Kukla's Korner Hockey
Brian Burke’s certification as Maple Leafs monarch has plural positives for Toronto. For the first time since the Conn Smythe-Punch Imlach Eras, Toronto boasts a commanding leader who gives a face to the franchise.
Smythe and Imlach have 10 Stanley Cups between them. Now an eleventh will be possible once Burke gets the house in order; and that will only take a year.
-Stan Fishchler at the Hockey Journal where you can read more hockey notes from The Maven.
from Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated,
The NHL introduced its third jersey program in 1995, when five teams brought fresh looks to the their closets. Since then,hockey fans have seen the good, the bad and plenty of the ugly. And after a year without them—the league-wide uniform switch to Reebok last season meant no thirds for 2007-08—they’re back.
Seven of the 19 clubs sporting thirds this season have chosen to go with a predominantly black jersey. I know hockey players like their AC/DC, but come on. That’s more black than a Fashion Week runway. It’s said that a dark jersey intimidates opponents (foes of the the NFL’s Oakland Raiders may beg), but with so many black jerseys in the NHL, the collection of this season’s thirds is somehwat bland.
Brian Campbell participated in a tele-conference today… Q. As David mentioned, Chicago is greatly improved on the power play this year. I think you are seventh in the league; whereas, they have not been in the top 20 in several years. Could you talk about the effectiveness of the first unit, and talk about how the coaches worked in other partners with you on the point and what’s been working the best.
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Well, we struggled out of the gate the first couple of games on the power play. And I think even until we found the right mix, it took a while. So over the last, probably 15 games maybe, we started to click pretty good.
Obviously it helps when Patty Kane is a year older and Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp has his confidence going. And obviously on the point, I’ve worked with—we found to get on the right sides and everything with Cam Barker and myself on the one unit that we are using right now.
So, you know, I think for us, we have been finding knowing our areas where to go and finding holes and we know all of our options out there, I think that’s the biggest thing about a power play is to know where your options are at all times. For us, I don’t even have to look in a lot of instances and I know where guys are going to be in what areas.
You know, it’s good. You need that to be a playoff team. You need to be up there in special teams in those areas.
from the Delco Times,
Scottie Upshall didn’t think he was going to be penalized for his check on Tampa Bay’s Evgeni Artyukhin, but the morning after being slapped with a major penalty and a game misconduct, Upshall found himself talking to NHL discipline boss Colin Campbell.
Upshall wasn’t suspended, or even fined, but he was given a stern talking to by Campbell who is on a mission to take dangerous hits and eradicate them from the league entirely.
“I’m glad I’m not suspended, but I definitely don’t think I should have been kicked out of the game,” Upshall said. “(Campbell) wanted me to try my best to let up on guys who are in a vulnerable position and that’s what I try to do. He said we’re not going to suspend you, but we’re trying to crack down on these hits….”
After the meeting, [Brett] Hull spoke to the media outside the building before leaving and said that he expected a decision by later today or Friday. Avery departed after Hull and did not speak to reporters as he was escorted to a waiting car.
If a decision comes down today from the NHL, we’ll be sure to update this post.
update 6:18pm, The NHL will release their decision Friday morning regarding Avery.
As the Montreal Canadiens unveiled a series of initiatives as part of the club’s Centennial celebrations, Forbes magazine is reporting that team owner George Gillett has put the franchise up for sale.
“I’m here today to celebrate the 100th anniversary and I’m proud as punch to be involved and I look forward to being involved for a longtime to come” Gillett told Sportsnet before addressing the Forbes report. “I have no comment. I haven’t seen the article but had I seen it, I would have no comment.”
The reported asking price is $400 million, more than double the figure Gillett paid for the team ($181 million) back in 2001. In a recent report Forbes.com listed the team value at $334 million.
added 4:58pm, from CBC,
On Thursday, the 70-year-old Gillett told reporters he is “angry” that he continually has to deny the hockey team is on the market.
“The club has never been for sale. As far as I know, no one has ever talked to anyone about the sale of the club,” said Gillett, who bought 80 per cent of the Canadiens and the Bell Centre for $185 million US in 2001.
“I’ve never authorized anyone to discuss it. We have received many inquiries about a possible sale [but] I’ve never entertained any of them.”
Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice-President Jim Devellano will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
from Mike Milbury of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Today marks the official start of the Montreal Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.
Pardon me if I don’t feel like joining the party.
For the Habs fans, this begins a few months strolling down memory lane. For me, it’s like bringing out the skeletons in the closet.
For three straight years from 1977-1979, my Boston Bruins squared off against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And three times, we were sent home a little too early.
If the two teams were cars, the Montreal Canadiens were the Porsches of the NHL. Sleek, fast, streamlined. The top of the line….
And the Bruins? We were just an old, rusty Dodge pick-up truck. Hey, nothing wrong with dependability.
read on for some memories from Mike…
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Keep in mind these are my selections alone; so direct any fan furor my way, not towards the other (poor) THN souls.
HART TROPHY (most valuable player)
Jarome Iginla, Calgary – I know most non-Flames fans will be frothing with indignation at the thought of this pick, but stick with me for a minute. The Hart Trophy is “given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team,” not the league’s best player.
NORRIS TROPHY (top defenseman)
Shea Weber, Nashville – I said several times during the summer that Preds GM David Poile was genius in getting Weber, a restricted free agent to be, to sign a very reasonable deal before other teams had the chance to knock on his agent’s door with an offer sheet.
Chris Foster (LA Times) reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi has plenty of available cap space to make some moves this season but those potential moves could depend on how the club performs over the next couple of months. Foster suggests the Kings need a top-line scorer and a legitimate number one goaltender and while noting neither becomes available very often anything is possible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cue the Marian Gaborik and Nikolai Khabibulin to LA rumors! Meanwhile Lombardi will likely be patient and keep a close eye on the market.
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.
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