Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Sporting News,
Before the Stanley Cup finals begin, it’s time to hand out Sporting News’ 2008 NHL Awards. Winners were determined by a vote of their peers, and all voting was conducted before the playoffs. Individuals could not vote for themselves, and players could not vote for teammates.
Player of the year: Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals
continued with more on AO, plus naming the Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Executive of the Year
From Marty Henwood at Hockey.com,
The Summerside, PEI native, who battles a neuromuscular disorder that prevents him from speaking, won CBC’s Bring Home The Cup contest, meaning legendary captain Mark Messier, along with Lord Stanley himself, paid a visit to town over the weekend.
Adam Bourque. An inspiration. One heck of a hockey fan. And, oh, yeah, Summerside’s newest celebrity.
Watching Adam Bourque’s video entry to the contest — in which a computer had to transmit his words for him — one must marvel at not only his courage but the passion he has for a game. And it shows the importance of the Stanley Cup, what it means to not only those who dream of lifting it one day, but those who just dare to dream, period.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
I am taking a different approach today and will officially welcome you to the Metro Detroit area. I ask you to forget all the negative things you have read and heard about Motown. Sure there are areas you want to avoid, just like every large city in the world. Instead I will point out how the folks in Southeast Michigan will welcome you with open arms. We are a hard working bunch, and although this area is suffering through a down-turn in the automotive industry, we still are trying to keep our heads above water. Approach us, talk to us, we don’t bite and want to talk hockey with you and get your feelings on our game.
Michiganders love hockey, we love that is all that is good about the sport. It is in our blood and we have been playing in the NHL since the mid-1920’s. Our father’s father passed the game on to us. Our mother’s know the game too. We appreciate the special talents each and every NHL player has. We are amazed and hypnotized by the action on the ice and we feel part of the Detroit Red Wings family. Plain and simple, we are hockey fans.
From Stu Hackel at the NYT blog Slapshot,
We’ve all heard this kind of talk, and some people believe it — the notion that the NHL prefers a certain outcome and encourages on-ice officials to act accordingly.
It seems to us there is more loose talk about the NHL preferring certain teams over others than you hear attached to other major leagues. Since hockey trails other major sports in popularity by a good distance, those who whisper or shout such allegations do nothing to help hockey’s quest for respect.
The media plays a role in this and, no doubt, refuels fans when they do. A few weeks ago a Philadelphia columnist claimed the officials favored Montreal, that the NHL wanted the Canadiens to beat the Flyers since “Canada looks out for its own.” A couple of weeks later, after the Flyers won the series, he recanted citing the emotions generated by the playoffs for his distortion.
much more… on the debate surrounding the league’s integrity vs some people’s paranoia
From the National Post,
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, recently appointed to the NHL rules committee, said he will enter discussions about smaller goaltending equipment with an open mind.
“You have to walk a fine line,” Miller told the Buffalo News. “They’ve already trimmed it down once. I suffered for it from breaking my thumb (during the 2005-06 season). That situation wasn’t well thought out. They had dimensions and said, ‘Here, this should work.’ ”
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Russian hero Ilya Kovalchuk said it best when he summed up his team’s ability to come back from a two-goal deficit to win the gold medal game of the World Championship against Canada in overtime Sunday afternoon.
“When you’re playing on the big rinks and you’re trailing by two goals, it’s always tough to come back,” Kovalchuk said.
There is a certain contingent of hockey snobs that look down their noses at the NHL product, all the while claiming the international game to be far superior, in large part because the players have so much room to display their creativity.
They are wrong, so wrong.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
The hockey landscape has changed — NHL clubs must now look on Russian clubs not as feeder teams whose rosters can be harvested, but as full economic equals. Fortunately for the NHL, it still has the reputation and the quality of life to assure that the Ovechkins and Semins will keep coming to North America, at least for the next few years. But NHL clubs are no longer the only ones with the money. The collapse of the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement is proof of that.
from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,
Speaking shortly after Rick Nash’s delay of game penalty led to Ilya Kovalchuk’s overtime winner in Canada’s 5-4 loss to Russia in the gold-medal game Sunday, Cherry ranted that the rule was ruining games….
“The National Hockey League, the reason they put this in, this goofy stupid rule, is because they said players were tired and they were shooting it in the stands,” an emotional Cherry said during his Coach’s Corner segment on the CBC. “If the guy knows he’s getting a penalty, would he shoot it in the stands? Some fool in the National Hockey League had nothing to do (but) come up with that stupid rule and it’s cost series.”
added 6:20pm, You can watch today’s Coach’s Corner segment here at CBC....
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
In the final moments of today’s playoff game between the Penguins and the Flyers, a pile of “if-when” contracts could be triggered.
If Pittsburgh clinches, thousands of Eastern Conference championship T-shirts and hats will be rushed into production and shipped to stores. If Philadelphia wins, those contracts sit in limbo for whenever the series comes to a decisive conclusion.
This is the “chase business,” said John Horan, publisher of trade publication, Sporting Goods Intelligence. Even as Sidney Crosby and Scottie Upshall chase pucks around the ice, vendors and retailers are poised to chase the sales that victory brings. Blink and the business opportunity might go flying by.
From Brian Christ at the ABQ Journal.com,
One of the most revered traditions in sports is the handshake ceremony after each Stanley Cup playoff series, when the bloodied warriors on each team line up to offer congratulations to their foes for a job well done. Sportsmanship at its greatest.
It’s just seems incomprehensible, though, how guys who had just been knocking the pus out of each other can all of a sudden start hobnobbing. For me, it’s not uncommon to hold a grudge against someone who takes 3 minutes to heat a pile of rice in the office microwave.
So, is this on-ice glad-handing genuine?
Note: Accessing the complete text of the article above may present obstacles to some readers, so I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the relevant excerpt below the “continue reading” link
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