Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Declared dead after the lockout of 2004-05, the league is now being hyped as prime for the mass-market breakthrough it has yearned for since Commissioner Gary Bettman was in short pants.
Its showcase event, the Stanley Cup finals, will begin Saturday in Detroit with Crosby and Fleury’s whiz-kid Pittsburgh Penguins facing Lidstrom’s savvy Red Wings. The games should be entertaining, with clear storylines:
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A matchup of the two best teams in hockey, something of a rare occurrence in hockey and a series where a great many in the business of sports forecasting would be willing to just throw up their hands and yell “pick’em”.
But not your humble Sportsnet. ca correspondent.
What follows is an expanded Sportsnet.ca breakdown complete with an overview, an explanation of what both teams need to do to win, an analysis of the key players and, as always, an unshakeable prediction in regards to how it will all turn out.
You don’t have to thank me now, but feel free to send a cheque in my name to any charity of your choice including the Kelley’s Kids foundation a group that has had it’s hand in my wallet for decades.
from the Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
If Malkin is sensational, I think Pittsburgh wins the cup. If he is just average, or disappears, as he was sometimes prone to do before he blew up in the second half of this season, Detroit wins.
Sure, it’s a lot more complicated than that. But I’m a simpleton. And simply put, Malkin’s play, more than any other single factor, will decide the Stanley Cup Champion.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Some people have written the SCF should be starting tonight and I can see where they are coming from. But the hype has not even reached its high point yet—that begins later today and extends into Friday. The national media types will be settling into Detroit today. Media day is scheduled for tomorrow and then the stories really start rolling out.
I have this distinct feeling the SCF will attract the casual sports fan. Call it the Crosby Coming Out Party if you wish, but everything points to a series of skill, speed and great players. Both sides have the ability to turn it on offensively and that translates into “can’t turn away from this game” for that casual fan.
From the Buffalo Sabres:
It was a day that many people will never forget. And now the Buffalo Sabres want to find out why it was so special to you.
As the summer months roll on, the Sabres are producing a DVD to commemorate last January’s Winter Classic. The New Year’s Day match-up featured the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins playing outdoors in front of a capacity crowd of more than 71,000 hearty fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.
A featured section of that DVD will be “My Classic Stories,” a collection of fan stories from the day told by the actual individuals who experienced them. The six most compelling entries, as chosen by Sabres staff, will be videotaped by Sabres production crew and used in the Winter Classic DVD that will be released prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.
Enteries must be received by June 20th. More information below.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
I can’t wait. The Maven foresees a classic series which I expect to end short of the wire. That is, Red Wings in six—in spite of Sid The Kid and his Clan, and whether concussion-bothered Johan Franzen is in the Detroit lineup or not!
via the Dallas Stars,
Dallas Stars Chairman of the Board and Owner Thomas O. Hicks announced today that he has signed Brett Hull and Les Jackson each to three-year contracts as Co-General Managers for the hockey club through the 2010-11 season. Hull and Jackson were named as Interim Co-General Managers on November 13, 2007.
“Brett and Les have earned these extensions, doing an excellent job in leading this hockey club this past season,” said Hicks. “The move to make them interim co-general managers was a different approach that proved to be strategic. The two compliment each other very well. Les has over 20 years of experience with this organization as a scout and an executive and he is the consummate hockey man. He is highly regarded and respected throughout the league. Brett had 19 years of success as a player in the NHL and is a solid link between the front office and locker room. He thinks outside the box and provides a different perspective for our management staff.
“This unique combination of talents gives us many advantages for our hockey club. Signing Les and Brett to these contracts provides stability for the future. We look forward to building on this year’s relative successes.”
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Now, with the Penguins about to face the Detroit Red Wings in a glitzy 2008 Stanley Cup finals filled with marquee names and intriguing story lines, Crosby, as the league’s top individual marketing tool, is being asked to deliver a virtuoso performance that will somehow vault the NHL into a new level of success and profitability.
Oh yes, and be a humble, unselfish teammate at the same time while figuring out a way to outfox the Red Wings, merely the NHL’s best team this season.
Sounds doable for a 20-year-old, yes?
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
One look at the Detroit lineup and you’ll realize the United Nations seems sectarian by comparison. Aside from a Japanese player and a Samoan, the Red Wings have every nation on earth represented on their roster….
The Penguins have an average age of 14. They have raging hormones, but are also brutally self-conscious. Intimidation is simply a matter of pointing out their pathetic attempts at playoff beards (“I’ve seen more hair on a parrot”). That one was easy.
Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere announced today the appointment of Tony Granato as the franchise’s head coach. Granato previously served as the team’s head coach from 2002-2004.
more at the Avs site…
added 12:31pm, Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
Well, so much for going with a fresh, new approach.
I’ve said it before - nothing the Avalanche does ever totally surprises me. At this point, today’s news that Tony Granato will be the head coach - again - was like the effect on me of an already electrocuted man falling into the live wire fence one more time.
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