Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,
High-definition television images are luring more American eyeballs to professional hockey and invigorating the NHL’s prospects in the U.S., say leading sports industry experts.
“HDTV will have a greater impact on hockey than any other sport,” says Matthew Pace, a lawyer with prominent sports law firm Herrick, Feinstein in New York. “You can follow the puck much easier (on HDTV broadcasts). The action is clearer. I think the television future of the NHL is bright.”
The holy grail of professional sports – routine access to 115 million American television households– has long eluded the NHL despite efforts dating back to the infamous glowing puck of the 1990s.
While the NHL has built a national U.S. footprint that includes hockey-tepid cities across the sunbelt, major U.S. broadcast deals still haven’t come.
And without the billions of dollars in revenues that come with a major TV deal, the league is left to contend with financial basket cases in cities such as Phoenix, Florida and Nashville, which have no cultural connection to hockey.
NEW YORK (October 26, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s® strong business momentum from last season’s record-setting year continued through the first 100 games of the 2009-10 NHL® regular season. Fans are experiencing the NHL across League platforms in impressive numbers, with the League on-pace to set records in a number of areas.
from Bob McCown at Fadoo,
In the National Hockey League, can a player go on the ice without a helmet? Of course not, there is a rule which states that all players must wear helmets.
Can a goaltender play without wearing a mask. Don’t be ridiculous! Of course goaltenders must wear…hey, wait a minute! Is it possible that a goalie could actually go “old school” like Johnny Bower and Glenn Hall and start flopping around bare-faced?
You might be surprised to know that there is absolutely nothing in the NHL rule book that says they can’t!
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Imagine the uproar if the Stanley Cup playoffs were officiated down to the level of the umpiring in major league baseball’s postseason. Imagine the outcry of, “The NHL wants the Rangers to win!” if the Blueshirts ever were beneficiaries of bad calls the way the Yankees (among others, to be sure) have been thus far.
Truth be told, NHL officiating seems improved over the early portion of the season. The referees seem to be allowing the game to breathe thus far. They seem to be operating under more of a common-sense approach as opposed to the coloring-by-numbers method that had overtaken the profession since the end of the lockout.
Maybe it’s as simple as Kerry Gregson replacing the micro-managing Stephen Walkom as the director of officiating. Maybe the referees are now less concerned about cronyism than they are with doing their jobs.
Then again, maybe it’s because Bill McCreary finally retired.
more hockey topics & Larry, I think Bill is still around.
Bill Chadwick, the longtime NHL referee and television analyst who earned the nickname “The Big Whistle” has died at age 94. MSG Network, for whom Chadwick served as an analyst for 14 years, reported his death during the second period of the New York Rangers’ game in Montreal on Saturday night.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
At first glance it sounds like something out of a Vince Vaughn movie: “Crease Crashers—the sequel to Wedding Crashers and every bit as outrageous!” Except we’re talking hockey here and running goaltenders in the crease isn’t funny and it can be dangerous.
Like most things in the NHL, the how and why isn’t really at issue. Goalies, well-padded but arguably as defenseless as a punter in the path of a half-dozen onrushing linesmen, are being overrun across the NHL. It appears to be a tactic and the league is at least giving lip service to doing something about it.
Though it hasn’t officially been added to the agenda for next month’s general manager’s meetings, enough GMs are lobbying to get it there. That alone doesn’t provide for any real hope to putting a stop to the nasty tactic.
continued plus some Chelios/NHLPA talk…
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Earlier this year, hockey executive Jimmy Devellano, New York Rangers and Team USA goalie Mike Richter and six-time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier were selected to receive the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
On Wednesday night, the trio of hockey luminaries showed why they are considered American hockey treasures—despite the fact that both Messier and Devellano were born in Canada.
During the course of a 75-minute roundtable—hosted by Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen and with Lester Patrick’s grandchildren, Craig and Dick Patrick looking on from the audience—Devellano, Richter and Messier spoke eloquently about their love of the game, as well as many of the issues unique to the growing of the sport in America.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
With the scored tied 2-2 just before the midway point of the third period, Predators defenseman Shea Weber was competing for a puck in his own end when he found himself face-to-face with referee Dennis LaRue.
Weber bowled over LaRue, but never could get to the puck, which wound up behind the Nashville net. Boston’s Daniel Paille shoveled a quick centering pass to Steve Begin, who knocked home the game-winner from the slot.
“He had nowhere to go and I had nowhere to go,’’ Weber said of LaRue. “It was a tough situation.’‘
from Darren Dreger of TSN, T
wo NCAA college programs in the United States are using the latest in technology to study the cause and effect of head trauma on varsity hockey players. And the NHL has indicated interest in doing the same one day.
Dartmouth and Brown employ the Head Impact Telemetry System – HITS - to measure, record and analyze what impact collisions have on the head and brain.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Now pucks going off netting is not subject to video review, but a surprisingly high number of general managers believe they should be.
Of the 21 general managers who responded to the question asking whether video review should be used to determine whether the puck has come in contact with the netting prior to a goal being scored, 11 voted in favour of a review.
I agree with what Bob McKenzie said tonight on TSN, play to the whistle. I don’t think there is a need to review this type of situation. Besides, what happens when this occurs..
Last year, the Wings turned a puck into the netting in their own zone into a goal on the other end. So how far back does the review go, when it clears the defensive zone or next whistle?
Heck, why not have the goal judge watch for it, most are sitting up high enough to see it better than the on-ice officials!
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