Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,
People who follow sports don’t necessarily look up currency rates. But a significant benchmark was reached last week when the Canadian “loonie” was valued at slightly more than $.99 compared to the American greenback (the loonie is currently valued at $. 99691). It is the first time since November 1976 that the American and Canadian dollars have been virtually on par.
Running franchises in Canada became progressively difficult as the Canadian dollar started a free fall, and bottomed out at around $.62 by 1998. But because the two currencies are now on par, the NHL and the NFL may start looking north of the American border to expand their business opportunities.
from the Star-Telegram,
When the Stars acquired Norstrom in February, they got a big defenseman who added a more defensive touch to the blue line. They also got a player who has a take-charge quality about him, be it on the ice, in the locker room—or when they had their team-bonding exercises recently in Colorado.
“He’s a natural leader, that’s just who he is,” coach Dave Tippett said. “When you come in the middle of the year, it’s not hard but you don’t get the full effect of things. He’s come in this year and he’s familiar with the group. He’s very good for us, on and off the ice.”
from the St. Catharines Standard,
Count Pierre Pilote among those who enjoy post-NHL lockout hockey.
Gone are the days of hooking, high-sticking and holding going largely unpenalized.
Like many former players and present-day fans, the Hockey Hall of Famer enjoys watching the skilled players do their thing.
“I’m so glad,” he said between periods of a recent Niagara IceDogs game. “Since the lockout, it’s given the skilled players a chance to play, and they’re doing it.
“It’s in a better state now. When I played (1955-56 to 1968-69), it was all right. Then expansion came in and all of a sudden, coaches were saying, ‘How are we going to win this?’
Like details of a photograph emerging in a darkroom developing pan, the Opening Day roster for the Rangers became clearer Wednesday.
Based on their performance in camp and preseason games, two prospects seem to have solidified positions: 21-year-old center Brandon Dubinsky, ticketed for the third line, and highly-touted defenseman Marc Staal, who at age 20 seems to have all the instincts and skating ability necessary for the NHL. If the Rangers add just Staal and Dubinsky and keep the roster at 22, not 23, they would squeeze under the $50.3-million salary cap by about $600,000.
from USA TODAY,
Tickets for the 17,500 seats, priced at $50, $90 and $130, were sold out in 2 1/2 weeks with very limited advertising, says Lucy Ellison, spokeswoman for the O2 arena, site of the games.
The price on the scalpers’ black market is way above that.
Andrew Morris, a Canadian expat and fan of his hometown Vancouver Canucks, says his girlfriend planned to get him a ticket as a 30th birthday present. She wasn’t fast enough and found scalpers wanted $770.
“It was really amazing not to get tickets,” says a disappointed Morris, who works in a London nightclub. “If you’re a hockey fan, it doesn’t make much difference who is playing. You just want to see the game.”
from the OC Register,
Acquired in a Monday afternoon trade with the Boston Bruins, Mowers quickly threw together a few things, spent as much time as possible with a family that includes two young daughters, and made his way to New York to join the Ducks’ charter flight that had made a refueling stop before its overnight trek across the Atlantic.
“It’s kind of a shocker, at first to switch teams, and then come to the realization that you’re not just going out to California, but you’re going overseas,” Mowers said. “It was a crazy 24 hours, but I feel like I’m settling in, getting to know the guys. The excitement is definitely starting to hit me now.”
NHL.com’s Shawn P. Roarke is in London and providing daily updates about his experiences and the upcoming games. From his Day #3 installment:
Wednesday, NHL.com took an abbreviated double-decker bus tour of London. But the company couldn’t be beat as I joined the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Stanley Cup itself for a quick jaunt through the city.
We all climbed aboard a 30-year-old traditional red double-decker bus that is only used for special occasions. And, what could be more special than escorting the Ducks and the Stanley Cup on a sight-seeing tour?
The Anaheim Ducks proudly toted the Stanley Cup they won last spring to various tourist sites on a double-decker bus here Wednesday to promote this weekend’s National Hockey League season curtain raiser.
But few Londoners seemed aware of who they were, or what they were carrying, as the team braved a chilly autumn wind that swept across the Thames River.
Steve Campbell, a sports fan from northern England, looked baffled as he watched playoff star Ryan Getzlaf lug the Cup across a busy street to pose with his teammates in front of Big Ben.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Wednesday that four of his players were hurt in the contest.
Forwards Joffrey Lupul and Scottie Upshall both suffered left wrist injuries.
“Lupul sustained a left wrist injury and we will know more once he is examined by a specialist tomorrow,” said Holmgren.
“Upshall sustained a fractured left wrist, which will require surgery. He will have the surgery tomorrow (Thursday) and will be out of action for four to six weeks.”
Today, Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings was made available to media by teleconference, to answer questions. The transcript will be made available later on this post, but for now we have put the audio of the conference online. (update 3:30pm ET - transcript now available below audio player).
You can listen to it on the player below (or download it here if you prefer).
One thing worth mentioning—Lids answers a question in Swedish from about minutes 3 to 5, so you might want to skip that part if you’re not up on your Swedish.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org