Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
via the Toronto Sun,
While the Maple Leafs make their pre-season debut in Edmonton tomorrow, Jeff O’Neill sits and waits.
Could the free-agent sniper, who spent the past two seasons with Toronto, be headed to the Ottawa Senators?
O’Neill’s agent, Ian Pulver, told Sun Media yesterday that discussions have been held with Senators general manager Bryan Murray.
“Jeff O’Neill continues to review all of his options,” Pulver said.
I am not really sure about this, but it appears the Modesto Bee was in search of the greatest sports dynasty. Mentioned in the story were the Yankees, the Oakland A’s, the 49ers and then this…
To anyone who has followed the sport of hockey since before the Gary Bettman era, determining the greatest sports dynasty is an open-and-shut case.
It’s the Montreal Canadiens from 1952 to 1980.
Sixteen of the club’s 24 Stanley Cups came during those 29 years. They won five straight Cups from 1956-60—a feat not since repeated—and four straight from 1976-79. In the 1960s, the Canadiens won four Cups in five years. Only once did more than two seasons pass without the Canadiens raising the Cup.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The Ottawa Senators have quietly expressed some interest in Curtis Joseph as a backup goaltender should they be able to find a home for Martin Gerber and his $3.7-million US contract.
• Word around is that the new tough NHL was ready to give Mark Bell a 30-game suspension had he not shown such remorse and personal growth to the league. Doubt Ferguson, who said he did his due diligence on Bell, was aware of that when he tied up $2 million in summer cap money trading for him.
• A waste of money: Whichever NHL team ends up signing Peter Forsberg. He has little left to offer.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
With NHL training camps now opening here are ten story lines worth watching:
On the rebound
Several NHL stars struggled last season through injuries and/or inconsistency will be looking toward a strong camp to get off to a strong start to the 2007-08 campaign.
Those hoping to get their mojo back include Tampa Bay center Brad Richards, New Jersey winger Patrik Elias, San Jose winger Jonathan Cheechoo, Carolina center Eric Staal and goalie Cam Ward, Columbus forward Rick Nash, Ottawa blueliner Wade Redden and former Oiler turned Philadelphia Flyers forward Joffrey Lupul.
read on for more storylines…
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
This was the 11th year that Centre ICE and Traverse City have hosted the event and the second year that seven other NHL teams competed here. There may be an event like this coming to you in the future. There were at least two teams here to study the rink operation as well as scout the roughly 160 players who, for the most part, were drafted in the past three years. Each team was limited to using only four professional hockey players, mostly those in the AHL and ECHL.
Teams that once turned down Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland’s invitations, call repeatedly to ask to be admitted.
“You snooze, you lose, I tell them, but we’re looking at expanding and including more teams, nothing definite yet,” Holland said. “It’s a good place to see how your young talent is progressing and how they shape up against their own age group.
via the Globe and Mail,
Last week, we tried to track down the 31-year-old O’Neill to get his thoughts on why he remains unsigned even though he scored 20 goals last season and to find out if there were any clubs interested in his services. But his new agent, Ian Pulver, returned an e-mail that said the two of them felt that it wasn’t in the best interest of O’Neill to do an interview.
Of the 120 players who scored 20 goals or more, only Petr Prucha of the New York Rangers averaged less than O’Neill’s 13 minutes and 43 seconds of ice time. Of the 167 players who matched O’Neill’s 42 points or more, only Michel Ouellet of the Pittsburgh Penguins averaged less ice time than O’Neill.
A blog at Canada.com called offside needs to know the games in London are part of the regular season schedule…
London won’t be a sellout
How do you make an NHL preseason game matter even less than it does in the first place? Set one up in a market that has little to no knowledge or interest in the sport whatsoever.
On top of that, charge ticket prices that would make Sir Richard Branson flinch.
Well, maybe not Branson, but you’d think twice about rushing out to get in line.
Also, I thought all the reports were the games were sold-out.
fromm David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s board of governors will hold their annual fall meeting Tuesday in Chicago and reporters usually give this one a pass. But this time there is a lineup of sexy topics on the agenda, so yours truly and a few others will be hanging around the govs’ airport hotel.
First on the list is expansion, but it’s thought the governors will not be talking about run-of-the-mill Kansas City or Las Vegas plans. Rather, they will be discussing long-range plans for a European division. Many around the NHL believe this will come to pass within six or seven years, and holding the official season-opener in London at the end of the month is part of the plan.
From Eric Duhatchek at the Globe & Mail,
This time around, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Buffalo Sabres and that too represents an intriguing match-up - although with a 1 p.m. Eastern starting time, it is hard to imagine them fitting in what could be a great legends game beforehand, what with Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey available on the Penguins’ side and a reunited French Connection leading the way for Buffalo. Nor can anyone underestimate the value of getting Sidney Crosby involved in the project, along with the rest of his exciting, emerging Penguins’ team. Even if the event doesn’t strike a chord, the presence of Sid The Kid will
more… (*the date of the game is Jan 1, 2008)
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