Kukla's Korner Hockey
From their conversation:
KB: Did you grow up a hockey fan or has this been one of those steep-learning-curve kind of things?
CM: I was deprived of hockey when I was a kid. I’m from Houston, Texas, where it’s a sin to put any other sport above football. But I’ll admit that while I was growing up and everyone else was playing Super Mario Bros., I was dominating Blades Of Steel on my Nintendo. I would spend hours playing that game and I always wanted to be Montreal. I loved it when the computer would yell ‘Faceoff!’ and my favorite part was starting a fist fight with the other team…I always won of course.
From David Staples in the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
“The song has a long and storied history in Canadian sports, and has become ingrained in the hearts and minds of hockey fans across the country. It is an iconic tune, embraced by Canadians everywhere, and we felt it was imperative to save it,” said Rick Brace of CTV Inc.
The rhetoric is getting out of control here. The CBC wasn’t going to burn all copies of the song, after all, just stop playing it on Hockey Night in Canada.
*previous updates on KK
Though the NHL Entry Draft and the UFA deadline are sure to kick things back into high gear in about a week, there’s not a great deal of news going on in the NHL at the moment.
In part, that’s because 98.5% of the hockey media is on vacation. Case in point: Wild beat writer Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune is fresh off a trip to Las Vegas, where he’s been playing poker with Ray Romano:
Romano turns out to be the nicest, most down-to-earth celebrity I’ve ever met. Although, it was quite weird the two or three times we clashed hands and you suddenly realize, “I’m trying to get a read off Ray Romano.”
We got to talking, and when I told him I was a sportswriter, he said, “I was a sportswriter, too.” I said, “Yeah, but you were a much better paid sportswriter.” He agreed wholeheartedly.
What was so cool about the experience is I felt like I was in the World Series of Poker. With the table down to four, I knocked out two guys with pocket kings. It got down to us at the end, and suddenly, I noticed there was an audience wrapped around the table.
more proof that everyone has cooler vacations than me.
From Toni Fitzgerald at The Sentinel,
Yet the hockey bump could also be part of a greater revival for sports TV ratings in 2008 after years and years of declines.
The Super Bowl drew its biggest audience ever in February. National Basketball Association postseason ratings have boomed one year after its finals also hit an all-time low last June. NASCAR ratings are up this year on Fox.
Even viewership for the WNBA has jumped this year compared to last. Heck, that, along with the hockey spike and the coming cicada invasion this summer, may have people screaming “end of the world” very soon.
I’m no psychologist, or even a sociologist, but I also think this trend tells us a little bit about the country’s psyche. I believe that in uncertain times, which would describe our economy right now, people get a certain comfort from the familiar. And there’s nothing more familiar than vegging out and watching sports, even if it’s not a sport you usually follow.
From Lance Hornby at the Toronto Sun,
Local TV stations have been running clips of Ron Wilson snapping at the media to underline the thorny side of the projected new coach of the Maple Leafs.
Wilson has coached more than 1,000 games, all in what can be termed non-traditional hockey markets: Anaheim, Washington and San Jose. Sensitive to being second-guessed, even for an NHL coach, Wilson never has faced four newspapers and four all-sports electronic outlets on a daily basis—and that would be just daily practices.
But Cliff Fletcher, who hopes to have Wilson under contract by Monday, is confident his man won’t burn in the atmosphere of the alleged centre of the hockey universe.
more odds & ends on the Leafs
Note: Tonight, TSN states that Fletcher and Wilson are set to meet again Sunday to iron out some issues, with the likelihood they’ll announce a 4-year term for Wilson within days.
Update 10:01am ET June 8th: Ron Wilson has reportedly been hired, but with the formal announcement expected on Tuesday.
Update 3:23pm ET June 8th: From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“We have a verbal agreement but nothing’s on paper yet,” Leafs interim GM Cliff Fetcher told The Canadian Press on Sunday. “It isn’t a contract until it’s signed by the parties. And that won’t happen for a couple of days.”
from the Globe and Mail,
The Hockey Night in Canada theme song, considered by many as this country’s “second anthem,” has been silenced after talks between its creator and the CBC broke down late Friday afternoon.
“As of now, it’s over,” said Kevin Kemp, a lawyer representing composer Dolores Claman.
Contrary to published reports, CBC Sports hasn’t yet pulled the plug on the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.
Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, told Newsworld on Thursday that negotiations for a new licence fee are ongoing with the representatives of composer Dolores Claman.
“We’ve been reaching out to [Claman] and her representative, and haven’t heard back,” Moore said. “We’re prepared to do a deal, we’re prepared to talk, but we’re not prepared to do a deal at all costs.
From Simon Dingley at CBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Blog,
It is something few reporters experience.
Behind the scenes, at the Stanley Cup final. Outside the winning team’s dressing room in the moments leading up to the trophy being awarded.
Wednesday night during the second period of Game 6, I parked myself beside the Red Wings’ room at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena. Usually I cover NHL games from the press box. But I feared if I didn’t get down to the Wings’ room early, I may not get in at all because of the huge crush of media.
Back during the 2002 Cup celebration, I passed on an opportunity to drink from the Stanley Cup. I always regretted it. So when the Cup came my way in the locker room Wednesday night, I wasn’t going to pass it up again.
But from Puck Daddy, a problem:
His industry peers on SportsJournalists.com are debating the ethics of his actions, with the initial post calling it “particularly fan-boy homerish.”
C’mon ... it’s the Stanley Cup. People love the Stanley Cup. [...] The key phrase in Guralnick’s caption: ” ... when the Cup came my way in the locker room.” In other words, he wasn’t asking for it. Something glorious gets passed your way, you don’t turn it down.
I’d have to agree. If those are indeed Mr. Guralnick’s “industry peers”, they need to get over it. The world of ethical journalism is not rocked to its core because some photographer had a sip from the Stanley Cup when the team was good enough to offer it.
from the National Post via Canada.com,
The woman who composed Canada’s unofficial national anthem the theme song that has opened every Hockey Night in Canada broadcast since 1968 is suing the CBC.
Dolores Claman alleges the public broadcaster has repeatedly used the distinctive theme song in broadcasts not covered under her licence agreement and has refused requests to negotiate additional fees, according to a statement of claim filed in an Ontario court this week.
“The conduct of the CBC is high-handed, reprehensible and oppressive,’’ says the lawsuit, which asks for damages totalling $2.5 million.
Ruth-Ellen Soles, spokeswoman for the CBC, confirmed the company received the statement of claim Thursday and is reviewing it, but wouldn’t comment further.
addedd 10:24am, from Canada.com,
What has long been known as Canada’s “second national anthem,” CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada theme song, will no longer be used.
Thursday night’s Stanley Cup final game six was the last time “dunt- da-dunt- da-dunt,” was played, according to the song’s composer. CBC has announced the corporation is moving in a “new direction.”
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation advised the composer, Dolores Claman, that it is not prepared to enter into a new license agreement with respect to the use of the theme.
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