Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Detroit Free Press:
Representatives from the National Hockey League, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey Players’ Association gathered this morning atop the third-base dugout of Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ historic home, to talk about the upcoming NHL Winter Classic 2009. They were joined by Blackhawks Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito, along with the exciting young Chicago forward tandem of Pat Kane and Jonathan Toews.
The 701st all-time meeting of the clubs – no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other – will begin at the memorably unique venue at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1.
“The NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We thank Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for their vision. We thank Mike Ilitch and the Red Wings for their cooperation. We also thank the entire Cubs organization and Mayor Daley, in advance, for the warm welcome we know the City of Chicago will extend to our newest tradition.”
Update 3:15pm ET: NHL.com was featuring a photo of Wrigley Field on their front page this afternoon, giving an idea of the ice placement. I’ve added it below.
The video below was released by the Blackhawks today. Nothing revolutionary here, but it’s yet another reminder of how far that franchise has come in such a short time.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
How soon they forget—and for the Blackhawks, that adage is a very good thing.
The club’s first fan convention, which concludes today at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, has been a lovefest.
via the Chicago Tribune,
Winger Martin Havlat traveled from the Czech Republic to attend the convention and said rehabilitation on his surgically repaired right shoulder is going well.
“It has been four months, and I still have two months before camp starts,” said Havlat, who was limited to 35 games last season after twice injuring the shoulder and undergoing surgery for a second time. “I should be 100 percent. We took it slower than the other two surgeries. This time I didn’t have to push it.
“It’s going to be important to stay healthy the whole year. I’m doing everything I can to be that way. I’m doing the rehab the right way, and hopefully everything’s going to be all right next year. I’m pretty confident right now, but I guess we’ll see when the games start.”
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that center Jonathan Toews will serve as the team’s captain during the 2008-09 regular season, making him the third-youngest player to earn that distinction in the history of the National Hockey League.
Toews (20 years, 79 days) joins Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier as the one of the youngest players in professional hockey to captain his club. Crosby assumed his role at 19 years and 297 days, while Lecavalier took on the captaincy for the Lightning at 19 years and 330 days.
“Jonathan deserves this honor, he is a tremendous individual and a wonderful leader on and off the ice,” General Manager Dale Tallon said. “He has experience in captaining teams from his World Junior appearances and guys follow his lead in our locker room.”
I have received numerous emails asking how to get tickets for the Winter Classic in Chicago.
The Blackhawks have set up a faq section on their website…
Will single-game tickets be offered to the general public?
No information has been released by the NHL with regard to single-game tickets at this time. The only way to currently guarantee a spot at the Winter Classic is to become a Blackhawks full season ticketholder (while supplies last). Stay tuned to chicagoblackhawks.com or sign up for email alerts…
from Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times,
When Rocky Wirtz officially welcomes fans to the Blackhawks Convention this evening, his greeting might be drowned out by chants of ‘‘Rock-y, Rock-y.’’ When he mingles with fans, he likely will be asked to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
Truth be told, Wirtz will feel a little uncomfortable if these things happen because being front and center really isn’t his style. But he’s not about to complain. The way the Hawks’ chairman sees it, the convention is another opportunity for the organization to reach out to fans, and a happy fan base is good for business.
from Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Hang some ivy. Rent the rooftops. Use the center-field scoreboard. Play the organ. Open the Cubby Bear and Harry Caray’s. Let the bleacher creatures mate and throw back flying pucks. Have players dress in the clubhouses. Tell Ronnie Woo Woo to stay at home. Ask the singer to do winter jingles between periods as the Zambrano—I mean, the Zamboni—cleans the ice.
And, please, ban all goat references.
added 9:03am, from Darren Pang at the Coyotes website,
I am looking forward to experiencing the walk into Wrigley. I just want to see the boards and the ice and the look on the faces of the players as they step onto the ice. It won’t be the 24 steps it once took to reach the ice surface from the locker room at the Stadium, but it is going to be darn close, I’m sure.
I am looking forward to seeing the Blackhawk Alumni, one of the best in all of sports. The Hawks will make sure they are a part of the festivities and the old players have been looking forward to being a part of a special hockey event in Chicago for some time. After all, for years they were the ones that had to answer all the negative questions and criticism from the dwindling fan base.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“TThe NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We thank Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for their vision. We thank Mike Ilitch and the Red Wings for their cooperation. And we thank Mayor Daley, in advance, for the warm welcome we know the City of Chicago will extend to our newest tradition.
“We also acknowledge the interest and efforts of the New York Yankees and the City of New York throughout the NHL Winter Classic 2009 site selection process. We look forward to continuing discussions regarding the possibility of a future Winter Classic game at the new Yankee Stadium.”
much more on the Winter Classic…
from Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune via the Santa Barbara Press,
It will become officially official Wednesday: The NHL will award the 2009 Winter Classic to the Blackhawks, who will play host to Detroit at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, according to an industry source.
For weeks it has been believed Chicago would land the outdoor game. About the only mystery has been when the puck would drop. It will be at noon, and NBC will televise the game.
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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