Kukla's Korner Hockey
“It’s ridiculous we’re even talking about this, because our game is about great people doing great things and yet the attention our game is getting today in the U.S. is over this.’‘
-Wings coach Mike Babcock on the Avery issue. More comments from the Wings from Ansar Khan of Mlive.
from Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports,
NHL players are working overtime like never before to earn their six-, seven- and eight-figure salaries. Through Friday, 89 of the 333 games (26.7 per cent) played this season required more than 60 minutes to decide a winner.
That’s a notable increase from each of the three seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, when shootouts were introduced to settle contests still knotted through overtime. In those campaigns, the rate of games going to OT hovered between 22.1 and 22.8 per cent.
So what, right? More overtime equals more excitement. More fun. More hockey for your hard-earned (and, given the sickly state of the TSX, increasingly precious) dollars. Plus, you don’t exactly see fans filing for the exits before the start of a shootout.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
“Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have,” Hicks said. “This organization will not tolerate such behavior, especially from a member of our hockey team. We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so.”
To which I say: Give me a break. You’re telling me Hicks hadn’t heard a word about Avery’s penchant for classlessness before he approved the $15.5 million over four years?
Count Hicks as another hypocritical, clueless owner. He had no problems with Avery in July, despite the long list of behavior issues. Now, the Stars have a higher standard.
So, if the Stars are so mortified by Avery and want to be done with him, what’s next?
How about a Rangers reunion?
read on and would you want Avery to be a member of your team, vote below…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the Carolina Hurricanes have fired head coach Peter Laviolette and in a unique about face, have replaced him with former Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice.
Sources say Maurice will remain on as head coach at least until the end of the season, at which point the position will be re-evaluated leaving the Hurricanes the freedom to head in a different direction, or sign Maurice to a long term contract.
added 10:10am, from Chip Alexander of Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
The Carolina Hurricanes have fired coach Peter Laviolette, who led the team to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship.
The team has called a press conference this morning to announce the coaching change.
from Sean Gordon and Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens owner and Colorado-based debt-financing king George Gillett is engaged in another financial high-wire act that could have an impact on Canada’s most storied hockey franchise.
According to a lien filed in Delaware, Gillett has taken out a high-interest, $75-million (all currency U.S.) personal loan from a U.S.-based private investment fund, putting up his heavily-leveraged share of British soccer giant Liverpool Football Club as collateral….
But it’s clear Gillett is among the many NHL owners facing stormy financial seas because of the economic downturn.
Hockey industry sources say at least three other teams - the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes - have recently taken out high-interest loans with distress lenders or private equity funds because of tightening credit in the United States.
“This goes beyond hockey and beyond the game on the ice, and that’s what bothers me. We have talked and talked and talked about being on the edge within the game, but not going over the line. We told him from the start that he can not do things that would embarrass the organization. Ever since the start here, this organization has been built on class, and there is a responsibility to the organization, to the owner and his family, and to the city and the fans to maintain that class. Play hard, push the game on the ice, but do not embarrass the organization.”
-Brett Hull on Sean Avery. More from Mike Heika at the Dallas Stars blog.
via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
It’s interesting that Marty Havlat skated on the third line at practice Tuesday with Dave Bolland and Andrew Ladd.
Are the Hawks preparing for life after Havlat? Maybe. There are rumors out there that Havlat might be the guy GM Dale Tallon tries to move to create cap space. Havlat makes $6 million and is an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Do the Hawks need Havlat to make the playoffs? Not if they think of him as a third-liner. Besides, if they are able to trade him Tallon could turn around and use that cash on a top-six forward or a defenseman, or both.
More and more, this is looking like the way to solve the cap problem - as long as Tallon can find a team that wants Havlat and as long as Havlat stays healthy.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Scott Hartnell was tired. He couldn’t catch Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone, who was closing in on Flyers goalie Marty Biron. So he did the first thing that came to mind.
He threw his glove at Malone, giving the Lightning veteran a penalty shot with 16 seconds remaining in a tie game.
from Russell Brooks of PhoenixCoyotes.com,
The Coyotes put about 15 months of thought and hard work into their new third jersey, which they debuted on Nov. 28 against the Colorado Avalanche.
The process for creating the new black sweaters started in August of 2007 when the team approached SME Branding about an idea for a third jersey.
“We were looking for an alternate jersey that complemented our home and road jerseys, but that was unique and something the fans would like,” Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Bucek said. “We hope our fans take as much pride in this jersey as our organization does.”
continued with a slide show of numerous prototype sweaters like the one below.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“I put thinking in the future (on the back burner) because I love hockey so much,” Kovalchuk told On The Fly. “Sometimes I get frustrated, but it’s not like I go home and cry in my pillow. We’ll get through this and be a better team.”
The question: Will Kovalchuk be around to see it?
read on with some Oiler and Norris Trophy talk too…
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