Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the CP,
Legendary defenceman Bobby Orr was among five athletes elected to the World Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Jesse Owens, Arnold Palmer, Katarina Witt and Johnny Weissmuller were also named. “In each case, it’s clear to see the individual had a profound and positive effect on his or her chosen sport,” Irv Kochman, Chairman of the Selection Committee, said in a statement. “These are names that provoke remarkable memories and get hearts pounding simply at the mention of them.”
The World Sports Hall of Fame was created a few years ago and will celebrate its inaugural dinner and induction ceremonies this spring.
From Dave Caldwell at the New York Times,
Through Monday’s games, eight N.H.L. goaltenders had played more than 2,200 minutes, including all three of the New York-area goalies: the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (2,384) was third, the Devils’ Martin Brodeur fifth (2,342) and the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro seventh (2,264).
At a similar point last season, five goaltenders (including Brodeur, but not Lundqvist or DiPietro) had played in 2,200 minutes, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. At the same point in the 2005-6 season, only three goalies had played 2,200 minutes.
“Maybe 10 years ago, that may have been a problem,” said Garth Snow, a former N.H.L. goaltender who is now the Islanders’ general manager, “but goaltenders are some of the best-conditioned athletes on the team. Athletes, in general, are taking care of themselves 12 months a year, and the old way of thinking was, a fat goalie is a happy goalie.”
NEW YORK (Jan. 15, 2008)— Rookie scoring leader Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and first-year defenseman Tobias Enstrom of the All-Star host Atlanta Thrashers headline the 16 ‘NHL YoungStars’ invited to the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend, the National Hockey League announced today.
from the Windsor Star,
The Czech border guards, the open-air rinks of Sweden and Amsterdam’s red-light district. The memories remain fresh whenever Polonich reflects back on his season playing in Europe for the London Lions.
The idea was the brainchild of Detroit Red Wings owner Bruce Norris, who envisioned a European pro league with franchises sponsored by NHL clubs and invested $300,000 in his British squad in 1973-74, playing exhibition games throughout Europe.
Future plans called for the Toronto Maple Leafs to ice a team in Sweden and slated the Montreal Canadiens to place a farm club in Finland.
From Scott Erskine in the National Post,
A few of the best additions are surprising, while a couple of the least impressive pickups should have been expected.
In no particular order, here are the top five best offseason acquisitions.
1. Ty Conklin, Pittsburgh Penguins
No player added to a team has been more astonishing in a positive way than Conklin, who has been nothing short of a godsend for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
more... plus the 5 worst off-season pick-ups, as well
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The NHL routinely uses the American Hockey League as a test site for potential rules changes, and there is an interesting one getting a look-see this season.
It calls for all power plays to start with a faceoff in the defensive zone of the team that is killing the penalty. Previously, the location of the faceoff was determined by where play was blown dead and could have been anywhere on the ice.
The obvious intention of the change is to give the power play a head start on applying pressure that could lead to a goal.
“It’s to create offense, certainly,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. “That’s what it’s for. Everything is about creating offense.”
Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher, who serves as GM of the Baby Penguins, has given the rule an unqualified endorsement and clearly would like to see it adopted by the NHL.
more on the Pens…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What will the Flames do when Dion Phaneuf remains unsigned long enough to extract either an offer or an offer sheet in the 10-year, $90M neighborhood coming off his Entry Level contract?
How much money will the Penguins have to pay Evgeni Malkin to keep him from becoming a Group II free agent when his current contract expires?
What will the Blackhawks do when Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both come up for extensions two summers from now?
And what kind of a league is it, and what kind of a system is it, exactly, under which the NHL operates, where an immense and dramatically increasing percentage of the players’ overall take goes to athletes who have been in the league for three seasons as opposed to those who have played for 10 or 15 years?
from the New York Times,
N.H.L. executives and officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation will meet Wednesday in New York for talks on a new agreement governing international player transfers….
The I.I.H.F. delegation will be led by the federation president, René Fasel, who will arrive from Sunday’s European Club Championship final in St. Petersburg, Russia, between Sparta Prague and Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Fasel said that if a new agreement could not be negotiated, “chaos” could ensue when the current deal expired at the end of the season. He said N.H.L. teams would be free to raid European rosters throughout the year while paying nothing for the signings.
read on and a feature on Caps dman Mike Green.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
• Disappointments? Who else? Boston. While their resurgence this year may seem passable, remember where they live. Oh, you’re in third place in your division are you? That’s nice dear. Mr. Brady, you were saying…
• Teams to watch out for? Just one: Philadelphia. Have you seen what they do to guys with their heads down?
• I must also admit I’m pretty upset with the National Hockey League about a couple of things.
What ever happened to the easy accessibility of the old ice-time stat? Where has it gone? It’s harder to get than a cheerleader’s phone number.
From James Deacon at AOL Sports Canada,
Still, most fans agree the pace has quickened and there is more excitement. And the fact is that the current goal-scoring rate, while down, exceeds the 5.14 goals-per-game average from the last pre-rules change season, 2003-04.
So if the game’s moving in the right direction, why are goal totals heading the other way? Some rarely cited stats offer insight: the difference in the last three seasons is entirely made up by a drop in power-play goals. There have been eight fewer penalty minutes per game this season compared to the same period in 2005-06, and the current number of even-strength goals through 637 games is 2,434, exactly the same total as two seasons ago.
To some, that suggests referees have eased up. But players and refs say the big difference is that players’ behaviour has changed. Four years ago you practically had to draw blood to be penalized for hooking, so water-skiing was the defensive technique of choice.
Not any more.
more… on the “new” NHL and its unlikely poster boy, Brendan Shanahan
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