Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Pierre LeBrun if the CP via MetroNews,
A Russian agent did indeed recently contact Hartley, who was fired as head coach of the Thrashers on Oct. 17.
“They asked me if I would be interested,” said Hartley. “When you love hockey, you’re interested in coaching and everything ... But we’ll just wait and see how everything plays out.”
He obviously wants back into coaching but wants to make the right move the next time the phone rings.
“I’ve been coaching for the last 20 years,” said Hartley, who coached in Canadian major junior and the AHL before getting his first NHL job in 1998 with Colorado. “But it would be very selfish of me right now to say, ‘I want to coach in the NHL tomorrow.’
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Remember Don Awrey, who played 128 of his 979 NHL games with the Canadiens?...
I mention Awrey now because he was on the telephone several days ago inquiring how to go about what he termed to “right a wrong.” What was wrong was that even though he appeared in most of the regular-season games during the Canadiens’ first of four consecutive Stanley Cups in 1975-76, he wasn’t dressed in the playoffs because of a knee injury. Result: the next time you read the names on the Cup for that year, you won’t find Awrey’s name on it because league rules at the time called for a player to appear in at least one playoff game in order to have his name on it.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
We’ve heard the all the arguments – the record book would be rendered moot; that it would be too drastic a change. We don’t buy it. The record book has been impacted by a plethora of amendments over the years, both organic and legislated, and increasing the size of the net would be no different.
As for it being too drastic, we aren’t talking soccer-sized goals, just a few inches wider or taller, or both. Will coaches try to become even more defense-oriented to protect a larger cage? Perhaps, but we’re surmising that goals would beget goals. Fall behind 2-0 early on shots that maybe wouldn’t have gone in on a smaller net and, as a coach, you’re forced to alter your strategy and take more risks.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Gary Bettman might finally have a winner on his hands. When the league’s board of governors meet Nov. 28-29 in Pebble Beach, Calif., it’s expected they’ll approve a change to the schedule which will allow every team to face each other at least once per season. After failing twice to get the schedule changed, it’s believed Bettman has finally come up with a format the governors will support. Here’s what the new format could look like: Teams will play six games against divisional foes, down from eight; it’s expected clubs will face the other teams in their conference four times (status quo); the remaining 18 games on the schedule would be played against the opposing conference.
read on for more NHL talk plus some trade rumors…
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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