Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP,
Slovakia pulled off the first big upset of the world junior hockey championship with three first-period goals and 46 saves from Jaroslav Janus to defeat the United States 5-3 in the quarter-finals on Friday at Scotiabank Place.
Adam Bezak, Tomas Tatar and Jozef Molnar scored in the opening period on only eight shots against porous American goaltender Thomas McCollum of the Guelph Storm.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
No, the late Don Sanderson should not be turned into a martyr for the anti-fighting crowd.
On the basis of what we know, he might well have been the first guy to say that fighting was part of the game, and that he knew what he was getting into that fateful Dec. 12 night while playing for the Whitby Dunlops. He died earlier today, and his family, one imagines, wouldn’t want to see his memory manipulated for the purposes of anyone’s political agenda.
At the same time, however, it would be equally wrong to pretend for the sake of the pro-fighting constituency out there that this was somehow just an accident that was unavoidable and could happen to anyone who laces up a pair of skates.
We cannot simply ignore the terrible truth that a young man has been killed in a hockey fight, that hockey violence has claimed a life.
I hope the NHL doesn’t pick-up on this marketing idea. It sort of spooks me out.
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
Out on the ice, it was hockey skills and smiles. Nikita Filitov tore it up yesterday, racking up a hat trick and generating a scoring chance on practically every shift in Russia’s 8-1 steam-rolling of Slovakia at the Civic Centre.
After the game it was surprising English skills but no smiles. Not when talk with Filatov turned to the death of his “best friend in hockey,” Alexei Cherepanov….
“He is all the time in my mind,” Filatov says.
Understandable. This is Filatov’s first international tournament since Cherepanov’s death. Filatov won’t come out and say it but it’s apparent to anyone familiar with this Russian team: Cherepanov would have been expected to lead this team, but it now falls to him. Cherepanov would have worn the captain’s K, but that’s now sewn over Filatov’s heart.
Blood and urine samples taken from Alexei Cherepanov shows he had engaged in blood doping.
More from the AP via USA TODAY
The NHL Network (USA) will be televising two games today, Kazakhstan vs. Canada at 3:30pm ET & USA vs. Czech Republic at 7:30pm.
The Games are in HD as NHL Net picks-up the TSN feed for us in the States.
Don’f forget about the NHL Network (US) televising games from the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.: Germany vs. USA is on at 3:30pm ET today followed by Canada vs. Czech Republic at 7:30pm.
Check the full schedule of televised games at the NHL Network website.
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
The WJC is different than, say, the Super Bowl. If you’ve seen one Super Bowl, you’ve seen them all—okay, maybe the games are different but the experience around the game is more or less the same. The same corporate tents, the same scalpers demanding five figures, maybe even six figures for seats, the same excessive halftime shows by some used-to-be-A-list performer, same monster stadiums. Not so the under-20s….
The Russians, particularly in Halifax, played fast and loose and the Canadian teams were as tight as frog skin. A lot of pundits are touting Sweden or even Russia to win this tournament and the U.S. figures to be stronger than usual (with a team that leans heavily on CHL talent). That might be an accurate read of the talent in this tournament ... and it might also take a bit of the weight of the Worlds of the Canadian teens’ shoulders.
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.
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.
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