Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Connor Gordon of Vavel,
April 5th 2015- a date of no regular significance to the average person but to the Sheffield Steelers, this was a day of great importance. The league leaders took on the Coventry Blaze in a close contest which partly determined the destination of this year's title. The event sold 50 short of 7,000 seats. What's so significant about a city the size of Sheffield packing out an arena for a sporting event? Well, Sheffield Steelers aren't a household name football team- they actually play in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).
Ice Hockey is the sleeping giant in Britain and Ireland with arenas in the largest cities of the country close to sell outs. A sport boasting a massive following in other populous countries such as Canada, USA, Sweden, there is a lot to ponder why the UK hasn't taken to it. Ice Hockey has many elements, which is similar to the most popular sport, football.
The Elite Ice Hockey League spans the entire United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The latter has one representation in the EIHL, Belfast Giants- one of the strongest teams in the league.
England is represented by Coventry Blaze, Hull Stingrays, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers- joint most successful team. Wales, like Northern Ireland, is represented by one team- Cardiff Devils.
Meanwhile in Scotland there are many more: Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers and finally, Braehead Clan- one of the newest franchise teams in the EIHL.
from Today's Slapshot,
Marc Crawford, head coach of the ZSC Lions of the National League A, took some time to email with Sean Tierney and had some interesting thoughts on the process of coaching, Auston Matthews and analytics. His answers are presented as-is.
ST: Rumours have swirled about the possibility of Auston Matthews playing in the NLA next season, possibly for your ZSC Lions. In your opinion, what are the advantages of playing internationally for a draft-eligible star like Matthews? Could a teenager succeed playing against men in the Swiss league?
MC: Auston Matthews is an outstanding young Hockey player and everyone involved with the ZSC Lions is so excited about seeing him play in Zurich.
There is no doubt that he can play and excell [sic] in the Swiss NLA and I believe it is the perfect training ground for young athletes. He will be coached by an NHL coach he will be challenged by playing against men in a fast skating, highly skilled league. He will learn what it is like to play the systems that will be utilized as he continues to rise up the hockey ranks.
He is a wonderful young man who wants to improve and we have an excellent record of development.
Ron Kenins developed with us and this year Jonas Sigenthaler and Denis Malgin both will get drafted because of our program.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHL teams are not looking for Moses to lead them out of the wilderness as much as they are simply trying to determine whether he can part an NHL defence.
His name is Steve Moses. He is a 25-year-old, 5-foot-9, 170-pound winger from Leominster, Mass., and he's attracting NHL interest this season because he's leading the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in goals, with 35 in 56 games for Jokerit (Finland). He also has 56 points in 56 games, sixth best in the KHL.
"He's the top (unrestricted) free agent in the KHL, that's for sure," one NHL management person said.
"Really small but really fast," said another.
Some teams think he's worth a shot. Others aren't so sure. In any case, what's certain is the diminutive University of New Hampshire alum – he played four seasons there between 2008 and 2012 – won't be leaving Jokerit (where he's in his third season), or the KHL, unless he has a one-way NHL contract tucked in his back pocket.
from the CP at TSN,
The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League saw itself as the oil-rich rival to the NHL, offering a tempting, if less prestigious, alternative to playing in North America.
As the league planned to expand as far as Britain, the money on offer even attracted Russian stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov, who walked out on lucrative NHL deals to return home.
Then came the crash of the ruble this week.
The financial crisis has threatened the plans of players like former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Curtis Sanford, who came to Russia to save for his retirement.
"It's just really happened all of a sudden," the 35-year-old Sanford told The Associated Press. "These are some things that you don't expect when you sign a contract. Right now, you just have to ride the rolls of how it's going and hopefully it stabilizes and gets better."
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
MOSCOW – One of international hockey’s most successful coaches of all time, Viktor Tikhonov, died this morning in a hospital in Moscow after long illness. He was 84. The funeral will take place in Moscow on Thursday.
With Tikhonov the international hockey family lost its most decorated coach ever. During his era as the head coach of the Soviet Union and Russia, the Moscow-born coach led the national team to three Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship titles between 1979 and 1992 and the 1981 Canada Cup. He also won one Olympic silver medal, one World Championship silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals.
Born in Moscow in 1930, Tikhonov played bandy, football and ice hockey. He started his hockey career at the top level as a defenceman with VVS MVO Moscow and Dynamo Moscow and won four consecutive championships (1951-1953 with VVS, 1954 with Dynamo) but is mostly remembered for his extraordinarily successful coaching career.
added 7:24am, Below, a YouTube user submitted tribute video of Tikhonov....
With the world commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this week, TSN's Dave Naylor explores the story of hockey's famed Stastny brothers. TSN Original Feature Stastny focuses on Peter and Anton, who defected from Czechoslovakia in dramatic fashion in 1980, and older brother Marian, who joined them a year later, all in search of the opportunity to compete on the North American stage.....
"By defying the Iron Curtain and defecting to North America, the Stastny brothers changed the face of professional hockey forever," said Naylor. "To help people appreciate their story, we take viewers back to the brothers' home city of Bratislava in an Eastern Bloc country with limited freedoms. The circumstances under which the Stastnys escaped, including the torturous choice to leave family behind, mark an important time in both hockey and political history."
read on and watch the video below...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The parties discussing the revamped World Cup of Hockey are prepared to make some dramatic changes to the tournament format, Sportsnet has learned.
The eight-team event is now expected to include two all-star entries along with the top six hockey nations — Canada, U.S., Sweden, Finland, Russia and Czech Republic — when it returns in September 2016, according to multiple sources.
The first all-star team is expected to feature the best players from the remaining European countries: Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany and Slovenia, among them.
The makeup of the other mixed squad is still to be determined, although one idea being considered is bringing together all of the top young stars in the sport.
Organizers looked at staging a pre-tournament qualifier to determine the final two spots, but don’t believe there is time to pull everything together. They also like the idea of doing something different than the World Cups and Canada Cups of the past and think that adding all-star teams will make for a more competitive event.
via the Elite Ice Hockey League,
The Cardiff Devils are pleased to confirm the signing of Paul Bissonnette. The NHLer is coming in on a temporary basis while he still looks for opportunities in the NHL, but Devils management are excited to have him for whatever length of time that he will be in Cardiff.
“Paul got in touch with us and explained that he had already had offers from two other teams in the Elite League, but that if he was going to come back to this league he thought he would talk to us,” explained the Devils ManagingDirector Todd Kelman.
In the post previous to this one, I mentioned Sportsnet feature yesterday on The Worlds Greatest Hockey Factory/
Well, here it is...
note- I always try to credit the original source first, but sometimes it is not available, but thanfully for our sake others do supply...
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