Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable,
Briefly stopped by the opening of ESPN’s snazzy new Los Angeles digs last week, and stuck around just long enough to hear a prominent National Hockey League team executive indirectly trash league television partner Versus, which picked up a hockey package as its main asset when ESPN balked a few years back.
On stage at the opening of the new complex, Anschutz Entertainment Group (owners of the Los Angeles Kings) CEO Tim Leiweke turned to ESPN chief George Bodenheimer and said, “We made a huge mistake with hockey - we need to get back on ESPN with the NHL.” While many people agree, I wonder how that comment went over back at Comcast, which has shelled out quite a few scheckels to the NHL?
from P.J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
...The game has changed. The players have changed and so has the perception from the fans watching the game. I think it’s a direct reflection of our changing society. We live in a world of always worrying to be so PC (politically correct, folks). The game has changed because our society’s influence on it has almost forced some of its changes. No more so than in interpretation of the game’s physicality.
What used to be a battle along the boards, a fight for the puck, a mano-a-mano confrontation is now called like a basketball game. Two minutes for illegal use of the hands or two minutes for being too strong or too tough. I believe the game needed changes to get out of the trap era, but why interfere with what so many people have fallen in love with? The toughness of players playing the toughest game out there….
Fighting is a no-no now, hitting someone who is watching their pass is a crime and body checking someone in the head … purgatory.
I loved the game the way it used to be. I’m worried about the direction the game is going in.
Steve of Puck The Media posts the 2nd part of his Jack Edwards interview,
PTM: [Clunky Transition] Well, speaking of entertainment value, there was this huge, huge hulabaloo in the online hockey community last week at that Philadelphia game where you did sort of the Vincent Price laugh after that Randy Jones hit. First of all, how did that come into your mind, and do you think people are making too much of it? I think it was just fun…
JE: Okay, first of all, everybody has a right to his opinion, and I enjoy strong opinions. What I don’t respect is people who call names and throw mud and don’t actually follow through and consider what the story really is.
If you go back and if you listen to the illegally posted, copyrighted material thats on YouTube [we both chuckle] I clearly refer to “the crowd wants a call for a hit from behind”. That is what was so hilarious. Because even before we knew that Patrice Bergeron had a broken neck on the 27th of October, 2007. Even before we knew what the result of the examination was. While he was still unconscious, the Flyers had issued a public relations release, and the Philadelphia media swallowed it whole, to the point that some columnist in Philadelphia actually wrote that Bergeron knew the hit was coming.
more and if you missed the Edwards call, watch it below…
from Puck The Media,
PTM: ...are you kind of glad that ESPN doesn’t cover hockey anymore?
JE: Well, I think that all you need to know is - for those who wish that hockey was back on ESPN - last Saturday, which was probably the single most amazing night of the NHL season. Just in terms of teams switching places, dramatic things happening, crazy games, that kind of thing.
We went from Toronto to Philadelphia, we were in (Bruins radio play-by-play man) Dave Goucher’s room, having a couple cold ones. Now, the Sweet 16 is going on in college basketball at the same time, the only hockey we saw in the entire sportscast of “SportsCenter” was about 45 seconds of the UNH-North Dakota game, which was the one UNH tied with one-tenth of a second to go, that went into Overtime. That was 56 minutes into the telecast. There was nothing on the NHL in the entire show.
So, for those of you that hope that hockey gets back on ESPN, that’s what you’re gonna’ get. That’s where it belongs in ESPN’s hierarchy, because there are some bozos sitting in the accounting department in a bunker in Burbank, California running Disney, who look at the numbers and completely ignore the passion of hockey fans.
NHL Network profiles one of the NHL’s signature voices, Montreal Canadiens play-by-play man Pierre Houde Thursday at 7:30pm ET.
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Got blasted by Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner on Saturday night for having an “agenda” to get fighting out of hockey.
Guilty. If they put that on my tombstone, I’ll be okay with that.
Don’t get me wrong. Grapes may not like me, but I like him fine. Have suggested several times he belongs in the broadcaster’s wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame, so I think I’m on the record as having respect for his accomplishments as a broadcaster. As a junior coach, not so much.
All I can say is I haven’t made a dime off pushing the notion that fighting has no place in hockey.
more, including a youtube of Coach’s Corner and additional hockey topics discussed, one which is the Brian Burke parody Twitter.
As Tony pointed out, Malkin will not be suspended for his hit on Simmonds, but Don Cherry had some thoughts on the hit after the first game of the HNIIC doubleheader tonight.
The words of Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner tonight.
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:
By moving the game to the NHL Network, in an attempt to give it more exposure, the league shut out a large number of Center Ice subscribers. Up until last week, I had DirecTV, which includes the NHL Network as part of its digital package. I learned, apparently along with a lot of fans, that Comcast doesn’t include the NHL Network in its basic digital package - even if you ponied up the bucks for Center Ice. Now, I need to get the NHL Network anyways, so I didn’t mind calling Comcast and bumping up a package for another $8 a month. But by the time we got it ironed out, it was 2-0 New Jersey.
Like a lot of hockey fans, I was part angry, part confused. So this morning, I called the league for an explanation.
It was explained to me that putting the game on NHL Network made the game like any other nationally televised hockey game, which means it wasn’t available on Center Ice. Usually that’s not an issue, because you can just turn on NBC or Versus and watch it. But for those of us who didn’t get NHL Network, it became an issue. But the league assured me that it wasn’t some underhanded tactic to get people to pay more money for extra cable coverage. In fact, it’s the opposite.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There already seems to be growing controversy about the GMs’ recommendation this past week regarding a 10-minute misconduct for “staged fights.” The NHL Players’ Association considers this a “new rule” recommendation and thus needs approval from the competition committee when it meets again in June. However, we were told Saturday the league believes the “staged fights” proposal is “an existing rule” that simply needs new interpretation and enforcement, and therefore doesn’t need competition committee approval or, for that matter, the board of governors’ approval.
That is not how the NHLPA views this, and from the e-mails that were flying our way Saturday from both sides, this could get ugly.
continued (basically a recap of the Hot Stove during HNIC) plus a few more hockey notes…
If you missed Coach’s Corner last night, watch it below…
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.
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