Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
There is a strange quirk in the United States. Although stick manufacturers sell more lefthanded sticks to the rest of the world (specifically Canada and Europe), they sell more righthanded sticks in the US, according to an industry representative. The split is somewhere from 60-65 percent lefthanded around the world, and 60-65 percent righthanded in the US.
Apprised of the fact, Milan Lucic started listing names: Phil Kessel, David Backes, Joe Pavelski.
All star forwards from the US. All right shots.
“We’re the country that is backward with it,” said Ken Martel, the technical director of the American Development Model for USA Hockey.
USA Hockey is so concerned the organization is studying the issue to make sure the US isn’t losing top talent to something as fundamental as grabbing the wrong end of the stick.
“What we have extrapolated looking at this [is] a lot of our growth has been in nontraditional hockey areas, a lot of first-generation hockey people,” Martel said. “So when they take their kid to the pro shop to buy a hockey stick and the guy says, ‘What is he – right or lefthanded?’ They go, ‘He’s righthanded. He’s right hand dominant, he writes with his right hand.’
from Neate Sager of Buzzing The Net at Yahoo,
Tripping over a red carpet while wearing skates and a tuxedo might be the most Canadian thing, ever.
Until you have tried to sing the national anthem while skating and wearing a tight cumberbund, you are no position to laugh at the pratfall Vancouver Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly took during his performance at a Junior A game on Friday night.
from Dustin Sprout of Shnarped (Dustin Sproat is a cofounder of Shnarped and played hockey at the junior, collegiate, and minor pro level),
Given I played in the EIHL for a stint, I thought I’d kick off the feature with a little blog about my own experiences in England.
Living in Nottingham while playing hockey for the Panthers was a blast. The arena we played in was top notch and the city itself should be a definite stopover for any tourist visiting England. Much of downtown is pedestrian-only and filled with great pubs, restaurants, shopping, and old school architecture.
But it was the fans that made playing in Nottingham such a great experience. The 9,000-seat arena was nearly full most nights and packed to capacity when the rival Sheffield Steelers came to town. Around town we were recognized regularly and treated like local celebrities. In towns like Sheffield, Cardiff, Belfast, Nottingham, and Coventry, hockey has been around for a long time and has an incredibly passionate fan following, which is one of the main reasons we’re so excited to be adding the league to Shnarped.
In the minors, when you’re typically playing more for the love of the game than for the compensation, the perks you get around town make a big difference. In the East Coast League we’d often get cheap golf or movie passes or 20% off at a local diner. Nottingham’s perks took the cake. Great deals at the Nandos restaurant, basically free movies at the theatre, late night shawarma, and Hooters (Nottingham just so happens to have the only Hooters outside of North America).
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Jack Eichel is 17 and recently began attending freshman classes at Boston University. But he will be the central figure in the N.H.L. season that begins Wednesday.
If you are not a hockey fan, you may not have heard of Eichel. Those who have seen him, though, already compare him to players like Mike Modano, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin and even Mario Lemieux.
“His first two strides are as explosive as I’ve ever seen at this level,” said Jim Johannson, a USA Hockey executive since 2000.
Kevin Prendergast, an N.H.L. scout and front office executive for 30 years, said: “It’s not just his speed; it’s his skill, his hockey sense. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying, but the puck comes to him. He makes things happen.”
Ed Olczyk, who won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, said, “His reach — I haven’t seen anything like it since Mario.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The NHL Players' Association is advising player agents that signing their clients to contracts in Russia's KHL may run afoul of recently imposed economic sanctions on Russia, violations that can lead to possible financial or criminal punishments.
The U.S., Canada and European Union levied a series of economic sanctions on Russia after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in March. The sanctions, which in some cases have been broadened over the past months, have targeted many of Russia's richest businessmen who are close to President Vladimir Putin, including some KHL team owners.
Bob McKenzie sits down with top prospect Connor McDavid where they discuss the draft, the perceived competition with Jack Eichel, the upcoming World Junior tournament and his superstitions.
You can watch the 16:35 minute interview below or at TSN.
NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Sept. 29, 2014 – Kraft will celebrate the passion and unity of hockey communities like never before with the launch of Kraft Hockeyville 2015 on both sides of the border. For the first time, the award-winning program in Canada is expanding to help build better communities in the United States as well. Now, hockey towns in the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a $150,000 arena makeover courtesy of Kraft, have an NHL preseason game played in its local arena showcased on TV and earn the title “Kraft Hockeyville 2015.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- During the USHL’s Fall Classic Week, the league activated a temporary rule. Teams were not allowed to ice the puck during a penalty kill. If they did, they were called for icing. The following faceoff would take place in their zone.
“I like it a lot,” said Eades, formerly an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. “I hope there’s a lot more experimentation with it. With any change, there’s going to be people not liking it. But we’ve got to continue to look at ways to increase excitement, offensive chances, and eventually scoring in our game. It’s one I really, really like.”
The scenario has always underscored hockey’s double standard. If you needlessly rip the puck down the ice during even-strength play, good luck getting your coach to give you another shift, especially if your opponent scores off the following draw. Execute the same play when you’re killing a penalty, your coach will shower you with attaboys all the way to the bus.
- “In today’s game, everybody’s cycling in the corner,”(Brad) Park said. “Somebody asked me one day, ‘What would you do if they were cycling?’ I said, ‘Stand still.’ If the puck’s in the corner, I don’t have a problem, right? So what they do is they cycle, they look, then they go to the point shot. Guys go and stand right in the crease. Defensemen go out to the hash marks to block the shot. If it gets by them, the other team is right in front of the net for the rebound, and the defensemen are 6-7 feet away. A lot of this doesn’t make sense to me.”
If there is one thing the former Bruins legend questions, it is today’s commitment to collapsing and blocking shots in front of the net. Perhaps it’s because the equipment Park and his counterparts wore did little to prevent blocks from becoming bruises. Modern gear is like armor.
more on each topic plus additional hockey notes...
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Seven to three.
It reads like a runaway, a blowout, a foregone conclusion.
But - and you're going to have to trust me on this - it's not. At least not if the subject is who will go No. 1 overall in the 2015 NHL Draft: Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
And yet when TSN surveyed 10 NHL team head scouts in the first week of September and asked them who they would take first overall - McDavid or Eichel - if the draft were being held that day, seven of the 10 opted for the dynamic Canadian centre of the Erie Otters over the physically-dominant American centre of the Boston University Terriers.
It is, however, far closer than the numbers would suggest.
"I go back and forth every week between the two," said one NHL head scout who chose McDavid. "When I saw McDavid dominate the U-18 as a double underager, I didn't think anyone would ever touch him. Then I saw Eichel outplay McDavid at last year's World Junior Championship and I realized not only is it a two-horse race but Eichel may be in the lead. I can't tell you how many times since then I've changed my mind. It's that close."
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
RANKIN INLET – In the grand scheme of pro hockey, Jordin Tootoo is a hard-working agitator with 539 career games in 10 NHL seasons. But in the Canadian North, he’s a legend.
There’s a huge billboard featuring the first Inuit-born NHLer in his hometown of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Adorned with caribou antlers, it depicts the now-31-year-old veteran in the Team Canada sweater he wore at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
When you spend time in the small, isolated communities in the Canadian North, you soon realize that passion for both IIHF tournaments and the NHL is just as deep-rooted up here as in major urban centres like Toronto or Montreal, which will co-host the World Juniors in 2015 and 2017.
In some ways, that passion is even stronger among the traditionally nomadic peoples of the North. There are so many other diversions and distractions in the cities. In Nunavut – Canada’s newest territory, created in 1999 – there are only 33,000 people in an area that’s eight times the size of Great Britain. Here, amid the endless waters of Hudson Bay and the stark, forbidding Arctic tundra, there is plenty of time to think about hockey.
When you’ve finished browsing through soapstone sculptures, bone carvings, and a children’s hockey book entitled Atausiraaallarumaluuunniit! at the Ivalu gift shop in Rankin Inlet, you come outside to the dirt road and a native man in a Hockey Canada T-shirt drives by on an ATV.
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 email@example.com