Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet, which has a new and much improved look,
As we come down to the end of a radically different National Hockey League season, it's fair to ask: What hath Commissioner Gary Bettman wrought? Quite a lot actually; and much of it quite good. In less time than it takes to juice up a bevy of Major League Baseball players, the NHL this season appears to have won back a fair portion of its fan base; and at least started down the path toward wooing a new one. The game today is a fast-paced, high intensity product that showcases the primary skills of its primary players.continued
from the Globe and Mail,
Amid harsh criticism of Toronto Maple Leafs management from fans and media, company chairman Larry Tanenbaum has given a vote of confidence to his top executives. Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the jobs of MLSE president Richard Peddie and Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. are safe, despite the team's disappointing season and calls for dismissals. As for coach Pat Quinn, widely speculated to be fired at the end of the season, Tanenbaum indicated he will continue to work at MLSE.read on relate story also from the Globe and Mail,
But the coup de grâce came the next day when former Leafs executive Bill Watters, now a radio commentator working for Leafs rights holder AM640 Toronto, called for the removal of Tanenbaum as the chairman and the dismissal of Peddie. Watters described them as "stiffs." He said they were a disgrace. He categorized Tanenbaum as a dilettante backed by family money. "He's a PhD," Watters roared. "Poppa has dough." Tanenbaum's response? "A good friend of mine once said you don't get into a pissing match with a skunk."more
from Bob McKenzie (the by-line says AP) of TSN,
As the playoff races get down to the nitty gritty, there is a sense that the three-point game, or the point for losing in overtime or a shootout, is wreaking havoc on the NHL standings on a nightly basis. Well, as much as it may seem like that some days, the cold, hard numbers suggest otherwise. If you adjust the current NHL standings - that is, going into Wednesday's game - to eliminate all points earned by teams in overtime or shootout losses, the impact of the loser point is really quite minimal.continued
One thing about J.R., he guts it out whenever possible. He is in the lineup tonight against Calgary after suffering a chip fracture of his right ankle Saturday night.
from the CP via TSN,
The NHL playoffs may feel like the calm before the storm this year as likely the biggest crop ever of unrestricted free agents hits the market in July. GMs and agents will be running up phone bills like never before. Liberalized free agency in the new CBA saw the age drop from 31 to 29 for unrestricted free agents this summer. It drops even lower to 28 in July 2007 and finally 27, where it will stay, in July 2008. I hink with this CBA, we're all going to work hard at keeping our core, but there's going to be a lot of movement,'' Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Wednesday.continued...including a major list of UFAs...
from Barry Melrose of ESPN,
The Buffalo Sabres' six-game skid is just downright ugly. This is not the time to have a stretch like this. Winning is habit-forming, but so is losing. I've always believed that how you're playing going into the playoffs is more important than being the top team in your conference. Rarely do you see a No. 1 team go all the way to a Cup win. ...The Sabres' only way out of this hole is hard work. Continue to work, work, work the opposition both mentally and physically. It might take a few more losses for them to snap out of it.more of the Good, Bad & Ugly from Barry...
from the CP via TSN,
Huet called it ''an honour for me to play for this organization, with all the past and glory of this team.'' The media hype, the fans chanting his name during games and even the Bell Centre sound system playing the French national anthem after he makes a spectacular save seem to leave him unfazed. ''I'm having fun,'' he said. ''But it's a delicate position right now. ''We really want to keep the focus of the team on the games. You enjoy it, but you have to kind of forget it.''read on
Kevin Allen was just on WDFN in Detroit and the topic was Yzerman. Kevin stated the Wings handled Yzerman perfectly this year, bringing him around slowly and now Yzerman is a force for the Wings. He also stated fans could argue that Yzerman over Messier. Yzerman was a better offensive player than Messier and said the only better offensive player he has watched is Mario. If Kevin had to vote, he would choose Steve. Talked turned to Legace, Kevin stated it will always be "you are not a playoff goalie until you win a cup." This will be his chance, he does not have to be superman, just play solid in net. Wings are good enough to win it without fantastic goaltending. Kevin Allen brought up John Davidson. Said J.D. would want to be president of the Blues and the talk is he will be offered the position. He also mentioned Jim Nill will probably get a GM job with another NHL team this summer.
from Alan Adams, special to Fox Sports,
In some ways, Leaf fans are a lot like lemmings. Tell them to wear blue and white and jump into the Toronto harbor at 3 a.m. and they will start lining up a day before to take the plunge. Why win when you know not winning really doesn't change the bottom line? If Peddie stays, it is all about the cash.more
The playoffs are almost upon us and many of you may be purchasing tickets to watch your favorite team in action. But beware of the scam artist...
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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