Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender and Hockey Hall of Fame member Tony Esposito has joined the Chicago Blackhawks family as an official Blackhawks Ambassador. Esposito will join Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita in representing the Chicago Blackhawks at events at the United Center and throughout the Chicagoland area.
“It is a great honor to be asked back into the Blackhawks family,” said Esposito. “In my heart, I have always been and always will be a Blackhawk. I want to thank Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for giving me the opportunity to come back to the Blackhawks organization. I love the new approach the team is taking. Everything about the Blackhawks is very upbeat and I am proud to be a part of this new beginning.”
from Naples News,
Almost 40 years ago, when hockey players didn’t wear helmets, sticks were wooden, and penalties were rare—Don Awrey hoisted the Stanley Cup with his Boston Bruins teammates. Twice: once in 1970 and again in ‘72. His Montreal Canadiens team also won in ‘76, but Awrey didn’t get his name on the Cup because he missed the playoffs, despite playing in 72 regular-season games that year.
Hockey was knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out Broadstreet Bullies back then, and Awrey was among the best of the era’s grittiest players.
Teamed with Hall of Famer Bobby Orr on the Bruins’ blueline, Awrey was the punch to Orr’s pop. He stayed back and played defense, knocked guys around the front of the net while Orr zipped into the offensive zone and scored.
from the CP,
Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur says being dumped into the media spotlight last week over legal trouble surrounding his son Mark has been a hellish experience.
But the former Montreal Canadiens star was philosophical over his legal woes in his weekly newspaper column in the Journal de Montreal on Sunday.
“No matter what happens to us in life, we must get back on our feet and continue on the path,” Lafleur wrote. “Yesterday there was a storm, today it looks good.”
Lafleur says a positive approach is the only way to get out of problems and nothing is worse than dwelling on things and feeling sorry for yourself.
from Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press,
The book is really about a rebirth.
A rebirth for its subject—former National Hockey League goaltender Terry Sawchuk—and a rebirth for its author, Randall Maggs.
Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems recounts the life, in and out of hockey, of arguably the best goaltender who ever played the game. He also was one of hockey’s most tragic figures, dying in 1970 at the age of 40 after fighting with teammate Ron Stewart in the off-season. He suffered from untreated depression.
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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