Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
The NHL is laboring under the delusion that more goals mean better hockey. The beauty of a close-checking, well-played 1-0 hockey game cannot be appreciated by everyone, to be sure, but if you’re going to replace those with 8-7 games, you’ll maybe add a few new fans, but in the process you’ll also lose a certain segment of your existing fan base. And the net result might not be good for hockey.
Let’s face it: The NHL will never be able to compete with fall Sunday afternoons in the NFL, or lazy summer evenings with the national pastime, or even slam-dunking athletes on the hardwood. Hockey has its little fourth-place niche in the sports world, and it should be content with that.
The idea of bastardizing the sport to try and bring in peripheral fans who don’t even know the definition of icing or boarding is outrageous, especially to hockey purists who are still the backbone of the NHL’s support.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I’ve been talking to a few NHL teams who have a serious interest in me and who I feel really good about playing for,” (Claude) Lemieux told Slap Shots by phone from his training base of Prescott Valley, Ariz. “By my thinking, I’ll be signed to an AHL contract in no later than two weeks by the NHL team that wants me.
“They’ll come to watch me, and if they like what they see, I’ll be back.”
It strains credulity, but Lemieux is nothing if not self-assured. He is certain there is room for legs as old as his in this young man’s league. He is certain there is a need for his experience and eagerness to play in the dirty areas of the ice.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Welcome aboard everyone - Are you ready for some hockey!
I sure am and I’m here at NHL headquarters in Toronto to prove it….
Right now, it feels like I’m at the local sports bar; television monitors all over and grown men anticipating the inevitable.
There is a strong possibility the National Hockey League will move the trade deadline back a day, from Tuesday Mar. 3 to Wednesday Mar. 4, sources tell Sportsnet.
With 12 games scheduled for the Tuesday, the league is concerned that NHL clubs would have a hard time icing full rosters should a significant number of deadline deals result in a large number of players being on the move.
The Inside Hockey Radio Show this week features Dustin Penner (Edmonton Oilers), Jeff Hamilton (Chicago Wolves), Hardy Sauter (Spokane Chiefs), Bruce Garrioch (Ottawa Sun) and Brian Daccord (Stop It Goaltending).
The show broadcasts from 2-4pm on NHL Hockey Ice XM 204, on The Team 990 in Montreal, and 1120 AM WBNW in Boston. It can be heard online at Team 990 or Money Matters Radio. To chime in you can reach them at 1-877-645-6696 or 1-877-NHL-6696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Crosby’s life is full of photo shoots and commercials, slipping through back entrances to avoid crowds, and more news conferences than most political candidates. He has endorsement deals with Reebok and Gatorade, although he is used far more heavily in advertisements in his native Canada.
“We’ve seen television ratings increase in games he has been in, increased attendance where he plays,” said Brian Jennings, who is the league’s executive vice president for licensing and marketing. “He’s a powerful force.”
But the question is whether the N.H.L.’s promotion of Crosby is enough, whether one player in a medium-size market can lift the league.
From Scott Cullen at TSN:
This week’s edition of Backchecking is going to examine the newcomers and surprises when it comes to power play ice time. We all know that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are on the Red Wings power play, right? Sure. But, who would have guessed that Radek Bonk is still getting PP time in Nashville?
A team-by-team look..
‘Minor Memories’ at CBC.ca:
CBCSports.ca: Where was the most memorable tournament you ever played, and why?
Esposito: Team Canada ‘72, without a doubt, because it was the unknown. We had no idea that these guys could play like they did, no idea. In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs scouts scouted them, and they told us they couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that. I made a statement saying no wonder the Leafs are in last place, their scouts are stupid. They couldn’t pick anybody, ‘cause this was a good hockey team. I think that was the most memorable tournament for me.
From Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside at ESPN:
Pierre LeBrun: Scott, we get together again just in time to digest yet another update on Mats Sundin. As one GM told me the other day, “Tell the big Swede to make up his damn mind!” Well, Sundin is one step closer. He’ll start seriously skating and training in the Los Angeles area early next week, and then who knows after that. It might take three to four weeks before he’s ready to play.
Scott Burnside: Pierre, I never get tired of wondering about where the Ponderous One will end up. It’s like watching paint dry, only more pedestrian.
much more chat about Sundin, plus some goalie controversies to debate
From Chris Sprow at ESPN The Magazine,
Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a fairly dreadful team by most standards. They were last place in their division, had the fourth worst record in the East, were outscored by 29 goals and were an atrocious 78.2% on the penalty kill. Their record, however, was a competitive-looking 36-35-11. They were over .500!
But in the current NHL, who isn’t?
Last year, in a 30-team league, just 6 teams were under .500. In the West, discounting the NHL’s worst team—the Los Angeles Kings who were all of 9 games under .500— the other two “losers” combined to go a whopping 5 games under .500. Yikes! That’s because the NHL has devised a clever marketing ploy where at least based on a traditional look at the standings, your team is never really out of it.
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