Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As with all start-ups, it has not exactly been smooth sailing for the KHL in its inaugural season. On Saturday, the league’s board of directors met to ponder an idea that had been floated the week before – a 30 per-cent across-the-board contract rollback to cut costs for some of the most under-funded franchises.
Amid heavy opposition from the newly formed players’ association (run by Andrei Kovalenko, a former NHL, nicknamed The Tank in his playing days), the proposal was put on the shelf at least for the duration of this season. KHL president Alexander Medvedev decided, according to sources, that trying to force a rollback would cause more headaches than it would solve problems….
The KHL salary cap will almost certainly be reduced next season; and Medvedev – a major emerging force in the hockey world - went to great lengths to warn teams that were in arrears in paying player salaries that those agreements needed to be honored. He went so far as to say the government might even intervene if promises weren’t kept.
As Tapeleg points out in his Jerseys and Hockey Love blog, the Fresno Falcons folded today.
That makes two ECHL teams this year, both during the season.
from the ECHL,
The ECHL announced Monday that the Board of Governors had voted unanimously to terminate the Membership of the Fresno Falcons, effective immediately.
The termination of the Membership comes as a result of the Fresno ownership group notifying the ECHL that they are unable to continue to operate the Membership for financial reasons.
Failure to ice a team for play is grounds for automatic termination under the ECHL Bylaws.
Adam Sherlip, formerly responsible for digital marketing and amateur hockey development for the New York Islanders, is now heeding his life’s calling. An idealistic New Yorker, Adam is looking to travel around the world teaching kids hockey, as well as write a variety of books based on the culture of sports. You can continue to follow Adam at his blog, hockeyvolunteer.blogspot.com.
By Adam Sherlip
[Special to Kukla’s Korner]
So, you’re sitting at the arena watching your favorite team play terrible hockey. The fans around you are shouting detailed & violent profanities at a roster of over-paid, under-performing athletes, some of which have questionable reputations. The players are spending more time staring at the door in the penalty box than they are on the sheet of frozen, painted water. When they’re on the ice, they’re beating the guys in the opposing color until they’re red with blood. It’s hard to see why anyone would enjoy this sport.
One of those fans is a hockey dad with his kids wearing their youth hockey jersey, and you can only image how intense he is when his kid is playing hockey…forcing his child to play, arguing with the coach - believing he has greater (rather, no) coaching experience, making deals with youth clubs, and taking all of the fun out of the game.
This is the type of situation that drags the entire sport of hockey down, and it’s something myself and many others are passionately trying to change.
Two years ago I was hired by the New York Islanders to handle a well- intended, decently covered initiative called Project Hope - a youth hockey development program in northeastern China - directed at the time by Team USA star Angela Ruggiero (3 time Olympic medalist, all-time games played leader, top defensive player, great person). Almost two years to the day, I assisted her in running the Project Hope Invitational in New York, hosting one of our teams from China to play against three teams from the New York area. A few weeks later Angela and I visited Heilongjiang Province to see the kids at the schools in which Project Hope installed outdoor rinks, and my life officially changed for the better.
In this exclusive interview with Sportsnet.ca’s Perry Lefko, (Claude) Lemieux talks about the reasons for his comeback, his decision to pick Worcester, playing in the Asian League, and his impressions of infamous super-pest Sean Avery….
SN: You’ve had an outstanding career, particularly in the playoffs, but some people only remember your hit on Kris Draper. If you are successful in making it back to the NHL, how do you think that will impact on the way people view you and your career?
CL: That doesn’t really matter to me. You can never unanimously please everybody. There’s always people that regardless of what you do they’re always going to want to remember the negative; the people that get up every morning and look for something negative, the glass is always half empty, it’s never full. That’s just the way it is….”
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Here’s what sets (Kirill) Kabanov apart from most other 16-year-olds: he can afford to shop on Tverskaya.
The young hockey prospect is paid $20,000 (U.S.) a month by the fabled Russian hockey club Spartak Moscow, a princely sum next to the room-and-board stipend for stars in Canada’s major junior leagues.
Several scouts say the Moscow native, the Kontinental Hockey League’s youngest player, stands a good chance to become the No.1 pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft.
