Kukla's Korner Hockey
A great interview this morning with Darren McCarty, now playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Our thanks to Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice XM 204 for the providing the audio for KK readers.
from the Press Box,
Some things that have changed over the last generation would undoubtedly benefit the return of hockey to town. There has been NHL hockey in Washington 35 years and although many Baltimoreans wouldn’t chance a look-see to check it out at the old Capital Centre, it has created thousands of fans in the region.
Both high schools and colleges hereabouts maintain programs that are getting better and access to ice is improving all the time. I really wasn’t aware of this until several seasons ago, when a couple of schoolboy teams were playing for a championship after a dull Caps game.
I missed this story from February 1st…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
They learned all about death here in Swift Current 21 years ago when the bus carrying the local heroes, the Broncos of the Western Hockey League, caught black ice and whipping wind in the wrong combination coming out of that very first curve, flew off the Trans-Canada and crashed, leaving four young hockey players lifeless.
And they learned it again 21 days ago when, four provinces and two time zones away, a van carrying the Phantoms, a high-school basketball team from Bathurst, N.B., slid in bad weather into a transport trailer, killing seven players and the coach’s wife.
“It hit home, that’s for sure,” says Joe Sakic, the Broncos star who survived that long-ago crash and went on to a spectacular career with the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League.
From Jim Barber at Simcoe.com,
The 31-year-old native of King City was without an NHL contract to start the season, and has spent much of the past few months trying to stay in shape on his own in anticipation of a potential offer from an NHL club.
But he missed being around a team atmosphere and so got in contact with the Colts.
“I am friends with (assistant coach) Drake (Berehowsky), and a friend of mine’s good friends with (head coach) Marty (Williamson). I just got in touch with them. I was looking to get back on the ice,” O’Neill told Simcoe.com after practice on Wednesday.
American Hockey League President Dave Andrews gave his annual address yesterday on the state of the AHL. He covered numerous topics, including:
- The league’s interest in doing an annual outdoor game to showcase the sport, given the success of the NHL’s game in Buffalo
- The possibility of shortening the AHL season schedule to 72 games, and soliciting “cost share” help from the NHL in order to make up lost revenues
- The fact that the AHL is “closer than ever before to having 30 teams, each one paired with an NHL affiliate. The league currently has 29 teams, and a new team in Austin, Texas, is a very real possibility.”
More details here, primarily on the potential of the outdoor game.
from the Vail Daily,
Greg Pankewicz has ridden more dilapidated buses than he cares to remember.
He’s skated on ice rutted with potholes thanks to incompetent Zamboni drivers, played on teams rumored to be relocating, earned meager pay and taken so many punches and high sticks to the face that he’s running out of places for scars.
Yet Pankewicz wouldn’t change a shift in his 17 years of playing minor league hockey.
“The life of a minor leaguer isn’t all that glamorous,” said Pankewicz, now with the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League. “But I’ve had a good ride.”
No NHL games tonight, so why not sit back and catch the AHL ASG?
Check out the TV, web and radio broadcast schedule. Broadcast begins at 7:00pm ET tonight.
from Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press,
Smoking marijuana, McCarty said, had become “my escape.”
“It was sort of like I didn’t have to deal with anything,” he said. “And I was functional. You wouldn’t be able to tell if I was high or if I wasn’t. I was depressed, big-time. I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted to be by myself—or not around people that care about me.”
After speaking with his ex-wife, McCarty left the hydroplane races that July day and did what he needed to do. He entered rehab for three months. (McCarty said he wants to keep the name and location of the program private.)
“I finally faced things that I needed to face,” McCarty said. “I firmly believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. But for me, I needed to pretty much lose almost everything to realize what was important. I’m one of those people.
From the CP:
Oshawa Generals defenceman James DeLory has been suspended eight games for his spear on Sarnia Sting star Steven Stamkos. He’s among seven players and coaches who will miss a total of 23 games for an ugly Ontario Hockey League brawl that followed Oshawa’s 4-3 win last Sunday.
DeLory, 19, touched off the brawl by spearing Stamkos, the 17-year-old forward projected to be the first pick in this summer’s NHL draft.
Here’s the brawl that started it all:
from the Detroit Free Press,
“When Mac came back into town, probably about a month ago, he gave me a call and expressed interest that he wanted some help and wanted to get back to the NHL,” Draper said Sunday by phone. “The last three weeks before Christmas, he spent at CORE training every day.”
Draper was convinced after their hourlong lunch last month that McCarty was serious about returning to the NHL.
“I hadn’t talked to him, really talked to him, in like three years,” Draper said. “Last couple years have been frustrating and disappointing for him. I don’t know if it was coming back to the city ... maybe he got that passion again.”
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