Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Whitehorse Daily Star,
There have probably been many words used to describe Howie Meeker over the past several decades, but I guarantee you quiet, passive or understated certainly weren’t among them.
Animated, passionate, outspoken and honest. If I had to chose one word to describe the NHL and broadcast legend, I would say he’s a real firecracker. Meeker still has as much fire inside him at 82 years of age as anyone 50 years his junior.
Over a beverage at a local lounge Sunday, Meeker chats about his family, his former career and the current Toronto Maple Leafs. He shares his ideas on how Canadian hockey can and should improve, and even predicts this year’s Stanley Cup winner – the Buffalo Sabres.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi says he is ready to go, but coach Mike Babcock isn’t convinced.
Babcock said after today’s practice that whether or not Bertuzzi plays in Game 3 will be decided Tuesday.
“He has to convince me,” he is ready, Babcock said.
from Stan Fischler at The Maven,
• Michael Barnett, according to a high NHL source, could easily move into the Executive Director’s chair at the Players’ Association. What remains to be seen is, A: Whether Ted Saskin survives the overwhelming move for his ouster, and, B: Whether the deposed Coyotes’ GM is willing to accept the Union leadership. We hope the offer comes and Mike accepts!
• Word out of Edmonton is that the three clubs expected to try hardest to sign Ryan Smyth this summer are Rangers, Maple Leafs and Colorado. We’ll add the Islanders as well.
from the LA Times,
The former enforcer can still be obstinate and outrageous, such as when he says in a profanity-laced pronouncement that, besides not winning the Stanley Cup, “The only other thing I regret is, I had some bonehead general managers and coaches I should have kicked the … out of the first day I met them because of some of the boneheaded moves these guys made.
“I think it would be safe to say that the NHL is a billion-dollar business, or better, right? And they have some … morons running their organizations. It absolutely blows my mind. The decisions these guys made just amazed me.”
One such decision was made by the Hartford Whalers, who acquired Williams in a trade with the Kings shortly after he signed a contract extension in the fall of 1987 and released him less than a year later, effectively ending his career.
read on (reg. req.)
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“With this new system, you’ve got to spend your money right and you’ve got make the playoffs or you’re going to be in trouble,” a league executive said last week. “You’re going to see more GMs paying the price. (Barnett’s firing) might be the start of a trend.
“In the past, if things didn’t go right for your team, you’d just go out and spend more cash. Now, GMs are having their mistakes exposed. (If) they don’t spend the cash the right way, they’re going to hear about it or get fired like Barnett did. That’s the thing with the salary cap: There’s nowhere for GMs to hide.”
more, plus some UFA talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Actually, this seems to be a Rangers’ issue. Actually, for some inexplicable reason, the Rangers - the Ranger$ - are the only team in the league not to have paid guaranteed signing bonuses while the lockout was still in effect on July 1, 2005, after the 2004-05 NHL season had been canceled.
And, actually, this does not seem to be about the language in the contracts, at all, for Slap Shots has learned the NHL already has stipulated in its pre-hearing briefs that the contracts as written do guarantee the signing bonuses.
more...plus some Kerry Fraser and Cherry talk…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
The coaching staff once tried to bring an end to a regular-season slump by holding a séance in the trainers’ room, complete with candles to help them call on the ghosts of One-Eyed Frank McGee, King Clancy, and Fearless Frank Finnigan. It didn’t work.
One goaltender — and we shall spare him the humiliation of using his name — refused to change his underwear during one playoff run that, perhaps fortunately, came to a quicker-than-expected end.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The last thing the NHL needs now is to see this growing northern alienation take root. Canadians have threatened to walk away before — usually after lockouts or strikes - but always flocked back when the game returned. There was a massive uproar against the decision to show the Pens-Sens’ game in the afternoon, a demonstration of the passion that NHL fans have in Canada for playoff hockey and the institution of Hockey Night In Canada. One of these days, the league is going to make a similar sort of call and find the response far more muted.
much more and other NHL bits too…
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Columbus: Penguins It’s a relatively easy drive to Mellon Arena, and Blue Jackets fans can also see how astute drafting—well, and having the luck to be especially rotten in the right draft years—can actually lead to progress.
Spector has gathered some information on a few teams not involved in the playoffs.
At times you have to feel for the fans of these teams, they deserve to be rewarded and hopefully the future will be brighter for them.
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 email@example.com