Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Last month, rooftop owner Tom Gramatis told the Chicago Sun-Times that demand for rooftop tickets to the Winter Classic was “the biggest thing ever — bigger than any Cubs game” when the event was announced last summer.
But Gramatis said “the buzz” died down when the economy went south and the stock market tanked. That forced him to cut his price in half— from $400 a head to $200, including food and drink.
“There were rooftops asking $750 a head [at one time]. Some are still at $500. They’re smoking a crack pipe. They’re not gonna get it. The economy sucks. It’s also Jan. 1 at noon — not an ideal time for somebody to wake up and go to a hockey game after New Year’s Eve,” Gramatis said.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
From the moment Gretzky decided he wanted to be a head coach coming out of the lockout, an element of curiosity has always followed his efforts. He had been many things to the game, including its best player ever and arguably the finest ambassador it has had. But coaching? That was something else entirely.
More than a few quizzical eyes were cast toward Gretzky’s newfound profession, a sense that this was an experiment, kind of like when Michael Jordan decided he wanted to be a baseball player, something that surely would run its course.
“I think I’ve put in my hours now and my time,” Gretzky said. “I think the first year, or maybe even the second year, people might have thought, ‘Well, it’s going to end.’ But I truly enjoy it. I have as much fun coaching as I did playing.”
It is a shocking admission, really.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Update from Wednesday’s practice: Wings goalie Chris Osgood did not practice due to a sore groin, coach Mike Babcock said. Babcock wasn’t sure about the extent of the injury, but it appears he might not even be able to serve as Ty Conklin’s back-up for Thursday’s game against San Jose.
Still waiting to hear what roster moves the team will make, whether it will be Jimmy Howard or Daniel Larsson recalled from Grand Rapids and whether they will waive a player to make room.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Jay McKee has a fractured left ring finger and will be sidelined indefinitely. McKee was injured in the third period on Tuesday, Dec. 16 vs. Calgary. The club has recalled defenseman Jonas Junland from the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.
New York (December 17, 2008) – Chicago’s rekindled love affair with the Blackhawks, already manifested by soaring United Center attendance and insatiable interest in NHL Winter Classic 2009, now is being reflected in the fan balloting for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. ET today, Blackhawks’ winger Patrick Kane had taken over the top spot among Western Conference forwards in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25. In the last week, Kane vaulted four players to take a 26,828-vote lead over the previous pace-setter, Detroit’s Marian Hossa. Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf also slipped past Calgary’s Jarome Iginla for the third starting nod.
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
Everybody deserves something from Santa’s sack of goodies this season. Here’s what I think the Sleigh Man has in mind for each NHL club:
Boston Bruins – The address of every pundit who picked the Bruins to be an also-ran this year, just so Milan Lucic can go door to door, asking a few friendly questions.
Detroit Red Wings – Just a little note reminding them they’re still the defending champs and that, deep down inside, every NHL team still fears them the most.
San Jose Sharks – Twenty-three factory-defect calendars, so when April rolls around, all the players think it’s October.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, Peter Forsberg looks like he’s going to take another kick at the proverbial hockey can after playing just nine regular-season games since the start of the 2007-08 season. Although he played well when he returned late last season for Colorado, he missed enough action that his health and availability became a permanent sideshow for the Avs.
It’s hard to imagine it won’t be more of the same if he does return.
Here’s a look at some notable comebacks.
1. Guy Lafleur, New York Rangers/Quebec Nordiques: After being in retirement for three seasons, the Montreal Canadiens great returned for one season in New York with the Rangers and two in Quebec with the Habs’ arch-enemy Nordiques.
How about Ted Lindsay who made a comeback with the Wings after taking 4 years off?
An all access look at Los Angeles Kings superstar Anze Kopitar takes us for a tour of Manhattan Beach with his family.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Spectators loved the pace of Tuesday’s game. This is the fast-paced game Gary Bettman wants to see in the new NHL.
There was lots of skating, lots of tape-to-tape passes, lots of odd-man rushes and plenty of high-speed collisions. The game had a terrific flow and it featured sustained action, start to finish.
Unfortunately, the Blues can’t just let it fly right now. It’s not about marketing the sport in a tough economy, it’s about surviving the simultaneous loss of so many key players.
They must find ways to win games with a makeshift lineup. If they can remain viable, they could position themselves for a big second-half run after they key players return.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL will not announce plans for next year’s season opener in Europe for another month or so, but at least three clubs have expressed interest in going, including one from Canada, the Calgary Flames.
And while the Toronto Maple Leafs are not a candidate for 2009, they would be a leading contender to open the season abroad in 2010, one NHL source said yesterday….
The other clubs in confirmed negotiations for the junket are the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues, both of which have targeted Stockholm as their venue of choice. The Red Wings, the Stanley Cup champions, have a nucleus of Swedish-born players, including perennial James Norris Memorial Trophy candidate and team captain Nicklas Lidstrom, last year’s playoff most valuable player, Henrik Zetterberg and others - Johan Franzen, Nicklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Andreas Lilja.
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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