Kukla's Korner Hockey
The National Hockey League posted record attendance for the month of November, attracting 3,367,547 fans to 199 games for a per-game average of 16,922. The per-game figure eclipsed the previous November high of 16,818 set during the League’s successful re-launch season in 2005 and was 2.3% ahead of last season’s 16,538.
Remember the KK post about a month ago called “Gordie Howe Is The Greatest Of Them All”? Well, if you enjoyed it I suggest you read Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette today,
Whether Detroit Red Wings Hall of Famer Gordie Howe was the greatest of them all, regardless of the record book, might forever be debated by hockey fans.
But in the spring of 1963, when Howe was celebrated in a hit song by Verdun’s Bob Davies, there was no doubt.
Tonight, the man they call Mr. Hockey will be joined by a handful of other Red Wings legends at the Bell Centre when the Canadiens pay tribute to one of their Original Six rivals, another special event on the road to the Habs’ 2009 centennial.
With the game being on Versus tonight, we can only hope they care enough about their fans that they show this pre-game tribute!
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The NHL’s latest episode of Tales Of Contentment, this one coming out of the league’s Board of Governors meetings, had me laughing myself to tears late last week.
In case you missed it, the overwhelming, underlying message was positively Alfred E. Newmanesque in its simplicity: What, us worry?
“I think it’s a wonderful game the way it is today,” said Rangers GM Glen Sather, who also thought his Blueshirts were a playoff team from 2000-2004.
Sorry to go against you Adam, but maybe a tweak to the goalie equipment is all that I want to see. I also believe the majority of KK readers are happy with the game as we know today.
The NHL is OK with CBC injecting more drama into the sport of hockey.
The NHL requested and received a sneak peek of MVP, a salacious prime-time soap about the lives of hockey players, which premieres Jan. 18 on CBC.
“While it certainly could be interpreted not to cast professional hockey players in the most positive light, I also understand that it’s fiction,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote to CBC in an e-mail.
“And I have enough faith in the Canadian public to see it as such. The CBC understood why we’d want to see a copy.”
To see a clip of the show, you can go back to a previous post on KK...
from Habs Inside/Out,
Tuesday’s Canadiens-Detroit Red Wings game will be preceded by a tribute to the 81-year rivalry between the two Original Six clubs.
The Red Wings are expected to be represented by legends Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Marcel Pronovost and Marcel Dionne. The Canadiens are expected to have icons Jean Béliveau and Dickie Moore taking part, with Jean-Guy Talbot, Stéphane Richer and Claude Lemieux.
added 9:20pm, Because KK member snafu brought up the name Lemieux…
check out the video…
Goaltenders Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending December 2.
Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo and Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for November.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Here’s a topic guaranteed to tick off a lot of present and former NHL players, not to mention many of those reading this: The 10 smartest NHL players I’ve seen.
With apologies to those omitted, I humbly submit for your consideration this list, arranged not in order but as a group. Goalies are not included.
10. Bryan Trottier
from Working the Corners,
Limit teams to only four skaters in their own defensive zone. That does two things — unclogs the scoring areas and legitimizes the cherry-picking scoring threat who never wanted to worry about defense anyway. Opposing coaches would have to decide whether to have someone hang with the cherry-picker or go for the man advantage in the offensive zone. Linesmen would have responsibility for whistling a new penalty — too many men inside the blue line.
Wilson acknowledges that he and his fellow coaches deserve some of the blame for the current drop in scoring since play resumed after the lockout.
from Wayne Fish of Philly Burbs,
Former Flyers player Mark Howe, now a scout with the Detroit Red Wings, sees about 100 NHL games per year.
He says he’s sat through some real yawners these past couple seasons and yearns for the days when hockey still offered robust competition.
“I do watch a lot of games where both teams are working, both teams are playing very sound hockey, but is the game entertaining for the people who paid their money?” Howe said. “In my opinion, no.’‘...
“I know some teams, their goal is to block 20, 25 shots a night. You didn’t see that years ago. You forechecked two guys to get pressure. I like watching Andy Murray’s teams (currently St. Louis) ... they play a high-pressure game. Tampa’s an entertaining team; same with Edmonton.’‘
Howe says you don’t have to have high scoring for an entertaining game.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Judging by a conversation late last week with new executive director Paul Kelly, it seems the PA finally has realized the obvious. Kelly, who met Thursday with the NHL’s Board of Governors in Pebble Beach, Calif., wants the union to be far more engaged in the supplemental disciplinary process. In his estimation, after meeting in recent weeks with the rank and file of 11 of the league’s 30 teams, the players feel the need to increase the on-ice respect factor and do what they can to decrease, ideally eliminate, “head shots.”
“There is a feeling among the players,” said Kelly, “there has been a greater number of these this year than in the past - and no one has an explanation for it. Some of these are hits by guys who are considered third- or fourth-liners, and perhaps they are sent out by a coach to play a certain style, or maybe they are trying to win a job, or keep a job, and maybe they feel they have to ratchet up the aggressiveness….”
more and numerous NHL bits…
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