice. In the promo, Heatley enjoys a mud mask facial, St. Louis climbs into a tanning bed, Thornton scrutinizes his figure in the mirror, a hair stylist tends to Luongo’s hair and Iginla plucks his eyebrows. The spot also details the features, benefits and ordering instructions for NHL Center Ice.
The CBC ran two fine video reports yesterday, one on the Downie hit and the other is a look at Canadian painter Ken Danby.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
General manager Dale Tallon has been trying to trade for a veteran defenseman for weeks, and he still might be able to pull off such a deal using his surplus of forwards and prospects as bait.
There have been whispers of Tallon inquiring about Ottawa’s Wade Redden, who could be available because of his $6.5 million salary and impending free agency, but the price would be steep. You’d have to figure the Senators would want back another defenseman such as Seabrook or Keith, and maybe a pick and a prospect, or perhaps both.
Tallon might be better off keeping Seabrook and Keith and continuing his search for a top-four defenseman elsewhere.
added 12:57pm, Chicago claims Thrashers Dman Pilar…
from the Denver Post,
Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said Hlinka “has had a great camp. ... His poise and patience with the puck, his play selection, are all high end. Being around top players who have a lot of skill, he plays right into that, feeds off of that.”
Was Quenneville skeptical about taking a look at a 30-year-old rookie?
“Well, it’s opportunity,” Quenneville said. “He’s playing at the top level over there, and he’s the top scorer over there, and it can be a matter of giving some guys a break, or having them get discovered. Or some guys just mature a little bit later. ... He’s given us every indication that he can handle this, no problem, and I think he can help our hockey club.”
via the Calgary Sun,
Iginla pointed out Downie’s hit went too far seeing as he could have made a highlight-reel check without jumping into McAmmond.
“If you don’t leave your feet there, he still gets a big hit. But a lot of us felt it was charging,” Iginla said. “As players, we’re responsible to not put ourselves in that (vulnerable) position, but it happens. You hope there won’t be the full impact, but you can understand and respect when it’s within the rules.”
from the Vancouver Province,
Rightly or wrongly, fighting remains with us. What the means for the league is a matter of some debate as it will continue to be a source of appeal to some and a source of revulsion to others.
“A good portion of teams will want to copy a team (Anaheim) that’s been successful,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. “But I’m not a believer in an enforcer who plays three or four shifts a game. I think you have to be able to play and I think we have guys on our team who can do that. That’s not an area I’m concerned about at all.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
The O2 Arena in London opened its doors on June 22 and although some rock concerts have been staged, no ice had ever been laid down.
So three days ago, the NHL’s ice guru, Dan Craig, started work on the surface. In a case like this, more is involved than just dumping some water on the floor and chilling it.
For starters, the floor had been swept after the concerts, but never properly cleaned. So the first job was to make sure that the surface was free from any contaminants that might affect the ice.
Then the boards had to be installed. The O2 Arena was built to accommodate European hockey with its larger ice surface and the stadium’s personnel had used those boards only to control crowds. But Craig had to oversee the installation of boards for an NHL-size rink. That, too, was a first.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Moreover, as long as such hits stay in the game, there will be inevitable retaliation and brawls that followed, and you’ll have more of the bizarre scenes like Tuesday when a group of Ottawa players inadvertently trampled the unconscious McAmmond in their rush to exact some form of frontier justice.
The NHL could have taken a hard line on such hits in the summer months, but chose not to. The players’ union sure didn’t demand it, and too many hockey people decreed that the risk of taking body contact out of the game by outlawing hits to the head area was too significant.
Instead, the league has asked its officials to more carefully assess each incident with an emphasis on several key areas:
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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