Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Cassie Campbell at CBC’s blog:
All leagues, including the NHL, should be looking at how they can improve not only their medical tests, but also the way they conduct fitness testing and their training throughout the season.
During the NHL’s general managers meetings this week, team representatives will be looking at the medical tests that need to take place. Obviously it is a no-brainer that enhanced medical testing at all levels of elite hockey must occur to help prevent such incidences as the tragic passing of young Russian hockey star Alexei Cherepanov. However, the physical fitness testing for hockey players needs to be minimized as much as possible and in-season training regimens need to be amended.
I applaud the Carolina Hurricanes for understanding that more is not necessarily better.
From Mike Ross at NHL Home Ice (XM Radio) blog:
Since we came back from the lockout, I’ve heard complaint after complaint from many hockey fans that the league is looking to soften-up the game. That the NHL is becoming a less edgy game.
But the actions of players like Tom Kostopolous, Rene Bourque and Alexandre Picard have me wondering if some players aren’t making the game a softer game all on their own.
All three of these players jumped an opposing player after a hard, clean and legitimate hit had been levelled against one of their teammates.
We’re told by George Laraque that such acts are justified whether the hit was clean or dirty. As Ken Campbell pointed out in a recent blog on thehockeynews.com, we’re told that opponents can not take liberties and get away with it.
But since when does a hard, clean body check get defined as a “liberty”.
Incidentally, Adam Proteau at The Hockey News wrote on something similar today, reflecting on Bob Clarke’s interview on TSN yesterday.
The unpredictable nature of the Canadian dollar means the NHL’s six Canadian teams are involved in a high-stakes contest of financial chicken, trying to stay one step ahead of the loonie at all times.
It’s a game they can ill afford to lose.
As recently as last November, the Canadian dollar briefly reached $1.10 US, and still hovered above par with its American counterpart in May. But on Wednesday the once-mighty loonie plunged below 80 cents U.S., and it could keep falling, according to market experts.
John Loomis is the manager of game presentation for the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, and it’s his job to “entertain the fans between the whistles.” From Travis Brillowski of the Minnesota Wild (via NHL.com):
From pregame videos to between-periods entertainment, to anything that happens outside of the action on the ice, it falls on Loomis and his staff to keep things coordinated and organized, and most importantly, keep the building loud. Considering the Wild have sold out every game during their first seven seasons—and season No. 8 is tracking to be another full-season sell-out—he and his crew must be doing something right.
Here is what an average game day is like for Loomis, leading up to the drop of the puck at 7 p.m.
read on for ‘a day in the life’ of entertaining a hockey crowd
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
There are a couple of changes to penalty-killing that will help power plays and, of course, increase scoring (unless, of course, you’re the Ducks, who are clipping along at a woeful four percent after seven games): First, the league could mandate the full two minutes be served. Prior to the 1955-56 season players served full penalties, but the rule was changed because the league felt the ultra-skilled Canadiens had an unfair advantage scoring so often with the man advantage.
Sorry Edward, no more changes, keep the game as it is.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Here’s a few other things that will be on the agenda Thursday:
• Discussion of goalies being captains;
• Review of hockey operations;
• Ice issues;
• Training camp and regular-season dates for next season;
• Discussion of Thermablades (new skate product), as well as goalie equipment and equipment overall;
• Standard update from NHL Central Scouting.
more hockey talk including the Gaborik situation…
added 9:52pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Former Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster, a veteran of many such gatherings, said the most interesting talks take place when you might not expect them. Sometimes it’s between a couple general managers who fly in a night early and have dinner together, or maybe it’s a talk in the back of the room between two GMs killing time during a presentation.
That’s when talk starts that later can turn into something serious.
“It becomes a discussion. ‘Are you serious about moving so-and-so?’ That stuff happens more than you would necessarily think it does,” Feaster said.
Yesterday, Paul Kukla chatted with Dan Blakeley and Mick Kern of the The War Room at NHL Home Ice on XM Radio, on a variety of hockey topics.
You can listen to the interview on the player below, or download the audio here.
*Our thanks to NHL Home Ice for providing the audio to us
Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy and Kris King discuss on-ice issues and potential rule changes within the game.
from Mike Smith at the Hockey News,
The NHL is entering the fourth season under the new collective bargaining agreement. The first three years have witnessed significant revenue growth that has led to an increase in club payrolls.
Salaries, from the players’ perspective, have risen nicely.
There is a notion the new agreement has helped the players more than the clubs. But before you make an assessment, you need to read the entire pact. There is likely to be a major shift back toward the clubs during the 2008-09 season.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
Today, Cummins is looking for the next shift in his life. I met him two summers ago at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., where he was part of the Life After Hockey program at the college’s Professional Athletic Training Institute (PATI). I was there as an instructor, helping the retired NHL players learn about TV as best as I could.
I talked with Cummins over the weekend about fighting in the NHL:
Q: What is your assessment of the fight game in the NHL?
A: It is a part of the game. It’s a way for the players to police the game instead of the referees, which I think adds a ton of excitement. I feel the efforts in the past to diminish fighting handcuffed the enforcer and set the game back. Also, the real true hockey fan loves the aggressive play that spills out when certain occasions arise. I don’t want fighting to be like it was in the 1970s, but I think from the late ‘80s to the mid-‘90s, it was a true game that was enforced by the players.
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