Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Desmond Bieler at the Washington Post,
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 mah-jongg tournaments, but that wouldn’t be kind. We wanted to go in a different direction and find out what people actually like about the NHL, eh?
1. Let’s start with the fact that the NHL easily has the coolest championship trophy going. The Stanley Cup looks the part, while the NFL has a football on a stick and the NBA has a basketball perched on the lid of a Big Gulp. The Cup actually has held its share of beverages and, thanks to the NHL’s excellent policy of letting each winning player spend quality time with it, has also found itself onstage at a gentlemen’s club and at the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s swimming pool. Of course, before the Cup makes its annual appearance, you have to wait out a regular season that goes on for longer than the presidential campaign, but it all makes sense once the stakes are raised. The checks just seem harder, the passes crisper and, impossibly enough, Barry Melrose’s hair more lacquered.
continued… (*link may require free registration)
From Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com,
Does Patrick Kane belong in the NHL? He’ll be 19 in November, and is listed at a miniscule 5’-10” and 163 pounds. He has played one season of junior hockey. How well might he hold up over 82 big-league games with a less than stellar team?
These days, top-drawer prospects arrive more NHL-ready than ever before. In the last two years, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Kopitar, Vlasic and Jordan Staal have all stepped into the league and flourished as teenagers. On the other hand, Gilbert Brule was a bust in his rookie season, and Nikolai Zherdev has achieved little since arriving from Russia as a 19-year-old in 2003.
From the Edmonton Sun,
Don Cherry thinks Steve Downie got off easy.
The outspoken commentator said Downie should have been suspended 30 games for his preseason hit on Dean McAmmond during Saturday night’s segment of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.
Cherry called the hit by the Philadelphia Flyers forward on the Senators defenceman a “cheap shot” and added that players shouldn’t hit like that in the preseason.
Video of Cherry’s comments can be viewed on the CBC video player. There is no direct link, but just click on the “Hockey Night in Canada” link on the left, then the sub-menu will provide a link to the October 6th edition of Coach’s Corner.
note: unfortunately, U.S. viewers may not be able to access the video, unless you have a way of accessing the page using a Canadian proxy IP.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The Rangers, who want the right to control their own website instead of adopting the league’s “homogenized ... cookie cutter” model, argue the addition of Drury and Gomez have “made the Rangers a strong contender ... creating enormous opportunities to increase traffic to the Rangers website, as well as to use the Rangers website to cultivate fan excitement, attract new fans, and enhance the Rangers business.”
The Rangers surely won’t need to draw on their new high-priced forwards in court. It looks like history may be on their side.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• Which NHL head coach subjected his players to room-by-room, curfew bed-checks conducted by his assistants in the team’s hotel two nights before the season opener on the road?
• A well-placed source reports that Doug MacLean’s Absolute Hockey Enterprises group that apparently had reached an agreement to buy the Lightning, is having ongoing issues meeting the financial requirements necessary to complete the deal and is seeking additional investors.
more NHL talk plus a look at Downie type hits…
Evan Grossman of NHL.com is live blogging from the NHL “War Room” in Toronto. Let’s see what he is up too…
Just had our first goal review. Nashville’s David Legwand got credit for the Preds’ first goal of the game, a ruling that came from the same desk I’m sitting at. Caught it all on video, which was pretty amazing. On the TV in front of me, the referee waited at center ice, like we’ve seen a thousand times. The phone here rings. Murphy speaks with the officials at the arena, saying the goal was a good one. The voice on the other end of the phone concurs. It counts. And the Preds lead, 1-0.
Garry Bettman was in Atlanta last night and answered a few questions regarding the game, the Thrashers, etc…
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Q: What do you see ahead as far as TV deals?
A: We have great partnerships with NBC and [cable network] Versus. ... There have been reports that ESPN is interested in us. ... I do believe our current partners will be in the picture long-term. Whether or not there is an opportunity to have another partner is something we’re always open to looking at.
more from Bettman…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Flyers took their lumps in the short term by plunging to the bottom of the NHL standings — something that also gave them a chance to draft James vanRiemsdyk second overall in June’s entry draft — and have reversed field nicely. Their opening-night roster featured five former first-round picks age 25 or under (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Coburn), plus two others on injured reserve (Upshall and R.J. Umberger), not to mention blue-chippers vanRiesmsdyk and Parent, plus the love-him-or-hate-him pest Steve Downie.
Sadly, the Leafs fall into the other category — of a team that perennially tries so hard to compete in the here-and-now that they are forever caught in between, with never enough assets to legitimately challenge for a championship, but never really bad enough to draft blue-chip youngsters or bold enough to trade “untouchable” core players.
read on & other NHL bits…
From Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun via the Winnipeg Sun,
Almost 10 years after the Maple Leafs moved back to the Eastern Conference to rejoin the Original Sixers in Montreal, the Detroit Red Wings remained trapped in a Western time-zone warp.
But that is bound to change, says Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.
“There’s little doubt that Las Vegas is coming in (during expansion), it’s about four years from now,” Devellano told the Detroit News. “And I truly believe Gary Bettman will move us East at that changing.”
From the CP,
The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly signed general manager Kevin Lowe to a multi-year contract extension.
According to a report on TSN’s website, the Oilers were expected to announce the signing at a media conference Saturday morning.
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