Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Dave Pollard at Hockey.com,
Well, even goonery is going global these days. Although most of the league’s tough guys still hail from the frozen North, I’ve noticed a few Europeans creeping into the fistic fraternity.
Chicago’s David Koci calls Prague, not Prince George, home. Raitis Ivanans hails from Riga, not Red Deer. Boston’s man-mountain, Zdeno Chara, grew up, way up, in Trencin, not Thompson.
What do you think of that, Don Cherry?
Geez, I think I saw his tartan jacket just blanch.
From David Amber at ESPN,
We all know about the storied rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. The “Battle of Alberta,” the Islanders vs. the Rangers and Detroit vs. Colorado are clashes that will always hold a special place in our hearts. But with new teams, new players and new story lines, we have some fresh rivalries ready to hit a boiling point. [...]
5. Chicago vs. Detroit
Superman had kryptonite, Seinfeld had Newman and the Detroit Red Wings apparently have the Chicago Blackhawks. Of all the possible Original Six matchups, this is the most improbable of rivalries. Since the last time the Hawks won a playoff series in 1996, the Wings have won three Stanley Cups and seven Central Division titles. But, this season, a rivalry has been revived out of what has recently been a mockery.
read on… for the rest of Amber’s top 10 new rivalries, between players and teams
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Even the most legendary NHL careers had their start on the pond.
Outdoor hockey, it seems, is the one unifying force that intersects the careers of virtually anyone that has played the game at an elite level.
The frozen pond—a welcoming vision for anyone that loves the game, no matter their skill level—has, for time immortal, served as the training ground for great players before they entered the more structured world of organized hockey.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
What comes as a shock to long-time observers, however, is that now the NHL Players’ Association wants to get involved, and not necessarily to fight off the suspensions that were handed down by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, as well as the perceived threat of additional suspensions that were hinted at by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly.
Paul Kelly, who barely has found a chair that fits him as the NHLPA’s new executive director said recently that he’s “concerned” about the number of suspensions the Flyers have been given since the start of the season and that not only should the league take a tougher stance, but that his organization should “have a voice in the process.”
Given that he’s not dead, it would be wrong to say that former NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow is spinning in his grave over that one, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Kelly’s statement made his head turn. Criticism of Goodenow within and outside the PA often centered on how he handled on-ice or player-on-player violence. The perception (Goodenow argued it was unfair) was that the PA was quick to come to the defense of any perpetrator, but did next to nothing to protect the health, safety and long-term welfare of the player who was unduly or unfairly assaulted.
Let’s be honest, outside of a Klan rally you won’t find a worse ratio of whites to blacks. The lack of black players means the NHL does not get the recognition the other sports receive in the hip hop community. You won’t find many hockey jerseys in the latest rap video. You also won’t find the hottest artists in the stands watching a NHL game. This lack of recognition from the artists means a lack of recognition from their fans that follow their lead.
“That’s an awful lot of eyeballs that aren’t interested in hockey as a casual fan and they’ve maybe never had the opportunity to pick up a hockey stick and experience it”, Darren Pang explains.
Unfortunately for the league this will continue to be a problem for the league, as there’s not exactly a big push in the African-American community to send their children to hockey camp.
This brings us to yet another problem.
read on if you wish…. Damn, I don’t think one of my favorite artists, Eric Clapton is a hockey fan, maybe I should stop watching…
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL - always craving for attention - should create a similar event to baseball’s winter meetings where front-office staff and media converge to create an amazing buzz for fans.
Here’s my proposal: use the February NHL GM meetings as the basis for a trade deadline bonanza.
For example, this year’s meetings run Feb. 18-20 in Naples, Fla., with the trade deadline a week later on Feb. 26. There likely won’t be any deals at this year’s meetings, just like there weren’t last year even though the GM meetings were also just a week before the trade deadline. Sure ‘‘the foundation’’ for deals were laid (if I hear that one more time I’m going to vomit) but the real moves didn’t happen until the 48-hour period leading up the actual deadline.
from Ian Winwood at the Guardian,
It’s my belief that no set of fans care more about the health of their game than those attracted to hockey. This is why the mood that surrounds the game is one of despondency and fear. Your team may be doing well, but the league in which it plays is not. It’s not in spite of Bettman’s actions that the NHL is in a worse place now than it was 15 years ago, but because of them….
I suppose this is the point where I’m supposed to call for the Bettman’s head - that’s how these things normally end. But to be honest, I’m not sure how this column should conclude. So I’m going to hand it over to you. What should be done?
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
The National Hockey League is very good at letting people know about its latest deal with any of the seemingly thousands of new media companies or any minor percentage jump in attendance or its D-list celebrity blogs.
However, when it comes to getting the word out about a special hockey night in a particular city, the league isn’t quite as adept.
That’s why most fans probably had no idea the Canadiens were having a very unique ceremony prior to Tuesday’s game against the Red Wings.
continued... E.J., you should have made a stop at KK yesterday, you would have known about it!
via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Nobody likes a tie, I know. The fans at the game go home wondering why they didn’t just spend their $200 on a tank of gas, and the fans at home realize they could have been watching a race-car driver win or lose a dance competition.
The answer is sudden death four-on-four. It provides one end-to-end rush after another, so eventually one of the teams is bound to score. I know the players will get tired. That’s one reason the games won’t last forever.
How about the ice surface Bob, when do you re-surface it? Do you think fans will stick around for a game of 4-on-4 for an extra hour, maybe two? I doubt it…
from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
The other reason I give Howe the edge over Gretzky is that you never heard him complain about the rough treatment he received from opponents. Howe didn’t need Dave Semenko riding shotgun. Opponents took on Howe at their peril and his elbows were legendary. He dropped the gloves often enough that he gave his name to the Gordie Howe hat trick, which consisted of a goal, an assist and a fighting major.
The gathering at centre ice last night wasn’t as emotional as some of the spectacles staged by the Canadiens, but it produced enough nostalgia for Howe to remark: “I feel like elbowing someone.”
a bit more and some other NHL talk…
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