Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Larry Wigge at NHL.com:
Suddenly, however, in this world where stockbrokers are being urged to be more cautious in their spending, teams are thinking twice about how they spend their money too. And it’s clear that the San Jose Sharks—with new offensive defensemen Dan Boyle and Rob Blake and new coach Todd McLellan—plus the New York Rangers—with Nikolai Zherdev and Markus Naslund up front and Wade Redden and Dmitri Kalinin on defense—are two of the best examples, as they bolted to the top of the standings early.
What is even more interesting is that while critics like to poke fun at all of the money spent by teams in the offseason—especially when it hasn’t worked in a lot of instances—that a week ago, six of the 30 teams, or 20 percent, had a player who changed teams at the top of its scoring list.
Veteran hockey writer, broadcaster and historian Stan Fischler will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
Note: The player for the live feed is embedded below, in case anyone finds that handy.
Adam Proteau at The Hockey News comes up with some “lighter fare” entertainment shows for the NHL Network. A sample:
Dirty Sexy Money: Featuring Ryan Hollweg, Carrie Milbank and the Maple Leafs’ profits.
Mad Men: Noted goons Andre Roy, Colton Orr and Ben Eager reveal the secret methods that help them turn frothy-mouthed seething into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salaries.
Read on for more shows ideas.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
It’s the touch penalties - hooking when a player’s stick taps an opposing player’s glove or hip, or holding when a player’s free hand touches his competitor - that drive coaches, managers and players crazy.
NHL traditionalists believe a hook or hold means a player has been restrained. Yet, the standard established three seasons ago is clearly less than that, and it has GMs talking.
As one general manager summarized, “There has been more complaining about officiating among GMs this year than in recent years.”
from David Staple of The Cult of Hockey,
The NHL’s official plus/minus stat is one of the most discussed individual stats in hockey, but it’s also one of the most flawed, misleading and misunderstood.
For instance, this year Marian Hossa of the powerful Red Wings is plus-8. But last season, playing with the hapless Thrashers most of the year, Hossa was minus-14.Bobby Orr plus/minus
Hossa is pretty much the same strong player this year as he was last year, but his plus/minus this year would make you think he’s utterly outstanding, while his plus/minus last year would make you think he was a mediocre bum.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
The world of quotes. Yes, indeed, they do make the world go ‘round, even the NHL, which isn’t exactly the sassiest of pro sports leagues when it comes to lipping off….
“Every single day, you ask the same questions. You know the amazing thing? You’ve never asked me once about what we’re doing in practice. ‘What was that drill?’ No one’s ever asked that. It’s always, ‘What’s Jason Blake going to do tomorrow? Where’s Brian Burke having dinner tonight?’ You don’t really talk about the actual X’s and O’s of the game. I find that kind of strange. So, then I wonder, maybe you don’t ask those questions because maybe you don’t understand.”
—Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson sparring with the media
from the CP via TSN,
Montreal Canadiens president Pierre Boivin fears that the sagging loonie could send Canadian NHL teams spiralling back into the dark economic days that preceded the lockout.
Boivin says the league’s six Canadian clubs are thriving at the gate and bring in more than a third of the total revenue for the 30-team NHL.
But he identified the tumbling dollar as one of three threats to the continued viability of Canadian clubs.
added 6:01pm, from Frederic Tomesco at Bloomberg,
More declines in the Canadian currency would recreate the situation that existed before the lockout, when most Canadian clubs were unprofitable, Boivin said. The Canadiens paid out $18 million last season to other NHL clubs as part of the revenue- sharing system, he said.
more if you are interested in the business side of the NHL…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Removing the trapezoid, the area behind the goal line where NHL goaltenders are allowed to play the puck, is another idea that will get discussed by the competition committee.
Some believe, the combination of forwards barreling in on the forecheck, protected from obstruction, and goaltenders not being allowed to freely move the puck have contributed to injury.
Paul Kelly wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn would have been in the same vulnerable position if Vesa Toskala had been allowed to get to the puck before Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos raced in to complete his check…
from Ted Montgomery at USA TODAY,
You’ve all read countless articles about how the NHL can improve its profile, how savvier marketing can elevate the league to new heights in the public’s consciousness. I’ve even written a few columns like that myself. And I believed what I wrote in those columns. I really did.
But I’ve changed my tune. I’m now resigned to the notion that the NHL will probably never be more popular than it is right now, today. And I think we, as die hard hockey fans, would be better served to accept this fact rather than striving to attain what is clearly now an unachievable pipe dream.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
• OK, here are Bucci’s top four power rankings for each conference. Keep in mind, my rankings are not so much based on performance thus far; they are based on who I see are the toughest teams to beat in a best-of-seven series come playoff time.
Eastern Conference: 1. Pittsburgh; 2. Washington; 3. Montreal; 4. New York Rangers
Western Conference: 1. Detroit; 2. San Jose; 3. Minnesota; 4. Anaheim
• From a strategical standpoint, I still believe that a player should skate to the bench, and another player should hop on, when he breaks his stick. This saves time from a stick handoff scenario and saves me the frustration of watching a forward on the ice without a stick.
much, much 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 firstname.lastname@example.org