Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Windsor Star,
So simple, so symbolic.
With all due respect to the loud gargoyles, skeletons, rock stars, cartoon characters and city skylines which now protect the faces of today’s National Hockey League’s netminders, it’s Gerry Cheevers’ “stitch” mask which takes the cake as the coolest ever.
Picture the scene when Cheevers made his um, mark, on history, with the Boston Bruins.
The NHL was still coming out of the Original Six era, with old-school general managers and coaches gradually conceding that protecting their netminders’ faces from Bobby Hull-type slapshots was a good idea.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Teams with greater revenue, even in a salary-capped system, have a better chance of competing at a higher level than teams that do not.
A classic example comes just from looking at the top and bottom of the Forbes list. The Leafs may not be good at what they do when it comes to the hockey operations, but they at least are not hindered by financial considerations when it comes to finding a new general manager or, should they choose, invest in scouting and development.
Compare that to the Phoenix Coyotes, a franchise the magazine estimates is worth $142 million and might be in need of new ownership or even relocation.
from P. J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
You know what’s funny? I’ve looked and looked and still can’t find anything in this year’s booklet that says anything has changed. Despite all the complaints, there is still no rule, penalty or HEAD SHOT category.
Why is it now the fault of the hitter and not the fault of the who ... the hitee? (You understand).
What is the first thing you teach a peewee kid when he’s starting to play contact hockey? Keep your head up! Protect yourself!
Why when one of these players gets tattooed in today’s NHL it’s not their fault for not keeping their head up? Why isn’t it their fault for not protecting themselves? Why?
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
You see, in Gary Bettman’s NHL, rarely is heard a discouraging word about anything at all. And that’s perhaps the man’s biggest fault; he must genuinely believe fans, employees and media are so dense, they’ll always take what he says as gospel.
The choir is much smarter than that. And Bettman’s preachings fall as flat as that Def Leppard debacle.
At this stage, the sole way Bettman can get into the public’s good graces is by stepping into the shadows for good. And I think I speak for everyone when I say we can stomach one more Pollyanna pontification from him – as long as it’s part of his resignation speech.
From Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News,
Try wrapping your brain around some of these absurdities:
• The Toronto Maple Leafs are a firing squad. Overall, the Leafs are averaging 34.1 shots per game, third-best in the league. But in its past five games, Toronto is putting an average of 40 pucks on goal, including a 48-shot effort Tuesday night against New Jersey.
There may be a dearth of talent among the Leafs forward group (hence the low goal total despite all the shots), but to borrow and alter the meaning of a phrase from Jay-Z, you can’t knock the hustle.
read on for more unexpected weirdness this NHL season
I know most KK readers know their hockey, but on occasion new hockey fans do read KK and this is for you.
A nice primer on how to prepare and watch a hockey game and it is Blackhawks specific, but you will get the idea.
from Eric Gwinn of the Chicago Tribune,
What just happened?
Every now and then, the crowd boos or cheers, or an official’s whistle stops everything.
“So much happens away from the puck,” Hurley said. “Football is the best sport to watch on TV, but hockey is the best sport to watch in person; you see the whole ice, who’s doing what to whom.”
Where to sit
The higher you sit at a hockey game, the more you can see. Sitting with the goal directly in front of you lets you see how hard players have to work to shoot at the goal.
from Tyler at NHL Digest,
NHL Digest took this excellent opportunity to ask many questions that readers have been wanting legitimate responses, from a credible source, for a long time. Mr. DiLorenzo was very candid and provided excellent food for thought on many communications issues facing the National Hockey League today.
We have heard Gary Bettman stress the technological savvy of Hockey fans. In that light, how much emphasis would you say that the NHL is placing on new media marketing?
For fans, digital is the front door to the National Hockey League. Not only are our fans technically sophisticated, but approximately 50% of our fans are “displaced,” meaning they live in a different market than their favorite team. Displaced fans have a significant access constraint, and digital is filling that void … particularly for live video.
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
The problem remains, though, that the easy answer isn’t the answer that is easy to sell at the pro level, meaning not everyone is convinced that an automatic penalty for a hit to the head, regardless of the intent, as they do in Ontario junior hockey, is the way to go.
Fact is, a year ago, the NHL’s general managers decided it wasn’t the way to go. When they debated the situation last winter, when there were several more injuries, all agreed they didn’t like to see players getting hurt, but that hockey is also a physical game.
The question was asked, because the league has taken away low hits. If it eliminated hits to the upper body, what would be left?
So, it was decided that as long as the hits to the head are accidental and not a head hunt, then it’s part of the game and players best keep their’s up.
added 8:50am, from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
In simpler times, Darryl (Sutter), 50, figures Weight would have held up for fear of the inevitable retribution coming his way.
Maybe not on the same shift. Maybe not in the same period. But, at some point, retribution would arrive.
“The game has changed a little bit,” he said. “That’s a legal hit. The player had his head down and he got hit. But would it have happened when we were all playing? Probably not.
“Because that player knew if he was going to do that, it was going to be a long night for him. That’s the difference.”
from Michael Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes,
A stronger loonie helps teams north of the border, because they take in revenue in Canadian dollars, but pay their players in U.S. currency. Last season the value of the Canadian dollar increased 15% relative to the U.S. dollar. The average team value rose 10% during the past year, to $220 million. Five of the six Canadian teams —Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers— rose in value more than the league average.
more with all types of sortables lists and fyi, the top 3 valued teams are the Leafs, Rangers and Canadiens.
How to hold a hockey party… from Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
* Total number of hot wings consumed by the 80 or so guests that invaded my home on Saturday: 482
* Number of trips made to the local Coney Island: 5, and 20 Coney Island hot dogs were brought back each time.
* Pizza, varying sizes and toppings: 24
* Cashews and pistachios consumed: 10 pounds of each, gone by 10 p.m.
* Number of hockey-themed cakes that were brought by guests: 4—and 2 were exactly the same. Must have been bought at the same bakery.
read on for 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