Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
Thank heavens the Ducks are wearing their jerseys and carrying the Stanley Cup when they arrive at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. The Cup, after all, really is a celebrity.
Pictures are taken, autographs given, pucks passed out and the first player to run into Austin is Chris Pronger. Doctors and nurses are on alert in case Pronger checks the kid into the chalkboard.
The kid and the hockey player bond. They both have bushy blond hair, and Pronger, with two kids of his own, makes like he now has a third. Austin tells Pronger he knows the score of the final game. Pronger has been celebrating for five straight days, and it’s unclear whether he’s joking when he asks later what day it is.
“I look at these parents,” Pronger says, “and I see the pain on their faces. You know they’d rather have it happening to them than their kids, but maybe a five-minute break or distraction can help.”
more (reg. req.)
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,
Fans snapped up Anaheim Ducks merchandise at an NHL-record rate during the team’s Game 5 clinching Stanley Cup victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Fans spent an average of $24.70 each buying souvenirs during Game 5 last week.
That was up 45.3 percent or $9.70 over the previous record of $17 set during Game 5 of the 2002 finals between Detroit and Carolina.
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
About a hundred family members streamed from the dressing room and into a holding area beside the ice.
After the players got their turn to hoist the Cup over their heads, many skated to the holding area and searched for their families like passengers coming off a plane at the airport.
Selanne, for one, found his wife and clutched her tightly, dropping his bearded mug onto her shoulder, whispering sentiments into her ear and crying against her cheek.
Giguere found wife, Kristen, and before night’s end, grabbed his son, Maxime, to set the infant in the cradle of the Stanley Cup for a photo.
Players’ families have been occasional extras on the baseball and basketball championship scene but were major supporting actors when the Ducks’ celebrated their crowning achievement.
from the Press-Enterprise,
On Thursday night, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Pronger and Brad May were returning from their appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with the Cup, when one of them had to find a restroom. The limo driver stopped at Denny’s, and two hockey fans happened to be going into the restaurant.
“Jigger and Pronger get out, and the fans say, ‘No way!’ ” Ducks publicist Alex Gilchrist recalled. “The one guy peeks in and says, ‘No. That’s not the Stanley Cup, is it?’
“And Jigger takes it out and says, ‘Here.’ “
Whoever they are, they’ll be dining out on that moment for years.
“That was pretty cool,” Giguere said.
from the Anaheim Ducks,
More than 15,000 fans crowded into the Honda Center parking lot Saturday evening to celebrate the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions Ducks. Fans arrived as early as 8 a.m. to secure a spot for the celebration, which lasted from 6:30 p.m., rolled on as the sun went down and concluded just before 9 p.m.
After some pregame musical entertainment and video on the several giant screens located around the parking lot, the Ducks arrived via double-decker bus down Katella Avenue. They slowly made their way down the red carpet, stopping along the way to receive congratulations from fans who had staked out spots along the walkway.
pic via Reuters
from the LA Times,
“I’ve played for it three times and, you know, I wasn’t able to touch it,” said Rob, a forward who in his 13-year career had chased the Cup with the Florida Panthers and the Ducks in 2003.
That, of course, changed.
And now one thing is undeniable: Rob, who played brilliantly in the Ducks now-vaunted checking line, is no longer in Scott’s shadow.
As big brother handed the Cup to him that night, Rob was awash in emotion.
“I couldn’t have written anything up better than this,” he said.
more (reg. req.)
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
But the Southern California media—perhaps self-conscious of all the prattle they are hearing from outsiders and feeling too insecure to question or challenge it, and even buying into it to try to justify decisions that give the Clippers more staffing on the road than the Kings or the Ducks—aren’t into challenging the urban myths.
The Ducks now have had 34 straight sellouts. A bandwagon? Of course it is. But that’s also a lot more consecutive sellouts than Detroit (factoring in the playoffs), Dallas and Colorado have had.
The Kings did some major league papering of the house last season, but come on, their official average of 16,859 was still over 90 percent of capacity, so it’s absurd to portray them as a colossal box-office failure, especially since they were the second-worst team in the Western Conference.
A great job putting together the SCF in pictures.
Check it out..
from the Long Beach Press-Telegram,
Since 1973, Bob Miller has been the heart, soul and consciousness of the Los Angeles Kings, a Hall of Fame announcer who has been to his franchise what Vin Scully has been to the Dodgers and Chick Hearn was to the Lakers….
“First off, I want to applaud what the Ducks have accomplished,” said Miller Thursday morning from his home in West Hills. “It’s tremendous what they did. They deserved it. They’ve been playing
great. And you have to give them all the credit in the world.
“But that said, I’m jealous, I’m envious, I suspect I’m even sulking a bit. I always wanted the Ducks to win a Stanley Cup after the Kings did. I do think what they’ve done will help the sport of hockey in Southern California. It’s definitely brought tremendous notice to it.”
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
I think you can put him among the top three or four goaltenders in the league,” said Bob Sauve, who is Giguere’s agent and is, if anything, underselling him….
Burke called Sauve on Thursday to say he comes in peace. Sauve also sounded conciliatory, saying Giguere wants to stay and will do so “if he’s treated fairly,” which, of course, could mean a hundred things.
Only the Ducks and Kings can give Giguere easy access to the doctors who operated on his son, Maxime, in April. The generous role that owners Henry and Susan Samueli played in that episode also resonates with Giguere.
But the Kings have more cap room. Even if the Ducks could sign Giguere for $4.5 million, that’s $17.5 million for Giguere, Pronger and S. Niedermayer in an overall budget that probably won’t surpass $42 million.
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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