Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Thursday that its member associations and leagues will exercise the option to re-open the player transfer agreement with the National Hockey League.
According to a statement released by the Federation, representatives from the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland made the decision unanimous.
The NHL informed the IIHF on Tuesday that the league decided to exercise the same right. Sources tell TSN a meeting has been scheduled in New York for Jan. 16 with the IIHF and its members. NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly will also be in attendance.
From Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
As the NHL struggles to grab its fair share of the spotlight in so many American markets, it makes good sense to appeal to the most basic emotion of the sports fan: hometown pride. Even the most hockey-savvy crowds aren’t immune to the tug. Look at how Edmonton-born Fernando Pisani is treated by Oilers fans, for example, or how every trade rumor out of Montreal involves Les Habitants bringing home some local boy and granting him his bleu, blanc et rouge birthright.
These connections create excitement. So why not tweak the NHL’s current draft system to create more of those situations, especially where they’re needed most, by giving teams first right of refusal to local prospects?
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The trick, then, is to change the philosophy, and that’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Instead of another reinterpretation of the rulebook, it is now incumbent on the NHL’s stewards to look beyond their narrow self-interests and embrace a new model for the game.
Owners have to hire GMs who favour an attacking style of hockey. GMs have to hire coaches who’ll play that game. Organizations then have to commit to this new brand.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
There is still much work to be done, but it looks as though the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning is on its way to being resurrected.
Sources say NHL commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday mediated a resolution of the dispute, and lawsuit, between proposed partners Jeff Sherrin and Oren Koules, who hand intended to work together to purchase the Lightning franchise from the Detroit-based Palace Sports and Entertainment.
The net result is apparently that Sherrin and Koules have reached a settlement on their issues, the lawsuit has been avoided, and Hollywood producer Koules, of Saw (I,II,III and IV) fame, now has the green light to resume negotiations with the Lightning’s existing ownership. Koules is a former minor league hockey player.
From Ken Campbell at THN,
European federations have no problem losing their best young players to the NHL; they’ve grown to accept that as a fact of life. But what they’re finally fed up with is losing top young players and seeing them play in the American Leauge. This season, for example, 64 European players signed their first NHL contracts, but only seven of them are playing in the NHL.
That’s why the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation recently reported it is likely going to pull out of the IIHF’s agreement with the NHL and the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation will probably follow suit. Under the terms of the four-year agreement reached last spring, individual European federations have the right to terminate their portions of the agreement prior to Dec. 31 of this year.
Should the Swedes and Finns pull out of the agreement, it will leave it in shambles. The Russian federation has already opted out of the deal and losing two more federations would make it worthless.
At my NHL.com blog today, I go on a “no more changes” rant.
Enough, play the game the way it was meant to be played.
from the Kansas City Star,
When Columbus was awarded an NHL franchise in 1997, critics howled that the city had no business getting a team. Bob Kravitz sarcastically wrote in the Rocky Mountain News: “It’s like I always tell my hockey-loving friends, ‘If there’s one thing I’ve always believed, it’s that Columbus, Ohio, deserves a hockey franchise.’ ”
As the NHL ponders expansion, many of the same things are being written about Kansas City.
Of all the people to bang the “let’s pick on the goalies because we only need to pick on thirty guys to increase goal scoring” drum, Eric Duhatschek certainly went on the attack last Tuesday afternoon:
Two years after the NHL introduced rule changes in order to spur offence - limits to obstruction, no more centre red line for offside, a trapezoid behind the net to limit goalies handling the puck — it appears as if goaltenders are in the ascendancy again.
Scoring is down almost a goal per game since the early post-lockout days. The rule changes — and rule enforcements — may have changed the game for the better, but it did nothing to help the bottom line. For anyone who wanted to see an up-tick in scoring, it just hasn’t happened.
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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