Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trophy ballots for the NHL awards were delivered to members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association Thursday — earlier than usual by historical standards.
In the early 1980s, or the days of the Original 21, there were three voters per NHL city and they filled out paper as opposed to electronic ballots. That number eventually dropped to two, as the league expanded (and finding enough qualified voters in some markets proved difficult). More recently, the voter pool was expanded to include its largest number ever — up to 160 ballots could be cast this year — for the five trophies voted on by the PHWA: Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng and Calder.
continued and other NHL topics too…
from Shawn Byrne at the Daily Miner,
In a recent discussion with my boss about the state of hockey, we arrived at a couple ways for the game to be improved, and maybe, bring us back into the fold.
Eliminating the center line would be a good start. Keep the two-line passing rule, but get rid of the middle line to allow for more fast breaks. More scoring would lead to more excitement….
Another rule that we decided would add some excitement would be a take-off from basketball’s three-seconds rule.
On power plays, a defensemen could only be in a predetermined area in front of the goal for five seconds. The defensemen would have to skate out of the area, opening up the inside for an attack by the team with the advantage.
These two simple changes would allow me (and maybe my boss) to watch the Coyotes’ last five games like a fanatic, and whether or not Phoenix made the postseason, I would tune into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
You see, baseball needs statistics. It’s a horribly boring game. If you didn’t spend your time debating the validity of pinch-hitting for that Dominican kid in the third inning, you’d realize you could have spent the afternoon reading the footnotes in the phone book.
Hockey’s not like that. The guys on the ice actually do something. This game moves so quick and is so enticing you shouldn’t even have the time to look up Josef Vasicek’s plus/minus rating on alternate Thursdays following a holiday.
Leave the stats to the only people that truly love and embrace them (in lieu of girlfriends).
The meek may indeed inherit the earth. They just can’t have hockey.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,
Hollywood movies and human nature have conditioned most of us to hope, if not outright expect, our stories to have happy endings.
However, as a few NHL franchises just learned, reality doesn’t grant nearly that many wishes. More often than not, it specializes in the cruelest of lessons, crushed hopes and dashed dreams.
That was the unfortunate result for the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers, which all saw their Stanley Cup aspirations coldly cast into the proverbial latrine after losing must-win games this week. And soon, playoff bubble teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators – or perhaps the fast-sliding Vancouver Canucks – will set up shop with them on lottery lane.
“Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe, will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
But the perfect NHLer?
Create your own, definitive of the era. A mix-and-match superstar. A potent cocktail of unbeatable characteristics.
The idea is to play Mary (no relation to Jody) Shelley and stitch together your very own frozen-water Frankenstein, compiling the best bits from the most compelling players in the game today.
Hey, if sticks can be composites, why can’t players? And if such a creation were possible, the assembled product could do worse than look like this:
All-around skill set
• Alexander Ovechkin
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….
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