Kukla's Korner Hockey
From John McGourty at NHL.com:
Bottom line: Equipment is there to protect, not make saves.
“We came to the conclusion that we should move forward with some subtle changes for the 2008-09 season,” said NHL goaltending supervisor Kay Whitmore, who played goal in 155 NHL games for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. “There will be more changes next year with more proportional fittings for protection only. We have to get back to the beginning of what equipment was for in the first place.”
NHL officials are responding to feedback from players, coaches and management to reduce the size of goalie equipment.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
“Bank robbery,” Marc Poulin says, hopefully in jest, “is still in planning.” On Poulin’s kitchen table in Lachine are probably 15 masks he could use for a heist. Sadly, he’d probably not get far - it wouldn’t be hard to find a fleeing Ken Dryden, Terry Sawchuk, Eddie Giacomin or Gerry Cheevers with a sack of loot in his fist.
For the past three years, Poulin has used his hands and imagination to produce dozens of styles of vintage fibreglass goalie masks, painstakingly detailed masterpieces of a bygone NHL.
Upon close inspection of his work, you marvel at the courage of the men who wore the genuine article. And the guts of those before them who had lumbered barefaced and scarred into action.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
• Yes, scoring is up, and it’s most likely the result of the pared-down goalie equipment - even if there is no way to prove it. Through games of early last week, clubs were combining for 5.9 goals per game, up from 5.6 over the same number of games in 2007-08. In 2003-04, the number stood at 5.1 over the same period. Me, I’m good with 5.1, as long as there is plenty of action and at least a little bit of hate.
• Brian Burke’s stepping down as general manager in Anaheim was abrupt but not unexpected. Look for the ex-Boston agent to get into serious talks in Toronto this week about taking over the Leafs. If there is a hiccup (read: money too light), watch for either the Blackhawks or Senators to get after him. Total dark horse: Habs.
I would think another reason scoring is up is the face-off always taking place in the defensive zone when a penalty is issued and the no TV timeout when an icing takes place. Your thoughts?
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• Take it for what it’s worth, but you might want to know that Len Barrie, pres ident of the Lightning, has been telling people in the industry that Mats Sundin will be playing for Tampa Bay when and if No. 13 resumes his career.
Yeah, right. As if.
• Wonder how the NHL’s general managers feel about Brian Burke announcing his candidacy for one of their jobs - and by Thanksgiving, no less! - after being granted accelerated free agency two weeks ago by Sixth Avenue?
If the Ducks’ ownership wished to release Burke from his contract that originally ran through the season, that was mighty magnanimous of them, but it doesn’t mean Gary Bettman or the NHL was obligated to allow Burke to seek employment at this time.
more hockey talk…
The Inside Hockey Radio Show this week features host James Murphy with Conor McKenna of TEAM 990 broadcasting live from Montreal. They’ll be joined by guests Michael Farber (Sports Illustrated), Brian Daccord (Stop It Goaltending) and Raphaël Doucet (Le Hockey Magazine).
Live from Wayne Gretzky’s
After Inside Hockey, at 4pm ET you can tune into Live From Wayne Gretzky’s. This week, hosts Gord Stellick & Troy Murray talk to Pat Burns, Wendel Clark, Phil Esposito, Pat Quinn, Russ Courtnall and Mike Van Ryn.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,
Whether by coincidence or design, Toronto, Atlanta and Florida have no captain at all right now and none of those teams are slated to make the playoffs at this juncture.
Yeah, maybe the captaincy is symbolic. Just because you don’t have a letter on your jersey, doesn’t mean you can’t be vocal in the dressing room when things are going pear-shaped. But a look at what even some of the newest captains are doing these days sheds a little light on how symbolism often bleeds over into reality.
Earlier in the week, an unlikely fight occurred in Phoenix when Coyotes young gun Martin Hanzal squared off for the first time in his NHL career with Chicago captain Jonathan Toews. For Toews, it was his first fight ever, according to hockeyfights.com.
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
(Pierre) Boivin (Montreal Canadiens president) is right when he suggests revenue sharing should be re-examined and perhaps adjusted if the Canadian clubs’ own revenues are sliding, but anyone — whether a club exec, journalist, blogger or fan — who counterposes the interests of Canada’s teams against those of the U.S. teams is wrong. The N.H.L. is one league. Revenue sharing is in place for reasons that benefit the N.H.L. as a whole. Without it, teams are left to fend for themselves in a laissez-faire economic system that increases the likelihood of failure. Those lessons of “non-regulated” economies should be pretty obvious to everyone about now.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
**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.
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