Kukla's Korner Hockey
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today a restructuring of the National Hockey League club’s broadcast teams. Jeff Rimer, Bill Davidge and George Matthews will each return to the broadcast booth in 2009-10, while television analyst Danny Gare will not.
“I applied for the (TV) play by play job in Columbus before the team’s inaugural season and would have loved to come home and been the voice of the Blue Jackets for 40 years. I didn’t get the job and have been stuck working at the most successful network in TV history. Darn the luck. My current contract (with ESPN) is up July 1, 2012. We will see what happens then.”
-John Buccigross of ESPN. A bit more from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Ryan Salmons, who helped inspire the Blue Jackets and became a hero to scores of the club’s fans, died today (Friday).
Salmons, who fought a long battle with cancer, was 19 years old. He died at Nationwide Childrens Hospital this afternoon just hours after Jackets forward Jason Chimera had stopped in for a visit.
Salmons, a fan of hockey and Corvettes, asked to be put under sedation, his father Brad said.
“His last words were, ‘Dad, I want to go to sleep, I want to go to heaven and I want to park my Corvette in front of the Pearly Gates,’” his father said.
Brad Salmons believes the Jackets’ outreach and team’s bid for its first playoff berth helped keep his son alive the past month. The Jackets signed him to a one-day contract several weeks ago and he was able to attend both playoff games in Nationwide Arena.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Those calls are still in my ear as the Blue Jackets contemplate a housecleaning in their broadcast booths. The contracts of television play-by-play man Jeff Rimer and analyst Danny Gare, and of radio play-by-play man George Matthews and analyst Bill Davidge, will expire July 1. As of this writing, these men do not know whether they will be retained. They are in limbo, and they oughtn’t to be….
It is a slap in the face, in their industry, to be left hanging. And it has to change. So does the front-office meddling. No broadcaster should have his or her thoughts policed to the degree that Jackets broadcasters have been shackled.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash has one more season remaining on his current contract. Jackets management can begin negotiating with Nash starting on July 1. Here are some Nash comments from an interview today….
Q: So the businessman in you can make no guarantees regarding a possible re-signing?
A: “You can’t make a guarantee you will be back. It’s tough to say. I can’t say ‘I guarantee I’m going to be here.’ You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know what direction they are going to want to go or what direction I want to go. We’ll wait and see. Initially, I want to be in Columbus, but there is a business side to hockey and I’ll have to weigh my options.”
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
It is tough to swallow. There is 1 minute, 34 seconds remaining in a 5-5 game. The crowd is doing something beyond booing—howling with anger, you might say. The Detroit Red Wings—who to this point have scored two power play goals in the game and six in the series—are given a man advantage with 94 seconds remaining in a potential elimination game.
“To lose an elimination game, when there were no holds barred, on a call by a linesman . . . It’s just not right,” defenseman Mike Commodore said.
With 46.6 seconds remaining, Johan Franzen scores a power-play goal to win the game and complete a sweep of the series. The fans in Nationwide Arena are livid. They toss cans and bottles on the ice, with much of the debris aimed at the officials.
Once I got out of the Jackets’ room, I headed straight for the area near the officials’ dressing room. I hoped to find Kevin Collins, and ask him about the call.
“I thought the second period was more of a free-for-all than the third. I was really proud of the players today; they gave everything they had today. I was really proud of the fans. The fans were great, even when we were down 3-1 or 5-3, they weren’t leaving us. The fans, when we were down 5-3, brought us back as much as the players brought us back. I saw significant impact of people in the building; how they can impact the team’s fortunes. We got some energy because of (the fans).”
-Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock after game 4 tonight. Many more post-game quotes at ColumbusBlueJackets.com (including the Detroit side).
Crazy game, Wings had a 2 goal lead twice tonight and the Blue Jackets batted back to tie it each time.
One of the stories of the series, Columbus never had the lead in the four games.
added 10:12pm, To answer the 20 or so emails I have received regarding the Too Many Men on the Ice penalty Columbus took late in the 3rd period that lead to Franzen power play goal, the penalty had to be called, no matter the score, the time left on the clock, etc.
If the Columbus player who came onto the ice had not played the puck before the player he was replacing was on the bench, the call would probably have not been made. It is a call that is made 100% of the time, no judgment involved in that type of call.
added 10:20pm, Video of the game highlights below…
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
When I arrived in costume for the game at Nationwide Arena, one subtle Jackets fan waiting to get in saw me and yelled “PRRRRROOOOOOTOOOOOHHHHHHHH!” while Red Wings GM Ken Holland had a good giggle at my expense when USA Today writer Kevin Allen told him who just passed them in the bowels of the building. And in the press box during the game’s first intermission, Gary Bettman good-naturedly came up and told me that I should look like I did if I lost a bet.
I couldn’t disagree with the NHL commissioner; that was all part of the fun. And my night was made easier by team employees – including Jackets PR man nonpareil Todd Sharrock and his staff – as well as fans and the players themselves, chiefly because they all were gracious enough to stifle their laughs until I was out of earshot.
more with a photo of Adam in full Cival War dress!
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Goloborodko, a native of Russia, admits to throwing his third octopus in the past four seasons in Nationwide Arena on Tuesday during the closing minute of the Red Wings’ 4-1 win in Game 3 of a Stanley Cup playoff series.
He lobbed a 2 1/2 -pound octopus nicknamed “Homer” over the Plexiglas and onto the ice. Yes, Goloborodko names his octopuses for Red Wings players—the latest in honor of forward Tomas Holmstrom.
Goloborodko said he was detained by arena security, threatened by angry Jackets fans and enjoyed a chance encounter with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before being escorted from the building.
“As I was being held downstairs, Gary Bettman and his security guys walked by,” Goloborodko said. “Like any good hockey fan, I recognized my commissioner and yelled out, ‘Hey, Commissioner.’
“I heard Bettman say, ‘I’m not happy about this one bit.’ I don’t know if he was responding to me or talking about something else.”
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