Kukla's Korner Hockey
On August 9, 1988, a day that changed the game, Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers to the lowly Los Angeles Kings. The trade changed the fortunes of the Kings, was a driving force for National Hockey League expansion into the ‘Sun Belt’, and generated extensive growth of the game at the grassroots level in “non-traditional” hockey markets.
To commemorate the anniversary, The NHL Network will highlight its “Wayne Gretzky Week” programming by presenting a one-hour special that features exclusive interviews with Gretzky, former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington and former Kings’ owner Bruce McNall, among others, at 9 p.m., ET, on Wednesday, August 6. A VNR of the interview with Gretzky will be provided Tuesday.
Here is the complete NHL Network schedule of Gretzky-related programming for next week:
From Rory Boylen at The Hockey News:
Here are a few generalizations I take exception to and write off as storytelling myth.
1. The Detroit Red Wings win with the neutral zone trap
Bogus. There is a rather large difference between the trap and a puck possession style of game, but it’s really easy to explain: For one you don’t have the puck; the other, you do.
read on for more myth-busting from Boylen
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
To say John Tavares’ star has fallen would be a stretch, but it seems he’s no longer the consensus No. 1 pick.
A little more than a year ago, there was a push to change the NHL entry draft rules to accommodate Tavares as a 17-year-old, while the Leafs were examining whether they could fast-track him on a minor-league contract, amid talk that an all-out rebuild could see a last-place Toronto team pick him first overall.
Now, some NHL scouts contacted by Sun Media are wondering if his No. 1 ranking will be challenged in the coming season.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The NHL hasn’t given up hope of mending the fences with Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL) and other foreign hockey federations.
Paul Kelly, the executive director for the NHLPA, told Sporting News on Wednesday that the league will proceed with September’s planned meeting that includes the NHLPA, International Ice Hockey Federation, KHL and all major hockey federations. It will take place during the first week of September in New York in hopes of settling the transfer agreement controversy.
“In Zurich we agreed to get together to have a dialogue about these issues,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, the ongoing issues with the NHL and KHL have put a damper on the spirit of cooperation.”
Paul Kukla’s blog at NHL.com today is full of random observations and questions. For instance:
Quick quiz—During the last eight seasons, this NHL player has not scored more than 30 goals, but has had at least 20 goals a season during that time period. He also plays for my surprise team for the upcoming season. Any guesses?
read on for more NHL talk
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,
If you truly want to feel like it’s January (only without the twin terrors of frostbite and New Year’s resolutions), here are a few tips to get you back in an on-ice mindset even in warm weather:
1. Start and finish a trade rumor cycle all by yourself.
Who says professional rumorists and swap-mongers get to have all the fun? By kicking off a whisper campaign among your friends and co-workers – using the most illogical, unworkable-under-salary-cap-regulations, one-sided deal you can dream up – then sitting back and watching the useless debates begin, you’ll think it’s a week prior to the NHL’s trade deadline before you know it.
From Ted Wyman at the Winnipeg Sun,
[Brett Favre is] certainly not the first professional athlete to feel pangs of regret after leaving the sport they love behind. And he’s certainly not the first to start thinking about a comeback before his retirement even becomes official.
Many more athletes have proven that the fire still burns strong after a bit of time heals the wounds of the game.
Here’s a look at the top-10 unretirements in sports.
continued… with a brief look at three NHLers who had a tough time hanging up the skates
from Claire Wilson of the New York Times (Sunday edition), ...
Three years later, the N.H.L.’s new space is near completion: 133,000 square feet at 1185 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. The interior is a montage of materials and wintry colors that reflect the game of hockey, including the stainless steel of skate blades and the white of ice, said Frederic M. Strauss, principal in TPG Architecture of New York, the designers of the new offices.
Patterned glass evokes the bumpy pond ice that many players learn on; smooth transparent partitions suggest sleek professional rinks; hockey sticks decorate another partition; and frost generated from moisture in the air runs along the center of a brushed-steel beverage bar.
from Tom Lynn at Hockey Ops Blog,
Myth #1: Expansion has diluted the level of talent in the NHL
This is the popular fable of the myopic scribes who cover hockey in some of the oldest markets. As the story goes, in the “Original Six” NHL (there were actually eight teams originally, but this fact was somehow lost on them) there were so few spots available on the teams, the level of play was extremely high. This was their “Golden Age” of hockey, with so many (per capita) of the League’s players achieving legend status and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. In 1951, the top five scorers in the NHL all ended up in the Hall of Fame (Howe, Richard, Bentley, Abel, and Schmidt). Later, so the fable goes, with the NHL expanding more and more, anyone who could lace up a pair of skates was eligible for an NHL roster spot. This reached its lowest point after the last expansion, to 30 teams, when the Wild and Columbus took to the NHL ice with players that offended the high sensibilities of the Fourth Estate and older columnists.
Like many myths, this one is based on a reasonable premise, but has the unfortunate quality of being completely false.
From Childs Walker at the Baltimore Sun,
A new arena is a poor risk for Baltimore if the city is counting on attracting an NHL or NBA franchise, sports business experts say, but some agree with city leaders that a proposed 18,500-seat venue could be profitable without such an anchor tenant.
Neither the NBA nor the NHL offers many relocation or expansion prospects, analysts said, and the presence of basketball and hockey teams in Washington make the odds even longer for Baltimore. [...]
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league has no plans for expansion or relocation, though several cities have expressed interest. He said questions about the Capitals’ sharing a market with another team are “way too hypothetical for me to answer.
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