Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated:
Dallas Stars: Cup contenders or kidding themselves?
Heading into last season, the obvious question was, “Can this team compete for a playoff spot?” At the time, it was touch and go. The core was graying and burdened by a legacy of recent postseason failures that suggested their best days were a decade behind them.
read on for more questions—and answers—on the Pacific Division
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
I predict five players will reach the 50-goal plateau [this] season. (How many players do you think will reach 50 goals? Bonus points if you name them.)
Alex Tanguay will find his offensive game again in Montreal and reach 43 goals to lead the Canadiens. (Name a player on a new team that will lead their team in goals scored.)
Jean-Sebastien Giguere will lead the league in shutouts. (Your prediction?)
The Detroit Red Wings will win the Presidents’ Trophy. (Anyone care to go with another team?)
Barry stated that a formal announcement will be made shortly. Other participants in the event:
The final roster of participants won’t be released until next week but the list of those already committed is pretty impressive—NHLers Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza, Curtis Joseph, Matt Stajan, Robyn Regehr, Mike Cammalleri, Andrew Ference and [Sean] Avery.
The celebrities include [Tim] Robbins, Alan Thicke, “Juno” director Jason Reitman, D.B. Sweeney and Cameron Bancroft.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,
Intellectual Noam Chomsky is famous for derailing pro games as a means of controlling the minds of the masses, throwing them off the “real issues” of the day.
The funny thing is, sometimes it’s the masses who truly need what sports provides; pride and community.
I mean, if you’re an affluent Chicago Cubs fan, or a Bay St. lawyer at a Maple Leafs game, you can live and die with your team on a superficial level and then go home to a nice, safe environment.
But for the same reason it was so important for the New Orleans Saints to play after Hurricane Katrina, hockey teams in many American towns right now are playing a key role in giving a lot of folks just a little daylight during some dark days.
from Ace Burpee of the Winnipeg Sun,
It’s been a while since I’ve been dead-set on approaching someone for an autograph, but this past Wednesday I was in the same room as Bobby Hull for the first time in my life. I was actually nervous, which hasn’t happened since I first met Bob Irving.
A five-pack on meeting Bobby Hull:...
3. How charitable is Bobby Hull? He signed two autographs for me ... one “To Ace, All the Best, Bobby Hull” ... the other dedicated to nobody in case I wanted to sell it on eBay. That’s not my thing, but I do now possess a 20-dollar bill signed by Bobby should the right charity angle come along.
1. If I had scored over 900 goals between the NHL and WHA, I’d wear a rug too. He’s earned the right.
My view is that it is difficult for some of those teams, particularly in the American sunbelt, where they don’t have the establishment of hockey at a youth level. I grew up in Boston and there were youth hockey leagues everywhere. Every town had two or three rinks in it, and the game was and is part of our upbringing there.
But if you’re in Phoenix or you’re in Florida, it’s really tough for those teams to put people in the seats and sell the game. We understand that and maybe the revenue-sharing system is part of the answer. But our view is that if teams in any region suffer (financial) losses three or four years in a row, then stop complaining about it in a (business) system you created and imposed here, and start asking the question whether you’re in the right place.
-Paul Kelly in a continued interview with Adam Proteau of the Hockey News.
From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated:
But in looking at the two conferences, certain trends have become distinct over the last five years as the league moved to a heavier inter-divisional format. In general, the East boasts more young, dynamic offensive players, while the West is more about size, defense and proven veterans. Of course, there are exceptions to those stereotypes, but take this simple test:
When you think of the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Washington Capitals what is each team’s identity?
Interesting news tidbit from the LPGA, which announced this week it will require its players to have at least a cursory grasp of the English language by 2009 if they wish to play for that organization.
I wouldn’t demand a similar regulation be imposed on NHLers that forces them to change. But it would behoove the league and NHLPA to stress to its European players the importance of getting a firm handle on the primary language in which the game’s business is conducted.
-Adam Proteau of the Hockey News where you can read a little more and a warning- some Sundin talk too.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Disgraced former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin is scheduled to testify tomorrow on behalf of the NHL and against the interests of the union he once represented, in an arbitration hearing that has critical implications for the Rangers, The Post has learned.
The issue at hand concerns the status of drafted European players who do not sign before June 2 of the second calendar year following their selections. Article 8.6 of the CBA states that clubs lose their rights to such players if they are not signed on or by that date.
continued and I thought I would also point this out from Brooks in the same story…
Contrary to falsehoods circulating on the Internet, the Rangers have never considered trading Scott Gomez to clear cap space for Sundin. Nor will they.
added 11:38am, from Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports,
Follow the bouncing B.S. ...
A hockey rumor “blogger,” whose hit-to-miss ratio rivals that of a visually impaired Imperial stormtrooper, reported that the New York Rangers are going to trade center Scott Gomez in order to open up cap space to sign free agent Mats Sundin. The Vancouver Canucks were named as the likely destination.
This naturally sent places like the HF Boards into a speculative tizzy, because really why else would they exist?
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
You get the feeling these people will never be happy. They will always find a fault with the game and truthfully, I am a bit worried they will never experience the true passion of the game. Too much criticism is not good for the soul, it doesn’t allow you to see the great parts of our game and enjoy the pure athleticism of the NHL players.
Look how much the NHL has improved over the last three seasons. The game is being played the way it was meant to be played.
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