Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
“I’d watch these kids, all knock-kneed — they couldn’t get over their skates properly,” says Crowder. “So I’d grind up some plastic, get some Velcro, hook something onto their skates . . . and get these little improvements.”
Over a span of five years, he customized the gear of countless skaters.
“My brain’s always trying to figure out puzzles . . . it was kind of a game in my head, you know?” Crowder says. “People who know me — people back home — they always knew I was that kind of guy. Thinking outside the box. Looking at things differently.
“The average Joe would just think that I was a tough-guy goon, dragging my knuckles on the ground, right?”
Crowder, though, discovered a niche.
Not all players are created equally — “Someone’s got a thick shin, someone’s got a skinny ankle, someone’s got big bones, someone’s got big heels” — but a boot’s eyelets? Always in the same place.
Crowder’s solution was a skate attachment that permits a customized bend point. Patented as 55 Flex, skate companies and NHL teams quietly took note.
Last winter, he alleviated the lace-bite issues of a certain chap. Aaron Ekblad.
from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,
A lot of eyebrows were raised around the hockey world Tuesday when TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the details of Engelland’s deal with the Flames, but the Calgary club’s GM, Treliving, pointed out there was lots of interest in the 32-year-old unrestricted free agent and the Saddledome-dwellers had loads of space under the salary cap.
“Is it is a high price? Some will say it’s a very high price,” Treliving said. “Based on our situation, based upon the flexibility we have, we felt it was a very fair price.
“Deryk is a guy who I think, in a lot of ways, has been under-appreciated and undervalued,” Treliving added about Engelland. “If you do the homework and do the research and talk to former players and talk to people in Pittsburgh about what kind of person Deryk is, you get the response that this guy was a big part of their locker-room.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The NHL free-agent courting period has done wonders in for creating dialog.
The problem is all the idle chatter has plugged the lines on trade talks.
"It stalls a lot of things," Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving said after completing the NHL Draft. "You look at the number of signings, the lack of signings, of players that are their own free agents. I would assume those teams that want players back have made offers, and now everybody's waiting. I don't necessarily know if the market is being driven by it, but it's slowing the market, without question."
The logjam will end Tuesday when the 30 teams open their chequebooks in the hopes of landing this year's crop of free agents.
continue for more on the Flames...
Brendan Shanahan and Brian Burke.
from Aaron Vickers of CalgaryFlames.com,
He hasn’t always been the grizzled face on the draft floor.
Once upon a time, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke was a fresh-faced rookie tasked with navigating his first National Hockey League draft day.
“My first draft was as assistant GM in Vancouver with Pat Quinn and Pat was in a difficulty with the League because he had coached LA, gone to Vancouver and they suspended him briefly so he wasn’t at the table,” Burke recounted. “It was my first draft and I’m running the draft. There were scouts there who have been doing it 20 years. I was 31 or 32. My previous experience was six years as a lawyer. I’d never been at a draft table before.
“We took Rob Murphy, who worked out pretty well. He played a fair amount for us and a fair amount for Ottawa. He still works for Ottawa. Great kid but I remember being terrified.
"You’re at the table with guys who have been doing this 30 years and you’re trying to say, ‘this is the type of player we want’ and they’re looking at you like, ‘hey, kid, you’re brand new at this. You’re American to boot so shut up and sit there’. It was intimidating.”
continue for Burke's draft history...
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Burke was in rare Burke form at the fundraiser: Angry, charming, often hilarious, passionate about his fight against homosexual bullying, even suggesting at one point that, if he had the chance, he’d come back and work for the Leafs.
“I would take the job in Toronto again,” he said. “I had no regrets about working here. I loved it.”
As for the Toronto media, well, Burke didn’t actually bring the topic up. Someone asked for his thoughts and Burke, as he often does, held nothing back, suggesting at one point that 95% of the Toronto media are “conscientious, thorough guys.”
“The other 5%,” Burke added, “well, it’s a shame that we’re not allowed to kick the s--- out of them.”
Now, that quote has to be put in some context. Generally speaking, Burke was being funny. Indeed, he had the well-heeled crowd in the palm of his hand for most of the night with his often outrageous and caustic comments, particularly concerning the media. But there was a definite theme to his diatribes.
“It is a death of a thousand cuts,” said Burke when the subject of the Toronto media was raised during a Q&A. “And I loved working here. I thought I had the best job in hockey when I worked here. In Calgary, it’s not a whole lot better in terms of the media coverage. But you have 80% of the media that are ethical people that give a s---, want to get it right. The other 20% ruin it for everybody (he later jumped to the 95/5 formula).
from the Calgary Flames,
The Calgary Flames announced today they have named Craig Conroy and Brad Pascall as Assistant General Managers. Conroy, Pascall and Senior Vice-President and Assistant General Manager Michael Holditch, will report directly to General Manager Brad Treliving. Additionally, Troy Crowder joins the Flames in player development.
The newest addition to the Flames staff is Brad Pascall who has served as Vice-President of Hockey Operations/National Teams with Hockey Canada since 2010. He brings an abundance of international hockey experience as he has worked in various capacities with Hockey Canada for the past 18 years. He served as Hockey Canada’s Senior Director of Men’s National Teams from 2006 to 2010 and was the Senior Director of Communications from 1998 to 2009.
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