Kukla's Korner Hockey
Metallica will perform the national anthem prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC TVA Sports). The Sharks trail the best-of-7 series 2-1.
The heavy metal band comprised of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo will rock the Shark Tank for a good cause. The guitars used by Hetfield and Hammett during the performance will be signed by the members of the band, displayed on the concourse during the game and then donated to the Sharks Foundation to be auctioned off.
Early in May of this year, they plaed the National Anthem at a San Francisco Giants game, watch below...
People within the NHL’s hockey operations department have been wishful-thinking forever about getting the season wrapped up by the end of May, but the owners don’t want to start in September, still fearful that their product isn’t good enough to compete for even more autumn weeks with high school, college and pro football, baseball pennant races and whatever else might erode the puck ratings.
So they play into June, and now that every month on the planet Earth is the hottest on record, you can pretty much take it to the bank that the NHL’s ice doctor, Dan Craig, is not going to be able to produce a mid-season-quality surface during the annual heat wave, no matter how much cold air he pumps in, how many de-humidifiers he hooks up.
-Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun where you can read more on the ice conditions in the Stanley Cup Final.
George Stroumboulopoulos and Elliotte Friedman discuss the latest news around the hockey world, including the Avalanche and Coyotes’ search for defencemen, and Dale Hunter’s current status.
Also some salary cap talk...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Here was commissioner Gary Bettman, taking a victory lap even while seated and stationary during his pre-finals press conference on Monday in Pittsburgh, crowing about the parity within the NHL by proudly reciting data about the absence of a repeat Stanley Cup champion since 1998 and repeat finalists since 2009.
Yep, thanks goodness Gary’s League doesn’t have a Warriors-Cavaliers type of thing going on in the final. Wouldn’t want a super team such as Golden State seeking a repeat championship in a rematch against LeBron James, competing in his sixth straight final round.
Why would the NHL ever want to feature a marquee matchup like that?
Don’t get me wrong. The Penguins and Sharks are very good teams and most certainly have earned the right to compete for the Stanley Cup. Sidney Crosby, the most householdish name in the league, is back in the finals after a seven-year absence. San Jose is a great town. The hockey is good. But there is little of historical marquee value here.
from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
When Bettman explained the three scenarios the league was contemplating — expand by one or two teams, wait a year or put expansion on hold indefinitely — he covered both ends of the rink as far as Las Vegas and Quebec City are concerned.
The league’s nine-member executive committee meets this week, likely on Tuesday, though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly refused to confirm the date. The group is expected to recommend Las Vegas to join the league for the 2017-18 season while deferring Quebec City until 2018-19.
When the NHL’s Board of Governors meet in Las Vegas on June 22, they are expected to rubber stamp the recommendation, culminating in a historic day as the city will get its first major league sports franchise after decades of campaigning.
If you think Bettman doesn’t already know the end game of this process that began last July, skate yourself over to the penalty box and serve your two minutes for being ignorant.
Why let Las Vegas launch in 2017 with only 15 to 16 months to prepare instead of two years as the last two expansion teams (Minnesota and Columbus) did in 2000? Because billionaire businessman Bill Foley and his group are way ahead of the game in terms of preparation.
from Ryan McKenna of Sportsnet,
Gary Bettman says that re-alignment for possible expansion teams is something that has to be resolved.
Speaking on Prime Time Sports Thursday, the NHL commissioner went into detail about how that scenario could play out.
“There are issues at 17 and 15 (teams) that I know are more difficult than 14 and 16,” said Bettman. “And I think that if you asked for example, Columbus or Detroit, who went East, they would not happily or be agreeable to moving back to the West.”
The Blue Jackets and Red Wings switched conferences prior to the 2013-14 season as part of the league’s realignment.
"I don’t think it would be appropriate to ask them to go West again so that isn’t even on the table, to ask them to do."
via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,
Officials need to communicate constantly throughout the game and not only with players, but it includes and occasional visit to the bench to chat with coaches.
from Sean McIndoe at The Guardian,
So the Guardian asked me to put together a guide to welcome new fans to the bandwagon. Read through the handy tips below and pretty soon you’ll be all ready to enjoy all the goals, saves, hits, and even the wacky beard on face of Sharks’ assistant captain Joe Thornton!
[Goes awkwardly quiet. Looks around nervously.]
Are they gone?
OK, all you new fans, huddle up with me real quick. Sorry about that paragraph about the beard. I know it was kind of weird, but I had to get rid of all the diehard hockey fans for a minute. They’ve all rushed off to the comment section to correct me for saying “assistant” captain instead of “alternate”. But they’ll be back soon, so we don’t have much time.
OK, look … are you absolutely sure you want to do this?
Don’t get me wrong. Hockey is an amazing sport. Quite possibly the best there is. But hockey fans … hockey fans can be an interesting group. We have very strong feelings about, well, everything. And we have very specific ways of expressing those feelings. You could think of us as a kind of cult, except that cults can occasionally be reasoned with.
And worst of all, we can be especially tough on newcomers. You’d think we’d be more welcoming, given how much whining we do about hockey’s place in the sports world. We spend a lot of time complaining about how there aren’t enough hockey fans out there, but as soon as some potential new fans appear, we get our backs up. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into here. If you wanted to back out now, everyone would understand.
from Vipal Monga of the Wall Street Journal,
The year-long debate over which NHL team is this season’s best will be settled when the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their Stanley Cup Finals series. But another argument will continue long after the last player has skated off the ice. It’s a dispute that has lasted decades and looks to continue past the careers of today’s players.
Is it a hockey sweater, or a jersey?
Canadian-born Hall of Famer Mark Messier has a clear preference. “I tell my kids to make sure they remember their sweaters,” he said.
Mike Richter, who is American, disagrees.“It’s a jersey,” said Messier’s teammate from the 1994 Stanley Cup winning New York Rangers. “I just don’t see myself calling it a sweater.”
What you call the piece of clothing hockey players wear says a lot about how you see the game. It is the line between Canadians and Americans, traditionalists and newbies, hardcore fans and dabblers.
from Tony Keller of the Globe and Mail,
So if the NHL isn’t crazy about the Olympics or the Worlds, why not create a world championship of its own? Good news: The league is doing just that. Bad news: It’s determined to do so while coming up with novel ways to cheat Canadian fans out of a cathartic national moment.
This fall’s World Cup of Hockey could have been a true world championship. But along with national teams from Canada, the U.S. and other hockey powers, the league is also introducing what a recent press release calls “a new concept in international hockey.”
That brilliant new idea? Young Canadian stars such as Connor McDavid, the kid on the verge of becoming the world’s best player, will not be playing for Canada. No, instead, he’ll be forced to play against Canada, on a multinational hybrid team of players aged 23 and younger. Only the NHL could have cooked this up.
So when Team Under-24-And-Mostly-Canadian faces off against Team Canada-With-An-Asterisk, who are we supposed to wave the flag for? Don’t ask the NHL. It’s not their business.
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