Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Sam Carchidi at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
General manager Paul Holmgren called Mr. Dvorak a solid player and “fun-loving guy who couldn’t wait for practices to end so he could go and have a few beers. He was a throwback-type guy.”
The two were teammates for two seasons in the early ‘80s.
“He was an older player when he came here, but he was a strong player and a pretty good offensive player,” Holmgren said. “He would be a good player in today’s game.”
Holmgren said Mr. Dvorak reminded him of the “wild and crazy guys,” Georg and Yortuk Festrunk, played by Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin. The actors played bizarre (and hysterically funny) Czech brothers in a recurring skit for Saturday Night Live.
Dvorak arrived in Philadelphia unable to speak a word of English, played his first NHL game at age 31, and was named the Flyers’ top defenseman in 1984. He also made quite an impression on many hockey fans, judging from the small pile of emails I’ve received about his death since yesterday. A very sad loss.
Update 12:52pm ET: More on Dvorak’s life at International Hockey Legends.
Initial reports came out late last night, but the Senators have now formally announced Craig Hartsburg’s new position.
Hartsburg: “It’s an honor to be coaching back in the National Hockey League again.”
Hartsburg’s last job in the NHL was as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2004. He helped Canada capture gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship as Brent Sutter’s assistant in 2006 and as the head coach in 2007 and 2008.
Update 12:00pm ET: The Senators’ website notes that Hartburg’s contract is for 3 years.
*For reference, Hartsburg’s playing and coaching history.
*photo from Sportsnet.ca
From Chris Reidy at the Boston Globe:
Moth-ball those wing-tips, hockey buffs. Give those pumps and penny loafers a night off. As of now, you can purchase customized footwear that celebrates the Detroit Red Wings’ recent Stanley Cup victory.
That’s the good word from Reebok International Ltd., the Canton sneaker brand that is the “authentic outfitter” of the National Hockey League.
And that means customized Red Wings Stanley Cup footwear. Fortunately you can put other NHL logos on your feet, too.
From David Bracken at the News & Observer,
The Carolina Hurricanes will continue playing home hockey games at the RBC Center until October 2024 under an extended lease agreement being announced today.
The five-year extension comes after nearly two years of negotiations between Gale Force Holdings, parent company of the Hurricanes, and the Centennial Authority, the public agency that owns the RBC Center.
“It makes a big statement on our belief in the continued growth of our sport and the Hurricanes and the market,” said Jim Rutherford, the Hurricanes’ general manager.
From Terry Jones of Sun Media, some words from the anonymous fan that bought Peter Pocklington’s hockey memoribilia earlier this week:
“I’m somebody from Oiler Country who bought them because I think they belong in this area and because it takes me back to my childhood watching the Oilers have all that success in the 1980s.
“I think there are only six people who had all five rings, Pocklington, Glen Sather, Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Jari Kurri and Randy Gregg. I might be wrong about that. I was just trying to figure that out myself. I’m sure there are others in the organization.
“But Pocklington brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton. He also sold him but he brought Gretzky here for the best years in his career and I was able to watch him those years as a kid when my dad took me into Edmonton for the games.
Looking back, I consider Gretzky to have been very instrumental in my life.”
via Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune today:
The Panthers again are using Jokinen as trade bait. Reportedly, a dozen teams have inquired and the Panthers would want a first-round pick in any package.
“We haven’t made the playoffs here, so bottom line is we’re looking to improve our hockey club,” Panthers GM Jacques Martin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Is that with Olli back here or Olli not back here?”
Martin hasn’t been shy about criticizing Jokinen in the post-season. For more, the Sun-Sentinel provides this audio from an interview a few weeks ago, and George Richards wrote a feature piece on the captain’s trade value earlier this week in the Miami Herald.
From Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out,
RDS reported that Saku Koivu was trying to persuade Teemu Selanne to join the Canadiens.
I’ll believe it when I see the Finnish Flash at training camp – which, for Selanne, begins in February.
For more rumors, Spector’s got the latest on Jeff Carter, Patrick Marleau, Bobby Holik, Radim Vrbata and others.
From Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star,
His biggest worry at the start of the season wasn’t hockey, it was wondering whether he would see his three children grow up.
“My heart wasn’t 100 per cent,” he said at the NHL awards gala last night. “It took me a while to figure out that everything was going to be okay.
“It was a tough year, coming to a new city and new team. When you come in you have high expectations. When you get hit hard like that – it’s like walking down the street and you get hit by a semi, blindsided – it was a frustrating year, it was a disappointing year. I’m excited to start fresh next year. I know I’m going to have this the rest of my life and I know I’m going to be okay.
“I have something to prove.”
From Tony Gallagher of The Province via the Ottawa Citizen,
What can occur is that officials in either sport who faithfully follow directions are traditionally given the best games to work and that’s all that need be done to assure that impropriety is possible.
Take the recent Stanley Cup playoffs. This is not to suggest there was anything improper going on in any way, but this is how it could have gone off the rails and how things can happen when the best interests of the commissioner or the league are well known.
As the Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins series progressed, it became apparent with the TV ratings coming out daily and obviously building with every game, it was in the best interests of the league that the series go as long as possible, no matter who won.
*this appears to follow a recent theme of Gallagher’s
From Bob DiCesare at the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres recently were honored as the NHL’s “Professional Sports Team of the Year” in Sports Business Journal’s annual awards. They were cited for increasing their season ticket base from about 5,800 to 14,800 since the lockout, with a waiting list of 6,000. They were hailed for maintaining reasonable ticket costs, instituting variable single-game pricing and enhancing the attractiveness of their product to sponsors.
Who can quibble with any of those distinctions? Outside of some dubious hockey personnel decisions, the franchise has done right by its fans and given Sabres hockey a local presence unequaled since the team’s nascent years. The recognition is well-deserved.
My gripe is with a stand-alone quote that appears with the SBJ story. Under the headline, “What People Are Saying,” comes this bold-typed snippet from John Cimperman of Cenergy Communications: “The fact that they have turned Buffalo from a football town into a hockey town is well recognized.”
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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