Kukla's Korner Hockey
NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Sept. 29, 2014 – Kraft will celebrate the passion and unity of hockey communities like never before with the launch of Kraft Hockeyville 2015 on both sides of the border. For the first time, the award-winning program in Canada is expanding to help build better communities in the United States as well. Now, hockey towns in the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a $150,000 arena makeover courtesy of Kraft, have an NHL preseason game played in its local arena showcased on TV and earn the title “Kraft Hockeyville 2015.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- During the USHL’s Fall Classic Week, the league activated a temporary rule. Teams were not allowed to ice the puck during a penalty kill. If they did, they were called for icing. The following faceoff would take place in their zone.
“I like it a lot,” said Eades, formerly an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. “I hope there’s a lot more experimentation with it. With any change, there’s going to be people not liking it. But we’ve got to continue to look at ways to increase excitement, offensive chances, and eventually scoring in our game. It’s one I really, really like.”
The scenario has always underscored hockey’s double standard. If you needlessly rip the puck down the ice during even-strength play, good luck getting your coach to give you another shift, especially if your opponent scores off the following draw. Execute the same play when you’re killing a penalty, your coach will shower you with attaboys all the way to the bus.
- “In today’s game, everybody’s cycling in the corner,”(Brad) Park said. “Somebody asked me one day, ‘What would you do if they were cycling?’ I said, ‘Stand still.’ If the puck’s in the corner, I don’t have a problem, right? So what they do is they cycle, they look, then they go to the point shot. Guys go and stand right in the crease. Defensemen go out to the hash marks to block the shot. If it gets by them, the other team is right in front of the net for the rebound, and the defensemen are 6-7 feet away. A lot of this doesn’t make sense to me.”
If there is one thing the former Bruins legend questions, it is today’s commitment to collapsing and blocking shots in front of the net. Perhaps it’s because the equipment Park and his counterparts wore did little to prevent blocks from becoming bruises. Modern gear is like armor.
more on each topic plus additional hockey notes...
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Seven to three.
It reads like a runaway, a blowout, a foregone conclusion.
But - and you're going to have to trust me on this - it's not. At least not if the subject is who will go No. 1 overall in the 2015 NHL Draft: Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
And yet when TSN surveyed 10 NHL team head scouts in the first week of September and asked them who they would take first overall - McDavid or Eichel - if the draft were being held that day, seven of the 10 opted for the dynamic Canadian centre of the Erie Otters over the physically-dominant American centre of the Boston University Terriers.
It is, however, far closer than the numbers would suggest.
"I go back and forth every week between the two," said one NHL head scout who chose McDavid. "When I saw McDavid dominate the U-18 as a double underager, I didn't think anyone would ever touch him. Then I saw Eichel outplay McDavid at last year's World Junior Championship and I realized not only is it a two-horse race but Eichel may be in the lead. I can't tell you how many times since then I've changed my mind. It's that close."
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
RANKIN INLET – In the grand scheme of pro hockey, Jordin Tootoo is a hard-working agitator with 539 career games in 10 NHL seasons. But in the Canadian North, he’s a legend.
There’s a huge billboard featuring the first Inuit-born NHLer in his hometown of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Adorned with caribou antlers, it depicts the now-31-year-old veteran in the Team Canada sweater he wore at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
When you spend time in the small, isolated communities in the Canadian North, you soon realize that passion for both IIHF tournaments and the NHL is just as deep-rooted up here as in major urban centres like Toronto or Montreal, which will co-host the World Juniors in 2015 and 2017.
In some ways, that passion is even stronger among the traditionally nomadic peoples of the North. There are so many other diversions and distractions in the cities. In Nunavut – Canada’s newest territory, created in 1999 – there are only 33,000 people in an area that’s eight times the size of Great Britain. Here, amid the endless waters of Hudson Bay and the stark, forbidding Arctic tundra, there is plenty of time to think about hockey.
When you’ve finished browsing through soapstone sculptures, bone carvings, and a children’s hockey book entitled Atausiraaallarumaluuunniit! at the Ivalu gift shop in Rankin Inlet, you come outside to the dirt road and a native man in a Hockey Canada T-shirt drives by on an ATV.
from Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,
The Korean men’s and women’s national teams will be competing on home ice at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeonChang, following a decision by the IIHF Congress to grant the country automatic entry into the ice hockey events.
