Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Stinson of the National Post,
Bell and Rogers, the twin conglomerates of the sports-media landscape in this country, have decided to remove their main sports channels from the bundled packages available to businesses that have a liquor licence. They will then offer TSN and Sportsnet — and their various regional feeds — as standalone packages at significantly increased fees.
So, where they previously had those channels available at a cost not unlike a typical residential subscription, now bars and restaurants will have to pay specifically for the right to have TSN and Sportsnet in their lineups.
Smaller bars — less than 100 seats — will be charged about $120 monthly for both channels on top of existing fees, and the cost increases according to seating capacity. The new prices — not that anyone was keen to put them on the record — will also apply to customers who subscribe to those channels through a third party like Shaw or Telus. Shaw confirmed Tuesday that the new prices are set by the channel owners, regardless of service provider.
It cannot be a coincidence that Bell and Rogers, generally fierce competitors, are making this change at the same time. You might call it collusion, but at the very least there are cahoots involved.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Chris Schwarz has a dream job.
As the strength and conditioning coach of the Ottawa Senators, Schwarz helps keep world-class athletes such as Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone finely tuned.
Schwarz isn’t referring to those star players, nor is he citing recent flu virus issues in the NHL when he says: “I can’t tell you how we’re in trouble. It’s an epidemic.”
Schwarz is talking about the lack of athleticism among our youth, even including some elite hockey players who didn’t play other sports or freelance in the playgrounds as children. He offers this simple test for parents: “Ask your kid if he or she can somersault. See if they can play catch with both hands. Can they run backwards? Do those three things. I think most parents would be astonished that their kids can’t do it.”
Those same parents approach Schwarz at his Fitquest private strength training centre and ask him to “make my son skate fast.” Unfortunately, it’s a losing proposition if the child hasn’t first learned to run and play; to kick and throw a ball.
Surprisingly, in this era of the professional who trains year round, some very good hockey players have come through the system, only to hit a wall at a certain point because their hockey aspirations lacked a foundation.
NHL.com talked to players around the League to see who they think will be cutting down nets in at the completion of the tournament in Glendale, Arizona, on April 3.
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets forward
"Arizona is going to win. They have the Finnish player (Lauri Markkanen) on their team. I don't know him, but I hear he is pretty good."
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres forward
Duke Blue Devils
"I really liked how Duke finished in the ACC. I think that they're real strong. I watched Arizona play a couple times. I think they have a good team. Gonzaga's good. Villanova's good. I think it's probably going to be like a sleeper. I don't know. I'll take Duke, actually. I think they could win it."
Jon Merrill, New Jersey Devils defenseman
Duke Blue Devils
"I like Duke. Just the way they played in the ACC tournament to run the table like that, and win four in a row which had never been done before. Grayson Allen is playing well, coming off the bench. Jayson Tatum is finding a rhythm in his game. You can never bet against coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"I went to Michigan, but I don't really like their team this year. They're older but they don't have too much versatility in their lineup. They just seem to shoot the three-pointer, so if they run cold then they lose the game. That's not a recipe for success."
more at NHL.com...
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.”
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