Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Kurtt of Let’s Play Hockey,
In the world of NCAA hockey, the vast majority of players on the 58 Division I and 78 Division II/III men’s teams will not make the jump to the NHL, AHL, ECHL or any other of the various professional hockey leagues around the world. But for a growing number of players, college hockey is a steppingstone to the bright lights of the National Hockey League.
In fact, according to next week’s issue of Let’s Play Hockey, 267 players who saw at least one regular season NHL game in 2009-10 honed their skills in college before making the leap to the professional ranks. That number represents nearly a third of all NHL players from the current season. In 2009-10, 39 former collegiate hockey players made their NHL debut.
Leading the list of former college players now in the NHL are standouts such as Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis (Vermont), Ottawa’s Dany Heatley (Wisconsin), New Jersey’s Zach Parise (North Dakota), Colorado’s Paul Stastny (Denver), Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler (Ohio State), Chicago’s Patrick Sharp (Vermont) and Jonathan Toews (North Dakota), Edmonton’s Dustin Penner (Maine), San Jose’s Dan Boyle (Miami), Calgary’s Rene Bourque (Wisconsin) and Buffalo’s Ryan Miller (Michigan State).
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Frozen Four co-chairmen William Clay Ford Jr. and Christopher Ilitch spoke to reporters today at Ford Field while workers put the finishing touches on the ice rink and temporary seating that will be used for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey championship this week in Detroit.
Detroit Mayor David Bing and Central Collegiate Hockey Association commissioner Tom Anastos also were on hand.
“When we built Ford Field, we wanted to build the finest multipurpose arena in the country,” Ford said. “I think we’ve done just that. We’ve obviously had the Super Bowl, the Final Four and now we’re going to have the world’s largest indoor game here at Ford Field. We’ll set an attendance record for the Frozen Four.”
Organizers expect more than 30,000 fans to watch Thursday’s semifinals.
from Joanne C. Gerstner of the New York Times,
Since birth, William Clay Ford Jr. and Christopher Ilitch have been judged by their last names and their families’ businesses. It comes with being the great-grandson of Henry Ford and, for Ilitch, being the son of the founder of Little Caesars Pizza.
As children, they both found an escape from the pressure of their famous names on a hockey rink. Skates laced tight, a stick in their hands, they could blend in on a hockey team. Years later, bearing responsibility for billions of dollars of business, they still do.
“Once you’re out on the ice, nobody cares about who you are or what you do,” said Ford, who is known as Bill. “It’s all washed away the moment the game begins, and I love that.”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has selected the 16 teams that will be participating in the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.
Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.
Miami University (Ohio) was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, included the University of Denver, the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Boston College.
The dates, sites, times and pairings of this year’s championship are as follows:
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
A new season within the NHL is upon us, one that does not get the same kind of media attention as that other free-agent season that starts July 1.
Unfortunately, thanks to changes in the last collective agreement that are only now being felt, the U.S. college free-agent signing season, which starts in early March as the college season ends, is expected to get progressively less important in the next few years.
While teams are still hoping to sign the next Andy McDonald or Chris Kunitz or Mason Raymond or Tyler Bozak, there will be fewer college free agents because more and more Canadian and U.S. 18-year-olds, headed for the National Collegiate Athletic Association instead of the Canadian junior ranks, are being taken in the NHL entry draft.
from Adam Mertz of the Wisconsin State Journal,
The unique event — which includes a visit by the Stanley Cup, the legendary NHL championship trophy, and numerous memorabilia and interactive exhibits from the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame — carries a $600,000 operational budget, including upwards of $20,000 for snow removal by a team of shovelers, and required an additional $225,000 in scheduled winterization maintenance at the 1918 venue. Those costs are offset by a title sponsorship by the fast-food chain Culver’s and expected attendance of about 50,000 fans, many of whom paid the full $25 face value for a ticket.
That’s well below the stated goal of eclipsing the world record crowd for hockey of 74,544, set in a 2001 contest between Michigan State and Michigan at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.
But it likely will stand as the fourth-largest event of its kind in North America. And for UW senior associate athletic director Sean Frazier, who is overseeing the event — the intangibles are immeasurable.
from Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press,
The 2010 Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit might not have the sports cachet or instant name recognition of a Super Bowl or basketball Final Four, but it’s got some very cool stuff going for it:
• A couple of high-profile cochairs who can actually lace up their skates and handle a stick—Bill Ford Jr. and Christopher Ilitch….
“It’s going to be an electric atmosphere in downtown Detroit,” Ilitch said Monday of the Frozen Four week.
On April 7, the Red Wings are to host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a game with possible NHL playoff implications. On April 8, the Frozen Four NCAA semifinals are to be played at Ford Field. Next door on April 9 the Tigers’ baseball home opener is scheduled. And on the 10th is to be the Frozen Four Championship game.
from Mary Paoletti of CSNNE,
The snow fell fast and even. Fans hopped off the Green Line, paused for a moment on Commonwealth Avenue, and tried to find their bearings. It was a hockey night—that much they knew—but it was already unlike any they had ever experienced.
On this frosty Friday in January there was to be a collision between historic college tradition and an event momentous enough to make history with it’s first try.
Two NCAA hockey games played in a baseball stadium. And not just any stadium but in “America’s most beloved ballpark.” For one night in a city ruled by a hierarchy of professional sports, and where the MLB especially reigns supreme, four teams of student athletes were called into court.
from Neal E. Boudette of the Wall Street Journal,
On New Year’s Eve in 1962, Jack Parker and Jerry York lined up against each other in a high-school ice-hockey game—and started a rivalry that has become one of the most extraordinary in college sports.
After high school, Mr. Parker played at Boston University and Mr. York at Boston College. Mr. Parker later became the coach at BU, and Mr. York at BC.
Now, after nearly half a century of going toe-to-toe, each man’s success is unexcelled—and they are still fierce competitors. Mr. York has accumulated more wins—827—than any other active college coach. Mr. Parker is only seven wins behind him.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Former NHL Players Association Executive Director Paul Kelly fulfilled his wish to stay in hockey by accepting a job as executive director of the newly-formed College Hockey, Inc.
The Hockey Commissioners Association created the organization for the purpose of raising the profile of Division I hockey. Kelly will be in charge of that mission.
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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