Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Mike Babcock says he'd never say no to Hockey Canada when the sport's national governing body comes asking for his help.
That's too bad. He should have said no this time. He should be devoting his time to the Maple Leafs.
The World Cup of Hockey is not the Olympics and it's not even a true World Cup. There are two teams that don't belong: That team of under-23s and a pan-European all-star squad.
Can you imagine soccer, rugby or cricket -- all with huge world cup tournaments -- operating like that? Telling, say, Asian countries you don't have a chance so let's put an all-star team of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans together. And instead of countries like Canada or Australia trying out, we'll invited the best Europeans under 23?
How ridiculous. Hockey's World Cup format is an embarrassment. No more than a cash-grab.
And winning it? It won't feel like the Olympics.
from Hockey Canada,
Mike Babcock will return to international competition in September as the Team Canada head coach at the World Cup of Hockey.
Babcock (Saskatoon, Sask./Toronto, NHL) joined Hockey Canada president and CEO, Tom Renney, and Team Canada’s general manager, Doug Armstrong, at a news conference on Thursday where it was confirmed he will take the helm as head coach when the World Cup of Hockey makes its return in Toronto in September 2016.
“We’re happy to have Mike lead our World Cup coaching staff next September. His successes in creating a winning culture in a two-week tournament are well documented,” said Armstrong. “We are looking forward to representing Canada and making our country proud.”
Joining Babcock on the coaching staff are a group of successful coaches who bring equally impressive credentials of their own. Armstrong and Renney announced that Claude Julien, Barry Trotz, Joel Quenneville, and Bill Peters will be working with Babcock as assistant coaches for Team Canada.
“Thanks to immense depth, Canada is able to tap into world-class coaching, and this group clearly demonstrates that,” said Renney.
The American Hockey League today announced a new four-year officiating development agreement with the National Hockey League which will continue to see the AHL serve as the top development league for the NHL’s referees through 2018-19.
Under the terms of the agreement, the NHL and AHL officiating departments will continue to work together in all aspects of recruitment, training and development of on-ice officials. NHL-contracted referees will continue to be assigned to officiate approximately one-half of American Hockey League games each season, with the balance of AHL games to be worked by AHL-contracted referees who have been identified as top officiating prospects.
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the Toronto Star,
Hockey has developed a rich lexicon of so-called intangibles. Players can have grit, heart and vision. They might have good hockey sense, show good character, or be respected as a dressing room leader. A celebrated few might be known for how they perform on a big stage, knighted with the designation of being “clutch.”
“To me, an intangible is something that can’t be quantified,” says TSN hockey analyst Ray Ferraro. “You can’t touch it, you can’t feel it, you can’t mark it on a grade of 1-to-10 with any accuracy — it’s all subjective.”
As such, it can also be difficult to define. Like hockey’s vast unwritten rulebook — known widely as The Code — the meaning behind certain intangible skills can vary depending on the speaker. What is grit, anyway? And is it even possible for a player to be clutch?
In the name of clarity and the public good, Toronto Star sports reporter Sean Fitz-Gerald surveys hockey people, from managers to scouts and former players, from the NHL down to junior, in an attempt to nail down some of the game’s most inscrutable terms.
Active prototype: Chris Kelly, Boston Bruins
more, with a list and discussion on the intangibles...
from Jeff Neiburg of the Philadelphia Daily News,
MacDonald - acquired from the New York Islanders in the spring of 2014 and then signed to a highly criticized, six-year, $30 million deal by then-general manager, Paul Holmgren - hasn't been a regular minor leaguer since 2008-09....
"Obviously, it's a bit of an adjustment," MacDonald said after the Phantoms fell, 3-1, to the Toronto Marlies in their third game in three nights. "At this point, I'm settling in here and just trying to help the team win here."
And playing three games in three nights?
"It's been a while," MacDonald said with a laugh.
He might have to get used to it. The Phantoms have eight more of those sets the rest of the season. And the way it looks right now, MacDonald, who entered Wednesday with two assists and a plus-3 rating in five games, isn't coming back to the NHL anytime soon. The Flyers, who gained $950,000 in cap relief when they sent MacDonald down, simply don't have the space to bring him back up.
"Quite frankly, we'd like to get him back up," said general manager Ron Hextall, who was in attendance Sunday. "It's a situation right now that's partly out of our hands and his hands.
"It's certainly not the way you script it. You don't want to have a guy making a ton of money here. That's not the way you plan things. Obviously, sometimes you have to adjust.
from Amber Dowling of The Hockey News,
Forget HD resolution or viewing parties on massive projector screens. It won’t be long until fans will feel as though they’re sitting front and center ice rather than lounging on their tired sofas, cold beers in hand. At least that’s the virtual future now being presented at conferences across North America, where participants are plunked right into the thick of the game via a headset and clever camera angles.
“4K resolution seems like the next move in camera coverage, although the Japanese I think are just going to go right to 8K – that’s what they’re planning on doing for the Olympics as the host broadcaster,” said John McGuinness, co-ordinating producer, Hockey on NBC and NBCSN. “Any time you can make it easier for the viewer to see, a sport like hockey could definitely benefit from it because of the old, ‘I can’t see the puck’ argument.”
The rapid transformation of the way viewers consume their hockey has been a long time coming. With Rogers taking over the NHL deal in Canada and working in tandem with NBC Sports and TVA, there have been many broadcast experiments with Q-balls, rail cams and even the ref cam. Online, a future where viewers pick which broadcast – home or away – to watch, complete with color from their favorite commentators and a view from their preferred camera angle is possible.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Things have gone well for Boucher in Switzerland, and now Boucher has emerged as the best available candidate for NHL teams looking to make an in-season change at head coach. There are certainly other notable and worthy candidates, like John Tortorella, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle, but nobody who offers the mix of youth, intelligence and now international experience that the 44-year-old Boucher provides.
Reached by phone in Switzerland on Monday, Boucher said coaching for Bern has been an incredible opportunity and learning experience for him.
“You see things differently. I look at what Paul Maurice had done going to Europe and coming back. Bob Hartley just won coach of the year and he did the same thing. You ask all those guys and they’ll tell you their experience overseas helped you become better coaches,” Boucher said.
read on (insiders only but well worth the cost)...
from Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
When Canada withstood a fierce comeback to defeat Russia 5-4 in the International Ice Hockey World Junior Championship final last January, 19,014 fans packed the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to witness.
The scene was breathtaking, featuring dramatic hockey, an electric atmosphere and the world’s best young players locked in an epic battle. If Canada is the birthplace of hockey, Toronto is the mother ship. The setting and the circumstances were made for each other.
That said, if you can embrace the Blues’ new marketing theme, if you will consider this to be a “Heartland of Hockey,” you might appreciate what it would be like for St. Louis to present such a compelling, international spectacle. Holy Ballpark Village!
The St. Louis Sports Commission and the Blues are trying to make it happen, partnering in the pursuit of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Among the three cities under final consideration — with Buffalo, N.Y., and Pittsburgh — St. Louis representatives play host to the USA Hockey committee members over the next two days, making a final pitch. The award is expected to be announced in early December.
“It would have a scope and the ability to touch our city and region at a level we really haven’t done since the 1904 Olympics,” Blues president Chris Zimmerman said.
Check out Szemberg's recent Twitter timeline for more on Keenan.
added 8:51am, via Darren Dreger tweets,
Bizarre turn of events in KHL. After losing 2nd straight game, Mike Keenan was fired when he arrived at the arena this morning.
Keenan is unclear as to what his future with the team or league is at this point, but says he's been told his citizenship will be granted.
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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