Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Non-NHL-Hockey

Hockey Fading Away In The South

from Jess Myers of 1500ESPN,

If you think that you’ve had a tough year as a football fan in Minnesota, you’re absolutely right. But it could always be much, much worse. You could be a hockey fan in the South.

If you’re of a certain age, think back to the hurt and emptiness you felt when the North Stars packed up and took their Zamboni to Dallas in 1993. Remember the disbelief, the anger and the depression that came along with once the realization that pro hockey was truly leaving set in. Now, imagine that six months or so later, the Gopher hockey team had gone away, too.

That’s the hockey fan’s nightmare scenario that has played out over the past six months among the small but passionate hockey community in Georgia and Alabama. After a nondescript decade or so of existence, the NHL’s Thrashers were sold and relocated to Winnipeg in the late spring, making Atlanta the only major sports city in America to lose pro teams to both Alberta and Manitoba (the Flames moved from Atlanta to Calgary in 1980).

And earlier this week the news got even worse for hockey fans in Dixie, as the region’s lone link to the world of big-time college hockey was handed a death sentence as well. Though not widely known nationally, the University of Alabama-Huntsville has supported a varsity hockey program for more than three decades.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: university+of+alabama-huntsville

“Hazing” To The Extreme

from the CP at the Globe and Mail,

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League and officials with one of its teams are refusing to talk about reports that players were forced to walk naked around their locker room with water bottles tied to their genitals as part of a hazing ritual.

Earlier this week, the Neepawa Natives junior hockey team was fined $5,000 and some of its coaches and players were suspended for the incident, but the league refused to reveal details about what went on.

On Wednesday, media reports surfaced saying the ritual involved water bottles being tied to the players’ scrotums and towels being thrown on the bottles to add weight.

Manitoba Junior Hockey League commissioner Kim Davis would not confirm the reports.

“I’m not going to provide that information,” Davis said. “I don’t think it’s useful or necessary.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Remembering Jim Mahon

from Marty Gervais of the Windsor Star,

They called him “Bear.” They called him “The Gentle Giant.”

He stood six-foot-two, 235 pounds. He was all of 19. And today when the likes of NHL legends Darryl Sittler and Steve Shutt look back at that time 40 years ago, they remember battling against this lad from Maidstone. And they knew they had better step out of his way when they played against him.

I’m talking about Jim Mahon, a farm boy who learned the game of hockey on the icy ditches alongside the 401. He played from daylight till nightfall. He played with neighbouring farm kids, and stickhandled till he could hardly stand up anymore.

But six months shy of his 20th birthday, Jim, who had been a star right winger with the Peterborough Petes and heard talk that he would go first round with the Buffalo Sabres, died suddenly in a freak farm accident.

He was a week or two away from going back to camp. It was going to be special because he was bringing along his younger brother, John, for a tryout. And there was a chance 17-year-old John would make the team.

But Jim Mahon died that summer at his uncle’s farm. He was electrocuted while working on a sump pump in the basement. He was standing in a puddle of water on the concrete floor when it happened.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+mahon

Metropolit Wants To Return To The NHL

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

Glen Metropolit does this every day, in the small, postcard-pretty lakeside city of Zug, Switzerland:

“First thing in the morning, I’ve got to check on the guys,” Metropolit said Sunday of his Internet routine. “Got to check out my team. I’m watching the boxscores, trying to check on my old linemate, Darchie, my buddy Hal. I’m glad Gorgie is back.”

Metropolit is speaking of the Canadiens, of course, and of former teammates Mathieu Darche, Hal Gill and Josh Gorges.

The Habs are Metropolit’s team, his sweater for 90 games from 2008-10. Montreal is home for his heart, no matter that he played on six other clubs between 1999-2010 during his 407-game National Hockey League career.

And Metropolit, the leading scorer in the Swiss National A League last season, hopes there might be a 408th NHL game in his future.

The 37-year-old centreman is in a strange place, as breathtaking as the scenery might be. EV Zug, the club with which he signed for a year and an option 14 months ago, has five imports; that’s one more than can be dressed for games.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+metropolit

Remember The Name Joshua Ho-Sang

from Dave Feschuk of the Hamilton Spectator,

...Joshua Ho-Sang, 15, is among the most talked-about teenaged players in hockey. A quick-skating, soft-handed centreman for the Toronto Marlies’ AAA minor midgets, he is expected to be among the top picks in next spring’s Ontario Hockey League draft.

