Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Geoff Hendry at MR PORTER,
Maybe you met her while shopping in Camden Market. Your heart was stirred by her doleful Alanis Morissette eyes and sweet, nasally Canadian accent. Fast-forward a couple of years and you’re sharing a flat, a dog and – God help you – spending Christmas at her parents’ house in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
It is here that you experience your first Canadian Saturday night. While the prairie snowpocalypse rages outside, you sit by a crackling fire eating Nanaimo bars and sipping Bloody Caesars (tomato juice + clam broth + vodka = delicious). Soon, the whole family congregates around the tube to watch the nation’s longest-running TV show: Hockey Night in Canada.
Feeling overwhelmed? Relax and allow me to provide this brief guide to watching ice hockey in the Great White North.
thanks to Allan Muir for the pointer....
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
RANKIN INLET – In the grand scheme of pro hockey, Jordin Tootoo is a hard-working agitator with 539 career games in 10 NHL seasons. But in the Canadian North, he’s a legend.
There’s a huge billboard featuring the first Inuit-born NHLer in his hometown of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Adorned with caribou antlers, it depicts the now-31-year-old veteran in the Team Canada sweater he wore at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
When you spend time in the small, isolated communities in the Canadian North, you soon realize that passion for both IIHF tournaments and the NHL is just as deep-rooted up here as in major urban centres like Toronto or Montreal, which will co-host the World Juniors in 2015 and 2017.
In some ways, that passion is even stronger among the traditionally nomadic peoples of the North. There are so many other diversions and distractions in the cities. In Nunavut – Canada’s newest territory, created in 1999 – there are only 33,000 people in an area that’s eight times the size of Great Britain. Here, amid the endless waters of Hudson Bay and the stark, forbidding Arctic tundra, there is plenty of time to think about hockey.
When you’ve finished browsing through soapstone sculptures, bone carvings, and a children’s hockey book entitled Atausiraaallarumaluuunniit! at the Ivalu gift shop in Rankin Inlet, you come outside to the dirt road and a native man in a Hockey Canada T-shirt drives by on an ATV.
If things get really ugly, the relationship between Johansen and the Blue Jackets, which is strained at the moment, could become irreconcilable. And if it spills over into the season, chances are that nobody wins; and everybody loses.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail. Read more on this topic...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Come opening night on Oct. 10 in Carolina, and the following night when the Hurricanes come up and play the last home-opener at the Coliseum, the pressure will be on. Since the Islanders’ inaugural season of 1972, they have called this creaky old barn on Hempstead Turnpike home, and yet come this time next season, that home will be in Brooklyn, at Barclays Center, where they play an exhibition game against the Devils on Friday night.
In the interim, Capuano is cognizant of the fact there are fans on Long Island not willing to make a trip into Atlantic Terminal, and this team, under his guidance and fueled by his motivation, is going to be the one to send this place off.
“We respect the fans, and as a coach, I probably don’t talk about it enough,” Capuano said. “Our fans, they’re the ones that pay the money, they’re the ones that want the excitement and to see their team win. That’s the one thing I want to try to shore up this year — that our home record is better.”
“When they leave this building — even if we lose a hockey game — we played fast, we played physical, we gave them their money’s worth.”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Kane is his own man though. He couldn’t care less what people think.
“Why do those other leagues have more success in terms of marketing their players? Their personalities?” he asks. “Hockey is the sport that I love, but it’s also the entertainment business. The ice is a stage. When I’m in front of the cameras it’s a stage. Fans come to the building to be entertained. They read the newspapers to be entertained. They listen to the radio to be entertained. If you are mindful of that, maybe me winning money in Las Vegas and being excited about it — like anyone else would — isn’t the worst thing in the world.
“There is that (humble) reputation in hockey,” he admits. “But I think now you’re starting to see some diversity in personalities. The way social media is now … just the spotlight being on you so much. I think it’s going to benefit everybody.”
If “everybody” doesn’t include all the people here who cringe every time they hear Kane is making another headline, then perhaps he is right. At 23 he is a genuine first-line left-winger, an absolutely chiseled stud at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds....
The young man is all hockey player. He should own this town. But every time they open their heart to him he puts them on call waiting. It’s as if there is another NHL city on the other line talking to Kane’s heart, 24-7.
Pierre McGuire was on NHL Live today and discussed some of the current news around the NHL.
Topics like the latest injuries, the LA Kings, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals and a few more NHL related items.
The segment is almost eight minutes long and you can watch it below...
from Stan Fischler of The Fischler Report,
* The Boss of All NHL Bosses is not Gary Bettman; it is Jeremy Jacobs.
* As longtime Chairman of the league's Board of Governors JJ is the NHL's Godfather.
* So when Double J says there'll be no expansion in the foreseeable future, you can figure that Quebec City, Seattle, Toronto and other points east and west just ain't gonna be in Bettman, Inc. for a long time.
* My money is on Ryan Malone as the best, underrated pick-up of the off-season.
* Credit to Glen Sather who -- throughout his managerial career -- has been willing to gamble on rehabs where other execs fear to tread.
Craig Custance of ESPN just completed an online chat...
What would you do if you were a GM and a player asked for about double what is reasonable (Ryan Johansen). Would you even respond? I don't like how Columbus made it public but you can't reason with insanity.
Craig Custance Pat - It's a negotiation. The Johansen camp has already come off those demands. I'm not sure how I feel about Columbus' decision to go public with the offers but I do feel like they have the fanbase on their side and maybe that was the intent all along. It's made for great drama. I still think a two-year bridge deal ultimately gets done, somewhere between 3.5 - 4 million per season.
Will the bad blood from the Seabrook hit on Backes carry over to this year? If so, I cannot wait for those Blues-Hawks matchups. They, simply, just don't like each other.
Craig Custance Me too, I can't wait. I had an interesting chat with Ken Hitchcock and one of the things he stressed was that the Blues had to be better against the best teams in the league and that includes the regular season. I got the sense he's going to use those Chicago/LA/Anaheim games as a gauge as to whether or not his team has learned how to raise the level of play from the playoff shortcomings.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck Rakers,
This epic standoff between the Blue Jackets and center Ryan Johansen is bigger than any of the parties involved. It is bigger than Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson, bigger than GM Jarmo Kekalainen and bigger than assistant GM Bill Zito, who has done the club's bidding. It is bigger than Johansen and bigger than his agent, Kurt Overhart. It reaches beyond Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets truly believe they have the moral high ground in this fight, as if such a position exists between millionaire owners and millionaire athletes. The Blue Jackets are fighting for their own budget, of course, but they are also fighting on behalf of all other NHL clubs.
If the Blue Jackets gave in to Johansen's salary demands -- Overhardt first asked for $6.8 million per season for a two-year deal; now he's seeking $4.7 million per year -- a new standard would be set across the league, and the class of players with virtually no negotiating rights (RFAs coming out of entry-level deals) would have been given a new template from which future contracts would be based.
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Stepan, back on the ice after missing two days due to a foot contusion initially suffered on Sept. 9 (the team did not skate on Tuesday as the Rangers held their annual golf outing) was participating in a full-rink sprint drill. But, shortly after pushing off and trying to get up to speed, Stepan collapsed to the ice on both knees around the far blue line, sliding through the neutral zone before coming to a stop in the opposite zone clutching at the area of his left knee. Stepan could be heard groaning in pain as he was attended to on the ice and then helped off by teammates Mats Zuccarello and Marty St. Louis.
Prior to today, coach Alain Vigneault had listed Stepan, who did not play in Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Devils in the preseason opener, as day to day and called the foot contusion “nothing serious.”
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 email@example.com