Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Gomez of ESPN,
MEXICO CITY -- In a sports bar tucked between the Roma Sur and Narvarte neighborhoods on a recent weekday night, a dry erase board lists the top three events available on its multiple screens.
Save for a very small minority, every patron is there to watch the main event, a World Cup qualifier between Mexico and Panama. Also listed is an NBA contest, with the Chicago Bulls battling the Portland Trail Blazers. And the third event on the board is the NHL clash between the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It's a small, perhaps even throwaway gesture, but the mere acknowledgment of hockey in Mexico is still notable at this point, as the sport slowly continues to build in popularity and relevance for a country that has provided leagues and sports north of the border with an apt opportunity for expansion in recent years.
In the past 12 months, Mexico City has hosted Major League Baseball, auto racing's Formula 1, UFC's mixed martial arts, the NFL's Monday Night Football, two regular-season NBA games, even wrestling's WWE. For the NHL, a league also looking to expand its brand beyond its usual sphere of influence, Mexico could provide an interesting destination and a chance to gauge future outings beyond North America in an effort to popularize the game.
from Corey Hrisch at The Players' Tribune,
It’s the summer of 1994, I am standing at the edge of a cliff in Kamloops, British Columbia, and I am checking out.
In February, as a 21-year-old starting goalie, I’d backstopped Canada to an Olympic silver medal. In June, as the third goalie for the New York Rangers, I’d drunk out of the Stanley Cup. I have a girlfriend at home. I have a turbo sports car parked behind me. I have the horizon in front of me — so much horizon — and as I look out past the end of it, I am completely calm.
I’m going to see how fast this sports car can go … and drive it right off this cliff.
And then, finally, I’ll be at peace. My thoughts will be gone.
I get in my car and back up a mile and a half so I can get some speed. I’ve been down these roads hundreds of times, while playing junior hockey for the Kamloops Blazers. All I ever wanted to be, ever since I was a little kid, was a goalie. Ever since I saw Gerry Cheevers in that iconic fiberglass mask — you know the one, with the black stitches painted all over it — I just knew. That’s it. I want to be the guy behind that mask. I want to play in the NHL.
via the YouTube page of The Hockey Movement by How To Hockey,
We all know those perfect sounds, the click of the puck, the carve of the skates, the PING off the crossbar. I wanted to capture those sounds forever and share them with you. I couldn't have done it without Daniel and Matt. Thanks guys! Special guest star Jim Vitale from @vitalhockeyskills
Thanks to BarDown for the pointer...
There is just something about seeing a 'bear' slipping on the ice!
I am easily entertained.
via Helene Elliott and Curtis Zupke of the LA Times,
Former Ducks and U.S. national team coach Ron Wilson is in rehabilitation following a recent stroke, according to several friends.
Wilson, 61, was the original coach of the Mighty Ducks, from their incarnation in 1993-94 through the 1996-97 season. He also coached the Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs, compiling a 648-561-91 record.
Wilson coached the U.S. in numerous international competitions, including an upset win against Canada in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. He was the U.S. coach in the 1998 and 2010 Winter Olympics, guiding the latter team to the silver medal after an overtime loss to Canada in a memorable final.
Wilson joined TSN as an analyst in 2015. He lives in South Carolina.
NEW YORK (Dec. 14, 2016) – Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the passing of entertainer Alan Thicke:
“In addition to being a passionate fan, Alan was an energetic participant in many of our events, including All-Star, charity games and Awards shows. He frequently attended games, and was with us as recently as September’s World Cup.
“Alan always displayed humor and grace and he will be greatly missed. We send condolences to Alan’s wife, Tanya, and the rest of his family as well as to his countless friends and the multitudes he entertained.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The telephone, the object with the funny dial and coiled cord that some of us employed in romantic pursuits with varying degrees of success, is a relic. Now, as Chris Heidelberger explains, young people open Snapchat on their phones to initiate the quest of companionship.
“From a parent’s perspective, you went from reluctantly giving it to them for convenience to, ‘It’s inevitable. They’re going to be behind if they don’t get it,’ ” said Heidelberger, a father of three, of the eventual parental concession to children’s mobile connectivity requests. “I have a 15-year-old now — a great, fun kid. If he’s not studying or playing hockey, he’s doing Snapchat or Instagram like 95 percent of his friends. It’s just the way it is.”
At 18 years old, Patrik Laine, Winnipeg’s goal-scoring prodigy, falls right into this window. Laine, like all of his peers, grew up with his phone with a greater level of engagement, for example, than 33-year-old teammate Chris Thorburn or 49-year-old coach Paul Maurice.
As the league trends younger toward players such as Laine, connectivity will run even deeper. With each passing season, the NHL will welcome players who are not just handy with their phones but practically helpless without them.
So it stands to reason that players will turn to their swiping fingers for all the information they require. This is where Heidelberger, as a CEO as well as a parent, believes he’s uncovered a demand at the rink.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Evan F. Moore of Rolling Stone,
You've probably noticed, but hockey also isn't the most diverse sport. It also isn't the most popular in North America. It has its huge following in Canada, but many believe the thing that is holding the sport back in the United States is its lack of inclusivity, and that a combination of economics and access to the sport are the main factors explaining why the sport continues to be overwhelmingly white. But community leaders and the NHL have a plan to try and reverse that.
"I think it's about kids here seeing that it's actually possible. They've never seen a hockey stick before," (Jamal) Mayers says. "It's the same principles as any of the 'ball' sports, like soccer and basketball. You're creating two on one's all over the place. It's important that we did this the right way. We can't just put kids on the ice and say 'Let's play hockey.' They have to get comfortable holding a stick."
Even though Mayers, now in his second year as the Blackhawks Community Liaison, grew up in a city with kids from diverse backgrounds, he recognizes how hard it can be for some of those kids to get to a rink. The NHL has footprints in many of America's major cities through their teams, and with new programs, they're trying to bring the game to a wider audience in hopes of growing new fans and also future prospects as well....
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