Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
The Lightning captain, 28, returned home this weekend to play in the 57th All-Star Game commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens franchise. What’s it like for Lecavalier in a city that craves a French-Canadian superstar for whom to cheer and is buzzing with speculation the Canadiens could try to trade for him? Lecavalier tells us.
Do you understand the fascination among fans and media about having a French-Canadian centerpiece on the Canadiens?
The people, they want a French-Canadian, there’s no doubt about it. They talk about it every summer when free agency comes. Some people say there’s not enough on the team, and they try to get more. It’s part of the tradition. People are fascinated by it. They want a French-Canadian who can play there.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The National Hockey League Players Association has requested additional information from the NHL regarding the leagues intent to enforce a policy that will keep Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom out of Tuesday’s game against Columbus.
It’s possible the Players Association could file a grievance; however the impartial arbitrator wouldn’t be able to hear the case before Tuesday.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
So, as the injuries get more serious and the scary incidents work their way up the hockey ladder, it’s clear the league will do nothing concrete about fighting until someone in the NHL suffers the same fate as Don Sanderson. In the back of my mind, I think Colin Campbell is convinced exactly that is going to happen someday. Bettman talks about taking a “good, hard look at it,” but offers no structure of how that’s going to happen and no timeline for any changes.
In other words, the NHL is basically giving the issue lip service because of the perfect storm that has happened lately, but don’t expect anything drastic.
“Based on the conversations I’ve had with lots of constituencies – players, owners, managers, coaches – I don’t think there’s any appetite to abolish fighting in the game,” Bettman said. “There are lots of reasons for that, including that it has been a part of the game.”
more and Bettman talks about other hockey issues…
The show is on now, runs to 5:30pm.
from Noah Love of the National Post,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his annual All-Star news conference following the NHL Board of Governors meeting, and said he thought that if the league was to expand or forced to consider relocation, Toronto could probably handle a second team.
Mind you, he’s not thinking about it, doesn’t want you to think about it and seems to dread the thought of doing the legwork to make it happen.
“I’m not sure what level of research anybody has done on the subject, because we haven’t done any,” Bettman said at Montreal’s Windsor Hotel, coincidentally the same place the league was founded in 1917. “While we haven’t done a formal market study, intuitively, my guess is, on some basis somewhere it might work. You don’t make what could be a billion dollar decision — the combination of buying a team and building a building — on intuitive instinct.”
more from Bettman…
From the CP via NHL.com,
Dallas is in the unique and undesirable position this season of being the only NHL team without a primary affiliate. It’s a one-year fix while waiting for the Texas Stars to make their American Hockey League debut in the Austin area next fall.
Neal made it back to the NHL after two weeks with the Moose, but at the all-star break the Stars still had 11 prospects spread out among seven AHL teams. They were playing different systems, with players from rival organizations and sometimes even facing each other.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “I look forward to next year. Austin is going to be a great setup, a strong, strong situation for us.”
Dallas announced plans last February for an AHL franchise closer to home. Iowa responded by ending a three-year affiliation with the Stars after last season and became the Chops - with a vicious boar’s head for a logo. They are now the Anaheim Ducks’ primary farm team.
The Stars were left scrambling this season for a way to continue developing their minor-leaguers closest to playing in the NHL.
from Joe O’Connor of the National Post,
“I flip off the TV whenever there is a fight,” he says. “The guys that fight now, they are guys that can’t play. They are only there for that reason, and I am not interested in watching it. And I am not interested in some Sluggo, on television, telling me that this sort of stuff was always part of hockey. Yeah, right: it was always in hockey. But the Sluggos, they do not know the other part of it.”
By Sluggos, Duff is referring to the in-studio experts, like Mad Mike Milbury, who does not want to “see hockey ‘pansy-fied’ and given to the granola people.” There are other experts, who never even played the damn game. There are owners, whose only interest is selling tickets and watching a crowd get to its feet when the fists fly, and the blood begins to flow. And there are the general managers—who draft that kid who is 6-foot-5 and can barely skate—and coaches that, a few years later, have that same kid sitting on the end of their bench for one reason only.
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
He was the most intense athlete the game has seen.
He was everything that personified greatness. Richard’s eye-snapping career numbers don’t begin to describe what he meant to hockey in general and the Canadiens in particular. Winning at any cost was what he was all about. He was prepared to pay the price for every goal he scored, and no price was too high.
Richard scored important goals, lifting spectators out of their seats everywhere in the six-team NHL, because he was as much The Rocket on the road as he was in Montreal. At any moment, anywhere, he could erupt with another big goal.
“I first saw him in 1942,” Ken Reardon, a former teammate who went on to become a Canadiens vice-president, told an interviewer. “I was playing for an army team. I see this guy skating at me with wild, bloody hair the way he had it then, eyes just outside the nut house. ‘I’ll take this guy,’ I said to myself. He went around me like a hoop around a barrel.”
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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