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Category: Hockey-Related-Stories

NHL Ref Garrett Rank On His Way To The US Open

from USOpen.com,

Garrett Rank, 30, is a National Hockey League referee who happens to be pretty good at golf. The native of Elmira, Ontario, is a three-time winner of the Canadian Mid-Amateur title who also reached the final of the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, losing to Nathan Smith. A former hockey player, Rank overcame testicular cancer at age 22, and he worked several seasons as an American Hockey League official before joining the NHL staff in 2016. Rank, who qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open by shooting rounds of 71-71 in sectional qualifying on June 4 at Ansley Golf Club in Roswell, Ga., is sharing his experience this week with usopen.com.

As I walked off the 18th green at Shinnecock Hills after my first practice round on Monday I was in a bit of a rush, because I was scheduled to attend the Amateur Dinner that evening. I wasn’t really paying attention, and as I started toward the clubhouse, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were coming off the 14th tee, and we crossed paths.

Just to see the fans following Tiger on a Monday for a practice round, all the cheers and encouragement from the crowd, was something you can’t experience until you’re there in person and see it firsthand. It was surreal to be inside the ropes and playing in the same competition as Tiger, a guy I watched for a long time on TV and grew up idolizing. I stopped and thought, whoa, this is a pretty cool moment.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: garrett+rank

Hockey Can Heal

from Lora Polowczuk of The Good Men Project

Seven other season ticket holders loved me like I was their own daughter. They bought me Dove ice cream bars when we were down a goal. We cheered together and threw popcorn at each other in fun play....

I hid my pain from these seven lovely souls. Deep inside I was a lonely, severely depressed young woman that was on the brink of suicide. I was Daddy’s little girl and felt abandoned by his death.

He was my first male connection. I lost the person that took me on school field trips, hugged me and smothered me with attention. I was only eleven years old when he died; when you are that young, you do not really know what depression is or how to cope with it.

I slowly withdrew from life. I did not want to play and found friendships difficult to maintain, especially as my hormones were also changing. I hid in my bedroom.

I became unfocused in school and my grades quickly plummeted in parallel. I isolated myself which only drew me deeper down into the spiral of depression.

I once took a swig of my mother’s Crown Royal whiskey; that sat on the kitchen counter next to the window. I was knocked out cold with a fast onset drunkenness and only to wake-up in time for dinner with a hangover.

I thought suicide was my way out of this deep pain that I could not describe. I would sit on my bed contemplating whether I should take a bottle of pills.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Remembering Clare Drake

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Clare Drake, whose voluminous wisdom was gladly and graciously imparted to a legion of young and old coaches who would hang on his every word, passed away Sunday morning.

The long-time University of Alberta Golden Bears head coach, who was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame last November in the builder’s category, died in his sleep. He was 89.

Coach Drake, who is survived by wife Dolly and two daughters Debbie and Jamie, was a towering figure to long-time National Hockey League coaches Ken Hitchcock, Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz, who all said they wouldn’t have made it to the best league in the world without the gentle soul who only put on his game face when the puck was dropped.

The same goes for former bench-bosses Tom Renney, Dave King and George Kingston along with a legion of contemporaries like Billy Moores, part of the all-encompassing Bears’ family....

“What Clare said had a profound impact on all of us … I would go back to Edmonton after NHL seasons (coaching) and I would talk to him for hours and hours,” said Hitchcock, the third-winningest NHL coach of all-time. “We’d be at symposiums, and we’d be talking so long, we’d miss some of the (other) presentations.”

read on

Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun with his article on Clare Drake.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: clare+drake

CTE Needs To Be Addressed By The NHL

from John Branch of the New York Times,

To the family of the former N.H.L. player Jeff Parker, the posthumous diagnosis of C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, was the predictable conclusion. All those hits to the head, including that final one that knocked him out of the game altogether, and all those subsequent years of struggle? In the final, difficult years before Parker’s death last September at age 53, the family figured that it must be C.T.E.

“It just makes me sad,” John Parker, Jeff’s younger brother, said through tears. “It doesn’t bring him back. It just makes you feel sad, that he was living with this, and it’s a thing. It’s a real thing.”

