Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Hicks of the Waterloo Region Record,
Plan to invest time and toil in an outdoor rink this winter?
Think twice about tending backyard ice. You might be shovelling all your blister-bursting efforts into a quick-sinking slush fund. A flood of frustration may await you.
"This El Niño stuff, you know?" said Waterloo outdoor rink enthusiast Robert McLeman, who is part of a RinkWatch team of Wilfrid Laurier University researchers studying the melting future of outdoor rinks in a climate-changing Canada.
El Niño. Two words that pour salt in the skate-blade wounds of any outdoor ice surface.
McLeman sees a short season for outdoor ice brewing in a big pool of warmer water off the west coast of North America.
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
The perspective is a remarkable one, one that each time humbles, reassures and, especially today, staggers.
The perspective of a warrior, of a fighter, of a hero.
The perspective of a solider.
We’d talked Wednesday at Honda Center, before the Ducks-Oilers game, on a night when the military would be honored for Veterans Day. And, once again, I was astounded by the unrelenting commitment of someone willing to give their final breath.
Wade Scott told me about the day in 2011 when, during a firefight in Afghanistan, he was shot multiple times, four bullets ripping into his side and another through his wrist, leaving his left hand looking like “hamburger with fingers sticking out of it.”
Three more rounds struck him in the chest, the Army master sergeant able to tell the story now only because of the body armor that absorbed the Taliban’s worst.
Then, Scott, a veteran of 14 years of service, said this:
“That could have happened at any other time during any other deployment. A lot of things much worse happen to people all the time. It was just my day and I got lucky.
“But, yeah, I’d do it again tomorrow. That’s what our job is. It’s a passion. People tend to fall in where their passion lies. It’s part of who I am.”
We had met to discuss Defending the Blue Line, a nonprofit that assists military children interested in ice hockey.
Sportsnet’s Scott Morrison reflects on Remembrance Day and the NHL’s deep ties to Canadian war veterans.
from Andrew Duffy of the Ottawa Citizen,
A new study suggests the Mounties had a powerful pacifying effect on the Canadian West that continues to be felt more that a century later — even in the NHL.
In research published this month by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, economist Pascual Restrepo shows that violent crime rates remain much higher in prairie communities that were founded far from an RCMP fort during the settlement of the West between 1890 and 1920.
What’s more, he says, the Mounties’ civilizing effect extends to the NHL: Statistics reveal that prairie-born players from areas historically outside the reach of the RCMP spent considerably more time in the penalty box during the past three decades.
Restrepo examined data from 737 NHL players from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta who were active between 1980 and 2007.
Those who were born in communities first established more than 100 kilometres from an RCMP outpost were penalized, on average, 24 seconds more per game. That adds up to about 100 additional penalty minutes during a typical career.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Don Lynch, a 34-year-old Marine captain at the time, was sitting in the back of the plane as the rest of the passengers boarded the flight at Logan.
“Last row, cramped, sitting right next to Fred Cusick,’’ Lynch recalled the other day from his home in North Dallas. “All of a sudden, I look up, and here they come . . . Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito . . . the whole Bruins team, loading up the plane for the game in Minnesota.’’
Lynch, now 75 and nearly 20 years retired as a Marine major general, still holds the proof of his memorable, serendipitous encounter. At the urging of Cusick, then the voice of the Bruins on Channel 38, Lynch grabbed a copy of the March 1974 Playboy magazine, walked it up the aisle, and asked the boys in Black and Gold if they would sign the cover....
Random episodes such as Lynch experienced rarely, if ever, exist anymore in the pro sports industry. The Bruins, like most sports franchises, shifted exclusively to charter flights by the mid or late ’80s. In the late ’70s, when I often booked the same commercial flights as the Bruins as a beat reporter, I witnessed dozens of those chance, in-air autograph sessions.
Fans loved it. Players, for the most part, accepted it as part of the landscape, even an obligation. Most of them seemed to like it. Not hard to imagine the fun-loving Esposito gleefully unfurling the centerfold and scratching out his name.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Things have gone well for Boucher in Switzerland, and now Boucher has emerged as the best available candidate for NHL teams looking to make an in-season change at head coach. There are certainly other notable and worthy candidates, like John Tortorella, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle, but nobody who offers the mix of youth, intelligence and now international experience that the 44-year-old Boucher provides.
Reached by phone in Switzerland on Monday, Boucher said coaching for Bern has been an incredible opportunity and learning experience for him.
“You see things differently. I look at what Paul Maurice had done going to Europe and coming back. Bob Hartley just won coach of the year and he did the same thing. You ask all those guys and they’ll tell you their experience overseas helped you become better coaches,” Boucher said.
read on (insiders only but well worth the cost)...
from Lori Ewing of the CP at the Toronto Sun,
Patrick O'Sullivan has a strong aversion to baked beans. The smell of freshly-cut grass can send him into an emotional tailspin.
And even when he played in the National Hockey League, and the days of being beaten by his dad were behind him, he still instinctively scanned the crowd for his face in the arena every night.
The 30-year-old O'Sullivan seemed destined for hockey greatness, but it all went horribly wrong at the hands of his father.
In "Breaking Away: A Harrowing True Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph," O'Sullivan writes in unflinching detail about a childhood of physical abuse and emotional cruelty. His hope is that people start talking about what happens in some homes after the lights of the arena of turned off.
NHL Live is joined by legendary photographer Bruce Bennett to discuss his new book “Hockey’s Greatest Photos”.
If interested in Hockey's Greatest Photos, it is available at Amazon (affiliate link)...
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.
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