Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Grand Rapids Press,
The Grand Rapids Griffins have found their next leading man.
Curt Fraser will be introduced as the Griffins’ eighth coach in franchise history during a Wednesday morning news conference at Van Andel Arena.
Fraser, 50, was the first head coach in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers, who joined the NHL in 1999. He spent three and a half seasons there, compiling a 64-169-31-15 record before being fired in 2003.
from the Portland Tribune,
Brent Peterson, who coached the Portland Winter Hawks to a Memorial Cup championship in 1998 and once captained the team, is tired of watching his favorite junior hockey franchise struggle….
Peterson decided awhile back to make an effort to do something about it. While he’s not leaving the Predators – he has a two-year contract in his pocket – he’s put together a formidable team of investors seeking to buy the team from Jim Goldsmith, Jack Donovan and John Bryant.
The group includes former Winter Hawks Brenden Morrow, Marian Hossa, Ray Ferraro and Scott Nichol (to name a few), along with PGA golfer and former Portland resident Peter Jacobsen, a longtime friend of Peterson.
from Neal Rubin of the Detroit News,
Bobby Suvoy had Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and it was vicious. He’d been a boy who liked to swim and skate and catch fish, always looking for something to do. Now here he was at 16, paralyzed, with a breathing machine inflating his lungs.
Chris Terry was Bobby’s idol, his favorite hockey player. The team arranged for Terry to meet him, and it was a thrill; one of the few things Bobby could still do was smile, and he hardly stopped from the moment Terry walked in.
Then Terry dropped by the Suvoys’ house in Redford Township a few more times, on his own. And when Bobby died in early May, Terry came down from his home in Brampton, Ontario, for the funeral, driving four hours in his big green Isuzu Rodeo.
From the Buffalo Sabres:
The Portland Pirates announced today a new, long-term affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective with the 2008-2009 AHL season. The announcement was made by Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek, Pirates Chairman/Governor Lyman Bullard, Sabres’ Managing Partner Larry Quinn, and Sabres’ General Manager Darcy Regier.
The Anaheim Ducks made the decision to sever its ties with the Pirates earlier this month for reasons of wanting their AHL team in closer proximity.
Looking at the map, I’d have to say Buffalo didn’t share the same concern.
Update 2:47pm ET: And as a commenter just pointed out… the Portland Pirates play in Maine. More coffee for me! Let me kill that map…
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
But major-junior players not making the NHL often end up educationally short-changed, or at least behind their contemporaries. The education-on-the-fly aspects of major junior and then major-junior’s scholarship program — roughly a year of college money for each year of playing — aren’t enough. (The major-junior scholarship program, let’s just say, doesn’t match a Harvard scholarship.)
Except for the absolute elite (and [Drayson] Bowman appears to be among that group) or players who would have little interest in a college education under any circumstances, I still believe the best route, for most U.S.-born players especially, remains NCAA hockey.
from the CP,
The Memorial Cup was in two pieces, which meant there was more of it for the Spokane Chiefs to hoist above their heads.
Spokane beat the host Kitchener Rangers 4-1 to win the 90th Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Captain Chris Bruton lifted the trophy over his head twice and kissed it and then as he was about to hand it to teammate Trevor Glass, the cup became separated from its heavy base, which fell to the ice.
While that prompted boos from spectators at Memorial Auditorium already disappointed that their home team lost, the good news is that it’s a replica trophy.
Watch the celebration below…
From Michael Traikos at the National Post,
The family had just built a new house in Littleton and knew little of Canada. But after playing in a tournament in North Vancouver, where Bowman faced real competition for the first time, everyone realized that the young centre needed to be challenged.
“It ended up being a really good decision,” said Drayson Bowman, who was a third-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in last year’s NHL draft. “I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t think, unless we did it.”
Making the move was only possible because Mark Bowman owned his own financial consulting company. Still, there were sacrifices to be made. Mark had to fly back to the home office in Littleton almost every other week. And for about four years, life revolved around the two boys’ hockey career.
more *Drayson Bowman is competing for the Memorial Cup this Sunday.
Retired NHLer David Littman tells some tales from his life in hockey, today at The Hockey News:
People may not believe this, but playing in the minors is just as much fun as playing in the NHL. The only difference is there are fewer zeros on your paycheck. Things happen in the minors that would never happen in the NHL.
I was playing for the Atlanta Knights in the IHL, the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and we were playing the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Calgary’s farm team.
In the first period, there was a fight in front of my net and I jumped in to help a teammate. I looked up and Andre Trefilov, the opposing goalie, was coming at me full steam. We fought for a bit, got game misconducts and were kicked out of the game.
By the second period, we were both up in the stands sitting with our respective scratched teammates drinking beers. By the third period, we’d all had a few drinks when the Salt Lake backup goalie was hit and went down hard.
from Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun,
It was 108 in the shade Monday — and the Wranglers were getting ready to play another hockey game.
One hundred eight degrees. Hockey.
That had to be the strangest convergence of diametric entities since Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
Human Torch, meet Mr. Freeze.
“The Flight of the Phoenix,” meet “Ice Station Zebra.”
Habanero pepper, meet Chunky Monkey.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
These Sunbelt kids are part of a new wave, rising up from the bottom left corner of the continental United States, and infiltrating major junior hockey west of Ontario. They are taking a traditionally Canadian route to the NHL, skating beside tractor-strong Prairie boys and riding buses through the B.C. Interior.
The number of U.S. players in the WHL has doubled over the past five years, and the Sunbelt kids are behind that spike. They cut their teeth in Wayne Gretzky’s haunts, amid retired hockey professionals, with elite travelling clubs modelled after the Detroit-area youth programs founded by NHL owners such as Mike Ilitch of the Detroit Red Wings and Peter Karmanos of the Carolina Hurricanes.
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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