Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
With a handful of Sun Belt teams struggling to sell hockey, NHLPA director of player affairs Glenn Healy believes the timing could not be better for the NHL to seriously look at transferring a second team to the Toronto area.
He also stated that, in addition to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and a group that wants to bring a team to Vaughn, Ont., there are at least two other factions interested in landing another NHL team for Southwestern Ontario.
“They have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for a lot of years,” Healy said yesterday, in reference to the failure of the Sun Belt teams in the NHL. “They have tried everything in the world to sell the game, market the game, put fans in the seats and it doesn’t work for a lot of reasons.
“You can go down a laundry list of why it hasn’t worked — it doesn’t have the corporate backing, management has been ineffective in putting a winning team on the ice, and so on.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
It’s just a hunch on my part, but I figure Donald Brashear will get a one-game suspension for his pre-game warm-up shove on New York Ranger Colton Orr and probably another one-game suspension for his hit on Ranger Blair Betts.
Which is all well and good, I suppose, but it doesn’t really address the root issue on Brashear’s hit on Betts, which apparently broke Bett’s orbital bone and most definitely scrambled his brain, as evidenced by the video that shows an extremely groggy Betts having difficulty getting off the ice under his own power.
That is, how do we get those types of hits out of the game?
Every time I bring up the issue of hits to the head in the NHL, which is often, traditionalists or hardliners or dinosaurs (take your pick) maintain that if there are penalties for shoulder hits to the head, we are going to end up with a soft game with no hitting.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Normally the rulings on Rule 69 are simple: an attacking player makes incidental contact with the goalkeeper at the time a goal is scored and the goal is allowed. But what exactly is “incidental contact” and doesn’t the goalie have the right to unfettered room in the crease?
An even bigger question is whether or not officials are all on the same page regarding those interpretations and whether or not the people doing video replay have the same understanding of contact, incidental or otherwise, as the people working the game at ice level.
Ice-level views are different from press-box views the same way that real-time action is different than video-replay action.
It gets even more complicated when a goalie moves outside his crease. The rules say he can be hit, but the rules also indicate that there are no rules and certainly no video review regarding a goal scored when the goalie is outside the crease. But what defines outside?
more and other hockey topics too…
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The war of words between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks has caught plenty of attention around the NHL.
But not to the point the league has fired off a memo to all parties involved to cease and desist.
A published report stated the NHL’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, sent a letter to both teams to curb the on-ice chirping and post-whistle scrums.
Only problem, it didn’t happen.
“I did NOT send one,” Campbell replied yesterday in an e-mail.
from David Shoalts of the Globe an Mail,
A group of business people wants to bring a second team to the Greater Toronto Area, and the National Hockey League took the group seriously enough to grant it an audience.
The unidentified group met with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in downtown Toronto last week, according to sources. The group proposes to build an arena at the intersection of Highways 427 and 7 in Vaughan, Ont., on land north of Pearson International Airport that’s owned by businessman Victor De Zen.
The meeting was scheduled to last one hour but stretched to approximately 21/2 hours. The unidentified group also discussed its proposal with Paul Kelly, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Daly declined to comment.
added 11:40am, via the National Post,
But in an e-mail to Canwest News Service on Thursday, Daly, while admitting the meeting took place, denied there are any serious talks in the works.
“No, the NHL is not giving any consideration to putting a second team in the Toronto area,” he said in the e-mail.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
During my quarter-century of invading smelly locker rooms in Southern California under the auspices of The Orange County Register, I have covered a lot more NBA playoff series than NHL Stanley Cup playoff series.
The “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s were a must-see dynasty, with Kareem and Magic and Big Game James and Byron the stars in a decade of dominance that netted five NBA championships. The Shaq-and-Kobe Lakers that three-peated in 2000, 2001 and 2002 also were memorable title teams.
But the NBA playoffs usually are a showcase for individual stars: Magic, Bird, Michael, Shaq, Kobe and, perhaps someday soon, LeBron.
The NBA postseason is entertaining, but the NHL postseason is absolutely riveting. It’s my favorite playoff sport, a feeling driven home again in the span of three days this week after covering Game 1 of the Lakers-Jazz series at Staples Center and Game 3 of the Ducks-Sharks series at Honda Center.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
A gap in the NHL’s drug-testing policy may not be closed because the league and the National Hockey League Players’ Association cannot agree on how to deal with it.
According to the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, players are not tested during the playoffs and the off-season, which leaves five months — April through August — during which the players do not have to worry about passing a drug test. The league says it is in favour of year-round testing, but the union has reservations due to privacy concerns.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Is there a bias in the way the National Hockey League hands out supplementary discipline?
It’s hard to say and even harder to prove. But recent events in the early rounds of the playoffs and even the stretch run to the playoffs causes one to wonder, especially when it comes to Canadian-based teams.
It was by no means a scientific search but in using the words suspension, suspended and disciplinary action in browsing the press releases at NHLMedia.com I had to go back to Feb. 12, 2009, to find an intance when a player on a Canadian-based team was suspended for his actions regarding another player on the ice.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
No one likes someone who blows the whistle, but it was pretty difficult not to like former NHL referee Art Skov.
The genial Skov, 80, died Sunday after suffering through declining health in recent years.
“He was a real players’ referee,” said retired NHL linesman Matt Pavelich, who worked many a game with his fellow Windsorite.
“He did his job well and he was well respected by everyone in the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone saw anything bad about Art.”
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 20, 2009) – The lists of the three finalists for each of the NHL’s most prestigious regular-season awards will be announced beginning Wednesday. The 2009 NHL Awards, to be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on June 18, 2009 on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada, will bring together the League’s best players, celebrities and other NHL VIPs in celebration of the season’s brightest stars.
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