Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Somehow, championship teams find a way to overcome any and all adversity. The vanquished, meanwhile, too often seek out a bullseye for misguided blame. And the officials always are the easiest target around.
But unless Apple invents the iRef, we’re stuck with the guys and the system we’ve got. And until someone comes up with a practical, fail-safe solution to a game played and run by human beings, all you ref-blasting bleaters out there ought to stuff a hockey sock in your soundholes and allow the rest of us to enjoy the playoffs in peace.
from the Forechecker at Fox Sports,
...and now it’s time to hand out this season’s awards, and since we’re not too far removed from the film industry’s Academy Awards, we’ll hand them out Oscar-style.
OUTSTANDING ACTING ENSEMBLE (aka DIVING by team): The nominees are…
Atlanta Thrashers (8)
Nashville Predators (11)
And the winner is… the Nashville Predators! Coincidentally, they took a diving call in each of their first two playoff games against San Jose
from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
He’s always sensitive to being called an American trying to redesign Canada’s game, so when it comes to certain issues Bettman loves to trot out the “always been part of the game” argument. Forget the fact one of his greatest unilateral calls as commissioner was to force-feed four-on-four overtime upon the league, a scheme that had never been widely used previously but has been a great success.
He can lean towards the innovative. But he can also be the champion of the so-called purist, depending on the winds.
Bettman even employed the silliest argument of all on head shots, that of taller players playing against smaller ones, and cited the challenge that 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara would face under enhanced head shot legislation.
from the National Post,
So far, the NHL hasn’t had a worst-case scenario with head shots. Eric Lindros played the game like a bull, a style that played a large part in his concussion troubles. But for the most part, it has been players like Adam Deadmarsh, Jason Allison, Matthew Lombardi, and Tim Connolly that have had concussions impact their careers. No Crosbys. No Sedins. No Joe Thorntons.
“They see Patty Eaves and they just take notice,” Spezza said. “I think they’re waiting for it to happen to Jarome Iginla, Sidney Crosby, or someone real important. They’ve got to fix it now.”
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…
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.
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