Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News via WFAA,
Quick, before commissioner Gary Bettman renders this league extinct, here are 10 ways to fix the NHL and deliver an improved product to more viewers in 2008.
3: Convince the selfish Eastern Conference general managers to act in the best interests of the game and change the schedule. This was voted on and rejected a few months ago. But Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, moving into the prime of what’s going to be a fantastic career, needs to play a game in Dallas and Los Angeles and Chicago every year. Not once every three years.
via Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League plans to play host to another outdoor game on New Year’s Day 2008. The host team has yet to be determined, but this time the game is not expected to be held in Canada. Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh are three of the interested teams. The 2007-08 NHL schedule is not expected to be finalized until mid-July.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
If you’re going to strap on the gear and pull a National Hockey League sweater over your head the way every one of us Canadian boys dreamed of our entire lives—still have the dream once in a while, actually—then you should be ready to take an elbow (or a set of bare knuckles) in the chops once in a while.
Hard, tough hockey is at the root of why Canada is a one-sport nation. Sure, we play ‘em all. But there is only one we are the best in the world at; only one we would choose, if we were stranded on a desert island with only one specialty channel.
We’re rougher, and we fight more than everyone else. We’re hard to play against because we are a fearsome competitor. Beating us at hockey hurts, and the moment they start taking pain out of the game, all those other nations are going to take a step closer to Canada.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Maybe we’ve been going at this thing all wrong. A player like Chris Pronger attempts to decapitate an opponent, the league acts self-righteous and embarrassed, then suspends said offender in an attempt to clean up the sport’s image to a vast majority of people who simply don’t care about athletes who wear thin strips of metal on their feet.
Meanwhile across town at the UFC, essentially the same thing happens but this story ends with a victorious champion collecting a belt, a vanquished opponent collecting brain cells and people who run the league collecting mansions.
from mjd at The Fanhouse,
But I’ve been thinking about what could get me back into hockey, and I’ve come up with five suggestions. It’s kind of a shame that I’m putting this post into FanHouse’s NHL section ... the people there already love their game, they don’t need me to sell them on it, and I hope this isn’t taken as an outsider telling hockey fans what’s wrong with their sport.
That’s not the intention here. I think hockey’s a solid and entertaining game to watch, and nothing would please me more than if the NHL could re-sink that hook into my mouth and reel me back in. Here are a few places they can start.
Someone, Somewhere in the NHL, Is Going to Have to Develop a Personality.
If Tim Duncan was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow, he’d immediately become the most dynamic and outrageous personality in the NHL. That’s not good.
from The Maven,
• This from Ken Hitchcock on those who keep trying to improve The Game: “We’ve out-thought ourselves. We moved the bluelines and people adjusted and now sometimes you’re playing against five goalies. There’s a lot of shot-blocking and I’d like us to re-test and move the bluelines back in. See if it can create more chaos where the shots are coming quickly and they can’t block as many. And you’re closer to the net, so chances are you’re going to score.”
• Mike Milbury’s next destination might be as a TV analyst. Yet in his post-Isles comments it’s evident that The Mad One would love most of all to coach. But where?
Well, there’s an opening less than 50 miles from MM’s Garden City home and it’s in New Jersey.
from the AP via Yahoo,
“There’s going to be an attempt to draft some type of rule about a hit directly to the head,” Ducks GM Brian Burke said. “My prediction is it’s going to be hard to draft it, but I think we owe it to our players to try.”
Added Sabres GM Darcy Regier: “For me, for our organization, I think it’s a step in the right direction.”
read on... plus others changes discussed but no resolutions…
added 7:11pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The league will almost certainly introduce a major penalty for interference (currently there is none on the books) to prevent another Tomas Kaberle-Cam Janssen sort of incident and will also ensure that all face-offs will occur at the nearest dot.
And while Nashville Predators’ general manager David Poile believes that bigger nets will eventually have to come, there was little support for that change in the here and now, according to the Minnesota Wild’s Doug Risebrough.
more on the head shots too…
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Fans are understandably sick of hearing about financial issues, but a couple of recent revelations bear noting.
One is that it appears that the NHL Players Association will exercise its right to have the salary cap raised to the maximum permissible level. That should push it over $50 million.
Those of you who remember commissioner Gary Bettman’s assurance that the salary cap he needed to impose would keep ticket prices down might wonder about this.
Bettman could have prevented the year-long shutdown of the league by accepting a PA proposal that would have set payrolls at approximately $42 million. He refused, saying that such a figure was beyond the reach of owners. Two years later, we’re at $50 million.
more on this, plus a few other NHL topics, including the Pronger suspension…
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
“We’ve been talking about this for a year,” said one GM. “I don’t think (Saturday) night will have a lot to do with the discussions. It will be discussed. We know the players want it discussed and it’s something we’ll have continue to work through.”
“We’re in a contact sport and people are going to get hurt,” said Ducks GM Brian Burke. “The notion we’re going to take away hitting in the game because a big guy is going to hit a little guy…we can’t take that out.”
read on... and I remember Chelios stating a few weeks ago the NHLPA will do something about head hits this summer…
Spector recaps the Satellite Hot Stove talk from last night on HNIC and touches on some other player movement talk.
I want to add this, don’t believe any of the made-up rumors of Hasek signing with any other team besides Detroit. He either plays with thw Wings or retires, end of story.
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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