Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Edward Guthmann at the San Francisco Chronicle,
In the world of Xavier Louis Reed, a collarbone fracture is nothing. Same goes for the 800 miles he travels each weekend for hockey practice, the equipment he has to lug, the time away from his mom and dad and the social life he’ll miss because of his breakneck schedule.
Such are the sacrifices of a 14-year-old, 6-foot-2-inch athlete with world-class potential. Reed, a freshman at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, is one of the best American hockey players in his age group. He played two seasons for the San Jose Junior Sharks, won a place on the West Coast Selects at 12 and this year joined the Los Angeles Hockey Club, a top-ranked Tier 1 AAA team, as defenseman.
Each year there are dozens, maybe hundreds of young guys with serious prospects for a National Hockey League career. Unlike Louie, as he is called by his family, nearly all of them are white. With 30 NHL teams and roughly 24 players on each team, black players make up 1 to 2 percent of the league.
continued… (*a great, in-depth article about a promising young African-American player and his journey to making the NHL)
From Evan Grossman at NHL.com,
Located on Avenue of the Americas between 46th and 47th streets in the heart of New York City, the new NHL store will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, Oct. 12. And calling it a store is not quite doing it justice, as this is much more than just a place where you can buy hockey stuff. The NHL store is designed to be a unique experience for visitors that plays on many senses in addition to the impulse to want to buy everything in the store.
This is a hockey cathedral, in many ways, with an ice wall where you can carve your name or initials, a computer where you can custom design a pair of sneakers with the crest and colors of your favorite team, a radio studio upstairs where you can see and hear the daily XM broadcast of NHL Live, or sip on your favorite flavor latte or cappuccino at the hockey-themed Starbucks that’s adjacent to the store.
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Boogaard, the Minnesota Wild’s 6-foot-7, 258-pound enforcer, can rule through intimidation. It’s one reason that penalty minutes for players of his type usually decrease in the NHL from the staggering figures they compiled in the minors while trying to make names for themselves.
“The role is important,” said Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins. “I think it keeps people a little more honest. It’s just our job, and we know that, and it has to be done. It’s not that we have any disdain for each other.”
It can be a cat-and-mouse - make that a lion-and-rhino - game when two enforcers are on the ice.
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
A 15-bed bus once used to transport the now-defunct Port Huron Flags minor league hockey team has been sold to an Arkansas couple with 17 children.
When the team folded in May, Fred Minnie posted an ad trying to sell the bus in an auto magazine. He was contacted by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose 17th child Jennifer Danielle was born Aug. 2.
‘‘There’s not too many of those buses with 15 beds in it,’’ Minnie said.
The family’s 7,000-square-foot home is in the northwest Arkansas town of Tontitown, and Jim Bob Duggar said the family hopes to travel to visit relatives in Ohio.
from the Toronto Star,
One team, 18 Stanley Cups.
The Don Mills Flyers, a very unusual minor atom hockey team of 8- and 9-year-old boys, can trace their ties to all 18 cups through family connections.
There’s Blake. His dad, Paul Coffey, is the assistant coach for the minor AAA team and a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Edmonton Oilers.
Over there is George; his granddad is Red Kelly, who won eight Cups with Detroit and Toronto. Then there’s Tyson, son of Doug Gilmour, a Cup winner with the Calgary Flames. And Callum; his great uncle Carl Brewer captured three Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s. And don’t forget James, great nephew of former Boston Bruin Don Awrey, whose name is inscribed on Lord Stanley’s mug twice.
from Harry Hurt III of the New York Times,
I climbed into the driver’s seat of the Zamboni about 15 minutes after the end of the third period. The electronic screens suspended from the ceiling of Madison Square Garden still showed the final score of the season’s first National Hockey League exhibition game: New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3. But by now, almost all of the Garden’s 18,000 seats were empty, and the public address system speakers were blaring the last few bars of Billy Joel’s hit song “New York State of Mind.”
I felt a thrilling, teeth-clenching chill. The Zamboni was parked just inside a gate at the Eighth Avenue end of the rink. A vacant expanse of skate-scarred ice sprawled before me like a wrinkled cotton sheet awaiting an ironing. In a dubious effort to calm my quivering body, I mouthed the words Charlie Brown immortalized in a Peanuts cartoon, “There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice.”
From Eric Kay at CBS Sports,
Such are things with hockey sweaters. Football and basketball jerseys may dominate today’s marketplace, while a top-selling hockey jersey (Peter Forsberg) sees sales of around 4,000. To put that in perspective, some 600,000 LeBron jerseys were sold just six months after the then high schooler was drafted.
Yes, the NHL doesn’t have the tentacles or market share of the other big American sports, so its numbers will never reach a parallel scope. But there’s something more to hockey garb. Just like the little boy in Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater, people don’t just pull the old switcheroo on their hockey threads. There’s something that comes with wearing a time-tested Red Wings or Bruins jersey.
more… (*you can vote for your favorite sweaters at the link)
from the Ottawa Citizen,
If hockey is the most passionate way we define ourselves abroad, then surely our musical expressions of the game are worthy of consideration as substitutes for O Canada. We suggest two hockey hymns that might be adopted as a kind of bifurcated national anthem: the Hockey Night in Canada Theme and Stompin’ Tom Connors’ rink-rousin’ The Hockey Song.
Here’s the way it would work: On occasions when a purely orchestral version of the anthem is acceptable, like during flag raisings at Olympic medal presentations or drowsy state visits by foreign dignitaries, we could blare out a brassy rendition of the Hockey Night in Canada Theme. But when singing is de rigueur, say at the beginning of a Toronto FC soccer match, everybody would belt out Stompin’ Tom’s immortal lyrics: “The good ol’ hockey game, it’s the best game you can name…”
From at the AP via Yahoo!,
Adam Litteken, 16, and his Francis Howell Central teammates were warming up for practice Tuesday night at the Rec-Plex rink in St. Charles County when he collapsed, school officials said Wednesday.
Paramedics treated Litteken at the scene and took him to Barnes-St. Peters Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour after falling to the ice.
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 email@example.com