Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
“It was a tough deal to make at the time; obviously we were trading away Peter Forsberg,” Holmgren told NHL.com this week. But it was a deal that had to be made considering the bounty that was offered.
The Feb. 12 deal sent Forsberg to a Nashville team desperate to make some noise in the playoffs that postseason. Nashville GM David Poile pulled the trigger—sending Scottie Upshall (a first-round pick), Ryan Parent (another first-round pick) and first- and third-round picks in that spring’s Entry Draft to Philadelphia for Forsberg—because he believed his franchise needed the pop of a long playoff run to generate fan interest.
“Arguably, has there ever been a better player traded at the trade deadline than Peter Forsberg?” Poile asked at the time. “My answer to that is probably not, and the price we paid was very high. We did it because we believed it was a necessary ingredient to give us that much better a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup, and we were comfortable with doing that.”
Things did not work out for the Predators, who lost to the San Jose Sharks in the first round.
But the deal has come up roses for the Flyers.
NEW YORK – May 30, 2010—Last night’s Game 1 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final produced the best overnight rating for a Game 1 in 11 years. The 2.8 overnight rating and 6 share for the Philadelphia Flyers-Chicago Blackhawks Game 1 is the best since 1999 (Buffalo vs. Dallas, 3.7 on Fox). NBC also won the night finishing No. 1 in primetime (1.7, A18-49).
The game—broadcast by NBC Sports on the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend—also saw a 12-percent increase over last year’s Game 1 (Pittsburgh vs. Detroit, 2.5 on NBC), which was also on a Saturday night but not played during Memorial Day Weekend and was between the then-defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, featuring Sidney Crosby.
The 2.8 overnight rating also ranks as the highest overnight rating for a Game 1 played on a Saturday in 13 years (since 1997 Detroit- Philadelphia, 5.1 on Fox).
Chicago led all markets with a 16.8 rating and 35 share. Philadelphia followed with a 13.2 rating and 25 share.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
When I write something like I did the other day about the logo of the Chicago Blackhawks and how some might consider it racially insensitive, it’s not to preach or convince anyone.
It’s just an opinion. You can agree or disagree. I certainly didn’t attack anyone who might love the Blackhawks Indian head logo, and in fact I went out of my way that the original intent of Frederic McLaughlin, while it had nothing to do with honoring aboriginals (he was honoring his military comrades from World War I), wasn’t about insulting aboriginals, either….
f you’re looking for a columnist or blogger who just wants to find which way the wind is blowing before writing, you’re looking in the wrong place.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
- If the New Jersey Devils hadn’t signed winger Brian Rolston two years ago for $5 million a season, maybe they would have enough dough to make a legit offer to left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Instead, they’ll let Kovalchuk walk, and giving up two role players in Niklas Bergfors and draft Patrice Cormier for Kovalchuk hurts. They owe Rolston, who is on his last legs, for another two years, along with fellow left-winger Jay Pandolfo, who’s getting paid $2.5 million US.
- The Montreal Canadiens probably want to unload defenceman Roman Hamrlik’s $5.5-million salary, but that will be a big gulp. He’s 36 and while he still has the smarts, he doesn’t have the legs he used to have.
- Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock got his start as a player/coach in Britain. “My biggest chore was convincing the players to start drinking on Monday and Tuesdays, not Friday and Saturdays when we played the games,” joked Babcock…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Gary Bettman claims there is too much speculation — a lot of it inaccurate — about the number of National Hockey League teams that may or may not to be for sale.
Then, when asked directly to clarify exactly which teams are for sale, he answers: “I don’t see any point in running through that list.”
Typically, the commissioner of the National Hockey League wants it both ways.
He will, in his usual accusatory tone, admonish the media for what he deems to be inaccuracies. But when given the opportunity to provide the truth, or what he believes to be the truth, he refuses to clarify, which only leads to the very speculation he finds so disturbing….
• Columbus holds the fourth pick in the NHL draft and there is all kinds of speculation around the Stanley Cup final that the Blue Jackets are under pressure to make the playoffs and may not have the time or inclination to wait for yet another player to develop. Don’t be surprised if Brian Burke makes an attempt to deal Tomas Kaberle and more to Columbus to try and get an early pick.
• The story going around about Devils players receiving text messages on the afternoon of playoff games informing them they are not dressing that night was reason enough to fire Jacques Lemaire, who instead fired himself as coach.
I swear, Chris Pronger is the spawn of Hannibal Lecter.
-Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune. More of Steve’s observations from game 1…
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Will Leighton be back for Game 2, asked to bounce back just like he did in Game 4 of the last series, 48 hours after allowing five goals in the only loss to Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals?
“I don’t know what they are thinking, but I definitely would like to be back in,” Leighton said.
Or will Laviolette roll the dice and go back to Boucher, who entered the postseason as the starting goalie and was dominant against New Jersey in the first round?
“I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions,” Hartnell said. “Leighton’s been strong since we picked him up and Boucher helped us get us into the playoffs and in the first round. It doesn’t matter who is between the pipes, we have to play better.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
“If you told me that day when I was having breakfast with him,’’ said (Ron) Mason, referring to a meal he shared with (Duncan) Keith during a recruiting visit, “that he would possibly be an All-Star in the NHL and the best defenseman in the NHL, I would have said no.’’
Keith has surpassed the expectations of not only his college coach but just about every other hockey observer who saw him at Michigan State. Keith won a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics. He’s playing for a Stanley Cup. Next month, he could claim the Norris Trophy, the award most recently belonging to Zdeno Chara as the league’s best defenseman.
And Mason coached not only Keith, but also Ryan Miller, the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy, on the same team.
The 70-year-old Mason, now living the good life between Michigan, Ontario, and Florida (he was fishing off Palm Beach last week), retired from coaching in 2002. Among the things that made that career-capping last season memorable was coaching two teenagers now considered among the best at their positions in the NHL.
“Watching them in the Olympics was really unbelievable,’’ said Mason. “That was surreal — both being at the Olympics and playing against each other. I’m proud of them. It’s all part of development.’’
more and other hockey notes…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, Penguins
• GM Ray Shero had a lengthy discussion with Sergei Gonchar’s agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, this week at the player combine in Toronto. Gonchar is UFA July 1. There is still no resolution and term remains an important issue. The Gonchar camp would like two years; but because he’s over 35, the Pens are understandably nervous about giving more than a year. The two sides plan to speak again soon.
• The Thrashers have interviewed Scott Arniel and Don Lever so far in their search for a new coach. They also hope to interview Bruins assistant coach Craig Ramsay. They will need to wait after the Cup finals to interview Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti, which they plan to do. Another coach the Thrashers want to talk to is Billy Peters, coach of AHL Rockford, Chicago’s top farm team….
more and additional topics too, some that were discussed on the HNIC Hotstove last night…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
For the third straight sea son, the NHL has a marquee matchup in the Stanley Cup Final, a battle between brand-name franchises in Chicago and Philadelphia following consecutive battles between Detroit and Pittsburgh.
The difference between this hat trick of big-market confrontations and the three small-market, no-name matchups preceding it—Tampa Bay-Calgary, Carolina-Edmonton and Anaheim-Ottawa—is stark and instructive.
We live in a pro sports society in which glamour, if not glamour alone, sells. The business of sports has moved onto the Page Six of our lives. We’re over the fable of one size fitting all. Sorry, but it’s a big market, marquee franchise world, even if New York and Toronto have proved unnecessary to all the NHL fun this spring.
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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