Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City will celebrate its first anniversary and the start of the 2008-09 NHL season by hosting a free NHL Face-Off 2008 Fan Festival on Friday, October 10 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. As part of the celebration, Honda will give away a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile to one lucky fan on-site at the event, and the NHL will award a trip for two to the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago through an online contest.
from Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star,
As debuts go, the Sprint Center sparkled for its first National Hockey League game.
The ice shimmered beneath the skates of the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings during Monday night’s preseason game. The giant HD television screens below the scoreboards glistened. Blues organist Jeremy A. Bowyer hit the resonant keys familiar to St. Louis fans….
All that was missing was a killer crowd.
An announced crowd of 11,603 watched a Kings split squad defeat St. Louis 2-1 in the $276 million arena, which was curtained off in the upper deck in the south end of the 17,297-seat facility.
“I think what happens is, we’re a very trendy game,” said Hockey Night in Canada analyst and longtime coach Marc Crawford. “The trend this summer seems to be to go to minor league coaches and junior coaches who have had to good stints and give them an opportunity.”
The other trend this season is coaches returning for another kick at the can several years after their last NHL coaching job. Barry Melrose is the most intriguing, taking over in Tampa Bay after a dozen years spent mostly as a high-profile television commentator. Craig Hartsburg (Ottawa) and Terry Murray (Los Angeles) each last coached an NHL club more than eight years ago, while Tony Granato’s previous experience ended just before the 2004-05 lockout.
All four figure to survive longer than the last example of a coach returning to the league after a lengthy absence. John Paddock was let go just 64 games into his second NHL stint last season, with Ottawa.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
“The new rules are going to be even more stringent on defending in the defensive zone,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said Sunday after the club completed its second day of training camp. “Anything with the free hand — before, players were allowed to put that stick in there. Any type of movement with that stick and arm to stop progression of a player, they’re going to be very, very strict on it.
“They don’t want that ability to pin (along the boards), and hold people on the wall. They want that freedom. There will be very little pinning. There will be free hands, but there won’t be grappling.”
As opposed to favoring speed-type players, the rules interpretation might give more freedom for bigger, stronger players to work their magic in the corners and behind the net.
from Mick Kern at the XM NHL Home Ice Blog,
Each autumn I can feel the clock tick a little louder; another step towards the grave. The closing of Yankee Stadium is yet another small step in that direction. Just another part of my past that now is gone.
Add it to the roll call of other great buildings. Maple Leaf Gardens, the Detroit Olympia, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, the Montreal Forum. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. No doubt you have your own arenas/stadiums to add to that list.
For me, it’s Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, the Montreal Expos, the Calgary Cannons, the St. Catherines Stompers, and Ottawa Rough Rigers. The Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, and Quebec Nordiques. The Atlanta Flames at the Omni. The Winnipeg Arena, though I never saw a game there, but once peered in through the windows and caught a glimpse of the seats. 10 cent chocolate bars at the corner store, milk in glass bottles, Saturday morning cartoons, and playing outside without sunscreen.
from the CP via TSN,
Former Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville is due in court next month on a drunken driving charge.
Police in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree say Quenneville was stopped around 8 p.m. Friday for driving without his headlights on. After further investigation, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and failure to use headlights.
Sgt. Dan Seaman says Quenneville’s license was confiscated after he refused to take a chemical test.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
There are 111 NHL pre-season games this year, an average of 7.4 per team. That’s 4,440 man games. Is that really necessary to get a player prepared for the regular season?
The whole idea behind pre-season games in the first place was to get the players in shape and sort out a half-dozen roster spots per team. Well, those reasons are gone.
Players are long since in shape for training camp and the dawn of the salary cap era means rosters are pretty much determined, save for two or three openings, by August.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Any attempt by the NHL to pull out of the Olympics after the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games will face a stiff fight from the NHL Players’ Association.
Paul Kelly, executive director of the NHLPA, said Thursday that “NHL management does not have the right to make unilateral statements that we will not participate in the Olympics again. Players have strong views about the issue.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Painting himself as a victim, former Los Angeles Kings star Luc Robitaille has launched a lawsuit against a former minority owner of the Nashville Predators in an attempt to recoup the $2 million Robitaille says was fraudulently taken from him and left him unwittingly in debt to a bank.
In a court filing that is part of the bankruptcy proceedings for William (Boots) Del Biaggio, Robitaille says he was left owing a bank $2 million (all figures U.S.) after Del Biaggio misused a joint line of credit that had been intended for real estate deals.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
And now that a group that wanted to build an arena in Las Vegas that could house an NBA team has backed off, it is an opportunity for the NHL to become the first major sports league to put a team there. That, too, is tempting.
But would it work? And more importantly, what will owners be left with after they deposit their share of the expansion fees into the bank accounts? I’ll tell you what: a further watered-down product and two more teams on shaky ground from the moment of inception.
They can get in line behind Phoenix, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Florida and Atlanta. Even Tampa Bay, which generated a lot of buzz with new ownership and an aggressive rebuilding program this summer, isn’t out of the woods in terms of being able to generate a profit.
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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