Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric McErlain at the NHL FanHouse,
If folks are lining up to purchase NHL expansion teams, something must be going right.
Whatever the business outlook for the NHL, one thing is clear for me as a fan of the sport: I’m sick and tired of hearing about what bad shape the game is in and how cultural irrelevance lies just around the corner. On more than a few occasions in the last few months as I read predictions about the league’s eventual demise, I couldn’t help but feel that there were elements in the sports press actively rooting against the league.
So yes, while I wish the questions would go away, and for the league to have nothing but a bright financial future, I can’t help but feel that those questions are divorced at some level with what’s happening on the ice.
By the amount of comments we get whenever a “negative” story is pointed to here at KK, I know the majority of fans feel the same way.
Maybe, just maybe things will change, but I doubt it, since it is so much easier for a writer to attack the NHL than it is to actually do some leg work and point out all of the positives since the current CBA started.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
They could have taken a page from baseball’s book and allowed anyone—within a certain degree of reason—to design their home rink with different configurations from the standard 85 feet wide by 200 feet long.
Remember the old Boston Garden? The Bruins used to create so much excitement there, with their narrow neutral zone and shallow corners, facilitating a hitting game whereby they could load up on size and do very well at home. Remember the old rink in Buffalo, that used to be smaller? Ditto the corners at the old Chicago Stadium, where the ice wasn’t quite as long. And in the Western league there was the old rink in Edmonton which was wider and 210 feet long instead of the 185 feet found in Chicago and Boston.
Each rink had its own set of factors visiting teams had to consider, whether it was really flexible boards with lots of give, lively boards, narrow corners or a short neutral zone or a little more or less room behind the net.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Now that Gainey and Robinson have joined the list, the question is: Who will be honoured next season as the Canadiens approach their 100th-anniversary celebrations.
Guy Lapointe, the third member of the Canadiens’ Big Three on defence beside Robinson and Serge Savard, is a possibility and there will be a heated debate over whether Patrick Roy is worthy of the honour. Roy retired as the all-time NHL leader in wins and won two Stanley Cups with Montreal, but his stormy departure in 1995 is part of his permanent record.
The one person who has been overlooked and I’m hoping it’s because the club is saving him for its centenary, is the late Hector (Toe) Blake. To the current generation of Canadiens fans, Blake is a distant memory, the coach who guided the Canadiens to eight of their record 24 Stanley Cup wins.
But many people forget that Blake was a Hall of Fame player.
From Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,
It might not have seemed like it, but things were pretty busy around the NHL this past summer. Here’s a look back at some of the most important events that took place….
5. Seeing the value: Despite the criticism the NHL gets for its lack of exposure and inability to make inroads in many American markets, there is obviously something about owning a franchise that appeals to people with money. How else do you explain the significant premiums paid this summer for the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning? Both organizations have been burning cash for the past decade, but the sale prices they fetched suggest that NHL teams are much better investments than they appear to be on the surface.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Joseph is ready to continue his NHL career (let’s be clear on that point) should circumstances change tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. But for the first time in a long time, Joseph’s life isn’t all about hockey, and in some ways, that means his life is richer.
“I’ve got a lot to look forward to,” he said. “I’m trying to be the best father I can, and that’s a pretty important role. Some would say it’s more important than stopping pucks.”
from Jerry Brown, East Valley Tribune columnist,
A new ad campaign for the Dallas Stars includes billboards that state, “The only thing our refs shave is the ice.” Is that how bad things have gotten for the NHL? You can’t sell your own sport, so attack the NBA’s problems in hopes of attracting a few stray fans?
NBA spin doctors are hard at work at a response. The early prototype: “Our games are on ESPN, not “The Cycling Channel.”
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
If anything, you’d think the NHL would wish to play a game in a country with a legitimate zeal for the sport, such as Sweden or Finland.
And if it were a matter of stepping on the toes of the elite leagues overseas, one would assume some sort of compromise could be reached to ensure that all parties remained content.
The entire idea is utterly bizarre, but it enters a new level of head scratching when you consider the two teams picked for these monumental games: The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks are somewhat understandable coming off a Stanley Cup championship.
Sending the Kings, however, is quite the puzzler.
I am really surprised Erin doesn’t mention one of the reason’s the Kings are involved is the Kings and the O2, the venue the games will be played in while in London, share the same owner.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
In the Central Division alone, we watched at least one second-time-around player break out last season. On the offensive side of things, St. Louis’ Lee Stempniak went from 14 goals in 2005-06 to 27 last season, Chicago’s Patrick Sharp go from 14 goals to 20 and Columbus’ Dan Fritsche improve from six to 12.
Young defensemen were really prevalent in the division, when you consider the improvement of players like Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall, Nashville’s Shea Weber (17 goals) and Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Here’s a broader look at how the presumed sophomore jinx can actually turn into sizzle for some young players in the Central Division this season.
from Vegas Insider,
Anaheim Ducks 11/2
Ottawa Senators 6/1
Detroit Red Wings 8/1
Buffalo Sabres 10/1
New York Rangers 11/1
San Jose Sharks 11/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 14/1
Vancouver Canucks 14/1
Colorado Avalanche 18/1
Dallas Stars 18/1
Check out Spector today for Marleau, Markov and more NHL trade and UFA talk…
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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