Kukla's Korner Hockey
Sun Media's top hockey minds offer up a little insight into how they see the 2013-14 season playing out:
- Stanley Cup champion: Pittsburgh Penguins
- Eastern Conference champion: Pittsburgh Penguins
- Western Conference champion: St. Louis Blues
- Presidents' Trophy: Chicago Blackhawks
- Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby, Penguins
- Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson, Senators
- Vezina Trophy: Henrik Lundqvist, NRangers
- Rocket Richard Trophy: Steven Stamkos, Lightning
- Calder Trophy: Jonathan Drouin, Lightning
- Most improved team: Edmonton Oilers
- Team taking a step forward: Edmonton Oilers
. See how the individual Sun Media writers voted... NOTE: List was compiled ahead of Jonathan Drouin being sent back to junior.
Ah yes, the regular season is jut around the corner...
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
- It is expected there will be conversations this week between the Rangers and Lundqvist's agent, Don Meehan. Does the goalie agree with Phil Kessel about no talks during the season, or is he like Dion Phaneuf, who doesn't mind? "We'll see. Hopefully, we'll have some good talks in the next couple of weeks. If we don't have a solution, we'll have another discussion on how to move forward."
Lundqvist will be 32 in March, which is the Rangers' biggest concern. His last three seasons were the best of his career in save percentage. He was second, fourth and fifth overall among full-time starters during that time. Can't find a full-timer who had a save percentage of .920 after the age of 37. But, I can find 23 who did it from 32-37 -- including Dominik Hasek (four times), Tim Thomas (four times), Patrick Roy (twice), Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur and Miikka Kiprusoff. He's in that class, which would make it easier for me to take the risk.
- Tim Thompson, who does many HNIC opening videos, is working on a piece about players' musical choices. There were some surprising responses. Crosby, a fan of Great Big Sea (which played his Stanley Cup party), sheepishly admitted liking "Wake Me Up" by Avicii, a Swedish DJ. The biggest stunner was Blues captain David Backes praising the motivational messages of Matisyahu, a Hebrew Hip Hop artist. The NHLer who said he prefers Katy Perry? We'll keep that one a secret for his own sake.
Hurry up hockey, things are beginning to bother me, I need the game back to put me into my element again.
- Mike Fisher survives chipmunk bite! Really.
- I follow about 300 'hockey people' on Twitter. 92% of their tweets since Friday were not hockey related in any way.
- NHL.com running 30 second ads before any video that lasts less than two minutes is annoying.
Now the good news...
TSN’s James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Ray Ferraro are live on location in Calgary, with planned features and in-depth analysis across all of TSN’s media platforms.
TSN’s coverage begins today with the opening news conference (which will also be live streamed online) featuring Team Canada’s Executive Director Steve Yzerman, coach Mike Babcock and select players. Ongoing TSN coverage includes Sportscentre updates, exclusive digital platform reports and radio coverage on TSN and TEAM Radio stations
Meanwhile, Sportsnet‘s Hockey Central team - host Jeff Marek, analysts Nick Kypreos , Doug MacLean, and Mark Spector as well as reporters Gene Principe and Roger Millions – are also delivering orientation camp coverage, with player interviews, reactions, analysis and an in-depth look at Team Canada ahead of the Winter Games planned across the regional and national sports specialty services.
Sportsnet also heads south of the border to cover the U.S. National Men’s Team camp, with daily updates from Arlington, VA.
Sportsnet’s additional multi-platform coverage of the National Men’s Team camps across TV, digital and radio includes live streaming of the opening press conference, daily digital coverage of Canadian and U.S. camps, as well as radio coverage on Sportsnet 960 The FAN.
First off: this, of course, was a championship season for the good old Burgundy and Blue. Just seeing No. 77, Raymond Bourque, in the pregame skate gave me something of a tingle up the leg. Good lord, how lucky were we all in Denver, to see Ray Bourque play in his final year and a half in the league? It’s just one of the most “I can’t believe that happened” things of my whole life. He was just an amazing player, and Pierre Lacroix should have a statue in front of the Pepsi Center for that trade alone.
-Adrain Dater of All Things Avs while watching some old VHS tapes. Read more if you'd like...
from Bob Young of the Arizona Republic,
If there were any justice in the world, the Cleveland Indians would be leading the American League Central Division and en route to the World Series, Ohio State would win the college football national championship this season, the Browns would at least make the playoffs, LeBron James would announce that he’s going to return to the Cavaliers next summer as a free agent to lead them to an NBA championship.
And our friend Jim Gintonio would be around to see all of it.
Instead, we are left in a lesser world without Gintonio, who passed away Sunday from lung cancer.
Gintonio was a friend and colleague who worked for the Phoenix Gazette, Arizona Republic and azcentral sports and was probably best known to readers for his coverage of the Coyotes before he retired just more than a year ago. If there is a kinder human, we have not met that person.
There were many things that Gintonio loved, such as hiking up Piestewa Peak before the crack of dawn and, for reasons we will never quite understand, eating tofu.
I met Jim Gintonio once, at the NHL Awards Show in Vegas and found him to be a very down to earth man. We chatted for about 15 minutes and it was more about OSU vs. Michigan than it was hockey, he loved the Buckeyes and all things Ohio sports.
from Steve LePore of Puck The Media,
I caught Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole on very good days.
The Saturday afternoon that I spoke to Onrait came the day after he'd just taken his girlfriend to Disneyland, and the Monday I talked with O'Toole, he was staring at the Alberta rockies from a hotel before playing in a Hockey Alberta golf tournament with Onrait. Still, you get the sense that these two are about as Canadian as it gets (i.e. polite and generally jovial) most of the time. They just happen to be two of the funniest men on sports television.
If you're on Twitter, follow or talk to someone from Canada, or just know hockey fans familiar with their work (Onrait's dadaesque trade deadline show appearances for TSN always appear on the NHL Network in America), the buzz about Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole can seem a little bit like the promotional effort for Gabbo, the television puppet rival to Krusty the Klown in one episode of The Simpsons. Other than some YouTube best-ofs, they are almost complete unknowns to American television.
That really seems to be the only risk Fox has made in bringing them to Los Angeles, that they haven't had much experience with the audience they're speaking to. The other way you can look at it is that Fox Sports 1 has landed a sports highlight show with almost a decade of chemistry already set in. The show's still anonymous producer, Tim, has come along with them and the guys swear up and down that their part of the show, Fox Sports Live, will be more or less the same as their TSN SportsCentre.
from Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo,
Bell Media wants Hockey Night In Canada. The CBC must have it.
That factor alone should be enough to enable the corporation to strike a deal before its exclusive negotiation window with the National Hockey League expires at the end of August. That's what happened the last time around, in 2007, when the industry talk had CBC losing the property it has treasured for 60 years.
But in the end, CBC came up with an extra $40 million a year and made a few concessions -- giving TSN access to more playoff games involving Canadian teams, for example -- and everybody was relatively happy.
Sources say that scenario is likely to play out again in one form or another. While the Globe and Mailreported last week that the NHL is seeking $200 million a season for the HNIC package, sources say it's unlikely to get what is in essence a 100 per cent raise. Instead, it's more likely that CBC will again pay more for less. Bell Media will again pay more -- but get more.
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