Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
When you are one year old and your parents split, no one knows how it can effect the trajectory of life.
Jarome Iginla knows one thing, however: He wouldn’t be a hockey player today had he not landed back at his grandparents’ home at the age of one, his mother Susan working to pay the bills, and his grandfather — a fine fellow named Rick Schuchard — taking over as his father figure.
“The NHL?” asked Iginla on Thursday afternoon. “I wouldn’t have been able to play at all had I not had my grandparents there for me. My mom was busy working. My dad was going to school. I wouldn’t have even BEEN in hockey as a kid.”
They will lay Schuchard to rest on Friday afternoon at the St. Albert United Church, and Jarome will eulogize on behalf of the grandchildren.
Rick was Susan Schuchard’s father, Frances’ loving husband, Jarome Iginla’s grandpa, and an old friend of this sportswriter.
Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire, Mike “Doc” Emrick and Keith Jones took part in a tele-conference today.
Q. Just a question on the goaltending matchup. Long held belief you needed kind of a really good big-ticket goaltender, goaltending was so important. Ken Holland over the last couple of years says you don’t always need to spend a ton of money on your goaltending. I wanted to get your thoughts on this matchup, and is there a shift, maybe a shift in philosophy coming with goaltending?
DON CHERRY: Well, again, Leighton is my guy and everybody’s waiting for Niemi, whatever his name, to falter, and he hasn’t. So it’s really funny, two guys that they thought it’s their weak spot. Philadelphia has always had a weak spot. And everybody’s been saying about Chicago, they’ve got a good team; but their goaltender was suspect. Now here they are in the Finals.
I think it’s going to be which one falters. And boy it’s going to be something. Of course, you know what I think of Leighton.
PIERRE McGUIRE: I think a big part of what’s allowed these goalies to prosper in the post season is the fact that both teams have unbelievable defensemen in front of them. Just to go to Don’s theory about what Ken Holland said.
The reason why Detroit can get by with Chris Osgood or, quote/unquote, no name goaltenders is the fact they had Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall, unbelievable depth on defense.
You’ve got the same thing happening with both these teams. While both goaltenders have had great post seasons, the truth of the matter is the defensive in front of them, and Don and Mike would appreciate this being former defensemen, those guys aren’t getting enough credit on both sides, the defense for both teams has really helped the goaltenders to survive.
“My thinking is if I stopped doing that and get out of the way of pucks, I might as well retire because nobody is going to want me. The day I start thinking like that, I’m done because they’ll take a younger guy that will do my job for half the price.”
-Ian Laperriere of the Philadelphia Flyers. More on Laperriere from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com.
from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It may not have the pizzazz of the Super Bowl’s now famous media day—we didn’t see the Cartoon Network working the room at the United Center on Thursday—but the NHL’s annual pre-Stanley Cup finals event has definitely evolved into a big day on the playoff calendar.
There is a bit of a carnival feel with the broadcasters and roving bands of journalists moving from table to table, and the players sporting their cool new hoodies. And there is never a shortage of anecdotes and stories to be told as the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers gear up for Game 1 on Saturday night.
While outdoor hockey may well be the last thing on fans minds at the moment, the NHL will formally announce the locations of dual Winter Classic games next season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on New Years day, while the Montreal Canadiens will travel to Calgary sometime in February to face the Flames at McMahon Stadium.
from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
For the first time in eight seasons, the Red Wings are raising season-ticket prices.
Senior vice president of business affairs Steve Violetta said Thursday that season-ticket prices will go up an average of 11 percent next season.
“For eight years we held back and we absorbed the cost,” Violetta said. “Our cost didn’t go down during those eight years but we didn’t raise our prices.”
The Chicago Blackhawk team physicians began diagnosing and treating vitamin D deficiency in all Blackhawk players about 18 months ago. Apparently, most players are on 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. To confirm this assertion, simply ask the Blackhawk organization.
After many losing seasons, last year the Blackhawks came out of nowhere to get to the Western conference finals. This year the Blackhawks are playing even better.
According to my sources, improved athletic performance is only one of the benefits for the Blackhawk players. The other is a reduction in the number and severity of lower respiratory tract infections and a reduction in the number and severity of repetitive use injuries.
continue for more on vitamin D…
from Cecilia Chan of the Arizona Republic,
Money earmarked for city services such as water and sewer now sit in an escrow account to cover the $25 million pledge that Glendale made to the National Hockey League to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in town next season.
The NHL demanded Glendale show its proof of funds by last Thursday or risk the team leaving Jobing.com Arena immediately. The NHL owns the team, which it purchased for $140 million out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court last fall.
“The NHL had a buyer on the table willing to pay $170 million for the team,” city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said.
The buyer wanted to relocate the Coyotes to Canada next season, she said.Although Glendale planned to set up a special taxing district or some other funding mechanism to meet the $25 million obligation, the NHL’s deadline made that impossible, city officials said.
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
Don Cherry and Mike Milbury took part in an NHL media call today. Which meant Don Cherry and Mike Milbury were speaking extemporaneously. Which meant good things happened.
Like Cherry praising the Stanley Cup Finals matchup of the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers as being better for the NHL than “if Nashville had won, and some other team like that, like Columbus. They’d have probably committed suicide ... but this is a dream for the National Hockey League. They’re jumping for joy with Chicago.”
And like Cherry then saying, “I better keep quiet here cause I’ll get in trouble, but sometimes I wonder watching some of those penalties in the last game—and I’m only kiddin’ when I say this—but if I was San Jose I’d be sure scratchin’ my head.”
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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