Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Maki of the Globe & Mail,
Dave King can see the possibilities because he’s seen the way hockey is changing in Europe and Russia - the emergence of rich owners, the advent of new arenas and now Russia and Sweden refusing to go along with the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement, one they believe doesn’t reward them enough for the players they produce.
So a new European hockey league rising out of opportunity or even defiance? Having coached throughout Europe and with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, King knows the mindset, can see it happening.
He can also see the NHL doing little if anything, as a new league proposed by Russian energy mogul Alexander Medvedev is being planned for Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Ukraine and perhaps Finland.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Along the way the NHL has opened up to the best international players, joined the Winter Olympics (at least until it’s Russia’s turn to play host), and seen technology change the equipment players wear and the sweaters they put over their gear.
Have all the changes been for the better? Certainly not. Then again, nostalgia, by its nature, can be a deceitful bit of business and not to be trusted.
Here are 10 reasons why the hockey fan of today longs for yesterday:
1. We knew their faces:
No helmets, no face shields, a player could be identified without checking his number.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.
Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.
“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”
more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…
from Sun Media,
For a couple of weeks, Sun Media has been polling NHLers, coaches, scouts and other media personalities from east to west and everywhere in between, looking to come up with a Best Of list.
We asked them to give their top pick in a number of categories ... and some of the answers are surprising.
When asked for the NHL’s funniest player, several answered: “Marc Bergevin,” a player who’s not even in the NHL any more. “Marc Bergevin is still the funniest player I’ve ever been around,” said one. “Nobody could touch him.”
THE PLAYER YOU CAN BUILD AROUND
1. Sidney Crosby
2. Roberto Luongo
3. Vincent Lecavalier
read on for the complete list…
Not only could the Montreal Canadiens play on the ice, they also could act… well, the acting could be questioned.
Watch the videos…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
They’re back, so once again you can expect to hear about the Canadiens-Maple Leafs “rivalry.” The Rocket and everyone wearing a Leafs sweater. Eddie Shack and any Canadien who was within a stick-length of him. Dickie Moore and Frank Mahovlich.
“Hey, remember the time Dickie led a charge off the Canadiens bench after the Big M intentiallly shot the puck into Henri Richard’s face?” That was then and this is now - so what rivalry? The rivalry as we knew it was at its height in the six-team league and continued after the NHL’s first expansion and into the 1970s. Since then, it has gone the way of the grus Americana.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
A Russian tycoon with a lifelong love for hockey has hired former NHL Players’ Association head Bob Goodenow to help start a new pro league in Europe that would compete for players with the NHL….
The likelihood of a new European league has increased in recent years as hockey federations in Russia and elsewhere in Europe have grown disenchanted with the NHL over its recruitment of their best players.
At the same time, Medvedev has ample dollars to start a competitor to the venerable NHL. In an interview from Russia, Medvedev confirmed that former Russian NHL star Igor Larionov and Goodenow are members of a so-called “working group” that’s starting the league. Goodenow travelled to Moscow this week to discuss the prospective league, Larionov said.
fromm Eric Duhatshek of the Globe and Mail,
...Because for all the people who argue that you don’t need scoring, just scoring chances, to make the game interesting, all you needed to do was hunker down in front of a see-saw 9-5 or 9-6 game to disprove the notion of that theory. The action went back and forth; and the goals came so quickly that you had a hard time pulling yourself away from the television set even for a second — which is the opposite of the experience you get most nights of viewing the NHL.
Here’s a suggestion. Instead of parking the tape on a shelf, forward it to hockey operations. If they ever decide to form that research and development arm that the Buffalo Sabres want to see introduced, maybe they can analyze what went right in that game - and take the necessary measures to see it happen more often.
read on and more NHL topics…
from Black Athlete,
Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.
“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.
He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.
“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.
Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week.
From Blackantehm Military News,
“My mom and dad in Michigan are watching,” said Army Spc. Graham Besonen. “It’s important for them to see me and know I’m safe. I’m really a Red Wings fan, but I came to enjoy a hockey game and for my family to see me.”
Most of the pictures were sent to Versus at least a week prior to the game. However, the network wanted to make sure all of the troops were recognized. Just prior to the start of the game, a group photo was taken and e-mailed to Baker. During the third period, the picture was shown on TV.
“I was really impressed with Versus and the NHL putting our pictures on during the game,” said Army Sgt. Rich Allen. “I’ve always been a hockey fan, and to be deployed and see myself on television during a game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
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