Kukla's Korner Hockey
Slap Shot at the NYT has all the details…
Slap Shot blog at the NYT will be live blogging the Sweden/Russia WJC game which starts at 10:00am ET today.
To follow the play-by-play commentary of the World Junior Championship semifinal match, LIVE, as it happens at the ČEZ Arena in Pardubice, Czech Republic, click “more” and then refresh like crazy. Jeff Z. Klein describes the action.
Don’t forget this game and the USA/Canada game at 2:00pm can be viewed on TSN and the NHL Network in the USA.
Brad Holland of NHL.com is working hard, covering the WJC in Prague!!!
A nice quiet New Years, with the people I love in a foreign country. Sounds nice, safe, and quiet, doesn’t it? I thought so.
A photo of our group, who braved the cold and the crowds in the Prague to take in the downtown fireworks, is on the group profile.
What I wasn’ prepared for was perhaps the most amazing, awe-inspiring, incredible disregard for public safety in my life. The result? Well, I can’t lie…
It was the best fireworks display I’d ever seen.
Brad is 2nd from the left in the picture and you can read all of his WJC blogs here.
from the blog of Jamie McLennan at the Hockey News,
We have also been experiencing some neat things here. The first night here the team threw a party for us at a local restaurant. The whole organization, including coaches, managers as well as company executives, were present and they proceeded to welcome us with speeches and some of the local traditional drinks (Sake).
It was quite exciting until they asked us to stand up and make a speech. The quickest thing I could come up with was having the translator explain how Nasher would need a windshield off an old car for a visor.
The boys seemed to enjoy that as we proceeded to the next stop, a karaoke bar, where we dominated the microphone for hours.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
But there is a way for the NHL to make all games meaningful again: more competitions, beyond just the Stanley Cup. It’s not a new idea — soccer was going through a similar crisis of fan and media interest 25 years ago. But after it developed this concept, interest in soccer boomed, clubs became enormously wealthy and the sport prospered as it never had before.
Here’s how the NHL can invest the hockey season with meaning for fans and media, not just at playoff time, but throughout the entire calendar.
1. Commit fully to the Victoria Cup.
2. Make the Presidents’ Trophy a one-off championship game.
3. Create a new season-long cup competition, open to all pro clubs in North America.
from “The Scout” at Globe and Mail,
One of my contacts in the business is a Russian insider who grew up under the old Communist regime, who played for the Soviet Wings and worked for NHL teams . On the eve of the world juniors, I spoke with him to help us understand the Russian mentality these days….
Where do you see Russian hockey in five years? What has to be done to restore the glory?
Good coaches. There is a big change of coaches coming. Most of the coaches in the Elite league are over 60 years old. New guys will come. With their desire to create something, with their willingness to win, Russian hockey will step up and forward. It won’t take a long time and I am sure new Tarasovs and Tikhonovs are coming.
NHL Network, the first national network dedicated entirely to hockey, today announced it has secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26, 2007 – Jan. 5, 2008. The upcoming tournament marks the first time the World Junior Championship will be telecast live on NHL Network in the United States.
NHL Network in the U.S. will televise live coverage of the entire medal round of the 2008 World Junior Championship, including both quarterfinal games, both semifinal contests, the bronze-medal game and the gold-medal game. All games will be televised in HD and will receive at least one primetime re-air on the network.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Looking at how players are performing this season and projecting where they will be in 2009-10, the highly likely Olympians at forward would appear to be Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche), Zach Parise and Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes), Chris Higgins (Montreal Canadiens) and Kane.
Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild) will be 36 in 2010, but my hunch is he will be on the team playing the role of the smart, skilled veteran who can handle a variety of roles.
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Thursday that its member associations and leagues will exercise the option to re-open the player transfer agreement with the National Hockey League.
According to a statement released by the Federation, representatives from the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland made the decision unanimous.
The NHL informed the IIHF on Tuesday that the league decided to exercise the same right. Sources tell TSN a meeting has been scheduled in New York for Jan. 16 with the IIHF and its members. NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly will also be in attendance.
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
“All the stories I heard about (Russia) weren’t true,” Smith told NHL.com. “I guess back 10 to 15 years ago I remember some of the guys that played on those Canada Cup teams were saying the food was no good, this and that. Even the interpreter that was with us was saying if you were in Russia three years ago you would not believe it was the same place. The people couldn’t believe how much it had changed.
“I went there and was like, ‘Holy Geez, why did everyone lie to me?’ ”
Like the country itself, the game played in Red Square on Dec. 9, 2006 was a must-see-it-to-believe-it spectacle.
Conceived by former CSKA Moscow and Soviet national team stars Slava Fetisov and Igor Larionov, the outdoor game—the first of its kind in Russia’s most spectacular setting—was put on to benefit for former Russian players who have fallen on hard times.
more reflections from Billy Smith and Scotty Bowman
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