Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
via Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
The NHL’s biggest problem in the U.S. remains an absolute lack of coverage from the talking heads on all the shouting columnist shows, and the sportscenter-style highlight shows. Coverage is through the roof still in Canada, and much of Europe, but not here. It will NOT surprise me one bit if, in 20 years or less, the NHL is primarily based in Canada and Europe. Anybody who doesn’t believe me should check out the numbers in European arenas for games, especially in the Super League in Russia - which is paying NHL-comparable salaries for most players now.
from James Fitzpatrick at About.com,
Just about every team is running hot and cold this season. In Ottawa, the once-mighty Senators are barely showing a pulse. The Devils couldn’t do anything right in October; now they can’t lose. Dallas fired the general manager a few weeks ago. Now the Stars lead the Pacific Division.
Atlanta, Montreal and Toronto are among the other cities where wins and losses come in bunches. Most other teams are ambling along at a win-one-lose-one pace. Carolina was pounded 8-1 by Buffalo (last in the Northeast Division) last weekend, and rebounded to beat the Rangers (first in the Atlantic) two days later.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
If you watch Hockey Night in Canada, you may assume there has been no increase in NHL goal scoring, despite the crackdown on restraining fouls.
And even if there has been a small improvement, you may believe it is attributable to the large number of power plays being called.
A big part of the Hockey Night message is: Zero tolerance has not helped improve the game offensively.
But the first assumption is wrong and the second is questionable.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
The Montreal Canadiens commemorated their 81 year-old rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings before the two Original Six teams played their only game of the season Tuesday.
It is that disparity in the NHL’s current schedule that has Red Wings Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay believing that Detroit will never have a similar rivalry with another team ever again.
Lindsay said Tuesday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is to blame if attendance numbers are down in Detroit because fans in Hockeytown are sick of seeing teams like Columbus and Nashville so often every year.
“We had it for a couple of years there with Colorado and Detroit, but Bettman has taken advantage of Detroit because of it being a great hockey city and it being a well managed hockey team,” Lindsay said.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
In an era of pro leagues seemingly trying to curtail individualism through rules about what can’t be worn or done on the field, the NHL celebrates, even promotes, the goalie’s right to turn essential equipment into works of art.
“Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two masks are alike anymore, which is fabulous for the goalies and fans,” says Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president for media relations.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal, Lightning owner,
Bill Davidson, won’t do anything to hurt the team financially according to Tom Wilson.
“The only thing categorically I would say is that the odds of us going from spending $43 to $33 million are zero,” says Wilson. “It’s just not going to happen. We don’t have any interest in going back to that kind of program. The time you go back to that is when you’re awful, when you have no chance.” …
Bryan Murray has a dilemma: One of the Ottawa general manager’s goalies (Martin Gerber) is overpaid. And the other (Ray Emery) is undertalented.
more NHL bits from the Maven…
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