Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Michael Farber at SI.com’s Rinkside Blog,
The sound you heard after Detroit’s ditto 3-0 victory Monday was all the people clicking off their Versus telecast of the game, at least by folks who can find the NHL’s subterranean cable partner. NBC picks up the Stanley Cup final with Game 3, which looks like the network is getting the rights to air Titanic but only after the ship is halfway submerged. Still, The Peacock will be cranking up the hype machine at any moment:
“See Sidney Crosby, the future of the NHL, as he tries to escape the straitjacket of the Detroit Red Wings! Harry Houdini did it. Why not Sid? Can the Penguins win a game? Can the Penguins score a goal? See it live on NBC, Wednesday at 8 p.m.”
Of course, there have been soporific starts to recent Stanley Cup finals, including a pair of 3-0 shutouts in the opening two games of the 2003 match between Anaheim and New Jersey when apparently the Mighty Ducks were not informed the final had actually begun. The Ducks rallied at home and indeed the series dragged on for seven games, but the difference was these were not terribly appealing teams that operated in smaller markets.
and more on the Pens/Wings series thus far
Update 1:30pm ET: Darren Eliot, also at SI’s Rinkside Blog, writes on what Pittsburgh must do now to turn the series around.
As mentioned yesterday, the NHL hosted a “Legends” evening on Sunday for the media, featuring Red Wings’ stars of the 1950s including Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Marcel Pronovost, Alex Delvecchio, Marty Pavelich and Red Kelly.
Paul Kukla attended and said it was a wonderful event, telling me “it was a great night, where hockey reporters turned into fans too.” And he wasn’t the only one who was impressed. As Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun remarked, “every now and then, Gary Bettman’s league gets something absolutely, spot-on perfect.”
Here’s a short video clip from the Canadian Press, talking to some of those Hall of Fame players on Sunday.
A nice brochure was handed out at the event “A Salute To The Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Dynasty” featuring photos of the team and individual players from those Stanley Cup years 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955.
A nice little collectible—so leave a note in the comments by midnight EST if you’re interested (don’t forget to provide your email address) and we’ll mail the brochure to a randomly-drawn winner.
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail,
This will not be announced or acknowledged until well after the fact, but Bob Cole is calling his last Stanley Cup final for the CBC.
The veteran announcer’s future with Hockey Night in Canada is a sensitive subject that management will not discuss.
But sources close to CBC Sports say Cole’s assignments next season will not include the NHL’s championship series, although he will continue to call regular-season games.
continued… with mention that, as expected, Jim Hughson will be in Cole’s seat for the finals in 2009
Another article on Cole was noted on KK earlier today, praising his work in this year’s playoffs.
Find out how I spent the day yesterday at my NHL.com blog.
From Eric McErlain at The Sporting News,
When the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins open up the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in Detroit, you couldn’t be blamed for forgetting which team has home-ice advantage. It’s hard not to find similarities between Detroit and Pittsburgh—two tough, blue-collar cities that love their NHL hockey—just ask Larry Murphy.
The Hall of fame defenseman has a skate in both camps this week. When I talked to him a couple of hours before the opening faceoff of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, he had to stifle a chuckle when he told me it was “scary” how many parallels there were between his experiences in the two cities.
Now working as a broadcaster for Fox Sports Net Detroit, HD Net and the NHL Network, Murphy was an integral part of four Stanley Cup winning teams: Two in Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992 and another two in Detroit in 1997 and 1998.
It wasn’t like this in 2002. The internet was certainly in bloom, but the concept of everyone having an instantaneous opinion was confined to message boards and the last vestiges of IRC.
Now, what was the excuse for ten or fifteen hockey writers from the U.S. and almost every one from Canada to take a final trip before the NHL Awards, the draft, and the pre-lockout free agent fireworks that would follow, and TSN and Sportsnet to go nuts…
It’s sixty to eighty people having an opinion within the first five to ten minutes, and another twenty within an hour.
Can we all say enough predictions and analysis!
I am heading to NHL Media Day in about an hour or so and Alanah will soon be joining you at KK.
Hopefully I will be able to file some reports throughout the day and remember, you can watch a live stream of NHL Media Day beginning at 2pm ET today.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Declared dead after the lockout of 2004-05, the league is now being hyped as prime for the mass-market breakthrough it has yearned for since Commissioner Gary Bettman was in short pants.
Its showcase event, the Stanley Cup finals, will begin Saturday in Detroit with Crosby and Fleury’s whiz-kid Pittsburgh Penguins facing Lidstrom’s savvy Red Wings. The games should be entertaining, with clear storylines:
Scotty Bowman will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can listen live by going to the NHL Network Online, then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
Hockey.com is new to the scene this year, but has gained a lot of exposure and very quickly. Marty himself has worked in media relations as well as stints in broadcasting and print journalism. And most recently he has graduated from covering the pro-golf scene for seven years to be full-time immersed in everything hockey.
Rather than analyze the Pens/Wings series (I think we’ve all read enough “expert” predictions to last us a lifetime) I thought I’d ask more about the world of hockey journalism online, and Marty’s own endeavors—everything from covering pro-golf to writing his own hockey book, and the future plans of Hockey.com.
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