Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
You read correctly: the boyish Bobby Orr turns 60 today, but the brilliant defenceman of yesteryear will not be in attendance at the TD Banknorth Garden. Instead, Orr will remain at his winter home in Jupiter, Fla., and quietly celebrate his milestone birthday with his wife, Peggy, and his family and friends.
“He probably doesn’t want to acknowledge it,” Harry Sinden, Orr’s first coach with the Bruins and later his general manager, said jokingly.
Even though Orr hasn’t lived in Canada for more than 40 years, since he first suited up for the Bruins in 1966, he remains as visible as any hockey player in this country, including Wayne Gretzky, because of his commercials for General Motors and MasterCard and work for Chevrolet’s Safe & Fun Hockey program to help young players develop positive values while learning the game’s fundamentals.
from the Vancouver Sun,
In a feat unsurpassed by any athlete in any sport, Gordie Howe finished in the top five in scoring for 20 straight seasons.
Howe was offered the job as the first head coach of the New York Islanders in 1972. He declined.
read on for 30 facts about Gordie…
from Marty Henwood of Hockey.com,
Call me sentimental, a purist or just plain old, but there are times when I just miss those grand old ladies.
Some of you may remember them, others probably choose to say good riddance in an era of luxury boxes and eight-sided scoreboards.
Maple Leaf Gardens. Montreal Forum. Boston Garden. Chicago Stadium. The Olympia. The Spectrum.
Buildings with character. With memories. With ghosts.
fro Van Oler via ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
Spend enough time at the United Center watching the Blackhawks and you’ll inevitably hear someone comment that this season’s game-night excitement and buzz reminds them of the days when “the Blackhawks owned this town, I tell ya! You couldn’t get a ticket unless it was left to you in somebody’s will!”
With Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull returning the UC tonight, it’s useful to look back at their time with the Blackhawks to see if there’s evidence that the team was, in fact, the best in town.
from Dennis Kane at the Powell River Peak,
Doug Harvey Jr. is 57 years old now, is proud of his dad, and was happy to talk about him. What was it like, I asked, being the son of such a star? “It was probably just like you and your dad,” he said, “We were just a family like everyone else. Kids at school didn’t treat me any different, and when I played hockey, there were no names on the sweaters, so no one gave me a hard time at the rink.
“I guess one thing that might be different was that players would come over to the house quite often—Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau, Jacques Plante, the Rocket a few times. When dad was building our house, most of the team helped him.”
from John Rolfe at Sports Illustrated,
Championship banners, retired numbers, and stirring reunions are all well and good. It can be great fun to revisit the glories of the past. Can be. But when a title drought or stretch of losing drags on well into the next generation, or beyond, it can be just plain depressing.
Case in point: Last Sunday, the New York Islanders again rolled out the members of their early ‘80s dynasty, this time to commemorate The Core of the Four—the 17 players whose names appeared on all four Stanley Cups they won from 1980 through 1983.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
How would Gainey, the general manager, describe Gainey, the player?
“I was strong-willed,” he said. “I was extremely difficult to play against. Determined to carry my part of the team’s game to improve our chances to win the game. I enjoyed the harder parts of the games and the harder parts of the season.”
What he didn’t say was that no player before him, or since, delivered those qualities game in, game out for the length of his 16 seasons with the team, which included 1,160 regular-season games - eight as captain - and 182 playoff games, which brought home five Stanley Cups and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1979.
from the Saginaw News,
Delvecchio, 76, who grew up in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) doesn’t begrudge the big-money contracts of today’s players.
‘‘You know what, when we played, we played for $50,000 or $60,000 and that was big money,’’ Delvecchio said. ‘‘A lot more than I would have made had I stayed in Thunder Bay. I don’t begrudge these guys making the big money. It’s great for them. Some are overpaid, but that will happen at any time. Good for them.
‘‘In those days, you did your own negotiating with Jack Adams or Sid Abel, and they never did at contract time how good a year you had. It was forget last year; what are you going to do for me next year? When you came out of the room, you were generally happy with what you got.’‘
Delvecchio isn’t happy with the way games are officiated today, insisting the referees almost seem to make up penalties.
from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
The photograph from a family album shows Jean Béliveau slipping an engagement ring onto the finger of Élise Couture. It is Christmastime 1952 in Quebec City, a tinselled tree behind them.
This June 27, the couple will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. And it is hardly a measure of their marriage that, on this Valentine’s Day, neither recalls the details of Béliveau’s proposal to the woman who took his heart then and keeps it to this day.
Speaking on HockeyCentral@Noon, (Marcel) Dionne blasted the league’s skills competition that was held Jan. 26, the night before the game in Atlanta. Dionne reserved his harshest comments for the breakaway challenge….
“They made fools of themselves,” Dionne said. “(The event) should be scrapped altogether. Whoever thought of that should be fired.”...
“They probably think in the South that hockey’s like mini-basketball or something,” he said. “We can’t jump up and down and put it in the hoop.
“Obviously there’s guys that can do a lot of little tricks with the puck but it’s never in a situation where you’re on a breakaway … with someone chasing you.”
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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