Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gord Stellick of Sportsnet,
The Florida Panthers (1996), Philadephia Flyers (1997) and Washington Capitals (1998) were each swept in four games by either the Red Wings or Avalanche. At that point I though it would be appropriate to scrap the conference finals and have the final four teams to cross over in what would be an “NHL Semi-final,” allowing Detroit and Colorado the opportunity to meet in the Final.
Given the strength of the Western Conference these past few seasons, I like that idea once again. Make it possible for the very best two teams to meet in the Stanley Cup Final, even if they are from the same Conference. Why not? What is the NHL holding on to? There isn’t the same history that Major League Baseball has with the American League and National League and the NFL has with the NFC and AFC.
For Leaf fans, it keeps the possibility of a Toronto-Montreal Stanley Cup Final alive (though realistically these days it would more mean likely a Battle of California Final starring the likes of Los Angeles, Anaheim or San Jose). Regardless, how nice would it be to know the Stanley Cup would be contested by the best two teams in the NHL every year?
read on for two more ideas...
NEW YORK (Jan. 22, 2014) National Hockey League fans will get an up-close, all-access look at many of their favorite stars in the upcoming series NHL Revealed™: A Season Like No Other™, which will debut tonight on NBCSN where the series is presented by Coors Light (Jan. 22 at 11:00 p.m. ET) and CBC where the series is fuelled by Gatorade (tomorrow, Jan. 23 at 9:00 p.m.). TVA Sports will broadcast the first episode in French on Saturday, Feb. 1. The series will be re-broadcast in Canada on Sportsnet (Jan. 26 at 9:00 p.m. local) and on NHL Network™ in the U.S. (Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. ET). The series also will reach a global audience via multiple digital platforms. The digital version will include a special extended cut with more behind-the-scenes footage.
TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger have the latest on security and safety at the Sochi Olympic Games, if the NHL is ready to expand video review and who might be available and who might be on the move in Edmonton.
How big an issue is security and safety at the Sochi Olympics?
Darren Dreger: It is a concerning issue. The threat of terrorism always is going to be concerning for a world spectacle such as this and that's not lost on neither the Players' Association and National Hockey League. Both will tell you that their guest list, be it family or friends, is reducing on a week-by-week basis leading up to the Olympic Games but the NHL is confident that their safety will be insured by the Russian government and the International Olympic Organization. But if there were significant terrorist attempts or attacks prior to the Olympics in Sochi, I think that the NHL and the NHLPA also wouldn't hesitate to remove themselves from the Games.
Colin Campbell joined Sportnet's Prime Time Sports this evening and discussed the Tortorella suspsension, the Kronwall 'mesh' goal and other topics.
I admit I enjoy the interviews Bob McCown does. He is a real pro and does his job well.
Also, Colin Campbell is always honest and fair in the interviews I have heard.
Well worth a listen...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
- Detroit’s off-the-mesh goal last Saturday against Los Angeles was the final piece of evidence in guaranteeing that general managers will discuss expanding video review at the March meeting in Boca Raton.
The goal should never have counted but current video review parameters didn’t allow for the war room in Toronto to overrule it.
That’s almost surely going to change. A league source confirmed expanded video review is already on the GMs’ meeting agenda and current momentum seems to be obvious: there are more GMs than ever in support of handing the Toronto war room expanded video powers. ...
- If I had to put money on it, I still think Vanek walks -- which means he probably gets traded by the Islanders before the March 5 deadline -- but truth be told, the 30-year-old star winger has enjoyed his time in Long Island and it has given him some pause for thought.
read on for more on each of the above topics pluse Kings and Senators talk...
By Tom Murray,
News: Lots of it this past week. Let’s start with the biggest and most recent story: Saturday night’s line brawl in Vancouver between the Canucks and Flames and the meltdown by Canucks coach John Tortorella in the hallway outside the Flames locker room at the end of the first period. After an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Colin Campbell on Monday morning, Tortorella was suspended without pay by the league for 15 days, through February 2, which means he’ll miss a total of six games.
Flames coach Bob Hartley was fined $25,000 for his part in the proceedings.
Views: Absolutely the right decision by the league. And one that certainly was supported by P.J. Stock of CBC, who on Saturday evening almost went into convulsions in his criticism of Tortorella, whom, he made crystal clear, should have “defused” the infamous opening lineup decision made by Hartley. Really? Torts was supposed to put the Sedins and David Booth or three other pacifists on the ice against Blair Jones, Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth?
"I am perplexed by this fine. I stand behind Bob Hartley completely in this regard, and remain confident that he acted properly in every aspect of this game."
Eliotte Friedman joined Matt Dery of Detroit Sports 105.1 and discussed the Calgary/Vancouver game on Saturday night.
Friedman also had a few things to say about the recent Peter Gammons tweet about the NHL.
Friedman also talked Wings and he is nos so sure if the team in Detroit will ever get healthy again this season.
You can listen to the full interview here.
from Sean Gentille of The Sporting News,
Is what Richard Sherman did more disrespectful than, say, Shawn Thornton's seek-and-destroy run at Brooks Orpik, or what James Neal did to Brad Marchand a few seconds before? Be honest — and then ask yourself, Why did I dislike what Richard Sherman did in the first place?
Another way of looking at it: the hockey community turned itself in a knot when Peter Gammons referred to it as a "minor sport" on Sunday morning in the wake of the Canucks-Flames debacle. In the big picture, he's wrong, because a $3.5 billion industry, by definition, can't be minor. He's also speaking when his own house isn't exactly in order, but that's another issue entirely.
But if you are willing to concede that hockey is, at best, fourth or fifth in the American sporting conscience, and if you are interested in growing the game — if you think it's the greatest game of all, and if you want it to get the attention it deserves — you should be willing to admit that the weird, hypocritical Fun Police act that regularly unfolds isn't helping. At all.
So yeah, let's see a few more Richard Shermans. Let's see some self-awareness. Or, at minimum, let guys have fun in the heat of the moment when they do cool stuff. It doesn't need to get more complicated than that.
Not sure who Richard Sherman is? Watch below...
from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
• The NHL is in dire need of new guidance. Been rinsing and repeating this one for years now. Gary Bettman is a ringleader, not a commissioner.
• Mario Lemieux suggested a few years ago that punishment for such offenses should be institutional. He's right. When the NHL put in a measly $10,000 fine for bench-clearing brawls in 1987 — along with a 10-game suspension for any player leaving the bench — there incredibly was never another. Seriously, not one. Try that across the board, and all this garbage will disappear faster than the Sharks in the playoffs.
• Baseball writers are making fun of something other than baseball writers after that Hall fiasco?
• If the NHL is “minor,” explain why 19 of their 30 arenas have been filled to 96 percent capacity or more this season, compared to 10 of the NBA's 30. Even though NHL tickets cost an average of $10 more. The NHL's national TV ratings lag well behind, but fannies in the seats count, too.
• ESPN predictably soaked up every drop of Flames-Canucks. It'll pay attention to hockey either the next time something similar happens or if it ever has a vested interest.
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