Doug Gilmour, the Maple Leafs great who doubles as general manager of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, calls Joshua “the elite of the elite” at his age level. Warren Rychel, GM of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, says it’s his opinion that Joshua should have been granted exceptional-player status and admitted into this year’s OHL draft a year early, when Rychel figures he would have been the first or second pick. Small wonder that even the occasional NHL scout has been seen at Joshua’s games.

“He gets you out of your seat,” Rychel says. “I think of all the guys I’ve seen since I’ve been here — (Steven) Stamkos, (Taylor) Hall, (John) Tavares — he’s the deadliest I’ve ever seen one-on-one with a goalie. He puts pucks away like nobody I’ve seen at that age.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joshua+ho-sang

Evaluating The Player

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

Clare Drake, the winningest coach in Canadian university hockey history, is a teacher of teachers, a coach to generations of coaches, including NHL coaches such as Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings.

“I’m a head coach today because of Clare Drake. … His inventiveness and analytical mind have contributed so much to the growth in the tactics and strategies of Canadian hockey,” Babcock has said of Drake, who led the University of Alberta Golden Bears to six national championships,

Drake, 83, kept consulting NHL teams well into his 70s, but he’s retired now. He has a cane to get around, but his knowledge of the modern NHL game is still acute, which is why I sought him out this past week.

You see, the key to the excellent system of rating the two-way play of NHLers devised by former NHL coach Roger Neilson is the hockey knowledge of the evaluator.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

J.P. Dumont Likely to Join Swiss League

From TSN:

Veteran forward J.P. Dumont, who had his contract bought out by the Nashville Predators this past June, has an agreement in place to join Bern of the Swiss Hockey League.

However, the deal doesn’t kick in until Tuesday, so he could still be signed by an NHL club between now and then


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: j.p.+dumont

Orr’s Team Canada Sweater Up For Auction

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Bobby Orr is ticked that his 1976 Canada Cup jersey — the white one he wore when Team Canada beat Czechoslovakia — is up for auction.

“He’s somewhat disappointed someone would take that and put it out for auction,” said agent Rick Curran, Orr’s business partner. “He willingly gave it to someone. Now it’s up for sale.

“I would have thought if they decided it didn’t mean enough for them to keep it, they might have offered it back. It’s one thing if you keep something that’s special, but if you’re going to sell it, why not give it back to the person it really belonged to.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Make Age 19 The Minimum For The NHL Entry Draft?

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson has submitted a nine-page document to the NHL outlining his belief the league’s entry draft should move from age 18 to 19.

“I wanted to do it because I thought it was the best thing for Hockey Canada and the overall structure,” said Nicholson, who hopes the study will be part of the upcoming CBA discussions.

“For the most part, 18- and 19-year-old players are not close to being ready for the NHL. If the draft goes back a year, it slows down the process at every level. Right now, everyone is on a treadmill to get there.”


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Getting Noticed By Fighting

from Dave Naylor of TSN,

Last season, Darren Kramer dropped the gloves 47 times for the Chiefs in the Western Hockey League (46 regular season, one playoffs), more than 50 if you count his handful of fights in the Alberta Junior league before his call to Spokane. He’s managed to go from being a scrappy player in a Tier II junior league to an Ottawa Senators draft pick in the span of about nine months….

Fighting to Darren Kramer is simply a tool, the thing he decided he must use to buy the time necessary to keep his hockey dream alive.

If he was a baseball player, he might try to steal 100 bases. If he played basketball, he’d probably try to master the art of three-point shooting. And if he played football, he might be a kicker, or a punter or a practice long snapping 500 times a day.

It’s anything to get noticed - to set him apart. Find a job that not everyone is willing to do and do it better - or at least more willingly - than anyone else.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darren+kramer, spokane+chiefs

« Previous       ‹ First  < 162 163 164 165 166 >  Last ›      Next »

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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


Most Recent Blog Posts