Kukla's Korner Hockey
Craig Custance of the Sporting News Today (daily online newspaper with free subscription) conducted an interview with NHLPA Executve Director Paul Kelly. Topics discussed are European expansion, the CBA, ESPN and the Winter Classic.
Hopefully this link will take you there, if not, registration is painless and you get a daily email notification when the paper is available to view.
Update 5:36pm ET: Bonus material at Custance’s Sporting News blog—
[But] we covered a lot of ground that wasn’t printed. Some will be in an upcoming story I’m working on. But here are two bonus questions with Kelly that I couldn’t squeeze in the SNT Q and A:
Q: What’s the biggest issue in getting a transfer agreement with European federations?
A: It’s an economic issue first and foremost ...
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
I am worried for Bettman’s future. My understanding is he didn’t have the full support of the owners prior to the lockout, but he bought himself some more time by kicking the players’ butts in collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
Now, with the Nashville ownership fiasco unfolding, I think Bettman’s support of William Del Biaggio and his shady dealings concerning Canadian bazillionaire Jim Balsillie could be the beginning of the end for the commish. They provide jumping-off points for anybody hoping to see him take a hike.
But I hope things don’t unfold like that.
So what can Bettman do to get back into people’s good books? Well, if I am his P.R. guy, I say:
• Do away with this phrase: In keeping with club policy, terms of the agreement will not be made public. Gary, tell your dopey GMs we live in a salary cap world and contract information must be made public.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
On June 11, the Goalie Equipment Working Group,- ... convened in Toronto to address what could be done to shrink goaltenders, without resorting to hunger strikes.
The result? Knee pads and clavicle protectors will be trimmed for the 2008-09 season.
Because most goalies play the butterfly style, shooters would see the following: a netminder standing tall with his legs spread, inviting them to go five-hole.
read on plus numerous NHL topics.
On August 9, 1988, a day that changed the game, Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers to the lowly Los Angeles Kings. The trade changed the fortunes of the Kings, was a driving force for National Hockey League expansion into the ‘Sun Belt’, and generated extensive growth of the game at the grassroots level in “non-traditional” hockey markets.
To commemorate the anniversary, The NHL Network will highlight its “Wayne Gretzky Week” programming by presenting a one-hour special that features exclusive interviews with Gretzky, former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington and former Kings’ owner Bruce McNall, among others, at 9 p.m., ET, on Wednesday, August 6. A VNR of the interview with Gretzky will be provided Tuesday.
Here is the complete NHL Network schedule of Gretzky-related programming for next week:
From Rory Boylen at The Hockey News:
Here are a few generalizations I take exception to and write off as storytelling myth.
1. The Detroit Red Wings win with the neutral zone trap
Bogus. There is a rather large difference between the trap and a puck possession style of game, but it’s really easy to explain: For one you don’t have the puck; the other, you do.
read on for more myth-busting from Boylen
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
To say John Tavares’ star has fallen would be a stretch, but it seems he’s no longer the consensus No. 1 pick.
A little more than a year ago, there was a push to change the NHL entry draft rules to accommodate Tavares as a 17-year-old, while the Leafs were examining whether they could fast-track him on a minor-league contract, amid talk that an all-out rebuild could see a last-place Toronto team pick him first overall.
Now, some NHL scouts contacted by Sun Media are wondering if his No. 1 ranking will be challenged in the coming season.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The NHL hasn’t given up hope of mending the fences with Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL) and other foreign hockey federations.
Paul Kelly, the executive director for the NHLPA, told Sporting News on Wednesday that the league will proceed with September’s planned meeting that includes the NHLPA, International Ice Hockey Federation, KHL and all major hockey federations. It will take place during the first week of September in New York in hopes of settling the transfer agreement controversy.
“In Zurich we agreed to get together to have a dialogue about these issues,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, the ongoing issues with the NHL and KHL have put a damper on the spirit of cooperation.”
Paul Kukla’s blog at NHL.com today is full of random observations and questions. For instance:
Quick quiz—During the last eight seasons, this NHL player has not scored more than 30 goals, but has had at least 20 goals a season during that time period. He also plays for my surprise team for the upcoming season. Any guesses?
read on for more NHL talk
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,
If you truly want to feel like it’s January (only without the twin terrors of frostbite and New Year’s resolutions), here are a few tips to get you back in an on-ice mindset even in warm weather:
1. Start and finish a trade rumor cycle all by yourself.
Who says professional rumorists and swap-mongers get to have all the fun? By kicking off a whisper campaign among your friends and co-workers – using the most illogical, unworkable-under-salary-cap-regulations, one-sided deal you can dream up – then sitting back and watching the useless debates begin, you’ll think it’s a week prior to the NHL’s trade deadline before you know it.
From Ted Wyman at the Winnipeg Sun,
[Brett Favre is] certainly not the first professional athlete to feel pangs of regret after leaving the sport they love behind. And he’s certainly not the first to start thinking about a comeback before his retirement even becomes official.
Many more athletes have proven that the fire still burns strong after a bit of time heals the wounds of the game.
Here’s a look at the top-10 unretirements in sports.
continued… with a brief look at three NHLers who had a tough time hanging up the skates
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