Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sean Gordon and Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens owner and Colorado-based debt-financing king George Gillett is engaged in another financial high-wire act that could have an impact on Canada’s most storied hockey franchise.
According to a lien filed in Delaware, Gillett has taken out a high-interest, $75-million (all currency U.S.) personal loan from a U.S.-based private investment fund, putting up his heavily-leveraged share of British soccer giant Liverpool Football Club as collateral….
But it’s clear Gillett is among the many NHL owners facing stormy financial seas because of the economic downturn.
Hockey industry sources say at least three other teams - the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes - have recently taken out high-interest loans with distress lenders or private equity funds because of tightening credit in the United States.
from Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press,
Mike Ilitch has the most brand power of any owner in professional sports….
That’s according to the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, a survey released Monday that uses scientific polling to pinpoint how teams and owners are perceived by local fans.
As the Red Wings’ owner, Ilitch came in at No. 1 among 122 professional sports owners, and his Wings ranked No. 4 among teams.
SportsBusiness Journal lists the Top 20 and Bottom 5 Teams. Hockey teams in the top 20 are the Wings, Penguins, Canadiens and Hurricanes. One NHL team is in the bottom 5, the NY Islanders.
Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…
I’m not worried about it. I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.
“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”
more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. Whatever happened to that really good player Alexei Kovalev?
Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, the great Alexei Kovalev—the one that generated Hart Trophy talk and ended up leading the NHL in power-play points last season—has gone AWOL. Poof. After the Habs’ 3-2 win Saturday against Buffalo, Kovalev has gone 13 games without a goal. He has just five goals so far and is fourth in team scoring.
read on for more Q & A…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Theodore was lights out, stopping all 28 shots he faced to beat Montreal and settle an old score against his former team. The 32-year-old goalie was the No. 1 star of the game for the first time as Cap, earned his first shutout as a Cap, and got his first standing ovation as a Cap….
Carbonneau on Theodore: “He was good. He was lucky at sometimes but sometimes you make your luck. He made the save when he had to, but we didn’t really test him.”
more on the Caps 30 victory over the Canadiens last night…
Brad Stuart on Alex Tanguay. Tanguay left the ice with a neck injury and did not return.
From an NHL press release today:
If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens home game—or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.
One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre Jan 25.
So the current starting lineup is: Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price.
Below is the complete list of Eastern Conference nominees and their current voting numbers:
The Canadiens lost to the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Georges Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.
Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque.
“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”
Tonight, Patrick Roy is standing on the podium in Montreal accepting the great honor of witnessing his number being retired by the Canadiens. We’ll add his acceptance speech to this post later (assuming it becomes available) as well as a couple more photos. A special night for Habs fans, without a doubt.
*image is a screenshot from the CBC broadcast of Roy at the podium tonight
Tonight was also a special night in Toronto where Wendel Clark also saw his number retired. I thought I’d include a few images from that ceremony on this same post. You’ll find them below.
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