Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
“There’s no question the hockey is a lot different,” Jagr said. “You’ve got to skate a lot more here, playing on the larger Olympic ice, and there’s more room. Even if you take a shot from near the boards here, you’re really not that close to the net.”
Game programs are free and there are no air horns, organs or vendors walking the aisles. But rock music reverberates through the stadium during breaks in play and over centre ice an NHL-quality video board shows replays.
Between periods, spectators line up at concession counters, and for about $4.50 at one concessionaire called “Chicken Next Door,” they can buy chicken nuggets or kabobs. A pint-sized beer costs $3.80 and Pringle’s potato chips are available for $6.70 for a large, or $3.60 for a small. Jagr and Cherapanov black home jerseys – they bear a resemblance to those worn by the Buffalo Sabres – are available for about $70 apiece.
from Russia Today,
Canadian Darcy Verot is spending 2007-2008 season with Vityaz Chekhov. His arrival was some kind of a sensation, since Russian hockey had never seen this aggressive way of playing the game, which the Chekhov crowd really enjoys. The town’s stadium rarely has empty seats even though the club is currently the worst in the KHL.
from Travis Paterson of the Victoria News,
Q: Who was the greatest NHLer you ever played with?
A: “I’ll give you my top four. “Gretzky, No. 1. Cam Neely, No. 2. Pavel Bure, No. 3 and Brett Hull.
Q: Who did you find was the toughest NHL player to play against?
A: “Toughest guy to play against was (Chris) Chelios.”
more from Courtnall who is coaching the Victoria Grizzlies
from Steve Silver of the Las Vegas Sun,
The publicity machine at the Las Vegas Wranglers has done it again.
The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames will don prison-style uniforms to pay tribute to recently disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Jan. 30 against the Victoria Salmon Kings.
The Wranglers’ uniforms will feature broad, horizontal black and white stripes with mock prison numbers on the back of each jersey that begin with “ILLGOV” followed by the players’ actual number.
Following the game, the Las Vegas players will autograph their uniforms and auction them to the public to support the team’s various charities.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
After seeing former Devils winger Claude Lemieux this week and talking to those who have watched his comeback attempt with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, my belief is that he will make it back to the NHL. He is still driven, even at the age of 43.
Lemieux told me he still has the ingredient that made him a four-time Stanley Cup champion.
“I think it’s just the will to succeed at all costs,” he said. “I think it’s character.”
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.
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