Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeffrey Flanagan at the Kansas City Star,
If Kansas City does indeed ever land an NHL team, keep this in mind: The game has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
As enforcement of the instigator penalty has grown stricter in the NHL — the punishment is a minor penalty, a major penalty and a 10-minute misconduct — old-fashioned street brawls on the ice have all but vanished. And so has much of the game’s personality.
“Let’s face it: Fans do like to see the fighting,” said former Blades broadcaster Bob Kaser. “When you think about, what gets the crowd going more? Is it an end-to-end goal or is it seeing one of your team’s enforcers going at it with someone on the other team? It’s the fighting that gets the crowd on its feet in anticipation.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
So players routinely hit people along the boards, knowing full well that if they don’t, they could lose their jobs. As long as the opponent is not facing the glass, that’s usually not a problem.
But in many of these instances where players are being hurt, the victim turns to the boards at the last millisecond when it’s too late for the checker to stop his forward motion. The other variation is that a player — partly facing the boards — sees the checker coming and, in an attempt to absorb the blow, starts to bend towards a fetal position. He puts his head down — the worst possible course of action. When he gets hit, his face goes into the dasher.
What should the league do in these cases? To the casual fan, it appears to be a simple case. A player got whacked into the boards and is lying there hurt. Hand out a major and subsequently a suspension.
But on closer examination, it appears that there’s not much else the checker could do.
*This subject also addressed earlier today by Spector at FoxSports, and linked here on KK
From Stan Fischler via hockeyjournal.com,
John Ferguson deserves better than the relentless attacks from such human verbal howitzers as Steve (Toronto Sun) Simmons and Hockey Night in Canada’s Scott Morrison. As long as we can remember, Steve – otherwise a friend of ours – has been trying to pull the plug on Fergie. The Simmons fixation is troubling and it must pain the dear boy that Toronto has climbed above .500 (5-4-3). Meanwhile Morrison has the unmitigated gall to suggest that existing GMs, such as Jimmy Rutherford, up and leave their jobs to displace colleague Ferguson. How ridiculous can you get? Just for the sake of common decency, it would be neat if Ferguson’s Leafs ran off a six-game winning streak. That would shut these jackals up – for about a week.
read on… for Stan’s take on the NHLPA and other NHL news
From Spector’s Blog at FoxSports,
Hitting - good clean body-checking - is every bit as vital to the game of hockey as a wrist shot and a glove save. Nobody wants to see it removed from the game.
Even no-nonsense hockey commentator Don Cherry, a well-known champion of physical hockey, has been an advocate for years against hitting players from behind into the boards.
Part of the problem is that players nowadays are being coached on turning their backs to their opponents when the puck is along the boards to “protect the puck”, the thinking being an opponent won’t hit them from behind and therefore making it more difficult for them to strip away the puck. It does work to an extent, but it still leaves a player in a vulnerable position.
The National Hockey League (NHL) debuts two TV spots featuring the new NHL tagline “Live Every Shift,” today on NHL.com. The spots will air for the first time tonight during the VERSUS broadcast of the San Jose Sharks - Dallas Stars game, and will re-air later this week on TSN, CBC, HDNet and NHL Network. The ads were written and produced by top advertising agency Young & Rubicam in collaboration with NHL Productions. This is the first creative work done by Y&R since being hired as the NHL’s Agency of Record in September.
continued… *You can see the new advertisements at that link as well
Update 3:37pm ET:
More on the TV spots with Dan Rosen at NHL.com.
From the AP via Globe & Mail,
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — NHL veteran and Slovakian star Peter Bondra retired from professional hockey Monday to become general manager of his country’s national team.
“I kept it a secret for a long time. They will know overseas only after this press conference,” Bondra said, according to the Slovak national hockey association. “I hope I can help Slovakia win another medal at the world championship.”
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
Even if the city and a mainly local group of investors seeking to buy the Predators agreed on a new arena lease as early as today, it may be too late for the NHL to approve a change of ownership by Wednesday.
That’s when the period of exclusive negotiations between the local group and Predators owner Craig Leipold expires.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he was “not sure” if the league would have enough time to approve an ownership change by Wednesday.
“But everyone’s primary focus should be getting a deal done there, and then we’ll deal with approval,’’ Daly said.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
There are those who are waiting for the NHL to throw the book at Philadelphia’s Randy Jones for his hit on Boston’s Patrice Bergeron.
There are those who are talking about what sanctions the league should impose on the Flyer organization, in the wake of illegal hits by Steve Downie, Jesse Boulerice and now Jones.
And there are those who are likely to be disappointed.
The NHL has yet to rule on Jones, and won’t do or say anything publicly Sunday, but if the reaction around the league from other GMs, coaches and players is any indication, Jones is not likely to be on the receiving end of a monster suspension, if he’s suspended at all.
Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner last night talked about the Begeron hit and a few other topics.
Worth the seven minutes it takes to watch it…
To quote Spector,
This is just getting silly.
What else could be the topic but trade talk...
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