Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP,
The Memorial Cup was in two pieces, which meant there was more of it for the Spokane Chiefs to hoist above their heads.
Spokane beat the host Kitchener Rangers 4-1 to win the 90th Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Captain Chris Bruton lifted the trophy over his head twice and kissed it and then as he was about to hand it to teammate Trevor Glass, the cup became separated from its heavy base, which fell to the ice.
While that prompted boos from spectators at Memorial Auditorium already disappointed that their home team lost, the good news is that it’s a replica trophy.
Watch the celebration below…
From Michael Traikos at the National Post,
The family had just built a new house in Littleton and knew little of Canada. But after playing in a tournament in North Vancouver, where Bowman faced real competition for the first time, everyone realized that the young centre needed to be challenged.
“It ended up being a really good decision,” said Drayson Bowman, who was a third-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in last year’s NHL draft. “I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t think, unless we did it.”
Making the move was only possible because Mark Bowman owned his own financial consulting company. Still, there were sacrifices to be made. Mark had to fly back to the home office in Littleton almost every other week. And for about four years, life revolved around the two boys’ hockey career.
more *Drayson Bowman is competing for the Memorial Cup this Sunday.
Retired NHLer David Littman tells some tales from his life in hockey, today at The Hockey News:
People may not believe this, but playing in the minors is just as much fun as playing in the NHL. The only difference is there are fewer zeros on your paycheck. Things happen in the minors that would never happen in the NHL.
I was playing for the Atlanta Knights in the IHL, the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and we were playing the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Calgary’s farm team.
In the first period, there was a fight in front of my net and I jumped in to help a teammate. I looked up and Andre Trefilov, the opposing goalie, was coming at me full steam. We fought for a bit, got game misconducts and were kicked out of the game.
By the second period, we were both up in the stands sitting with our respective scratched teammates drinking beers. By the third period, we’d all had a few drinks when the Salt Lake backup goalie was hit and went down hard.
from Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun,
It was 108 in the shade Monday — and the Wranglers were getting ready to play another hockey game.
One hundred eight degrees. Hockey.
That had to be the strangest convergence of diametric entities since Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
Human Torch, meet Mr. Freeze.
“The Flight of the Phoenix,” meet “Ice Station Zebra.”
Habanero pepper, meet Chunky Monkey.
From Sergei Balash at Russia Profile.org,
The twists and turns of the final game were reminiscent of what the sport itself had gone through over the past decade and a half. After winning the Olympic hockey tournament in 1992 and capturing the world title in 1993, all of Russia’s major hockey accomplishments came just on the junior level, with the U20 team winning gold thrice from 1999 to 2003. Back then, the decline was evident in all winter sports, historically Russia’s strongest sport.
The long way back
“It’s always easy to ruin something,” said Vyacheslav Fetisov, director of the Federal Agency for Physical Education and Sport. “We were unbeatable in hockey. If someone said back in 1988 or 1989 that we’d win just two World Championships in the next 20 years, nobody would believe it.”
more on the road map Russia has followed to rebuild its hockey (and general sporting) dominance
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Russian hero Ilya Kovalchuk said it best when he summed up his team’s ability to come back from a two-goal deficit to win the gold medal game of the World Championship against Canada in overtime Sunday afternoon.
“When you’re playing on the big rinks and you’re trailing by two goals, it’s always tough to come back,” Kovalchuk said.
There is a certain contingent of hockey snobs that look down their noses at the NHL product, all the while claiming the international game to be far superior, in large part because the players have so much room to display their creativity.
They are wrong, so wrong.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The Russians threw their gloves and helmets in the air, left their sticks littering the ice and headed to the corner to create a happy pile of players on top of Ilya Kovalchuk,who had tears in his eyes.
Remember when we saw Russians as being so stoic and emotionless?
Remember when we believed Canada had the market cornered on hockey heart?
Well, remember this.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
The hockey landscape has changed — NHL clubs must now look on Russian clubs not as feeder teams whose rosters can be harvested, but as full economic equals. Fortunately for the NHL, it still has the reputation and the quality of life to assure that the Ovechkins and Semins will keep coming to North America, at least for the next few years. But NHL clubs are no longer the only ones with the money. The collapse of the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement is proof of that.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
The fact that troubled winger Chris Simon and backup netminder John Grahame won’t be returning to the NHL next season likely comes as little surprise, but what’s interesting is that the pair have signed with teams in the newly branded Continental Hockey League (formerly the Russian Super League) this weekend.
“We’ve got good players on the horizon and we all know the Olympics are the measuring stick,” Hitchcock said. “If you’re talking about world power and you’re talking about supremacy in hockey, you talk about the Olympics. They’re missing players for this tournament – there’s a player playing in Detroit (Pavel Datsyuk) who’s not bad - and we’re missing players in this tournament. When you get it together at the Olympics and everybody is there, that’s the measuring stick. We all know that.”
more on the WC from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News…
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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