Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
There’s no storybook ending here. Montreal is on to the QMJHL playoffs this week. Business as usual. Angelo Esposito is out for the season with a blown-out knee, unable to build on success at the world juniors. Sad, but he’ll get another chance. Benjamin Rubin won’t though. He has played his last junior game. If he ever plays another meaningful game, he doesn’t know where it will be.
Some Orthodox Shomer Jews expect Benjamin to see the error of his ways. A friend of the Rubins, a Shomer Jew, even calls Rabbi Baron’s dispensation “bulls—-.” One rabbi says that the door won’t be shut to Benjamin but he must “express remorse and make a sincere verbal commitment not to transgress again.”
Benjamin’s not remorseful, just angry. “If I had played on the Shabbat when I started out in Quebec, I’d be a first-line player there now,” he says. “I was making up for lost time from the start. My little brother David’s going to be a player ... and he’s playing on the Shabbat, so hopefully something good comes out of this.”
from Chris Yzerman of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
Brian Kilrea hasn’t been wrong about too many things when it comes to preparing for a hockey game. Otherwise he wouldn’t have lasted 32 seasons as coach of the Ottawa 67’s.
He was mistaken about one thing Sunday, however, when he claimed it wouldn’t be too tough to step behind the bench for the final time in an Ontario Hockey League regular-season game when the 67’s met the Kingston Frontenacs at the Ottawa Civic Centre.
With an above-capacity crowd of 10,228 in attendance and surrounded by family, friends and former players - all there to pay tribute to the retiring coach - the familiar scowl that got Kilrea through many of his previous 2,155 outings cracked when he stepped behind the microphone during an almost 40-minute pre-game ceremony.
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
The Ontario Hockey League has suspended Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Jordan Nolan for 20 games.
The OHL announced the decision Friday after conducting a review of an incident in last Saturday’s game between the Greyhounds and Plymouth Whalers.
The incident resulted in a head injury to forward R.J. Mahalak. He was not seriously hurt. Nolan was given a two-minute minor for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting and a game misconduct for being the aggressor of an altercation.
The 19-year-old is the son of former NHL coach Ted Nolan.
Watch video of the incident below…
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Youngsters such as Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski are strongly in the mix now to make the American squad, and if the Olympics started tomorrow my hunch is that Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad would be the fourth-line center….
Boston’s Blake Wheeler and maybe Buffalo’s Drew Stafford are two other young forwards who have to be considered
My take on the team is that there are, barring injuries, four locks on defense in Detroit’s Brian Rafalski, Montreal’s Mike Komisarek, Nashville’s Ryan Suter and New Jersey’s Paul Martin.
Then, Anaheim’s Ryan Whitney is still strongly in the mix, as is Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik and Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert. Don’t rule out Florida’s Keith Ballard or Carolina’s Tim Gleason. Ron Hainsey’s power play prowess with Atlanta gives him a chance. Dallas player Matt Niskanen is also in play.
The two youngers guys with strong chances to make the team are Los Angeles’ Jack Johnson and St. Louis’ Erik Johnson, although Erik will have to show well at the start of next season because he will have missed the entire 2008-09 season with a knee injury.
In case you don’t wander over to the KK Members’ Blog area….
My name is Jeremy Pellek and am a Senior at Bowling Green State University. In light of the current tough economic times, and lack of state funding, BGSU will experience a $6-10 million budget shortfall for this coming fiscal year. As it stands now, many part-time employees will be let go after the school year ends, but further cuts need to be made to negate this substantial loss of money. Recently, it has surfaced that one possible cut may come in the form of the varsity hockey program.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced that Norfolk Admirals right wing Steve Downie has been suspended for twenty (20) regular-season games as a result of his actions in a game at Hershey on Feb. 28.
At the 19:48 mark of the third period, Downie was assessed a game misconduct under the provisions of AHL Rule 41.2 for deliberately striking an official with his stick.
Downie has already served three games of the suspension. He is scheduled to be eligible to return to the Norfolk lineup on Apr. 11.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced that Norfolk Admirals right wing Steve Downie has been suspended indefinitely, pending league review, as a result of his actions in a game at Hershey on Feb. 28.
Downie was assessed a game misconduct under AHL Rule 41.1 for physical abuse of an official.
The AOL Fanhouse has more on the incident…
from the CP via TSN,
Attendance at minor-league hockey games is down at most levels. The only exception is in the ECHL, which has seen a 2.2 per cent increase in per-game attendance after losing four of its seven lowest-performing franchises since the end of last season.
Minor-league officials refuse to attribute the decline to a decrease in fan interest. For decades many teams have remained in the same communities where kids follow the sport from an early age.
“We’re in hockey hotbeds,” International Hockey League commissioner Paul Pickard said. “I think (the attendance drop) has a lot to do with the economy.”
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
See, the Iowa Chops have these flabby dudes called the Pork Bellies who come out between periods and get their Full Monty on. They’re a bunch of Chops season ticket holders who started dancing at games as a gag, and now actually practice routines to perform during intermission. They’re not the first team to have chubby guys dancing to pop hits, but they might be the first to have them storm the ice from the back of a U-Haul.
“Usually, at intermission, people go get beers and drinks,” said Frank Meeink, who works in communications for the Chops. “Now, when they know that they’re coming, nobody moves.”
Of course, we’re happy to support this noble cause. Here’s the video:
from Kevin Ryan of the Ann Arbor News via Mlive,
The University of Wisconsin is banking on Camp Randall Stadium to draw a world-record crowd next year, but not for football.
The university has tendered a formal contract to the University of Michigan for an outdoor hockey game to be played at the 80,321-seat stadium Feb. 6, and the Wolverines are expected to accept the offer, Michigan associate head coach Mel Pearson said Thursday afternoon.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org