Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
I find it hard to believe that Igor Larionov, one of the classiest people ever in the game, is finding an ally in the Kontinental League with president Alexander Medvedev.
Larionov was always all about principle. Instead of defecting from Russia to play in the NHL in his prime, he bided his time and went through the proper channels before coming to the NHL. Once he got here, he proved to be a great teammate and person and was part of the success of several teams along the way.
Now he’s working with a man who has no respect for the sanctity of a contract, as evidenced by the KHL’s poaching of Pavel Valentenko and Matt Murley recently by teams in Russia.
read on plus Leafs/Sundin and Stars/Avery notes…
NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2008)—The National Hockey League just completed a record October that saw more fans attend and tune in to games than ever—while being treated to close games, more scoring and some spectacular individual performances.
Among the highlights from the season’s opening month, which began with the Premiere Games in Stockholm and Prague:
October Attendance Records
The per-game attendance average of 17,388 and the percent of capacity (94.1%) set NHL records. It was the first time in League history that average October attendance surpassed 17,000 per game. October’s total attendance was up 3.1% over October, 2007. Leading the way were dramatic percentage increases in Chicago (+71%) and Washington (+24%).
NEW YORK/CHICAGO (November 3, 2008) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the Chicago Blackhawks today jointly announced ticket information for NHL Winter ClassicTM 2009. Similar to last year’s inaugural NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo, the event’s home team season ticketholder base (Chicago Blackhawks) as well as NHL Winter Classic partners will have the right to purchase tickets for the event during the initial on-sale phase.
A general public random drawing will be held to determine who will have an opportunity to purchase the remaining tickets with a limited number of tickets set aside for the community ticket initiative described below. Fan registration for the random drawing will be conducted through the Chicago Blackhawks’ official website beginning on or about Noon ET/11 a.m. CT, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, through on or about 11:59 a.m. ET/10:59 a.m. CT, Friday, Nov. 28, 2008.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
After exceeding expectations with the Edmonton Oilers as the youngest player in the NHL last season, Sam Gagner is struggling to find his form in his sophomore campaign.
Fifth in rookie scoring with 49 points and seventh in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2007-08 as an 18-year-old, Gagner has just two assists through 11 games this season.
While Gagner is loathe to talk about the dreaded sophomore jinx, there’s no question his start to the season has been disappointing after he set the bar so high a year ago.
NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2008)—Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for October.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Maybe people struggle with the notion of fighting existing at all because it seems like a classic contradiction: a brutish pursuit within a game capable of swift-skating beauty. To me, though, the point is that hockey is the ultimate team game and a sense of togetherness is paramount to competitive relevance. As such, answering physical challenges in the mode of survival of the fittest is often times part of the process. See: Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who took it upon himself to lay Ott out with a crushing hit and then respond in kind to Avery’s fistic retaliation.
Notice I said part of the process. The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup last season with the fewest fighting majors. The previous champ, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, hoisted the Cup after dropping the gloves more than any team. All of which proves that fighting doesn’t guarantee success, nor does it preclude a team from being successful.
from Jim Hughson at Blogs and Columns at CBC,
We’ve all heard about and seen any number of scoring chances lost or surrendered because a hockey stick explodes at a critical time in a game. And while most are quick to jump on the manufacturers, their engineers or outsourcing production, how about shifting some of the responsibility to the players?
A knowledgeable industry insider suggests that most sticks are being made to the specifications of the players, who want them lighter and more responsive - qualities that make the sticks more vulnerable.
more plus some Rangers, Thrashers and Bruins talk…
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
And that decision-making process has apparently begun for Shanahan. Sources tell TSN Shanahan is in Philadelphia today to meet with Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren. It is far too early in the process to declare this a good fit. Philadelphia is close to New York but it’s not New York so if Shanahan were to play there and maintain his existing residence, there would still be some significant commuting involved.
Did you see those goals? Is it possible that prior to Sunday Hemsky had no goals this season or that in fact he hadn’t scored a goal in 18 games? Could that be true?
It is, but again I point to what Hemsky did on Sunday and this makes no sense. This guy should have two goals a game with his talent, not two goals this season.
It’s always been hard to understand how someone with Hemsky’s world class abilities doesn’t have the numbers to match it.
More at Sportsnet. Goal videos below:
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
I get the underlying theory that players will target a specific area of an opponent’s body if they know the area is not fully healthy. But that’s an issue quite easily solved – that is, if the league had the stones to severely punish any found guilty of intending to injure an opponent.
And please, let’s not get bogged down in an argument over the difficulties of deciphering a player’s intent. The league already does that when it comes to other on-ice incidents; it certainly could extend that decision-making process to this area as well.
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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