Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Canadian Press via TSN,
Some of the NHL’s most powerful agents got their first real glimpse of the new executive director of the NHL Players’ Association on Wednesday, and they liked what they saw.
Paul Kelly met with more than 100 player agents for the first time since he started on the job five months ago.
“You get a sense that he’s passionate and he’s got a vision,” said agent Pat Brisson of CAA Sports. “He wants to protect the players obviously but he wants to grow the game - which is fantastic.’
From The Puck Stops Here on FoxSports,
So far this season, there have been 30 Russian players who have played one or more NHL games, down from 57 prior to the lockout. Talent is already being drawn away from the NHL.
The skeptics will argue that the elite Russian talent still comes to the NHL, which is clearly true when one looks at the scoring race. However, some proven NHLers are having good seasons in the Russian Elite League right now and would be able to contribute to any NHL team were they in the NHL. A quick look through the Russian Elite League shows there are teams with former NHLers Aleksey Morozov, Alexander Perezhogin, Oleg Saprykin, Alexei Yashin and Maxim Sushinsky all leading them in scoring.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
When exactly are we going to see a non-North American hired as a top-level NHL official? Considering the league has employed Europeans as players for some 30 years now, you think it’d be high time somebody – maybe Jari Kurri, maybe Slava Fetisov – scored a prime spot in its management structure.
more and Brian Burke discusses a previous Proteau column…
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
But a dynasty was forming in Detroit, as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 and four Stanley Cups in six years. This run coincided with Howe reaching physical maturity.
Howe was 6-foot, 205 pounds, one of the larger players in the NHL at that time. He was tall and lean with a farmer’s hard muscles. He came from utter poverty and he wouldn’t let anyone compromise his career on the ice.
Howe one-punched Maurice “Rocket” Richard to the ice early in his career and he crushed Bobby Orr late in his career. Howe was uncanny. He could deliver immediate, devastating retribution or he could let a slight go unpunished so long that the perpetrator forgot about it, until he found himself flat on his back when Howe found a situation that wouldn’t compromise his team’s chance of winning.
more with a photo gallery….
From the New York Times, a few words from the representative bloggers of all the NHL teams still fighting for their playoff lives:
Included in the west is my own overly-optimistic blurb on the Canucks. But I think my favorite of the bunch would have to be from the Edmonton Oilers blogger… gotta love that hockey hate…
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
“I favour the no-touch icing rule, as do a majority of our players,” NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said Tuesday. “This position is grounded in serious safety concerns about precisely the type of high speed collision that led to the unfortunate injury to Kurtis Foster. The NHLPA has advocated for the adoption of the no-touch icing rule for many years. We intend to raise the issue again via the competition committee at the end of the season.”
Minnesota GM Doug Risebrough has routinely voted against changing the icing rule but now is obviously re-examining his stance given the injury suffered by one of his players.
NEW YORK (March 25, 2008)—Fueled by unprecedented League-wide competition for playoff spots and positions, the NHL is on pace to obliterate its March attendance records. A per-game average of 17,900 fans—97% of capacity—has filled NHL arenas this month. The existing March record average of 17,331 was set last season.
The late-season surge has ensured another season of record NHL attendance. The 2007-08 per-game average of 17,194 is running 1.7% ahead of the 2006-07 campaign, which concluded with a record figure of 16,961. The NHL will surpass 20 million in total attendance for the seventh consecutive season and will, for the first time in its 90-season history, conclude the regular season with a per-game average in excess of 17,000.
Gordie Howe from a Q & A in the Detroit Free Press,
“I always said I believed in religious hockey, and that it is better to give than to receive. I remember one guy said he tried to hit me all game but all he saw was tape. When I was playing, a coach might say, “You don’t like so and so?” And I’d say, “I don’t like any of them out there. When the game’s over, I like a lot of them, but on the ice is not a place to be liking people.”
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Talk is veteran referee Mick McGeough is retiring at the end of the season and might have worked his last game in Montreal last night. You see the size of the bucket he wears? That thing could hold 12 of his favourite beverage. Pull up an easy chair and enjoy retirement, Mick.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Canada Day will remain NHL Free Agent Day.
That’s because the NHL Players’ Association has turned thumbs down on an NHL request to move the beginning of free agency from July 1 to July 7.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
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