Kukla's Korner Hockey
In what will likely become a regular staple here at Cluster Pucks… I go around the hockey leagues with news tidbits from the last week, and once the season gets underway, this will turn into more of a “recap” of various things, including scores and current standings from all the leagues which this blog covers.
Anyway, let the first installment of the chaos begin.
The biggest story this week, at least when it comes to my realm of coverage, was the announcement that the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be played in Windsor, Ontario, as was reported by Paul on Wednesday. This is especially exciting news for me, as if I can afford to swing the budget, and land the proper press credentials, it will likely represent the first chance I’ll have as a new member of the hockey media to go and cover an event in person!
from David Drew of the Kalamazoo Gazette,
If Western Michigan University was looking for a big name hockey coach to fill the giant shoes left by Jeff Blashill, it’s done so, hiring a coach it never could have lured a year ago.
WMU has hired longtime NHL head coach Andy Murray to lead its hockey program, according to multiple sources.
from Tony Khing of Hockey 411 at Sharks.com,
However on this day, Berenson isn’t wearing a suit. He’s not standing in the corridors of the Yost Ice Arena. He’s in a T-shirt and shorts, has a baseball cap on his head and is talking outside Locker Room No. 2 at Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa. Berenson is about to play in a late morning game for the University of Michigan 65s at the 36th annual Snoopy Senior World Hockey Tournament.
The man known as “The Red Baron” may be 71 and playing just for fun, but he still has that competitive fire.
One would think you’d like to take a break from hockey. After all, the NCAA season and all you do as a head coach is quite stressful
This is a break for me. It’s a lot more fun playing hockey than coaching hockey. It really is a break. I really enjoy it a lot and it’s the only time I really play hockey.
When your players learn about your summertime hockey fix, what’s their reaction?
They like that. They know I’m a fitness person. They know I’m concerned about conditioning. But it sets a good example. They know I’m still serious about the game. I’ve had some players drive up from San Francisco to see us play.
from Pat Borzi of the New York Times,
Being the commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, one of the nation’s leading conferences, is ordinarily a pretty good deal. The conference, which has existed since 1971, sends multiple teams to the N.C.A.A. men’s hockey tournament every year and has won 9 of the past 27 national championships.
But since March, when Fred Pletsch was promoted to commissioner, hockey has become the latest N.C.A.A. sport to experience a dramatic shift in conference allegiances.
The movement, which as in football separates haves from have-nots in some cases, spawned two new conferences and does not appear close to being settled.
In the last five months, five of the C.C.H.A.’s 11 teams announced plans to leave. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will join the new Big Ten Conference in 2013-14; Miami of Ohio will be part of the fledgling National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which was announced Wednesday; and Northern Michigan is awaiting member approval to move to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The AP reports talks are ongoing for a game at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Read the AP report at the Detroit News.
from Bob Snow at NHL.com,
Since the NCAA began crowning a national champion in 1948, there are only three goalies from the college ranks that have played the primary role in their team claiming the Stanley Cup.
Now, Tim Thomas, the former University of Vermont star, is hoping to add his name to that elite list. To do so, he will have to win one more game in the 2010-11 season—Wednesday’s Game 7 in Vancouver.
Ken Dryden, Ed Belfour, and Mike Richter have already accomplished this rare feat.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—- Phoenix Coyotes center Andy Miele won the 2011 Hobey Baker Award on Friday night. The award, given annually to the NCAA’s best hockey player, was presented at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Minnesota. Miele is the second Coyotes player in franchise history to win the award (Kevin Porter, 2008). Scott Pellerin, who played 23 games with the Coyotes in 2002-03, won the award in with the New Jersey Devils organization in 1992.
Gary Thorne and Barry Melrose of ESPN discuss the Minnesota Duluth and Michigan victories last night.
from David Albright of ESPN,
Two of college hockey’s most storied programs, Michigan and North Dakota, will face off against each other in the prime-time matchup Thursday (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 8:30 p.m. ET).
The other two teams skating here, Minnesota-Duluth and Notre Dame (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 5 p.m. ET), are looking to become the 18th different school to skate around with the plaque.
Here are five key questions heading into the national semifinals.
1. Can North Dakota (32-8-3), the lone remaining national seed, be stopped?
The numbers say no, but logic says maybe. The Fighting Sioux are 14-0-1 since their last loss way back on Jan. 28. And over that stretch UND has outscored its opponents 78-19, including 12-1 in the NCAA tournament. Dave Hakstol’s club is second in the nation in scoring at 4.14 goals per game, third in goals against at 2.14 per game and second in scoring margin (2.00).
“I don’t know if we can match North Dakota’s speed or skill,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “And I don’t think anyone’s found a way to take that out of the game. We just have to be ready to play in a game that might be footrace hockey, or it might be a special-teams game.
“They have the edge in special teams and they have the edge on offensive skill. They’re as good as it gets, and they’ve had that kind of season.”
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Stephane Da Costa is flying to Toronto on Monday morning. By Wednesday, he should have a new home.
Da Costa, 21, is a free agent after leading Merrimack College to its best season in school history. It ended Saturday with a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA playoffs. But that doesn’t mean he is done for the year.
CBA rules indicate he must sign a multi-year contract with his new NHL team. But if he gets into a game before the end of the regular season, he’ll burn one of those years.
Da Costa is headed to Newport Sports, where his agents, Wade Arnott and Ed Ward, will begin fielding offers. While Arnott confirmed that process begins Monday, he didn’t really want to go much further. From talking to several sources, here’s some idea of how it will play out:
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