Kukla's Korner Hockey
ESPN’s Page 2 provides a to-do list for the NHL titled “Here’s how the NHL can reclaim its share of the spotlight.” And while I realize it’s meant to be amusing, there might be too much irony to this for ESPN to pull it off…
Anyway, from the list:
• The “glow puck” returns and is joined with “glow sticks,” “glow skates,” “glow beards” and “glow blood!”
• Encourage players to start showing more raw emotion.
• Foster the return of real rivalries.
• Have players get into the public eye more often by hanging out with Hollywood types.
• For the same reason, have Elisha Cuthbert date every North American-born player … and have Anna Kournikova date every Russian-born player.
more ideas that would make ESPN fall in love with hockey…
The number of Europeans playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) is on the decline according to a survey released by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on Saturday.
There were fewer Europeans than a year ago playing in the just completed NHL regular season but more American-born players, it said.
Canadians continued to dominate rosters, providing more than half the league’s talent.
Europeans accounted for 243 (25.8 percent) of the 941 players appearing in at least one NHL game this season, down from 266 players a year ago.
From Spector at FoxSports,
The Stanley Cup playoffs are the time for the NHL’s best players to shine, and many have stepped up once again.
Veteran stars such as Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg; Dallas’ Marty Turco, Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards; Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere and Pittsburgh’s Marian Hossa continue to prove they’re among the game’s very best in leading their respective clubs to the conference finals.
That’s not to say young and emerging stars haven’t been sharing the stage with those established players.
Sidney Crosby is the most hyped and recognizable of the bunch but several others have earned a share of this year’s spotlight.
from Chilling Out by John Glennon at the Tennessean,
If the first round of the NHL playoffs earned notoriety for the so-called “Sean Avery rule,’’ then this round of the postseason should focus on a “Tomas Holmstrom rule.’’
Specifically, here’s what it should be: Any goal scored by Holmstrom gets automatically reviewed by the NHL.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
And if you live in New Orleans, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Orlando or Cleveland, you are blissfully unaware of how unlucky you are.
You have the NBA and you never have had the NHL, and so you live under the impression that you’re seeing something urgent and dramatic.
You have no idea that the hockey playoffs are to the basketball playoffs what the William Tell Overture is to Chopsticks.
It’s not that the basketball games lack juice. It’s just that the hockey games overflow with it. Short of war or a home invasion, nothing seems more imperative.
CBC’s Don Cherry will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can listen live by going to the NHL Network Online, then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Adam Thompson of the Wall Street Journal,
People are starting to watch again, and they should be. The game is as fast and fun as it’s been in years, and this year’s playoffs have made good use of its young stars. Names like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin continue to inch into crossover territory with each impossible deke, thread-the-needle pass and goal….
The NHL still has a laundry list of problems, from its placement on the still-obscure Versus to its continuing inability to penetrate much of the Sun Belt. Its outdoor game in Buffalo between the Penguins and Sabres lived up to the hype – but the burden remains for the league to prove that wasn’t a one-off success.
The league and union ought to swallow their pride, retreat from a few markets that have consistently failed to gain traction – the NHL remains an afterthought in Nashville and South Florida – and, for the love of all things decent, permanently table any talk of further expansion to hockey hinterlands like Kansas City and Las Vegas. A game already taking positive steps would look even better with a more concentrated talent pool free of talent-poor fourth-liners.
All that said, the present game looks great. With Mr. Cherry shouting this to Americans at the top of his lungs, maybe a few more will notice.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Do I really need to know, and why should I even care, how many bags of peanuts will be sold, or who has the greatest team-orientated men’s room, complete with flashing goal light? Soon I expect an overhead view from the local news chopper chasing a car on the highway that is displaying the home team’s flag flapping from the window.
There will soon be pictures plastered on the web of five-year-old kids, with their faces painted, a feature of some guy who mowed the team logo into his lawn, even live broadcasts by a radio station giving away free tickets to anyone who can do the stupidest thing involving worms and raw eggs.
Drop the puck. I am ready for hockey and just hockey.
(I dunno, Paul. Personally, I kinda like the idea of U.S. television stations so excited about the NHL playoffs that they’ve got choppers chasing down cars with team flags…!)
NEW YORK (May 7, 2008)—To venerate its past, to celebrate its present and to anticipate its future, the National Hockey League has scheduled four major events in conjunction with the 2008 Stanley Cup Final:
* The League will honor members of the Detroit Red Wings dynasty that won four Stanley Cups in a six-year stretch from 1950 to 1955. Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Red Kelly, Alex Delvecchio, Marty Pavelich, Johnny Wilson and Marcel Pronovost have been invited to attend a dinner on an off-day during the first week of the Stanley Cup Final.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
Back to the “Hockey players are the best guys” thing. I have worked at ESPN for close to 12 years, and I can tell you this: Jalen Rose is as nice and pleasant as Darren Pang. John Kruk is as fun to golf with as Ray Ferraro. I filmed one of those “This is SportsCenter” commercials with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson last week. While waiting for some other part of the commercial to be done with the Vikings mascot, Peterson and I sat in an office and talked alone for about a half hour. It reminded me of hanging out with Dany Heatley at the 2002 YoungStars game in Los Angeles. Both were humble, grounded and completely in love with their jobs.
Yes, hockey players are human and no different from other professional athletes. Uncensored hockey history would show that (depending on the topic we were talking about) some players cheat on their wives, have children out of wedlock, get in bar fights, smoke crack, drive while intoxicated, run through an AHL city naked, overpay Ted Saskin, and jump into the stands and fight fans, along with other crimes and misdemeanors. They are the same as other athletes in that regard.
But I think the cliché lives because of hockey’s otherworld status among most in the mass media.
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.
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