Kukla's Korner Hockey
A Slap in the face - A total disconnect. Those words are being tossed around on the Detroit airwaves today regarding the lack of a sell-out at Joe Louis Arena last night.
I have been beating the drum for over a year now, warning anyone who would listen, the Wings were not doing enough for the great hockey fans of Detroit. Now, what do they do?
No more spin and blaming the economy, sure that is part of it, but the Detroit Tigers drew over 3 million fans this season.
It is time the Wings look internally, start taking care of the fans, the fans who have been with them for years and right now feel embarrassed for themselves.
Other NHL teams open their practices, have pre-game, post-game parties, entertain the fans and make it a fun experience. Other NHL teams give access to bloggers, who in turn promote the team and at time take shots at the team too.
The Wings, they do nothing, and it has caught up with them. Will they react?- At the point, I haven’t a clue.
See Abel to Yzerman for the print media reaction…
From Bob Duff at Duffer’s Dabbles,
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Sheldon Kennedy looks at Todd Bertuzzi and sees himself in Bertuzzi’s eyes and facial expressions. Kennedy thought when he went public in 1996 with details of how he was sexually abused by Graham James, his junior hockey coach, it would set him free, but it took years of dealing with the issue and confronting how it had impacted his life before Kennedy could move beyond the pain.
Though’s he not spoken to Bertuzzi, the ex-Wing who comes to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday with the Anaheim Ducks, Kennedy believes that Bertuzzi is still battling his inner demons over the hit he put on Windsor’s Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in a 2004 game, a sucker punch from behind that to date has shelved Moore’s NHL career.
from Bruce MacLeod at Red Wings Corner,
Now the same people who had to turn people away at the ticket window have to figure a way to draw people in.
The franchise has been slow to react, but this game’s not over. It’ll be fun to watch the Red Wings try to become more fan friendly over the next few years.
more on the Wings ticket problems…
from the Windsor Star (Wed. edition),
The adjectives younger and quicker have been missing from the vocabularies of the Detroit Red Wings for more than a decade.
However, with 11 of 23 players on the roster for tonight’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks being under 30, those adjectives were once again being dusted off Tuesday.
“The growth of our team isn’t about bringing new people here,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s about the people within growing into their jobs.”
from the Detroit Free Press,
Will the rumors ever stop about you leaving the Wings to run the Maple Leafs?
(Bowman) They’ve been finished. I went to Toronto (last Friday), and nobody bothered me. I’ve been with the Wings for 14 years. I basically was not interested in leaving. I like the people I work with. No reason I’d want to change.
more from Bowman, including his team “favorites” for the season…
Abel to Yzerman pointed out the Q & A interview the Wings braintrust did with the Detroit News. Here is another expert…
Ilitch: Oh, I do. I’ll speak up. I think we’ve got a good team, we got a good shot at the Cup. Last year we should’ve won the Cup. We were 2-2—and I’m gonna talk like a typical fan now—it was 2-2, and a minute and a half to go, and they called the cheapest penalty I’ve ever seen.
Devellano: Yeah, (expletive).
Bowman: Two-man system.
Ilitch: Now, and here’s the big tears coming out, but prior to that, Kenny brought it to the league’s attention, there was a flagrant penalty on Anaheim, right in front of the referee, and they didn’t call it. Then they turned around and called that (interference) penalty (on Datsyuk). We had that game won, and we’d have been up 3-2 in the series.
That same referee in 1994, when we were down 3-2 going into Toronto, we score four power-play goals, we come back to Detroit 3-3, and the referee did not call one penalty—not one—during the game or overtime. So you figure that one out. We lost, and that’s the same guy that made that call in this arena with a minute and a half to go.
from the Windsor Star,
Can the Finn finish?
“I don’t think too much (about the increased expectations),” said Filppula, who had 10 goals and seven assists in limited playing time last season. “I think the biggest expectations are coming from myself.
“For me, what I’m expecting, is to continue what was going on at the end of last season. Getting more ice time and getting better and better. I think I improved my game as the season went on. “I haven’t really thought about the number of points I should be producing.”
A year ago, Filppula wasn’t even on the Red Wings’ opening night roster.
from Red Wings Corner- Babcock on Igor Grigorenko
Grigs not being able to speak English ... “That’s one of the biggest problems. When you’re trying to communicate to him that you’re trying to help him, he just thinks he’s getting demoted. It’s to our benefit when you’ve got a player who could be a real good NHL player, you’ve got to find him. … Now try to explain that to him. You’ve got his agent translating, but any time they’re translating, they’re translating, not you. I’m always a little leery of that.”
“He’s going to play hockey in Grand Rapids. Everyone knows what skate is. Everyone knows what work is. Everyone knows how to ride the bike. It doesn’t matter what language.”
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Hockeytown needs to get its groove back.
The organization has aggressively tried to market its once-popular product, dropping some ticket prices as low as $9 and plastering images and messages on billboards.
A week before the opener against the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena, a block of 15 seats was available - at $44 apiece - in a corner of the upper bowl.
“The No. 1 thing that has hurt us from a fan’s standpoint is the Michigan economy,’’ general manager Ken Holland said in an interview with The Associated Press.
from the Detroit Red Wings,
The Red Wings will host an open practice on Saturday, September 29 at Joe Louis Arena.
This unique inside look at a Red Wings’ game day practice is free to the public and includes Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Vice President/General Manager Ken Holland addressing the crowd following the skate.
continued... open and free are the key words…
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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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