Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Craig Custance at the AJC,
This season’s crop of rookies may the deepest since the lockout. There’s not another Crosby, but then again, when will there ever be? But there’s a young goalie in Montreal who people are already comparing to Patrick Roy and the Blackhawks have a player providing hope for a bright future. In honor of Thrashers rookie defenseman Mark Popovic, who wears No. 7, here are the top seven rookies already making an impact:
1. NICKLAS BACKSTROM, Forward, Capitals
from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
The National Hockey League’s regular season is just two weeks old and it is far too early to analyze any trends such as attendance and TV ratings, there have been a few interesting developments so far. The National Hockey League will have a hockey channel available to a good number of cable TV subscribers in the United States and it appears that the league’s venture into London, staging two regular season games between the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, was a success.
There is also some talk that the league could open the 2008-09 season in Prague, The Czech Republic.
continued and the topics are many. Wings fans, Bettman even questions Jimmy D. and his statement about Las Vegas and the Wings moving to the East…
The new NHL—Powered by Reebok store had its official grand opening today.
The grand opening of the first-ever NHL-themed store in New York brought thousands of fans to the new facility, as well as some hockey legends like Glenn Anderson, Bruce Driver, Ken Daneyko, Rick Middleton, Eric Cairns, Butch Goring, former referee Paul Stewart, and of course, the biggest star of them all, the Stanley Cup.
Photo gallery has some great shots here.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...There are, however, signs, that the NHL is trying to change that mindset, one suspension at a time — the Boulerice suspension ties with Chris Simon for the longest in history, relating to an on-ice incident.
But the league could fast-track the process by extending the discipline to the respective teams as well. Fines to the club, suspensions for the coach - those sorts of penalties might encourage teams to think twice about employing players who haven’t yet figured out that the culture of head-hunting is going the way of the dodo.
The simplest solution might even be the least complicated — simply prevent a team from replacing a suspended player in the line-up.
more and other NHL bits too in Eric’s weekly NHL roundup…
from Bob McKenzie at TSN,
Jordin Tootoo of the Nasvhille Predators takes a run at Phoenix rookie Daniel Winnik – and it says here Tootoo was targeting Winnik’s head – and it’s Coyote rookie Craig Weller who gets the match penalty for intent to injure on the play, because Weller clotheslined Tootoo after the hit….
But it’s the Tootoo hit that should be the real concern.
If ever there were a hit where it looked like a player was intentionally trying to hit someone in the head, this was it.
more... I haven’t seen the video of the play from last night, if anyone has a link, feel free to post it.
update 12:14pm, Thanks to KK member bcrt2000, we have a link…
National Hockey League franchises have increased in value as a result of the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players that capped player salaries at 54% (now 56%) of league revenue beginning with the 2005-06 season. More cost certainty has increased the number of bidders for teams while the supply remained fixed at 30 franchises.
But the new CBA has not been the panacea for team values that some self-serving owners would want you to believe.
from Empty Netters,
Now it’s way too early to throw our hands up in the air in fear and proclaim the return of the “Dead Puck Era.” The NHL has re-emphasized holding and hooking penalties so far this season. But it’s certainly not a good thing to see scoring down by over half a goal per game.
That said, we’re still nearly a goal ahead of 2003-04, the last season before the lockout. At the same time, scoring is down nearly a goal from 2005-06 season when the “New NHL” debuted.
read on to see a comparison chart on goal scoring plus many NHL bits…
From Barry Rozner at the Daily Herald,
The dominoes are starting to fall.
The housecleaning on West Madison began with the departure of Peter Wirtz last week and continued with the removal of Bob Pulford on Thursday, one of the most important moves the Blackhawks have made in years.
At this rate, new Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz will have home games on TV and a first-class hockey operations department by Christmas.
OK, that’s a stretch, but he’s moving fast and you have to give him time to clear up the more complicated matters.
from the CP,
Today, the 36-year-old Budin is president of Sports Advisors, an online handicapping concern with sites such as sportsinfo.com. He is also an author, taking readers behind the scenes of a sometimes sordid business in his book “Bets, Drugs and Rock & Roll” that was written with Bob Schaller….
Budin estimates that in the NHL “at least 20 to 25 players are gambling - at least, if not more.” That would amount to only 2.9 per cent of NHLers.
NHL player contracts contain a clause prohibiting betting on NHL games, and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has stressed the league’s seriousness of dealing with gambling-related issues in the past.
“We take this seriously,” he has said. “Gambling culture is something we educate our players about extensively.”
Daly says the league has no comment on Budin’s book or interview comments but questions the credibility of it all.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
OK, New Rule: a player who commits a major foul in the good ol’ hockey game, oh, say like a two-handed cross-check to the face or a flying leap to drive a shoulder into a players head, will still have his mandatory hearing with Campbell. He will still be a candidate for supplemental discipline and he will be tossed from the game by the on-ice officials, BUT (and this is a really big BUT), he can’t leave the game until he also serves a five-minute major (in this case for intent to injure) and for that five minutes he cannot leave the ice.
OK, stop laughing for a moment and read me out.
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