Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Once upon a time, the Blues and Red Wings had a pretty spirited rivalry.
Once upon a time, St. Louis possessed a more consistently competitive team than Detroit did.
More recently, though, the Red Wings have operated a juggernaut while the Blues struggled through an ownership change and the first prolonged funk in franchise history. While the Red Wings added more banners to the Joe Louis Arena rafters, the Blues started over from scratch.
It hasn’t been a happy time for local hockey fans. Watching Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Co. hoist the Cup, again, had to be galling for those who bleed Blues
But you had to be happy for former Blues captain Dallas Drake, right?
from Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press,
The team estimated 1.4 million fans came downtown for the event, while the Detroit Police Department simply sized up the crowd at more than a million. Fans started gathering on Woodward Avenue early in the morning, with lines extending north of the I-75 bridge. The parade ended with thousands spilling into Hart Plaza for a 1:15 p.m. rally that lasted a half-hour.
The human mass stood seven or eight deep in most spots, with not a chunk of sidewalk to be seen along the route. Fans young and old flooded the avenue’s sidewalks with red and white.
They came from across Michigan, Ontario and the surrounding states, skipping work, missing school and just spending a day thanking their heroes for the enjoyment of the past season, and the two-month playoff run, in particular.
read on and the title of this post happened to be Babcock’s favorite word of the day!
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It is over now. The Detroit Red Wings finished off the Pittsburgh Penguins and, three days later, there is that hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach. The next game isn’t until October, and even the draft can’t cover the expansive void. Scouts don’t check one another.
There is a particular letdown this spring because the final was so compelling. It’s tough get off the couch and clean the garage when all you want is more damn-the-torpedoes hockey.
“Having gone through deep runs a few times before, what happens is that by the end there is nothing left,” Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. “What impressed me this year was the level of play (in the finals). Both teams got through the first three rounds relatively rested, and relatively healthy. And it was a real good final.”
from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Marian Hossa said for the first time Friday that he will entertain the idea of taking less money to play for a Stanley Cup contender, and believes the Penguins fit the bill as a great team….
“If I wanted to make a couple more dollars, I would probably just re-sign with Atlanta,” said Hossa, whose 12 goals and 26 points in the playoffs were exactly what the Penguins were seeking when they acquired him from the Thrashers on Feb. 26. “But I’m glad Pittsburgh got me here. This was a fun journey for myself, and a great experience. I hope I can stick with a great team like this. ...
from Spector at Fox Sports,
In this era of free agency and the salary cap, dynasties — teams that win three or more consecutive Stanley Cup championships — are a thing of the past.
That being said, the Detroit Red Wings are the closest thing the NHL has to a dynasty.
Since 1994-95, the Red Wings have been to the Stanley Cup Final five times, winning four of them. They’ve also won the President’s trophy as the top regular-season team six times and the Clarence Campbell Bowl as the Western Conference champions five times.
Alexander Ovechkin is the winner of the 2008 Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League’s most valuable player to his team.
That is, according to the NHL’s online shop for a few hours on Friday.
The league’s official website briefly displayed a blue Reebok Washington Capitals T-Shirt of the Russian superstar, with the title ‘2007-08 Hart Trophy winner’ splashed across the bottom.
“The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, the “oldest and most prestigious individual award in hockey,” is awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League,” the sales page read.
Update June 7th: From the CP via the Toronto Star,
A league source attributed the gaffe to a mistake by a third-party distributor, while pointing out shirts are created for every possible scenario. Should Ovechkin not win, the T-shirts would be destroyed.
This is a great atmosphere here in Detroit, much better than a parking lot.
-Brian Rafalski during the Stanley Cup Parade today.
From John Dellapina at the NY
“Do I have an offer from Russia? Probably,” Jagr said, refusing to discuss details of what Bardin promised him when he flew to New York to meet with him and with Sather on March 30.
But when asked whether it was now a case of seeing whether the Rangers would match the offer or come close, Jagr replied: “No, it’s not that at all. I just want to know if I feel any interest from New York. That’s what I want to know first.
“I told (the Omsk representatives) I didn’t want to talk to anybody before I talked to the Rangers. They know that.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
An NHL source said yesterday that Panthers GM Jacques Martin—a former coach of Redden with the Senators—is going to take a hard run at signing the veteran defenceman off the open market.
The Panthers’ top priority in the off-season is signing a puck-moving defenceman and Redden, who struggled last year as the Senators’ highest-paid player, fits the bill.
The Panthers won’t be alone in their pursuit of Redden, who will likely have to take a cut anyway to sign with another NHL club, although only to the $5-million range. It’s believed the Blackhawks, Canucks, Predators, Flyers and, possibly the Maple Leafs have an interest in Redden.
From Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
...there is a brewing problem between coach Michel Therrien and some of his players—a number of them despise playing for him.
No one will choose the Stanley Cup final as a forum to call out their coach but there are far too many whispers out there that too many players can’t stand working for—or with—Therrien.
If that isn’t an issue to be dealt with immediately, it is certainly something that will grow with time. Brooks Orpik, the free agent defenceman who will be coveted by many teams after July 1, has told people he will not re-sign in Pittsburgh if Therrien is the coach. Jordan Staal, the terrific young player who lives in the shadow of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin—but is poised to bust out as one of the most complete centres in hockey—is another Therrien complainer.
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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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