Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,
Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality.
Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league.
This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either.
So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.
from Dashiell Bennett of Deadspin,
...That three-day break was their only chance to get home before the holiday, and the team had arranged for a commerical flight to take the players back to Chicago right after their game against the Leafs on Saturday night. General Manager Dale Tallon was staying behind, to attend his father’s funeral in rural Ontario. Take it away, crazy anonymous emailer.
This plane departs on schedule, but without a single member of the hockey team. Back in the locker room a vote is taken after the game was complete, and a unanimous decision is made by this young team to skip this flight and stay one more day. They make arrangements to check back in the hotel and on a frozen Sunday morning charter two buses that have no heat and begin a journey two hours straight north into a sparsely inhabited Canada , but where hockey is its passion. They arrive at their destination to the surprise of the teams general manager who is there attending his fathers wake.
Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer and I did confirm with the Blackhawks the story is indeed true.
The NHL’s mobile cooling unit departs Mobile, Alabama enroute to Wrigley Field, the home of the 2009 Winter Classic.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
If anyone was waiting to hear Kris Versteeg fire back at Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky in response to the Great One’s comments following Sunday’s game at the United Center, it’s not going to happen.
For one thing, Versteeg said, it’s Wayne Gretzky.
And two, the Blackhawks rookie winger would never hear the end of it from his father.
“My dad’s got this big wall full of Wayne Gretzky stuff,” Versteeg said Tuesday. “So if I ever wanted to say something bad about Wayne Gretzky, he’d be the first guy here to give me a slap upside the head.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail
... For Tallon, the Sundin hurdle is there, in front of him. Does he make a new push this week, as Sundin’s agent, J.P. Barry, begins to collect offers from suitors around the league? Or just leave well enough alone? Tallon has made a lot of really smart decisions in the last few years (getting Calder Trophy candidate Kris Versteeg for journeyman minor-leaguer Brandon Bochenski may rank right up there as one of the great steals of the past few years).
As his counterparts in Tampa, flail away, making one increasingly desperate move after another in a bid to turn their season and organization around, it may bear noting: Sometimes, the sign of a good manager is the ability to sit back and simply do nothing at all.
The Chicago Blackhawks are awaiting word from the NHL on whether rookie forward Kris Versteeg will be suspended for one game and head coach Joel Quenneville fined $10,000 for Versteeg being assessed an instigator penalty in the final seconds of last night’s 7-1 win over Phoenix.
NHL rules call for an automatic one-game suspension for the player and a $10,000 fine to his coach for any player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game, but the league reviews each one case-by-case and, in some instances, rescinds the suspension and fine.
Update 3:52pm ET: From TSN, Versteeg suspended one game and Quenneville fined $10,000.
Here’s the video clip, via HockeyFights.com:
Canton, MA / New York, NY (December 8, 2008) – In celebration of one of the National Hockey League’s most anticipated events – the NHL Winter Classic 2009 – Reebok is offering fans an unprecedented experience through “NHL Winter Classic Reebok Lost Logo Challenge,” a unique contest for both U.S. television viewers and in-stadium attendees that challenges fans to find the NHL player who is missing the Reebok logo from his jersey.
On New Year’s Day, 2009, Reebok will give each of the more than 40,000 fans who attend the NHL Winter Classic game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field a pair of binoculars to find the NHL player on the ice without a Reebok logo. Fans in the stands and those watching on television will have a chance to win. In-stadium contestants will be asked to enter via text or phone, while those tuning in on television will be able to enter online.
from Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times,
It’s a good thing Wrigley Field is sold out for the so-called “Winter Classic” hockey match on New Year’s Day because the new television commercial from Young & Rubicam/New York intended to spark interest in the game between the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings doesn’t spark much of anything except a big ho-hum. Hockey fans already have snapped up about 41,000 tickets to the game—which in truth is a publicity stunt more than anything else.
In case you have not seen the television commercial, you can view it here.
Yes, I have received your emails, telling me about the Toews goal last night against the Wings. Yes, great goal, and yes, Dan Cleary, playing the roll of a defenceman on the play, looked silly.
from David Amber of ESPN,
Q: Last season, the NHL wanted to promote Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin at the Winter Classic. This season, it’s the defending champion Red Wings along with you and Toews under the media spotlight. What does that mean to you to be given that international platform to showcase your skills?
A: It’s cool. Right now, the league is being taken over by the young players. I don’t think people realize how tough it is to make it to the NHL at that age, so to be one of the young guys playing in a game like this makes you feel good. Things were tough last year when we were getting 7,000 or 8,000 fans to some home games; no one knew who you were. So this game really represents a total 180 from where we were.
Q: You mention how young players are dominating the league. If you were starting up an NHL franchise right now and could have any player, who do you take?
A: I don’t think you could go wrong with Alexander Ovechkin. He has so much passion for the game, and he loves to score. It would be fun to play with a guy like that, and he’s so fun to watch, so I’d go with him.
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