Kukla's Korner Hockey
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL’s move to start its regular season in London, England is renewing debate about the viability of the league expanding to Europe.
Jim Kelley, a semi-regular host at the Fan590 in Toronto, correctly noted that “finding some schlep” in Europe to buy out owners of the sad-sack franchises in the American south – Florida, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, to name a few – would save the NHL the enormous cost of contraction.
Problem is, there’s no evidence the league has plans to give up on the U.S. television market by contracting.
In a real coup, Simcoe.com had an opportunity to interview the Hockey Hall of Famer for this special, Internet-only story.
Born in Floral, Sask. in 1928, Howe spent most of his youth in Saskatoon, where he played hockey as often as he could, including at night.
“I built a net myself and put it on the street underneath the streetlight because we didn’t have an outside light at our house. And when it got dark, I was still shooting away. And you had to be accurate because you had to look for the dumb puck in the snow if you missed. Basically, I just had a love for the game,” Howe said from his home near Detroit.
read on... recommended reading…
This was posted on 9/24/07, but the link wasn’t working. It appears to be fine now, so I have moved it up so all can read if they wish.
Spector has a large update today, including talk Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is seeking a contract worth $7M a year.
from The Maven at MSG Network,
There will be another NHL expansion and you can put your money on Las Vegas as being the 31st team. The reasons why Sin City has the lead are many. Start with the fact that it would be very difficult for ownership to reject a HUGE entrance fee which would top anything the league has known. Plus a new rink is going up in LV and the very influential Phil Anschutz is behind the move.
more bits from Stan…
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo!
The Ducks may be in flux but they are still mighty. The Sharks smell blood, the Red Wings will soar, the Senators sense destiny and the Rangers plan to rock Broadway again.
Those are the Fab Five as the NHL’s 90th season opens this weekend in London, England, with Anaheim opening defence of its title against rival Los Angeles.
The Ducks romped so impressively to California’s first Stanley Cup last June that giving the NHL its first repeat champion in a decade seemed like a sensible proposition. That’s before superstar defenceman Scott Niedermayer and 48-goal scorer Teemu Selanne started talking about retirement.
note: an earlier LeBrun story is noted here, for more on the London game.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Changes to several NHL rules that go into effect for the new season fit right in with the league’s ongoing crackdown on interference and obstruction.
Penalty shots can now be awarded when a player with the puck is hauled down from the centre line on in rather than from the opposition’s blue-line as previously was the case.
The interference rule has been altered to allow for a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results.
The changes are beneficial for on-ice officials, says director of officiating Stephen Walkom.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL gets hammered for many things, some of them deserved, but let’s applaud it for what’s happening this week in London, England.
The puck drops for the NHL’s 90th season with the Los Angeles Kings and defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks playing back-to-back games at the 02 Arena.
I will be on hand and I can’t wait.
A few months ago we mentioned Pierre would be part of the Sportsnet team this season. A welcomed addition I must say.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But let’s look at the bigger picture. This is the third post-lockout NHL season. Would it not be logical to expect the league itself to turn some kind of corner, to make some sort of statement about its future, its health?
Here are some story lines that might answer some of those questions.
The Outdoor Game
Fair or not, the dispute shows the NHL has a winner in terms of marketing. Buffalo was a terrific choice given its proximity to hockey markets in Southern Ontario, New York state and Pennsylvania.
frrom Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
I saw a comment about how few NHL goalies had thrived when starting at a young age, and it made me think…how did some of the best start out? So I looked at the top 20 NHL goalies, in terms of regular-season victories.
TONY ESPOSITO—After three years at Michigan Tech and one year in the WHL, called up during 1968-69 season and played 13 games for Montreal at age 25. Played 63 games the next season.
from the National Post,
Nobody doubts Winnipeg is a great hockey town, the only questions that remain to be answered are: (a) will Winnipeggers fork over $100 a night for 41 nights to buy tickets; (b) are there are enough corporate dollars in town to maintain a franchise; (c) is the MTS Centre (at 15,100 seats) big enough; and (d) who will write the cheque for $180-million (or more) to bring an existing franchise or a potential expansion franchise to town?...
Here in the ‘Peg, the NHL debate will continue to rage. As as Gretzky and Laforge both know, compared to Tampa, South Florida, Phoenix, Atlanta or Nashville, Winnipeg isn’t a good hockey town, it’s a great one.
Of course, until someone is ready to write that big cheque, all the talk is meaningless.
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