Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL Network is doing a great job covering the WC Practice at Wrigley. Great interviews, coaches are mic’d up and the scene is just great.
A bit of a concern with the ice, the players were asked not to do many quick turns in the corners since the ice is still not in the best of conditions right now.
Chicago is on the ice now, followed by the Wings.
The show is being hosted by Brian Duff and Larry Murphy with Gary Green handling the interviews.
added 12:45pm, Watch below the live strean of the WC Practice session at Wrigley…
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
This isn’t quaint anymore. The league believes the Classic — a regular-season game played outdoors every New Year’s Day — will be a long-term annual event that separates hockey from other sports; it projects the game as a midseason ritual for its fans to root nationally, not for their local teams. Already, there is demand for future games in Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Boston…
“This is part of our new business model and gives people a sense of what we can do,” said John Collins, the league’s chief operating officer. “We introduced our Broadband player, we reintroduced NHL.com. We have 53 million fans who love the game, 22 million in the arenas and a $2.6 billion business. But it doesn’t feel as big as it should.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Wonky knee aside, it was a thrill to hit the ice at Wrigley Field. Sure, I got a few looks for wearing a Finnish national jersey (no reason whatsoever for that, by the way); but all in all, it was a great experience.
The NHL wouldn’t allow us to hold hockey sticks or shoot pucks, understandably, but just taking a whirl around the newly built ice surface was something else. The sun was peering over home plate and the conditions were ideal. The league can only hope for similar conditions Thursday for the Winter Classic (so far, the forecast sounds pretty good).
The sun, however, could prove to be an issue. You really blinked when you made the turn at the third-base end and the sun blinded you somewhat. Some players wore eye black last season in Buffalo, and we suspect much of the same again Thursday. Tinted visors, perhaps?
Wednesday, December 31st. All times are ET.
11:30 AM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Practice Coverage
Thursday, January 1st
11:00 AM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Pre-Game Show
5:00 PM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Post-Game Show
6:00 PM- Voices: Detroit’s Ken Kal
6:30 PM- Voices: Chicago’s Pat Foley
added 5:00pm, I just received this and as you can the times differ a bit…
Wednesday, Dec. 31
· Practice Coverage at 11:30 a.m. ET
Thursday, Jan. 1
· Pre-Game Show at 11 a.m. ET
· Post-Game Show at 4:30 p.m. ET
The Chicago Blackhawks have activated right wing Adam Burish (6-1, 189) from injured reserve and have placed defenseman Brent Sopel (6-1, 211) on the long term injured reserve list.
Burish, 25, has accrued 49 penalty minutes in 19 contests with the Blackhawks this season. The Madison, Wisconsin, native has missed each of Chicago’s last 14 games (Nov. 26 to Dec. 28).
I had the pleasure of talking with Eddie Olczyk this morning and discussed Wings/Blackhawks. Eddie will be providiing the color for the Winter Classic on NBC which starts at 1:00pm ET on January 1st.
If you wish to download the audio, just click here.
NEW YORK (December 30, 2008) – The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that it will honor seven Chicago sports legends during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field. The salute to the sports legends, all of them Hall of Famers in their respective sports, will open the outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio, XM Radio).
The Hall of Fame legends scheduled to appear include former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, former Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, former Cubs outfielder Billy Williams and Blackhawks greats Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard.
from Darren Pang at PhoenixCoyotes.com,
Several years back, I was up in the scoreboard and my duty was to change the score as the Cubs were struggling. I had to place the old tin numbers in the right spot. It was hot and muggy. It was so cool to be up there. What an experience that was.
On Jan. 1, I will see the first NHL game played at Wrigley and I can’t wait. No need for anyone up in that old scoreboard.
The Wings vs. the Hawks. The defending Champs vs. the Contender, a real legitimate contender.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg against Kane and Toews.
Outdoors. Let the temperature drop and let the game begin!
from SnapShots at Mlive,
I can only promise you two things over the next 72-or-so hours:
1. I can’t say that I’ll find every mainstream media story written about the Winter Classic II, but I’ll sure as hell try.
2. This ain’t no stinking commercial for the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL and the Blackhawks clearly planned on “selling” the game as a statement for the resurgence of the Hawks’ franchise, and Burnside’s interview with Hawks president John McDonough and the Blackhawks website’s coverage of the preparations (including the “de-stressing” of Wrigley’s ice) indicate as much.
A clip from NBC Chicago captures an unnamed NHL employee describing the game at hand thusly: “This year we’ve got the resurgent Hawks, which are just a fantastic story…In the world of sports, for that matter, and they’re playing their arch rival, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and it’s really shaping up to be a fierce, fierce day of hockey.”
Note that the Red Wings weren’t even mentioned by name. That’s how it’s shaping up.
from the CP via TSN,
The challenge for Dan Craig, the NHL’s facilities operations manager in charge of putting down the rink and creating the ice, is to make sure the playing surface at the home of the Chicago Cubs is of NHL-calibre.
‘‘What they’re going to feel underneath their feet skating will be as close to what they have for an NHL facility and that’s going to depend on the day outside,’’ Craig said….
‘We’re hoping for (-3 C) weather and then our machines just sit there in cruise because the temperature we want on the surface is (-6 C),’’ Craig said.
Inclement weather is a test for both the players and the ice. And it was a factor in last year’s game when it snowed during the game between the Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Remember you can watch as Wrigley Field gets transformed into a hockey rink. The lines are painted and the Winter Classic logo is in place at center ice.
from Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com,
If you’re the 0-for-‘08 Detroit Lions, there’s hope.
The galactically dysfunctional New York Knicks and Dallas Cowboys? There’s hope….
That’s because the perennially worst franchise in sports has performed reconstructive cosmetic surgery on itself—and it worked! Any prettier and the Chicago Blackhawks would have their own modeling deal.
You can hardly recognize the Hawks these days. They’re winning (nine in a row going into Tuesday night’s game against Stanley Cup champion Detroit). They’re compelling. They’re as cool as a fresh sheet of ice. And if they can do it, then any franchise can.
added 4:45pm, For those few Detroit Lions fans, you may want to take a look at long time Lions beatwrter Mike Ohara’s new blog.
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.
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