To the N.H.L. and its commissioner, Gary Bettman, the diagnosis is likely to be the latest piece of evidence to dismiss or combat. Even as links build a chain bridging the sport to C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive head trauma, and some of the game’s most revered names push the league to take a more open-minded approach, the N.H.L. has denied any connection between long-term brain damage and hits to the head.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+parker

Afternoon Line- Alan Strachan On Bill Torrey

via Alan Strachan tweets,

Bill Torrey was a wonderful man. More than anyone I ever met, he understood every aspect of the game -- administration, managing, coaching, and even media relations. He built the NY Islanders dynasty that won four consecutive Cups (and Denis Potvin still insists...

(2) ,,, that if he had not been injured, it would have been five). I spoke with Bill at length recently and he still --as always -- refused to reveal the offer that Sam Pollock made for that first overall draft pick Bill used to take Potvin...

(3) ... Bill also understood the media like few front-office people. He moved the start time of NYI games to 7 pm purely to allow the newspaper guys to meet deadlines that could get game stories into early editions. After one loss, I complained to Bill that his players were ....

(4) avoiding the press by refusing to come out of the training room which was off limits. He opened the training room and told us to go in. "They've got to be accountable," he said. He was also the author of one of the greatest insights into hockey I ever heard ..

(5) "Any coach can make a checker,' he said. "Only God can make a scorer." Bill was as at home with the governors as with the media. Although it is not widely acknowledged (if at all) he was Gary Bettman's primary mentor over the years. He explained hockey's nuances, unwritten...

(6) rules, traditions and so on. Bill knew everyone in hockey, so he was able to put Gary in the picture on all the personalities. Bill will be greatly missed by many people in hockey and I'm not ashamed to say I'm one of them.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+torrey

Rest In Peace Jonathan Pitre

from TSN,

The TSN family is saddened to share the loss of our dear friend Jonathan Pitre.

Jonathan, 17, passed away after a life-long battle with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic skin condition.

He spent his entire life in intense pain from EB, yet still managed to carry positive attitude that will never be forgotten by those his story touched.


Below, two videos on Jonathan.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+pitre

The Wrong Choice By The Hockey Hall Of Fame

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

At a time when diversity matters, and when the #MeToo movement is bringing more attention to the treatment of women, specifically women in the workplace, the hall of fame was handed a golden opportunity this week to demonstrate it has its ear to the ground and understands the changing culture around it....

Scotty Bowman, one of the greatest coaches in NHL history, ended his 15-year tenure on the hall’s 19-member selection committee on Dec. 31. This was a tremendous chance for the hall, led by chairman Lanny McDonald, to change the mix of the committee, to add a new and different kind of voice.

A woman. A person of colour. Someone to reflect the changing demographics of this great sport, to broaden the hall’s appeal and send a strong message that the game welcomes everyone, and includes everyone at the highest levels....

So what did the hall do with its opportunity to make a powerful statement on diversity with the opening made available by Bowman’s departure? It announced on Tuesday that high-profile broadcaster Pierre McGuire, 56, would take the legendary coach’s place on the selection committee.

Another older, white male.

Let’s be clear. This is not McGuire’s fault.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Crap

from Flora Carr of TIME,

An ex-NHL owner is in a rather sticky situation.

Tom Golisano, a billionaire and former owner of the Buffalo Sabres, is refusing to pay his local taxes, after taking a stand over the amount of goose poo left on the lawn of his upstate New York property.

Golisano, 76, is refusing to pay the $90,000 he owes until local officials deal with the problem at his summer home on Canandaigua Lake, South Bristol.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+golisano

Todd Bertuzzi On His Mental Struggles

from Megan Stewart at Sportsnet,

Todd Bertuzzi was sitting with teammates in a popular Vancouver restaurant mere minutes before he passed out in a hotel lobby.

“I remember sitting at the Cactus Club and, all of a sudden, I started getting the sweats really, really bad. All of a sudden, my heart started going like crazy and I wasn’t sure what was going on. I kind of got scared,” he said today about his final playing days in 2013-14.

He’d managed to call his trainers for help. And then medical staff from the Vancouver Canucks came to the aid of the visiting Detroit Red Wings winger. It was the veteran power forward’s last season in the NHL on what would be his last trip as an active skater to the city where he’d played eight seasons and also where he’d faced criminal charges for a violent on-ice incident 10 seasons earlier.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Paul Ranger’s Personal Story

via TSN,

In 2009, Lightning defenceman Paul Ranger vanished from the NHL. The reason for his departure was a mystery. Darren Dreger sits down with Paul in this revealing and deeply personal TSN Original.

Watch at TSN and well worth the 14 minutes you will spend watching.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+ranger

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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