Kukla's Korner Hockey
Like millions of hockey fans who want to know what Mats Sundin is going to do, his own family has been putting pressure on the 37-year-old former Maple Leafs captain to make up his mind.
No more than his parents, who would regularly get up in the middle of the night in Sweden to watch their son perform in the National Hockey League.
“They all want me to play more,” Sundin laughingly told Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos in an exclusive interview at Sundin’s Baltic Sea cottage north of Stockholm. “That’s why I can’t stay (in Sweden) too long. I have to go make my own decision … There is pressure from everywhere.”
The full interview will air in Canada on Sunday at 9pm ET on Sportsnet television.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
In what should come as a surprise to no one, for the first time in history the NHL will spend in excess of $1.5 billion in salaries this season. And early indications are the average team payroll will go up by $5 million from 2007-08….
Spurned on by a summer of wild free agent spending and a number of big-money, long-term contracts beginning to kick in, the league is spending money like never before. As the NHL has always thought, the upper limit of the cap has turned out to be a magnet for spending, with 12 teams within $2 million of the cap.
“I want to get back in the game, I relish the opportunity to be part of a team in a different aspect than a player.”
“It’s tremendously taxing to be a coach because of the interpersonal relationships that you have to develop. It doesn’t interest me as much as being the overall seer of an organization.”
-Mark Messier appearing on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Night Talk’ program yesterday.
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
And now this new rule will only put the refs under an even more magnified microscope lens.
“Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.”
This is how the league’s new rule reads. It sounds simple enough, but if two guys are skating beside one another towards the end boards, are the officials really going to call it if the players’ skate blades nick? Or what if the players’ shoulders nudge, while they are frantically trying to pick up speed? They haven’t got to the puck yet, so technically they aren’t playing it yet.
These are the types of calls that will get blurred together. One ref might call it one night, while another sees it as too ticky-tack (and rightfully so) the next.
As a KK reader suggested in a blog from David Lee of Red and Black Hockey, maybe we should do a poll. So we are… Do you like the new icing rule? Vote below…
The NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City will celebrate its first anniversary and the start of the 2008-09 NHL season by hosting a free NHL Face-Off 2008 Fan Festival on Friday, October 10 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. As part of the celebration, Honda will give away a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile to one lucky fan on-site at the event, and the NHL will award a trip for two to the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago through an online contest.
from Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star,
As debuts go, the Sprint Center sparkled for its first National Hockey League game.
The ice shimmered beneath the skates of the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings during Monday night’s preseason game. The giant HD television screens below the scoreboards glistened. Blues organist Jeremy A. Bowyer hit the resonant keys familiar to St. Louis fans….
All that was missing was a killer crowd.
An announced crowd of 11,603 watched a Kings split squad defeat St. Louis 2-1 in the $276 million arena, which was curtained off in the upper deck in the south end of the 17,297-seat facility.
“I think what happens is, we’re a very trendy game,” said Hockey Night in Canada analyst and longtime coach Marc Crawford. “The trend this summer seems to be to go to minor league coaches and junior coaches who have had to good stints and give them an opportunity.”
The other trend this season is coaches returning for another kick at the can several years after their last NHL coaching job. Barry Melrose is the most intriguing, taking over in Tampa Bay after a dozen years spent mostly as a high-profile television commentator. Craig Hartsburg (Ottawa) and Terry Murray (Los Angeles) each last coached an NHL club more than eight years ago, while Tony Granato’s previous experience ended just before the 2004-05 lockout.
All four figure to survive longer than the last example of a coach returning to the league after a lengthy absence. John Paddock was let go just 64 games into his second NHL stint last season, with Ottawa.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
“The new rules are going to be even more stringent on defending in the defensive zone,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said Sunday after the club completed its second day of training camp. “Anything with the free hand — before, players were allowed to put that stick in there. Any type of movement with that stick and arm to stop progression of a player, they’re going to be very, very strict on it.
“They don’t want that ability to pin (along the boards), and hold people on the wall. They want that freedom. There will be very little pinning. There will be free hands, but there won’t be grappling.”
As opposed to favoring speed-type players, the rules interpretation might give more freedom for bigger, stronger players to work their magic in the corners and behind the net.
from Mick Kern at the XM NHL Home Ice Blog,
Each autumn I can feel the clock tick a little louder; another step towards the grave. The closing of Yankee Stadium is yet another small step in that direction. Just another part of my past that now is gone.
Add it to the roll call of other great buildings. Maple Leaf Gardens, the Detroit Olympia, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, the Montreal Forum. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. No doubt you have your own arenas/stadiums to add to that list.
For me, it’s Clarke Stadium in Edmonton, the Montreal Expos, the Calgary Cannons, the St. Catherines Stompers, and Ottawa Rough Rigers. The Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, and Quebec Nordiques. The Atlanta Flames at the Omni. The Winnipeg Arena, though I never saw a game there, but once peered in through the windows and caught a glimpse of the seats. 10 cent chocolate bars at the corner store, milk in glass bottles, Saturday morning cartoons, and playing outside without sunscreen.
from the CP via TSN,
Former Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville is due in court next month on a drunken driving charge.
Police in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree say Quenneville was stopped around 8 p.m. Friday for driving without his headlights on. After further investigation, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and failure to use headlights.
Sgt. Dan Seaman says Quenneville’s license was confiscated after he refused to take a chemical test.
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