Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks and Comcast SportsNet have announced that Comcast SportsNet will televise their first home game of the season on Sunday, November 11 when the Blackhawks play host to the archrival Detroit Red Wings at 6:00 p.m.
The November 11 game will be the first in a series of home games to be broadcast live and in high-definition on Comcast SportsNet. The full schedule will be released next week with additional home games airing throughout the remainder of the 2007-2008 season.
“It’s time to share the energy and excitement of the Blackhawks with all of our fans,” said Blackhawks Chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz. “We are entering a new era and putting home games back on TV is the first step to supporting our great players and fans.”
*Previously mentioned last week, but only confirmed by the ‘Hawks today
From the Chicago Sun Times,
Finally, on Sunday, Savard conducted a practice when the rest of the organization was anticipating a day off. Only Tuomo Ruutu, Robert Lang and Jason Williams—nursing minor ailments—didn’t skate.
Signs of premature panic perhaps? The 5-6 Hawks already have won more games in October than all but three of their predecessors since the United Center became home ice in 1995, and there’s still one game left in the month—on Wednesday at Dallas.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
As (Andy) Murray said, “I thought there was parity there last year, too, between Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis. The only difference is that the parity is at a higher level.”
The three teams were a collective 79-77-21 after their coaching changes last season. They are 15-11-1 this morning. The Central Division is no longer comprised of Detroit, Nashville, Curly, Larry and Moe. The Stooges are gone.
As Hitchcock said, “Somebody has to make the playoffs other than Detroit. Whether you get a second- or a third-place team in the playoffs, it’s going to be somebody.
By popular request tonight, here’s the scrap in Boston featuring Zdeno Chara and David Koci. And while Koci’s face looks like he was in a car wreck after the fight, it’s worth remembering he only broke his nose a few nights ago fighting Wade Belak, so that might be the primary cause of the mess.
addd 8:38am Friday by Paul, The ESPN view of the fight…
from Puck-rakers, a Blue Jackets blog at the Columbus Dispatch,
Hitchcock on Kane: “(The coaching staff) was trying to figure out a player you could compare him to. We haven’t found the right guy yet. If you’re sitting here in Chicago, a hockey fan, you’ve got to be thinking that you’ve got a chance over the next 10 or 15 years to watch this guy play hockey. He has an ability like very few players.”
Michael Peca on Kane: “I think he’s dynamite. He’s got that nose for the puck. I love watching guys like that. I know he was No. 1 overall and there are a lot of expectations. But a lot of people like to knock the little guys. I’d take his skill over the size of some guys in this league. He’s going to be a 100-point guy year after year after year.”
more on the Blue Jackets
From Barry Rozner at the Daily Herald,
Even if you don’t already have tickets for the Blackhawks’ home game Nov. 11 against Detroit, you will be able to see the match. On TV.
Yes, a home game on TV.
The franchise begins a new era on that Sunday at 6 p.m., when Rocky Wirtz broadcasts a home game on local television.
A team source is “99 percent’’ certain that will be the first home game shown on CSN, the first of roughly 5-7 home games the rest of this season.
Wirtz would have done it sooner and would have done more if it could have been managed logistically, but it’s pretty late in the game to get more than that number of high-definition home contests on TV in 2007-08.
From Jay Mariotti at the Chicago Sun-Times,
I’ll never forget the hilarious day when Jim DeMaria, public relations boss of the least publicly relatable sports team I’ve known, tried to censor me with an ultimatum. If I wanted to cover a Blackhawks home game, I had to agree not to mention the forbidden words: No home TV.
Naturally, in either the first or second paragraph of my live column from the United Center, I wondered why the Hawks were the only franchise in the civilized world not to televise home games. It was such a gross miscalculation of the needs of 21st-century fans, the edict literally swallowed up what once was the crackling pride of every Chicago winter. Long before Michael Jordan, the Hawks owned the West Side, but as long as Bill Wirtz was lowballing his star players and making illogical decisions about TV marketing, they were doomed to plunge further in popularity and impact than any team in American sports.
Well, in the wee hours of a September morning, Mr. Wirtz passed away. And not a month later, in a Monday memo that melted the ice beneath the feet of the few local hockey fans that remain, his son moved quickly to rectify a decades-old blunder.
From the Chicago Blackhawks,
Representatives of the Chicago Blackhawks met with Comcast SportsNet executives today to begin discussions about televising some home games this hockey season.
It’s important to understand that Comcast SportsNet’s current schedule was developed well over a year ago, so fitting the Blackhawks into that schedule cannnot be done overnight. No definitive agreement has been reached at this time, however, we are convinced that it is the appropriate next step to re-energize Chicago hockey fans and create new fans. We are also working on a long term strategy for televising additional home games in the future.
From Paul Ladewski at Daily Southtown,
At a time when live organ music has been drowned out by computer-programmed rock-‘n’-roll in most sports arenas, Blackhawks organist Frank Pellico is a survivor.
About half of the 30 NHL teams employ keyboard players, but Pellico is among the few who play an actual organ at the games.
What’s more, Pellico said, “to my knowledge, the Blackhawks are the only team that has an organ of this size and capacity. I mean, a real pipe organ.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For those who understand what the Cubs mean to baseball, what the Bears mean to the NFL and what the Bulls came to mean to the NBA, it’s not too hard to comprehend that the disappearance of the Blackhawks as a successful team and popular drawing card at the same time the world of media has expanded and diversified has been a major, major problem for the NHL.
These days, there’s a least hope that change is on the way.
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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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