Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Utica Observer Dispatch,
Esche spent last week in Pittsburgh working out with the Penguins. The 29-year-old Esche got his foot in the door via his friend Mark Recchi, an 18-year NHL vet and Penguins assistant captain. Practicing against young stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Esche showed off his new and improved physique to the Penguins executives.
“I lost a lot of weight this summer,” Esche said. “I feel good and quick, something that I never really had in the NHL. I’ve never been in that good of shape.”
from Eric Duvall of the Tonawanda News,
It’s football time again, and for Bills fans, that means it’s the time of year where we get our hopes up….
One thing I could do without, though, is the pomp and circumstance surrounding the NFL’s kickoff. Big-time musicians, fireworks, lasers — all to celebrate day one.
I greatly prefer the NHL, which usually starts its season under cover of darkness. Sportscenter keeps the game highlights to 30 seconds and about 45 minutes into its hour-long broadcast. Fine by me. This is hockey country and we don’t much mind skipping the Faith Hill performance before a largely meaningless game nine months before a trophy is handed out.
Besides, I don’t know a ton of hockey fans that would want to hear Faith Hill. The Tragically Hip singing “50 Mission Cap” is far more our style.
from Carter Gaddis of the Tampa Tribune,
Year Three, A.L. (After Lockout) is dawning. Training camps are upon us.
The National Hockey League is about to begin its annual search for identity south of the 49th parallel. For every plus, there is a minus. For every slap, a shot.
In Canada, where folks are taught from birth the sanctity of the blue line and they know without being told that Don Cherry is not a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, there is no debate.
Hockey is king. End of discussion.
In the U.S., the debate rages. Well, perhaps not rages. Stirs with quiet desperation among those who care, maybe.
There is no escaping the debate, though, not after pro hockey shared a spot with men’s golf in the most recent annual Harris Poll to determine the favorite sport of Americans.
Hockey fans begin preparing for the new season…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Since the “original six” teams in the NHL were Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit, why was the league called the National Hockey League? It was clearly an international league to begin with, so why wasn’t it called the International Hockey League? Except for teams in Montreal and Toronto, there’s nothing original about the Original Six.
The National Hockey League began life in 1917 as a truly national league, with five Canadian teams, although only four actually played in the inaugural season.
Brad Holland of NHL.com is in Traverse City keeping any eye on some of the top NHL prospects.
I wonder if he has an eye for hockey talent?
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Sure, it would be easy to predict which players are most likely to take home the NHL’s individual achievement awards at the end of the season, but here in Hockey Capital, we don’t do easy (i.e. Senators’ playoff history before Cup run last year).
Sidney Crosby for the Hart Trophy? Pshh. Chris Pronger for the Norris? Whatever. Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo duking it out for the Vezina? Duh.
Instead, we’re picking players who could come out of nowhere to take down the trophies. Without further delay, here are the Hockey Capital Dark Horse Player Awards.
from the Toronto Sun,
The National Hockey League is sending all 30 teams a DVD to explain 2007-08 rule changes, along with a stern reminder to stay out of fights while sitting on the bench.
The four new standards are topped by a five-minute interference major at the referee’s discretion should an injury result from the action. There will also be a penalty shot awarded if a breakaway is tampered with in the neutral zone, as opposed to inside the blue line. But players and coaches new to the league need to be reminded about bench decorum said league hockey operations director Kris King.
“It’s not a major issue, but if there is a fight and you’re on the bench and give the guy on the other team a face wash, then it could escalate into something worse,” King said.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
My bet where Forsberg ends up remains the Anaheim Ducks, with the Avalanche as a remote possibility. It looks like Teemu Selanne will retire, so that opens up the money they would have given him to some other player. And, if Scott Niedermayer calls it quits, the defending Cup champions suddenly would have loads of cap room. They already are missing a top forward from last year, as Dustin Penner is gone to Edmonton.
from Eric McErlain at the NHL FanHouse,
If folks are lining up to purchase NHL expansion teams, something must be going right.
Whatever the business outlook for the NHL, one thing is clear for me as a fan of the sport: I’m sick and tired of hearing about what bad shape the game is in and how cultural irrelevance lies just around the corner. On more than a few occasions in the last few months as I read predictions about the league’s eventual demise, I couldn’t help but feel that there were elements in the sports press actively rooting against the league.
So yes, while I wish the questions would go away, and for the league to have nothing but a bright financial future, I can’t help but feel that those questions are divorced at some level with what’s happening on the ice.
By the amount of comments we get whenever a “negative” story is pointed to here at KK, I know the majority of fans feel the same way.
Maybe, just maybe things will change, but I doubt it, since it is so much easier for a writer to attack the NHL than it is to actually do some leg work and point out all of the positives since the current CBA started.
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