“After careful deliberation and discussions with the IOC and the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA), we have decided to grant an automatic qualification to the men’s and women’s national teams for PyeongChang 2018,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
The decision came following meetings held during the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress, where the KIHA presented a comprehensive four-year plan to intensify the development of the men’s and women’s teams. The plan has the backing of the IOC, the Korean government, and national sponsors, who together with the KIHA have pledged to invest over $20 million U.S. into the national team program in the leadup to the Games.
from Jashvina Shah at Shnarped,
- Returning powerhouse
Last season, Minnesota powered its way to the Frozen Four, ending rival North Dakota’s season with 0.6 seconds left in the semifinals. Union ended Minnesota’s season in the national championship game, but the Gophers return one of the strongest rosters in the country. The team’s top-five scorers will return, including Kyle Rau. And the Golden Gophers have one of the best goalkeepers in the country in Adam Wilcox, who was key to Minnesota’s run last season.
- Miami, Michigan Poised for Bounce Back Seasons
On the opposite side, Miami and Michigan turned in letdown seasons. But the Wolverines a have solid leadership in captain Andrew Copp. The Wolverines lost Alex Guptill and Phil Di Giuseppe a year early, but they’re a couple losses in exchange for a freshman class that should help Michigan make it back to the NCAA tournament.
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
The number of registered ice hockey players has grown to 1,779,911 according to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s annual Survey of Players that includes 68 countries.
That’s an increase of 8.47 per cent compared to last year. There have been more players in all categories – male, female and junior players.
The number-one country remains hockey motherland Canada followed by the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and France who complete the top-10.
But the data also offers other interesting angles. Who would have thought that Latvia has the sixth-highest number of players per capita and that Iceland is ninth before tenth-ranked USA?
This article is about a week old and I saw it when it first came out but decided to pass, but in the last few days a few KK members brought it to my attention which tells me I should have posted it in the first place.
from Emily Cornelius at The Huffington Post,
As hockey fans, one of our favorite things to do is criticize the players. 'He's a bum', 'he's washed up,' 'we are paying him how much?' It's innate. They make a ton of money to do what we wish we were doing, they can take a little ribbing from us lowly fans.
But are we giving these players enough credit? How hard is it actually to 'make it,' to 'go to the show,' to 'get the call?'
Early 2013, Jim Parcels, a former Peterborough Petes trainer and Ken Campbell, a writer for The Hockey News, co-authored Selling the Dream: How Hockey Parents and Their Kids Are Paying the Price for Our National Obsession. In the book, Parcels breaks down the odds of a kid from Ontario making the NHL. Out of the select 30,000 players they studied, 48 were drafted by an NHL team, and 39 of those 48 actually signed contracts with an NHL team. Of that 39, only 32 actually played in the NHL, and only 15 of those players played more than one full season. And finally, of that 15, only six played the minimum 400 games to qualify for the NHL Player Pension.
So if we count the 400 game league minimum for the Player Pension as having a 'career' in the NHL, then 0.16 percent will get drafted into the NHL and only 0.02 percent of hockey-playing boys in Ontario will make a 'career' out of hockey.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The expectation back in June was that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association would have some kind of World Cup announcement by the end of summer, but that’s going to wait a bit longer.
Both sides have an understanding that they will wait to get more concrete details in order, including being able to commit firmly to a regular interval for the tournament, which hasn’t been held since 2004 when Canada beat Finland in the final at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
In other words, while the NHL and NHLPA could have easily announced by now that the event is returning in September 2016, they want to have much more to give than that.
What we know at this point: The World Cup is scheduled to return in September 2016, primarily anchored in Toronto, but there may also be some games in Montreal. That’s still in discussion.
There likely will be eight countries in the tournament, which is the same as 2004 and 1996. There are six countries fixed: Olympic champion Canada, Russia, the United States, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The additional two teams and the manner in which they will be selected hasn’t been nailed down yet.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
It’s story about hockey, but it’s also a story about a country, an ideology and a culture and how a sport became intertwined with the changes all three went through with the fall of the Soviet Union.
It’s also a story about Slava Fetisov, the face and the heart of the film who steals the show with his funny, frank and combative turn in front of the camera in what Polsky revealed was a marathon six-hour session.
All of that’s in there, and it’s all worth seeing. I consider myself a hard marker when it comes to film, but this is the rare hockey doc where it’s hard to find fault.
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 email@example.com