Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Anaheim Ducks proudly toted the Stanley Cup they won last spring to various tourist sites on a double-decker bus here Wednesday to promote this weekend’s National Hockey League season curtain raiser.
But few Londoners seemed aware of who they were, or what they were carrying, as the team braved a chilly autumn wind that swept across the Thames River.
Steve Campbell, a sports fan from northern England, looked baffled as he watched playoff star Ryan Getzlaf lug the Cup across a busy street to pose with his teammates in front of Big Ben.
from Lindsay Berra of ESPN the Magazine,
If relatively anonymous. Drury, carting two gallons of milk out of a bodega on Manhattan’s Upper West Side recently, had to stare at a guy he thought was on HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords” (he wasn’t) before he got a “Hey, you’re the new Ranger!” in return. And Gomez spent an hour in a Starbucks near MSG on a late-summer workday afternoon, drinking his grapefruit soda in total peace. Think that’d happen to Eli Manning or Derek Jeter?
But Gomez and Drury just got into town; give them a season. Next June, the Rangers could be polishing the Stanley Cup, and NHL brass could be glowing about their improved ratings. Then the only unfinished business would be the ticker-tape parade.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
A decline in goal scoring is perhaps the leading on-ice problem bedevilling the NHL. To discuss that issue and others, Steve Kouleas convened a roundtable panel that will air tonight on The Score at 11 p.m. EDT.
One idea that seemed to resonate with the group - NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell, director of officiating Stephen Walkom, Detroit Red Wing general manager Ken Holland, his Toronto Maple Leafs counterpart John Ferguson, Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco and Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza - is employing a 3-on-3 overtime session if 4-on-4 hockey does not produce a winner.
“I sensed that John and Ken really liked that,” Kouleas said. “And Collie [Campbell] was all ears when they were talking about it.”
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL’s move to start its regular season in London, England is renewing debate about the viability of the league expanding to Europe.
Jim Kelley, a semi-regular host at the Fan590 in Toronto, correctly noted that “finding some schlep” in Europe to buy out owners of the sad-sack franchises in the American south – Florida, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, to name a few – would save the NHL the enormous cost of contraction.
Problem is, there’s no evidence the league has plans to give up on the U.S. television market by contracting.
In a real coup, Simcoe.com had an opportunity to interview the Hockey Hall of Famer for this special, Internet-only story.
Born in Floral, Sask. in 1928, Howe spent most of his youth in Saskatoon, where he played hockey as often as he could, including at night.
“I built a net myself and put it on the street underneath the streetlight because we didn’t have an outside light at our house. And when it got dark, I was still shooting away. And you had to be accurate because you had to look for the dumb puck in the snow if you missed. Basically, I just had a love for the game,” Howe said from his home near Detroit.
read on... recommended reading…
This was posted on 9/24/07, but the link wasn’t working. It appears to be fine now, so I have moved it up so all can read if they wish.
Spector has a large update today, including talk Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is seeking a contract worth $7M a year.
from The Maven at MSG Network,
There will be another NHL expansion and you can put your money on Las Vegas as being the 31st team. The reasons why Sin City has the lead are many. Start with the fact that it would be very difficult for ownership to reject a HUGE entrance fee which would top anything the league has known. Plus a new rink is going up in LV and the very influential Phil Anschutz is behind the move.
more bits from Stan…
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo!
The Ducks may be in flux but they are still mighty. The Sharks smell blood, the Red Wings will soar, the Senators sense destiny and the Rangers plan to rock Broadway again.
Those are the Fab Five as the NHL’s 90th season opens this weekend in London, England, with Anaheim opening defence of its title against rival Los Angeles.
The Ducks romped so impressively to California’s first Stanley Cup last June that giving the NHL its first repeat champion in a decade seemed like a sensible proposition. That’s before superstar defenceman Scott Niedermayer and 48-goal scorer Teemu Selanne started talking about retirement.
note: an earlier LeBrun story is noted here, for more on the London game.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Changes to several NHL rules that go into effect for the new season fit right in with the league’s ongoing crackdown on interference and obstruction.
Penalty shots can now be awarded when a player with the puck is hauled down from the centre line on in rather than from the opposition’s blue-line as previously was the case.
The interference rule has been altered to allow for a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results.
The changes are beneficial for on-ice officials, says director of officiating Stephen Walkom.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL gets hammered for many things, some of them deserved, but let’s applaud it for what’s happening this week in London, England.
The puck drops for the NHL’s 90th season with the Los Angeles Kings and defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks playing back-to-back games at the 02 Arena.
I will be on hand and I can’t wait.
A few months ago we mentioned Pierre would be part of the Sportsnet team this season. A welcomed addition I must say.
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