Kukla's Korner Hockey
Says Wayne Gretzky:
“As my Dad always said, skate to where the puck is going – not to where it has been. I know that’s exactly what we will accomplish with my new website. I’m really looking forward to using Gretzky.com as a great place to relive my greatest hockey memories and to also develop this website into a unique hockey resource for all fans.”
Here’s the website and be prepared for flash running on your system. There are some interesting videos available, though - definitely worth a bit of exploration for Gretzky fans.
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
Nashville Predators vice president Gerry Helper was a public relations staffer for the Sabres that season, and he recalls when 5-10, 170-pound Housley arrived at training camp he was so small “and boyish looking” that he didn’t fit the physical profile of a NHL player.
“But when you saw him on the ice it was a completely different story,” Helper recalled. “He was such a terrific skater. When he had the puck, he was unbelievable in terms of vision and creativity for an 18-year-old or a 28-year old.”
When he looked sharp in the training camp drills, critics said wait until the preseason games. When he was dominant in preseason games, they said wait until the regular season. “And when I was doing well at the beginning of the year, they said, ‘Wait until January,’ ” Housley said, seeming both amused and proud of the memory.
from an editorial in the Tennessean,
Nashville’s new mayor, Karl Dean, and new Metro Council should do what’s necessary to keep the Nashville Predators hockey team from leaving — as difficult as those decisions may be.
The Metro officials, many of whom are just settling into their new positions, may feel like the clock is ticking and they’re being asked to score a short-handed goal. But increasingly, the Predators issue has become more a case of what the city will lose if the National Hockey League franchise goes to another city, not just what’s to gain by keeping them.
From Neil Stevens at CP via the Globe & Mail,
It might come as a surprise to hockey fans to know that seven goaltenders including Colorado’s backup will bank more than Martin Brodeur this season.
Kimmo Timonen, not Nicklas Lidstrom, will be the highest-paid defenceman. Bryan McCabe will get more than Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic or Joe Thornton.
And get this: Thomas Vanek’s pay will be more than 10 times Sidney Crosby’s base salary.
There is no simple explanation for all the disparities because there are more than 700 NHL players and the compensation they’ll receive from their teams in 2007-2008, all in U.S. dollars, has in many cases been arrived at differently.
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
AL MACINNIS: The Hockey Hall of Famer is the vice president of hockey operations and still another potential NHL GM. He has no interest in serving a ceremonial role with this franchise.
Like Murray, MacInnis has a clear vision of what works and what doesn’t work in the NHL. He gives this hockey operation additional insight and another view on players inside and outside the organization.
more… (*looking at all the Blues’ top management)
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
If the Commissioner were to come forward with a state of the league address in the U.S. this week the big questions wouldn’t centre on what he had to say. They would centre on whether or not anyone would come out to ask them.
It’s different in Canada and especially in Toronto and so give the Commissioner some credit for not just recognizing the obvious, but for wading into what is largely a hostile crowd.
Now there are reasons for that too and not the least of them is that the Toronto Maple Leafs annually offer no hope of success. That seems to keep “da boys” on a relatively sharp edge.
from the News-Register,
Esposito recalled an incident in which he and another hockey great, Gordie Howe, were among the old-timers to lace up the skates for a charity game. They noticed a younger player skating “way too fast,” as Esposito put it, for an exhibition game. Howe, famous for his fisticuffs as much as his scoring touch, took exception to the upstart showing up the old-timers. So when Howe met this opponent at an ensuing faceoff, he suggested he slow down.
When the cocky youngster responded with a derogatory remark to “Mr. Hockey,” Howe’s trademark nickname, he paid for it. Howe took him down hard with some strategically placed stickwork, leaving him writhing on the ice. Let’s just say the fleet-footed upstart didn’t skate too fast during the remainder of the game.
read on... Wouldn’t you like to sit down with Phil one night and have a few pops?
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Here are 19 more predictions you can take to the bank. At least that’s what the hockey gods are telling me….
3. The I Wouldn’t Trade For Him With Your Draft Picks Award: Nikolai Zherdev (Blue Jackets)...
4. The player who’ll generate more highlight reel moments than anyone not named Crosby: Vincent Lecavalier (Lightning)...
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Beginning with the likes of Fred “The Fog” Shero, who added Mike Nykoluk as his assistant with the bullying Flyers of the 1970s, and the legendary Scotty Bowman, the trusted Claude Ruel forever by his side in his Montreal glory days, coaching has become a complex, multilayered exercise. On most NHL teams today, the head coach has at least two assistants, as well as a goalie coach, and “off-ice” assistants, including those who specialize in video and strength and conditioning.
from the Washington Post,
And just like that, NHL action is underway. Now we could go on about how nobody noticed the season starting for what’s supposed to be a major sports league, and how hockey gets lower TV ratings than Mahjong tournaments, but that wouldn’t be kind…. We want to go in a diferent direction and find out what people actually LIKE about the NHL, eh?
My favorite response…
...The NBA is pathetic - wouldnt go to a game if someone gave me a pair of court side tickets to the Buzzards. The NHL has some issues - sure - all of the major sports leagues do. The fact that ESPN doesnt show high lights is a plus as far as I am concerned - that means that hockey fans know not to turn on the network and try to listen to the illiterate ramblings of Suart Scott - Booo Yeah!
read on (may req. reg.)
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