Kukla's Korner Hockey
Jason Kay of The Hockey News is banging the drum of what seems to be hockey journalists’ favourite pet project—proving that the hockey media “knows what the fans want” by convincing the NHL, through the sheer will of proffering a stance, and bolstering it through endless iterations of the same damn column, to make bigger nets a reality, given the collective theory that more goals = a more entertaining product.
From Allen Panzeri at CanWest News,
To get Sherwood-Drolet to keep making his sticks in Canada, Spezza had to play his trump card as a longtime, valuable customer. He has been using the company’s sticks since his final years in junior hockey, and he’s also featured on the company’s home page.
“I made it clear with them that, if I was going to continue using their sticks, I wanted to make sure they were still made in the same place they’ve been made for the last seven, eight years,” Spezza said on Monday.
Spezza goes through 300+ sticks a season. As mentioned recently, Sherwood will be discontinuing its production of wooden sticks in Quebec, and having them made in China and Estonia starting in January.
Currently up for auction at NHL.com are four, one-of-a-kind, hand-signed, HHOF Tribute Masks.
One featuring each of Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens and Mark Messier. Bidding opened this week at $750 each (although Messier’s has already shot up in value) and will continue until December 7th.
Money raised will be used to support the Shoot for a Cure program:
Shoot For A Cure Hockey is a campaign of the American and Canadian Spinal Research Organizations, which is directed at and led by the hockey community. The goals of the campaign are spinal cord injury awareness, prevention, research and cure. We seek to raise funds for spinal cord research, to promote prevention of hockey-related spinal cord injuries through the Play It Cool™ prevention program, and to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries in hockey.
Fox Sports’ Al Strachan went to town in bashing the deficiencies of composite sticks on Wednesday, espousing a popular belief that all the NHL’s scoring woes can be attributed directly to the proliferation of composite sticks.
Strachan used the comments of two wood stick adherents in Sharks GM Doug Wilson, who has to write the checks to cover his team’s stick budget, and Al MacInnis, who used wood sticks for the vast majority of his career, to bolster his argument that players simply cannot take passes using composite sticks, and, moreover, that players are wasting teams’ money while using sticks that perform to the detriment of the game.
I have had a few emails asking for an update on the Thermoblade testing….
via the Edmonton Journal,
Marty Reasoner took the new Thermoblades for a spin in the morning but figured it would take a game or two to see the benefits.
The blades, fuelled by a rechargeable battery pack, heat up to 5 C and are designed to reduce friction.
The NHL has agreed to test the technology.
“The concept is that it melts the ice, just enough to create less friction,” Reasoner said. “You actually don’t dig down as deep so it makes turning easier and it’s supposed to alleviate the lactic acid in your legs.”
Reasoner changed back to his traditional skates for the game.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Once again this season, scoring is down in the National Hockey League.
There are many reasons, but one of the most important can be traced to the usual lack of foresight from the league’s head office.
Without the slightest thought or consideration, the league allowed composite sticks to be introduced, just as years ago, also without any thought or consideration; it allowed aluminum sticks to be introduced.
Despondent, I swung down around Civic Center Drive, taking the waterfront route, and, through the columns that support Cobo Hall’s soft underbelly of service entrances and anonymous back doors that I could have and should have taken advantage of, I caught the top of the stack of a thousand-footer, slowly steaming upbound, just having cleared the Ambassador Bridge. I spun the car around, parked behind anonymous Chevy Corsica, and bolted for the Riverwalk, bidding a Sunday morning, “Hello” to the officers taking an end-to-end patrol, and watched the Century—it seems almost wrong to not note that it was once Oglebay Norton’s Columbia Star—gracefully, almost soundlessly churn its way toward Duluth for one more load of coal.
As I looked up toward Belle Isle, and down toward the flames slipping from the gas flares at the refineries and steel mills of Zug and the Rouge, I thought to myself, “At least the River, she never lets me down,” and headed back to the car.
Today the OneGoal Hockey Show begins at Cobo Hall in Detroit. OneGoal is a non-profit organization that’s helped kids get involved with hockey by providing affordable equipment and fundamentals clinics, working in partnership with Hockey Canada and the major equipment manufacturers to raise awareness of and interest in the game.
OneGoal’s partnered with the industry manufacturers to make sure that a portion of the hockey equipment industry’s profits, especially at its major trade show, goes back into growing the game itself, and that’s what this weekend’s show is all about—except that the public’s invited to take a gander at the equipment industry’s 2008 product for the first time.
from Brian Milner of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey legends Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky have surfaced as potential partners in groups interested in acquiring Nike Bauer, the world’s leading maker of skates and other hockey equipment….
“There’s a tremendous amount of people going to the next stage,” a person familiar with the process said. “At the end of the day, there are groups that will have [former] players involved. That includes Mario and Wayne.”
from the Toronto Star,
They’ve scored untold millions of goals on rinks, ponds and streets across the country, but in a few weeks’ time workers will lovingly fashion the last of Sher-Wood’s signature Quebec-made wooden hockey sticks.
It’s yet another sign of changing times: After 58 years, Sherwood-Drolet will, starting in January, farm out the mass production of wooden sticks and concentrate on the increasingly popular – and vastly profitable – business of making composite sticks fashioned from graphite, Kevlar and other synthetics.
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