J.P. Barry, the agent for Mats Sundin and Evgeni Malkin, said Kabanov’s quickness is comparable to Alex Ovechkin at the same age and other agents and scouts are similarly complimentary. Three years ago, when Kabanov was 13, NHL super-agent Don Meehan flew him and his father Sergei, a former Russian army special forces major, to Toronto in an unsuccessful bid to sign Kabanov to a representation contract, Sergei Kabanov said.
From Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
It was a hockey fight that started the way thousands of others have over the years, but it ended with a 21-year-old fighting for his life in a Hamilton hospital.
The fact the fight took place in the backwaters of senior hockey in Ontario will undoubtedly prompt some to dismiss it as a one-time accident, largely because that’s what it was. But it has long been the opinion of this corner that it is only a matter of time before an NHL player dies as the result of a hockey fight and only then, maybe, will the game do something about fighting.
Because of a hockey fight, the parents of Don Sanderson of the Whitby Dunlops are sitting by their son’s bed in a Hamilton hospital wondering when, or if, their son is ever going to wake up. After one surgery and some 60 hours after his fight with Corey Fulton of the Brantford Blast last Friday night, Sanderson was still in a coma.
Update 4:42pm ET: More on this from Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com as well.
Update 5:57pm ET: Bob McKenzie at TSN weighs in—
I’m afraid, for me anyway, that parenthood trumps journalism at a time like this.
Which is to suggest, I am also sick over how this tragedy has become a jumping-off point today to either rally around the game and how it’s played or to use it as an example of all that is wrong with hockey.
I don’t want hear the pro-fighting boosters tell me it’s part of the game, that it’s a tough sport and that accidents happen. I know that, but it makes it no less sickening.
And I don’t want to hear the anti-fighting cause wag a finger and say it was bound to happen sooner or later, because that reeks of opportunism in the face of great tragedy.
The truth is, depending upon your view, you can make this sad story whatever you want it to be.
from Kristina Rutherford of CBC Sports,
Mitchell Humphries moved halfway across the world to devote his life to hockey for the price of $28,000 a year.
Melbourne, Australia, isn’t exactly a breeding ground for hockey stars, after all, so the 15-year-old packed his bags and moved to Banff, Alta., to attend the Banff Hockey Academy. There, he goes to high school and plays hockey.
“My goal is to play division one college hockey,” Humphries says. He’s not the only one who’s traveled a long distance to make it happen, either.
Of the 25 elite hockey players who attend the academy, more than 50 per cent are from outside Canada.
from Top News,
The 2010 ice hockey world championships are to face off in front of a world record attendance of 75,976 in Germany, organizers announced on Monday.
Local organizers said at a news conference that the tournament opener between hosts Germany and a yet to be drawn opponent on May 7, 2010, could draw this maximum crowd in Gelsenkirchen’s stadium which normally hosts Schalke 04 football matches.
The current record is 74,554 fans who attended a college match between Michigan and Michigan State on October 6, 2001, in the American Football stadium of East Lansing, Michigan.
German organizers are confident that the record will fall.
from Scott Taylor of the National Post,
When Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Canada’s 2010 Olympic hockey team, it was assumed by some that Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock would be named Canada’s next head coach.
Hearing Babcock’s name was somewhat refreshing considering that for so long the same names always seemed to come up—Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford, Andy Murray.
While Babcock, with his experience handling the highly-skilled members of the Red Wings, would be a terrific choice, so too would a guy who would love to answer his country’s call.
“There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than playing or coaching a national team,” Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “I’ve done it twice at the world championships and they were both among the greatest experiences of my life. “
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On a recent Friday night, an unseasonably warm night for northern Russia in late November, Emery was a world away from the scrutiny and was asked what kind of mood he wakes up in most mornings.
“At the start I do the old, `Where am I?’ when I open my eyes but now I’m used to it,” he said. “Sometimes I’m still confused or feel a bit homesick when I wake up. It’s been a pretty good break for the most part. I’m just relaxing. It’s nice not having that microscope on you, being able to live.
“I miss a lot about Canada, North America, just living there, conversing with people. But at the same time, I don’t miss not being comfortable at dinner because people are watching you and you feel eyes on you all the time.”
read on as Westhead continues with stories from Russia…
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