Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Melissa Arseniuk of the Las Vegas Sun,
Wednesday, an NHL Charity Shootout poker tournament featuring some of hockey’s biggest card-carrying, card-playing heavyweights will take place at the Rio.
The players will face off against some of the biggest names in professional poker starting at 9 a.m.
Later that night, some of the league’s brightest stars, past and present, will gather at the Palms for an exclusive reception.
The event, which is by invitation-only, will be hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Palms owner George Maloof and held in one of the resort’s sky villa suites….
Also Wednesday night, the Anaheim Ducks will frolic with the bunnies at a private party at the Playboy Club. The sure-to-be-sexy soirée for about 100 will take place from 10:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. in the club’s fireplace lounge.
While the Ducks’ party is a private one, the rest of the Playboy Club will be open to the public. (Cover: $20 for guys, free for the ladies.)
from Melissa of the Las Vegas Sun,
While the Palms is setting the stage and rolling out the red carpet for Thursday’s NHL Awards, Caesars Palace is rolling out the rink.
The casino has created a skating rink in advance of the annual awards, which are visiting Vegas for the first time this year.
The league has committed to handing out hockey’s highest honors here in Las Vegas for the next three years. What’s more, the NHL Players Association is also holding their annual meetings here this week.
In response, the city and some of its major casino operators are rolling out the welcome mat for the league’s players, managers and fans.
At Caesars Palace, however, the so-called welcome mat is actually a giant skating rink.
OK, technically it’s a synthetic ice surface built with sheets of special plastic, but it skates the same as the real stuff and won’t melt under the desert sun.
Temperatures are, after all, expected to hit the mid-80s today.
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will lace ‘em up and go for a skate tonight as part of the demonstration outside the casino’s main entrance.
Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will also take part.
“We didn’t interfere with the players. We had five calls in the final game, they were all restraining fouls. There were no roughing fouls, no scrums. The first and third periods of Game 7 were the fastest of the whole series. The players were able to skate freely. The credit goes to the players and coaches.”
-game 7 ref Bill McCreary. More from McCreary from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times.
Certified appraisers at Cash4Gold, America’s #1 buyer of precious metals direct from the general public, have studied photographs of the famed 35-pound trophy. They estimate that it might contain as much as $7,500 worth of silver, assuming that the trophy is 100% silver.
Given that the Stanley Cup is one of the most distinguished trophies in sports, its worth most likely outweighs the melt value that the piece would command if it were sent to Cash4Gold. Melt value refers to the value of actual precious metal contained in an item that a refinery can extract and recycle. Melt value does not account for the decorative, artistic, historic, or sentimental value of a given item.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• One reason to wonder about Red Wings coach Mike Babcock as the choice for Canadian Olympic hockey coach: The Olympics are one-game playoffs. And the one thing Babcock didn’t do well in Game 6 or 7 against the Penguins was adjust. His team needed to get pucks in deep and to the net, especially in the second half of Game 7, and stubbornly his players kept trying to carry it through crowds, turned it over and generated little offence.
• The only way the Anaheim Ducks steal defenceman Jack Johnson and an early first-round pick from L.A. for diminishing asset Chris Pronger is if Kings general manager Dean Lombardi happens to lose his mind.
more hockey notes…
First off, a few days of relaxed posting, then we turn our attention to the NHL Awards Show in Vegas and the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.
Shortly after the NHL Draft, the UFA signing period begins. Then hopefully, maybe late July or early August, I can take a vacation, the first one in four years!!!
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of the New York Times,
Because most N.H.L. teams try to copy the formula of the Stanley Cup champions, the Penguins’ victory could signal a continued movement from the defense-oriented tactics that dominated the N.H.L. after the Devils won the Cup in 1995.And yet a curious shift in the officiating during the finals loosened the zero-tolerance posture on obstruction penalties that referees had used for the last four seasons. Infractions like hooking, holding, tripping and interference were staples of the dead-puck era, among the tactics used to restrain skill and shift the game’s delicate balance in favor of defenses.
In the six games of last season’s finals, 30 obstruction penalties were called. Through six games this year, only 16 had been called. Four more were called in Game 7, for a total of 20.
The players and coaches had no problem with the officiating. It will be interesting to see if this slackening of rigorous enforcement signals a new standard for next season.
more on the Penguins, Wings and the NHL overall…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:
Once in a while, these long-term commitments between team and player develop into a happily-ever relationship that works for both parties.
On a great many other occasions, however, the marriages don’t work out the way they imagined – and the price of divorce is high.
In the next fortnight – or from the time of Friday night’s seventh game of the Stanley Cup final until the first day of the entry draft in Montreal two weeks from now – NHL trade talks will heat up.
Increasingly, virtually every one of these possible transactions is going to be filtered through money, money invested in the flush of the last two free-agent frenzies that has not paid good dividends.
Contracts that were signed amid great hopes and expectations and – for reasons of injury, underperformance, or just the simple lack of a good fit – have backfired will now be shopped around the league, to see if there’s a willing trading partner.
more with a list of the 10 worst contracts in the NHL right now
From John Buccigross at ESPN:
Game 7 equals …
• The bond of father and son, their shared-logo T-shirt and their shared stomach of nerves as the puck is about to be dropped Friday night. Stomachs in Pennsylvania and Michigan will feel as though they just ate five pounds of grapes.
• The pride and passion of two rust-belt cities mortgaging a portion of their summer moods pending the result of a 60-minute hockey game. Whoever wins Friday night, it will matter much to the proud and soulful people of Detroit and Pittsburgh. The Cup will feel warm and welcomed at either victory party.
from Cheryl Ryan of The Metric System,
I love hockey and like most hockey fans, I’ve been actively following the NHL playoffs, including the Stanley Cup finals that started at the end of May. While watching the finals, I couldn’t help but notice some of the advertisements that played during the intermissions and the three commercial breaks each period. I sat through the standard beer commercials (Bud Light, Miller Lite, Amstel Light to name a few) and the US military commercials (Army, Marines) without paying much attention, but then some Cisco commercials came up. These commercials were a bit of a surprise to me, since I wouldn’t expect a strong overlap of between hockey fans and videoconferencing enthusiasts. I also remembered that Cisco heavily advertises on the NHL.com website.
As I watched more and more of these Cisco commercials, with about one appearing during each commercial break, I became very curious about why Cisco would choose the SC finals to advertise their new products. I decided to look into the demographics of NHL fans to see if Cisco knew something I didn’t. Not surprisingly, they did: the makeup of the NHL fanbase.
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.
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