Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Blackhawks president John McDonough told the Sun-Times on Wednesday that the longstanding — and to so many, infuriating — practice of organist Frank Pellico playing “The Stripper” while a woman participated in the second-intermission “Shoot the Puck” promotion will stop in the 2014-15 season.
“I think you’ve heard the last of Frank Pellico playing ‘The Stripper,’” McDonough said.
A recent online movement to ban the song, including a #BanTheStripper hashtag and an online petition, called the Hawks out for the rather blatant sexism that was inherent in the contest. The typical format included a child, a man, a celebrity, and an attractive woman — the latter rarely in, let’s say, casual hockey-fan attire. In fact, sources say a team employee has been tasked each night with finding just the right the female participant. It had become as much a part of a Hawks game as playing “Here Come the Hawks” before warmups, and “Chelsea Dagger” after goals.
McDonough wouldn’t say for certain if the Shoot the Puck selection process would be overhauled completely — he said he rarely, if ever, watches Shoot the Puck, and therefore “can’t give you an opinion” — but said the Hawks heard their fans’ message loud and clear.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
"Whenever you see someone [else] lift the Stanley Cup, once you've done it once yourself, it kind of fuels the fire a little bit," left wing Patrick Sharp said. "It's definitely difficult to win it back-to-back, I think that's been proven over the years. Not only myself but the group of players we have, we're all excited to get back to training camp and go get that thing again."
Here are five questions they'll need to answer in order to do it:
1. Who won't be part of the equation once the offseason dust settles? -- Richards' contract is salary-cap friendly with a charge of $2 million for one season, but it puts the Blackhawks in a cap conundrum. According to CapGeek.com, they're about $2.2 million over the $69 million hard cap with a full roster under contract.
That means somebody's probably going to be traded before the Oct. 9 season opener at the Dallas Stars, barring an injury that would allow general manager Stan Bowman cap relief via injured reserve.
The most discussed names as potential trade candidates have been Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. Sharp, whose agent says Bowman told him he won't be traded, has an annual cap charge of $5.9 million for the next three seasons. Oduya, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2015, has a cap charge of $3.3 million.
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Andrew Shaw hasn’t forgotten the lessons he learned in his Belleville, Ont., upbringing, be it from the town’s working mentality — or his father’s putting him to work in the summers.
“I did all the brutal jobs, the jobs you pay a guy five dollars an hour to do,” Shaw told Pat Boyle. “As a kid I’d be carrying lumber, holding stuff in a pail. But I think it was good. It made me grow (into) who I am today.”
Shaw talked of his blue-collar upbringing and how it shaped him with Boyle for an Inside Look, which will air at 5 p.m. Thursday on CSNChicago. For Shaw, life in Belleville (pop. 49,500) had its fun and its hockey. It also had its work. His father, Doug, a contractor, made sure Andrew always had that put-the-work-in mentality, and it resonated through the years.
“I always saw my dad work extremely hard for me and my brothers to play hockey,” Shaw said. “Just (to) have the average job, punch in at 7 in the morning, they worked hard and I think it wore off on me. I saw what it takes to get by in this world and I've always push myself to work as hard as I could.”
Let's take a look at one of the legends of our game, goaltender Glenn Hall who played 502 consecutive games in goal.
I can't imagine this record will ever be broken.
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Pat Foley couldn’t believe it when he got the call earlier this summer: he was a Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner and would be part of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I asked, ‘Wasn’t there anyone else?’” Foley said on Saturday. “Truthfully, it’s still hard to wrap my head around it. But to me, this is the stuff that happens at the end of your career. I think I have a few more miles left in me.”
Foley discussed the prestigious honor, his love of broadcasting and how he got to the Chicago Blackhawks’ booth during his panel session at the Chicago Hilton on Saturday morning.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Let’s not get too nostalgic here, lest we look like sentimental fools. Let’s just say that this is nice, that it feels right, that it’s too bad it can’t be this way more often in sports. Nothing wrong with LeBron James getting to orchestrate his future, but if there’s one thing the San Antonio Spurs have taught us hardheaded types, it’s that very good players playing together for a long time can do great things.
And if there’s one thing that Toews and Kane have taught us, it’s that two great players are capable of giving a franchise a chance to win a championship every season. What more could a fan base want?
The surprise these days is when athletes stick around. LeBron’s talk about “four, five, six’’ NBA titles with the Heat is silenced now that he has bolted back to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to stay with the Knicks wasn’t out of feelings of loyalty. It was because the Knicks could allow him to stack more Maseratis atop each other than other teams could. Winning? A secondary consideration, by about 30 lengths.
Toews and Kane are winners. Two Stanley Cups each. Both with a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player. A rookie-of-the-year award for Kane and more dramatic game-winning goals than anyone has a right to have. International success for both, but especially for Toews and that country to the north. Canada’s two gold medals the last two Olympics didn’t feel so painful here, not with the Hawks’ captain playing such a prominent role.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have hired Kevin Dineen as an assistant coach. Dineen was teammates with Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville from 1984 to 1990 when both were members of the Hartford Whalers.
“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” said Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “He will bring another well respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
John Shannon, a Sportsnet commentator, was on the Jason Gregor show on Team 1260 on Thursday and mentioned that Chicago’s Johnny Oduya is on the block.
Gregor asked Shannon what move cap-strapped Chicago would make to clear cap space for this year.
“I keep hearing Johnny Oduya’s name,” Shannon said. “I keep hearing they’re going to find a way to move Johnny Oduya and get rid of the dollars he makes, and do it with minimum dollars on that five, six, seven defenceman position.”
Shannon suggested that Oduya was a sixth d-man in Chicago, and that he struggled in other NHL cities when he was asked to do more. “The Johnny Oduya I saw in Chicago I never saw in Atlanta and never saw in Winnipeg.”
continue for more on Oduya being a possible fit in Edmonton...
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune at the PioneerPress,
Consider the $168 million the Hawks committed to Kane and Toews a down payment on a dynasty. The question now shifts to how close the Kane-Toews era will come to producing the six championships Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen won for the Bulls in the '90s. Nobody seriously questioned either player would leave after next season but, to the delight of Hawks fans, general manager Stan Bowman removed any doubt by fulfilling his pledge to make Kane and Toews Hawks for life. Bowman never will make a smarter move.
The deals run so long nobody can be sure Kane will have enough hair to grow a playoff mullet by the time they expire. By 2023, Toews might even learn to smile without being coaxed. How fortunate for Chicagoans that they get to see Nos. 88 and 19 grow older together, as it should be.
Think of the salary-cap casualties to come as a result of Kane and Toews occupying $21 million annually on the payroll as collateral damage, the price for the privilege of employing two of the world's greatest hockey players. The new salaries don't kick in until 2015-16, which frames next season as a go-for-broke proposition before Bowman inevitably starts dismantling an expensive core.
added 9:15am, from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on eight-year contract extensions, which run through the 2022-23 National Hockey League season. A formal press conference will be held at the United Center next week, with day and time being announced at a later date
added 1:23pm, Statements from all involved are below, via the Blackhawks....
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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