Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George James Malik
It’s that time of year again, that time again for each and every one of us, regardless of the teams we root for. Training camp has ended, and the exhibition season has begun, and whether you’ve seen scrimmages and exhibition games in person, online, or whether all the information you can find is the “official” line from the mainstream media, you think you’ve got a pretty good idea as to which of your team’s prospects, try-outs, and new free agents are going to pan out—especially if you’ve seen them in action.
from the Winnipeg Sun,
In a week where possible future expansion was discussed briefly at the NHL board of governors meetings in Chicago, the subject of Winnipeg’s potential return to the loop provided the usual responses.
“If there’s an opportunity and an opening, I’m sure the NHL would definitely look at it,” said Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky. “We realize and know this is a good hockey area, a great hockey city and a good sports town. It’s a beautiful facility here, a great complex.”
“There’s always going to be that hope for hockey in Canada,” added Coyotes captain Shane Doan. “It’s our sport and what we’re so proud of. It’s something we’ve got to make sure is always there
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
In 15 years of watching the Bettman administration at work, the hockey world has learned that these fellows love to dabble.
They’ve dabbled in an unbalanced schedule, but now appear set to change back. They’ve dabbled in third jerseys and uniform “systems” and streamlining goalie equipment. They’ve dabbled in glowing TV pucks and neutral-site games and regular-season contests in Europe, not to mention the World Cup and the Winter Olympics, never fully committing to any of them….
Oh yes, and they’ve dabbled, curiously, in playing their games outdoors….
That the NHL will try to make this happen in a lakeside city that offers a winter climate that’s both unpredictable and often violently inhospitable is one interesting part of the equation.
That it’s willing to essentially undermine the competitive legitimacy of its own product by permitting such a novelty event to go forward is another.
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of the Sabres/Penguins “Winter Classic,” I’m having a hard time agreeing with some prominent hockey scribes who wonder whether another outdoor game is a case of the league going to the well one too many times.
Fellas, this is only the second one. In four freakin’ years. Another Rolling Stones tour this is not.
In Adam’s blog today, there is now a reason for me to attempt to get media credentials for a Kings game in LA.
Brian Biggane of Inside the Panthers at the Palm Beach Post responds to the latest story by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail about expansion & the schedule…
David Shoalts, who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper and loves to bash the Panthers, was at it again Wednesday.
In a story about Wednesday’s Board of Governors meetings in Chicago, Shoalts noted that while expansion will be discussed, it isn’t likely to come about for a few more years. If and when it does happen, he said, Winnipeg is likely to be passed over in favor of American cities such as Las Vegas, Kansas City and Seattle.
Winnipeg’s best chance of getting a team, he continued, “remains relocating one of the league’s basket cases, such as the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers or Nashville Predators.”
added 9:30pm, Bob McKenzie at TSN also has some notes regarding the BOG meeting. A few people willing to pay up $200M-$300M for an NHL team!
via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL will probably drop its unbalanced schedule for next season and the vote by the governors could come at their December meeting.
Several governors who left Tuesday’s meeting before it concluded said the sentiment seems to be to have all of the league’s 30 teams visit each other at least once.
“We want [to drop the unbalanced schedule],” Calgary Flames governor Harley Hotchkiss said. “There is a good chance it will happen in December.”
from The Maven at MSG Network,
Jim Balsillie’s name keeps popping up in Canadian papers as a possible-future NHL team-owner. That’s because there are scribes north of the border dying to see a big-league club move to either Hamilton or Winnipeg – or even Crows Nest Pass.
What the Canadian Fourth Estaters refuse to acknowledge is that Balsillie so alienated NHL owners, he has as much chance of securing a team as Anchorage has of winning a Stanley Cup!
more NHL bits from Stan…
NEW YORK—Nine-time NHL All-Star Brian Leetch, U.S. Olympic gold and silver medalist Cammi Granato, prolific writer and broadcaster Stan Fischler and longtime communications executive and historian John Halligan have been named recipients of the 2007 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
continued and congrats to all!
added 7:30pm, Stan Fischler’s response to the award…
Veteran NHL goaltender Sean Burke has called it a career.
The 40-year-old Burke made the official announcement on Tuesday ending a distinguished NHL and international hockey career.
“I have been very fortunate to enjoy a long and eventful professional hockey career,” said Burke.
From WBEN in Buffalo,
The Buffalo Sabres outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium—officially called AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic New Year’s Day- sold out 74,000 tickets in under 1 hour Tuesday morning.
The game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, began offering tickets at 10:00 am at the Bills Ticket Office outside the stadium and online at Ticketmaster.com. None were available by 10:40 am
It is not known how many tickets went to individual buyers and how many went to brokers, but there are indications that the secondary market is already skyrocketing. There were no limits on the number of tickets any individual could buy, and immediately after the sell out tickets were being offered on E-bay, at typical prices of $2,000 for six, or roughly $300 each.
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