Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Yes, I’m in sunny Florida and – get this – I’m supposed to be writing a hockey column.
Before you start whining and berating me for writing another tired “Americans don’t get hockey” piece, please understand that I’ve – in this short time – come to understand and empathize with the plight of the southern American hockey fan (yes Virginia, there are some – although I’m doubting there are many in Virginia itself).
Thing is, being a hockey fan in a place like this is extremely difficult. Frankly, I’m pushing for the NHL to provide some sort of tax incentive for fans who live in places where the mean temperature is greater than 12 degrees Celsius (around 280 degrees Fahrenheit, I believe).
from George Gross of the Toronto Sun,
“I try to watch what’s happening on the ice and then discuss it with Mike Murphy (former Maple Leaf head coach and now vice-president of hockey operations), Kris King (former Maple Leaf player and now director of hockey operations) and Jim Gregory (former Maple Leaf general manager and now senior vice-president of NHL hockey operations),” offered Campbell.
“There is a lot happening in NHL hockey these days. You have a lot of games and even some outdoor games. We are trying to keep discipline in the game. Then we have to keep an eye on the length of the game, actions of the game officials because people can see the games in super slow motion and in high definition.”
via the Tennessean,
Steve Violetta, executive vice president of business affairs for the Predators, will leave the organization in early December to take a similar position with the Detroit Red Wings, a Predators spokesman confirmed.
A Detroit native, Violetta is in his third season in Nashville, where he’s helped boost attendance and season-ticket sales even as the Predators have raised ticket prices.
Jason Kay of The Hockey News is banging the drum of what seems to be hockey journalists’ favourite pet project—proving that the hockey media “knows what the fans want” by convincing the NHL, through the sheer will of proffering a stance, and bolstering it through endless iterations of the same damn column, to make bigger nets a reality, given the collective theory that more goals = a more entertaining product.
from the Ithaca Times,
Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League, spoke to members of the Cornell University community on Saturday, Nov. 11. Bettman, an alumnus who graduated ‘74, hit on moments of controversy in his tenure at the NHL and previously at the NBA, including the installation of salary caps in both leagues and NHL work stoppages in 1994 and 2004….
Is it true that while you were at the NBA you were known as the “Pope of Salary Caps”?
GB: There were some people - and I’m not sure in flattering ways - who always referred to me that way because there had never been a salary cap before and I was the one who installed it. It was no secret that when the NFL decided, after all the litigation in the ‘80s, that they wanted a cap they actually came to visit. Baseball consulted us as well….
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
But judging by the early returns, the attempts to maintain the current schedule, led by Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils, will fail. Lamoriello’s dearly beloved concept of eight divisional games per year will be scrapped and reduced to six.
That frees up room to make sure that every team plays each other at least once. The existing format of playing the non-divisional teams in your conference four times — two in each venue — will stay.
So that will give us 24 divisional games, 40 conference games and 15 non-conference games. That’s a total of 79, which should be enough to determine which teams belong in the playoffs. But it’s three short of the existing total and you have to know that there’s no way the governors will voluntarily reduce revenue.
Therefore, the league will add three wild-card games.
Note: Presumably, none of this can be confirmed till after the NHL’s Governors meeting on November 29th. This issue was also addressed briefly by Bruce Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun yesterday
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
MARVELVILLE—The road from this hamlet south of Ottawa to Montreal goes east and north to Hwy. 417. For Larry Robinson, it was paved with the work ethic of a farmer’s son.
Broke after his first year in pro hockey, and with a young wife and son, Robinson worked on the paving crew—7 a.m.-7 p.m.—on the 417 between Russell and Maxville in the summer of 1972.
Robinson made just $7,500 the previous winter playing for the Canadiens’ AHL farm team in Halifax. With wife Jeannette and son Jeffrey, money was stretched thin, especially when the team went on a long playoff run and won the Calder Cup.
Update 5:25pm ET: (alanah) From The Hockey News,
If the Montreal Canadiens keep retiring the numbers of everyone who deserves it, they’ll look more like a football team than a hockey team in a few years.
The Canadiens, who do these ceremonies far better than anyone else in the NHL (are you watching, Maple Leafs?) are set to retire their 12th number Monday night when Larry Robinson’s No. 19 is raised to the rafters of the Bell Centre. That will be followed by Bob Gainey’s No. 23 in February with it all but certain the Canadiens will retire Patrick Roy’s No. 33 next season when they celebrate their 100th anniversary.
Update 8:22pm ET: (alanah) via TSN:
Montreal Canadiens fans had waited a long time to give Larry Robinson the ovation he received Monday night, and they weren’t going to sit down until they were good and ready.
Robinson joined 12 other Canadiens legends when his No. 19 was retired and raised to the Bell Centre rafters before Montreal’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Robinson received an ovation of several minutes when he was first introduced to the crowd, and he tried sitting down to get the fans to stop. But they refused, continuing for several more minutes despite Robinson’s repeated attempts to get them to sit down.
More photos here.
*original time of post 8:28 a.m. ET. Last update 5:22pm ET
Behind the scenes as the Boston Bruins prepare their All Star Campaign, with comedian Lenny Clarke. (The Bruins are also starting to build a collection of photos on Flickr dedicated to getting the fans out voting.)
From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated, asks “Is it too late to applaud Ron Francis as a Hall-of-Famer?” Certainly not…
His career may be just under the radar where the general public is concerned, but his peers have long revered him. They appreciated his night-in-night-out contributions and understood the competitiveness below the surface of his stoic demeanor. As an 18-year-old rookie, Atlanta Thrashers center Bobby Holik played with Francis in Hartford. Holik says he learned a lot from Francis that year, and even more about him as the two competed countless times as Eastern Conference rivals.
“He was extremely competitive, despite being so calm,” Holik says. “You could never take him off the ice, in any situation. He was the ultimate complete hockey player—the last great two-way player.”
From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
The lack of any real trade action thus far in the NHL season also has some folks clutching at straws to dream up trade scenarios.
Take the presence of Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe in the Boston Bruins press box during the Bruins-Canadiens match-up Nov. 8.
An Edmonton sportswriter wondered if Lowe was there to scout Bruins right winger Glen Murray as, apparently, Lowe nearly had a deal in place for Murray last summer until the Bruins backed out.
Once this story passed through the filter of Internet rumormongers, it quickly went from speculation to confirmation that Lowe was planning to acquire Murray.
The truth, sadly, was far less sexy, as Lowe was in Massachusetts to watch the Springfield Falcons – the Oilers’ AHL farm team – play the following night and merely decided to take in the game while in Boston.
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.
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