Kukla's Korner Hockey
In a special edition of the opening montage, Hockey Night in Canada salutes Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip.
from CBC News,
In Mitch Albom's latest work of fiction, a Christian God has decided to wipe hockey off the face of the earth.
Such a notion might incite traditional fans of the sport to drop their gloves, while others turn to a more diplomatic debate.
Albom just hopes he gets a good laugh from audiences when they see his play, Hockey, the Musical!, which opened Thursday at City Theatre in Detroit.
from Milton J. Valencia of the Boston Globe,
Famed former pro hockey player Kevin Stevens, who was raised in Massachusetts and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was charged in federal court Thursday with conspiring to sell oxycodone....
He has battled substance abuse and entered the NHL Substance Abuse Program before retiring in 2002.
In a statement, his attorney, John J. Commisso of Jackson Lewis, P.C. in Boston, said that Stevens remains plagued with “injuries, pain, and other challenges.”
He said Stevens would contest the charges.
a bit more...
NEW YORK (May 5, 2016) – The National Hockey League announced today that it is donating $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Wildfires in the Fort McMurray area have forced the evacuation of more than 80,000 residents. The Canadian Red Cross will facilitate care by providing shelter, food, accommodation and comfort.
“The National Hockey League family stands with all who have been affected by the devastating fires in Fort McMurray,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We send thoughts of support and encouragement to our neighbors as they confront the physical and emotional impacts of this disaster.”
from Lawrence Martin at the Globe and Mail,
Picked up the sports section of a newspaper the other day and was greeted by an irritating headline: “The Year that Hockey Died.”
Increasingly, we’ve seen these doomsday stories about our national sport. They’re exaggerated, of course. The sport is nowhere near the netherworld. The NHL is doing fine. TV contracts are big. The game – check the Pittsburgh-Washington series – still offers dramatic entertainment. Ottawa is putting up a new arena. The Toronto Doormats (Maple Leafs) have just won the draft rights to a superstar. Chances are they will be revived in this millennium.
So where does all the codswallop, all the stories about hockey’s demise come from? They come from immigration patterns which have seen millions arriving in Canada from cultures where hockey is barely heard of. They come from melting ice caps, a dwindling number of backyard rinks, falling enrolments in hockey youth programs.
They come from hockey being far more expensive than other sports; from its turn from a blue-collar sport to a rich kids’ one. They come from the steep rise of basketball and soccer.
from Michael Kuzmin, Arik Motskin and Zack Gallinger of The10and3,
Last year, we declared Thunder Bay to be the hockey capital of Canada. Season after season, this unassuming, northern Ontario town sends boatloads of its young men into the ranks of the NHL. And the data doesn’t lie — over the past century, no other Canadian city has so consistently churned out hockey players at such a high rate.
But many readers were aghast: how could we ignore the Prairies? In those parts, while some players do come from mid-sized cities like Regina or Red Deer, so many more hail from a vast constellation of tiny towns – with names like Oxbow, Aneroid and Elk Point – that dot the endless prairie landscape. A small town certainly cannot consistently produce NHL-ready players year after year, so it simply has no chance in our analysis when facing larger cities like Thunder Bay. But when you start to analyze all of these small towns aggregated across a larger region, like a province, then you may just realize how dominant the hockey tradition in Canada’s west really is.
Others wondered about the huge influx of players in the NHL born outside of Canada, who now comprise over half of the league. The American invasion was well underway by the early 1980s, with stars like Chris Chelios and Pat LaFontaine contributing a familiar brand of hard-nosed, yet skilled North American hockey. By the late 1980s, the ranks of European and Soviet players in the NHL exploded, bringing with them an elegant game based on skating and puck possession.
We’re here to tell you: while Thunder Bay remains Canada’s best hockey town, Saskatchewan is the world’s undisputed hockey hotbed – a province that has consistently produced more NHL-ready players per capita than any other region in Canada, or on the planet.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
The love of this venerable game is still there. People play for fun, in leagues, or in some cases, for tournament prize money. A century after the first patent for mechanical-rod players in England and decades after Donald Munro built a mini hockey rink from spare parts for his kids in Depression-era Toronto, the little game is getting the documentary treatment.
Oakville-based filmmakers Derek Williams and Brian Gard have spent months examining the earliest forms of the game, in Europe and across this continent, and talking to inventors, enthusiasts and players for The Story of Table Hockey. Their scope keeps expanding, but the duo intends to be ready for the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Among the NHLers featured is Vic Hadfield and his search for the vintage game bearing his name to give to his grandson Vic.
For Williams, the journey began with day-long games versus younger brother Sean. They battled on a 1979-era Coleco.
“We knew each other’s moves so well that every game ended in a tie,” Williams said. “We made a rule you had to win by two goals. We’d shoot so hard, we’d need electrical tape to mend blades. Sometimes we’d go until 3 a.m.”
from Ben Shpigel of the New York Times,
Every so often, Scott Scissons is asked to make a speech. He tends to begin the same way, with a moment of levity: Five players were chosen ahead of him in the 1990 draft, he says, but no one in the crowd has likely heard of them.
Those five players — Owen Nolan, Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau, Mike Ricci and Jaromir Jagr — have combined to score 1,989 regular-season goals in the N.H.L. Scissons, a center taken by the Islanders right after the Penguins selected Jagr, had none.
Everyone laughs, and so does Scissons, and then he gets to his point.
“The reality is,” Scissons says, “life can go one of a couple ways.”
His way involved making his debut for the Islanders at 19, sustaining a series of debilitating injuries that forced him to retire at 23, then returning home to Saskatchewan to attain a different sort of professional satisfaction: working in the family business, selling and servicing mobile homes.
Here is Gordie Howe's last goal in the NHL. called by Danny Gallivan and Mickey Redmond.
added 8:53pm, from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,
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.
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