Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
This trifecta of concern – danger, cost, time – is what causes the leaping five-year-old to become, at 13, 14 or 15, the child who steps aside, who walks away from a game they might return to in their late 20s – at which point, for reasons easily understood by those who do return, the game suddenly becomes “FFFFUUUNNNNN!” again.
Costs are reasonable; time is minor; danger is mitigated.
Years and years ago, former NHLer and television analyst Howie Meeker was warning hockey that if it failed to keep “fun” in the game, teenagers would leave it. Skill, he argued, is what makes fun. “And you absolutely cannot learn a skill in a violent atmosphere.”
They did not listen. Instead, they barked back – and still bark back – that it’s “a man’s game.” Suck it up and go away if you can’t deal with that.
No one says it isn’t a tough and physical game and should remain so at the most competitive levels. But we know today that having one’s “bell rung” is not cartoon stars and birds chirping. Concussion – a stigmatic word professional hockey is increasingly refusing to use – is such a serious issue that, recently, the NFL agreed to a $765-million settlement with 4,500 former players suing it over the consequences. That the settlement seems so shockingly low when you consider the damage speaks more to the desperation of those in dire need of help than it does to reason or fairness.
The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2013-14 season, the league’s 78th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,140 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 4 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 20; each of the league’s 30 clubs will play 76 games, 38 at home and 38 on the road.
Some highlights of the 2013-14 schedule:
• The 2013-14 regular season begins with five games on Oct. 4, including the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffinsvisiting the Rochester Americans. The Griffins’ home opener is scheduled for Oct. 18 vs. the Milwaukee Admirals.
• There are two new teams in the AHL this season, with the Iowa Wild beginning play in Des Moines as the top development team of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and theUtica Comets hitting the ice as the primary affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. The Wild open their inaugural season at home vs. the Oklahoma City Barons on Oct. 12; the Comets begin with three road games before their home opener on Oct. 23 vs. the Albany Devils.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils 2012 first-round draft pick Stefan Matteau did not quit his junior team, his agent Pat Brisson said this afternoon.
There were multiple initial reports that Matteau, 19, quit the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada after being benched for the third period of the Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Baie-Comeau in Game 2 of the QMJHL semifinals. Armada GM Joël Bouchard announced today that the team had released Matteau.
Brisson said that Matteau was actually released after Saturday night’s game.
“The team decided to release Stefan. He didn’t quit,” Brisson said. “They made a decision. People read the headlines at first that Matteau quit and drives back with the fans. The team made a decision to release him. Joël was firm about it. They gave him a plane ticket to go back from Baie-Comeau to Montreal and he decided to ride back on the bus. His father (Armada assistant coach and former NHLer Stephane Matteau) decided to drive back with him.
“So, the issue of him being on the fan bus, under the circumstances he decided to ride right back rather than wait until the next day and fly back. He decided to ride back with his dad.”
added 8:59pm, The GM of Armada explains the process in the CBC video below...
from Scott Fisher of the Calgary Sun,
It may not have been caught on film, but Calgary Hitmen mascot Farley the Fox is licking his wounds after his own scuffle with an opposing coach.
Farley was celebrating after the Hitmen eliminated the Rebels in Game 5 at the Saddledome Thursday night when he fell off a ledge above the Rebels’ tunnel and onto head coach Brent Sutter.
“He fell right in front of me and then went into my feet and my legs and pushed me back,” said the former Flames bench boss. “My first reaction was he was trying to jump on me.
“It happened so quickly. Your first reaction is to defend. I didn’t know if he was going to jump on me or what he was going to do. So I took a step in and booted him.
“Then, I realized what I was booting. I said ‘Geez, it’s Farley.’ So I ripped his head off to make sure he was OK and so he could hear me to tell him, ‘You gotta get out of here.’ ”
from the PostStar,
The Sound Tigers won 4-1 behind two goals from David Ullstrom, but the Phantoms also lost left wing Eric Wellwood to a severe lower leg injury in the second period.
Wellwood fell into the boards on a penalty kill and caught the back of his right leg with his own skate, cutting tendons. He skated to the bench, then off the ice with the trainer while the puck was still in play, leaving a trail of blood. He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for surgery.
“They’ll obviously close up the wound with the vascular injury and he’ll have surgery again (Monday) morning if there’s any need to have surgery pertaining to the tendons,” head coach Terry Murray said in a phone interview. “I don’t think anyone really saw it. It was away from the play. In conversation, everyone figures it was an accident that happened to himself. The play was already in the offensive zone and this happened in the neutral zone, so we’re not sure exactly what took place.”
more on the game...
from the CP at CBC,
Ten people have been suspended after a brawl broke out during post-game ceremonies at a Prince Edward Island midget AA provincial hockey semifinal in Charlottetown.
The brawl occurred on Sunday in Cornwall between Tignish Aces and Sherwood Falcons, and a video of the event has been widely circulated.
Rob Newson, the director of Hockey P.E.I., says the suspensions to eight players and two coaches are in the five- to 10-game range.
continued and watch a video of the incident below...
"I feel great. 31 is the new 21 I think. I feel like I'm a lot more mature, I know my body better, I know the game better. At the end of the day, if I didn't feel like I could get back to being where I was or better, I'm not the kind of person that wants to going to just continue to hold on."
-Rick Dipietro of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. More, including video from DiPietro by John Pierson of WTNH.
from QMI Agency at the Toronto Sun,
An AHLer is lucky to be alive after allegedly breaking into a San Antonio home in a drunken stupor early Monday morning before refusing to leave.<.p>
"My first instinct was to beat the hell out of him," Benjamin Garza, the home’s owner, told CBS affiliate KENS5 in San Antonio. "(He’s) lucky I wasn't here because I would've put a bullet between (his) eyes and it would've been over.”<.p>
According to police, San Antonio Rampage centre Scott Timmins was so intoxicated at the scene he was unable to hold his own balance.
The report states that when Garza’s wife awoke to find the 23-year-old from Hamilton, Ont., lounging on her coach, she asked his name.
continued with video from a local TV station...
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost 5-2 to the Sprinfield Falcons, but won the penalty minutes battle 147 to 95 (boxscore).
Want highlights? The fighting starts at the 2:45 mark...
from Paul Delos Santos of the Las Vegas Sun,
Las Vegas Wranglers President Billy Johnson loves promotions that are quirky and outside of the box. So when people in the Wranglers front office came up with a way to mock the locked out National Hockey League, Johnson was all for it.
Next up on the Wranglers' list of goofy promotions: the Indoor Winter Classic, set to take place Jan. 1 against the Ontario Reign....
Doors around the Orleans Arena will be open, allowing air into the arena in hopes of making it cooler than usual. Johnson said there also are talks of potentially getting snow to fall inside the arena.
"The world's first outdoor game inside," Johnson said. "We're hope that it's actually cold out. We want people to bundle up. We hope there will be some snow flurries."
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