Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Times-Colonist,
The ECHL has shed the Slap Shot image so completely that you often hear certain fans ruefully commenting on the lack of fighting and rough stuff in games.
With its NHL affiliations and game-day rosters limited to 18 players, these skilled young pros are looking to move up to the AHL, so most nights the games are rough, but clean.
So it is ironic the most controversial incident of the season at the Memorial Centre should happen on an evening with the arena loaded with impressionable youth players among the healthy crowd on Salute to Minor Hockey Night.
It occurred in the second period with Victoria trailing 4-1 and clearly frustrated during a break for a faceoff, Robin Gomez came off the bench on a line change and sucker-punched unsuspecting Wranglers star and former NHLer Chris Ferraro.
From the Windsor Spitfires,
The Windsor Spitfire family sadly announces the passing of team captain Mickey Renaud at approximately Noon today.
“Windsor Spitfire Captain Mickey Renaud suddenly collapsed at his Tecumseh home and was transported to Windsor Regional Hospital with absent vital signs. All attempts were made at resuscitation and were unsuccessful at the emergency room,” commented Windsor Spitfires Team Physican Dr. Roy Diklich.
“This is the biggest tragedy in Spitfire history. Words alone cannot describe our pain at this time,” said Windsor Spitfires Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel.
*Renaud was a 5th round draft pick for the Calgary Flames in 2007
added 4:25pm, The Calgary Flames have issued the following statement,
It is with sadness and deep regret that we share the news of the passing of Flames prospect and Windsor Spitfires team captain, Mickey Renaud. Mickey died suddenly this morning at his home in Tecumseh, Ontario.
The Calgary Flames pass along our condolences to the Renaud family, Mickey’s father Mark, mother Jane, sister Penny and brother Remy. Additionally, we express our deepest sympathy to the entire Windsor Spitfires organization; Mickey’s teammates, coaches and staff.
CALGARY FLAMES HOCKEY CLUB
added 6:20pm ET, More on Renaud’s short career from the CP.
from the AP via Yahoo,
The Sea Wolves, who joined the ECHL in 1996, stayed afloat thanks to local ownership that was committed to Biloxi. But on Aug. 29, 2005, only weeks after the Sea Wolves offered former ECHL player Steffon Walby his first head coaching job, Katrina obliterated Mississippi’s coastline.
Water inside the coliseum swamped the first five rows of seats, destroying two Zamboni ice surfacing machines and the scoreboard, which had been lowered to the floor out of fear that it might fall if 140 mph winds tore away the building’s walls or roof.
Few could have blamed the franchise for folding or selling to owners from elsewhere who might have moved the team to a Northern city where hockey is embedded in local culture.
It wasn’t even clear how many fans would be around if the team would come back.
from the Buffalo News,
Kevin Quick merely needed to keep his head on straight and enjoy the ride, which wasn’t asking too much. He had been selected in the third round of the NHL draft. He had a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was a freshman getting a regular shift on the second-ranked hockey team in the nation. Now?
The 19-year-old is home in Tonawanda, trying to put his career back together after getting kicked off the Michigan team for what coach Red Berenson called “a total violation of our team trust and rules.” Sources said the defenseman stole a credit card, used it as a personal piggy bank and spent thousands of dollars….
Tampa Bay selected Quick with the 78th pick overall in the 2006 draft. He signed a professional tryout contract with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk on Saturday. He’ll start his professional career at a fraction of what he could have pocketed in a couple years with far more experience and leverage.
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.”
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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