Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
There are those who believe the Los Angeles Kings already have a jersey made up for July 1 with the Sheldon Souray’s name on the back ... Daniel Alfredsson may have shot the puck at Scott Niedermayer and hit Henrik Tallinder from behind, but he is the one Ottawa player who has nothing to apologize for. His linemates disappeared in the final, he didn’t.
more NHL bits scattered throughout Simmon’s Sunday column…
from Evan Weiner at NHL.com,
“We went out the night we won it through the city of Montreal,” Lafleur said. “The next day, what we did, we went to Toe Blake’s tavern and Claude Mouton, the PR guy for the Montreal Canadiens, had the Cup and went in. So we brought the Cup in and had a set of keys made for the car of Claude Mouton. So we steal the car and we steal the Cup.”
Guy Lafleur kidnapped the Stanley Cup on May 26, 1978. It was an inside job all the way, although Lafleur wasn’t spilling the beans despite the fact that the statute of limitations had long run out.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
“I was shocked actually… I know Yashin and Mr. (owner Charles) Wang are pretty tight. Caught me off-guard,” said Smyth, who would be getting the C on his jersey if he wants to return to Long Island, so tickled were they by his leadership in the six weeks he was there last season. Smyth has always wanted to be an NHL captain, so it’s obviously an enticement, but it’s still a long shot that he’ll sign again there. He may be a Western boy at heart.
“Being a captain? Yeah, that would be nice. But I just want to win,” said Smyth, who says he doesn’t know where talks are with the Islanders, who are also trying to keep heart-and-soul centre Jason Blake before he hits the open market.
read on... more UFA talk…
from the Palm Beach Post,
“We’ll either go back with the same duo or explore some trades,” Martin said. “There are scenarios we’re studying.”
Ed Belfour, Alex Auld and Craig Anderson, all of whom could become free agents July 1, remain in the mix.
Bringing back Belfour and Auld seems extremely risky. Belfour was excellent last season, but he’s 42, has a history of back problems and has serious off-ice issues. Auld lost his confidence and didn’t win a game after Dec. 7.
Aside from Fernandez, other goalies available in trade include either Evgeni Nabokov or Vesa Toskala from San Jose, backup Ilya Bryzgalov from Anaheim and Jose Theodore from Colorado.
from the Boston Herald,
More recently, Ference has also gotten involved in the Right To Play program, which brings sports to disadvantaged parts of the world such as Africa, Palestine and Asia. On June 28, Ference and fellow volunteer, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque, will head to Tanzania to establish athletic programs.
“Where I’ll be going to in Tanzania, we’ll be working with kids who’ve orphaned by AIDS, former child soldiers or refugees, kids who really haven’t had a childhood and have lived five lifetimes in the span of 10 years,” Ference said. “We’re setting up programs where they can have sports, whether it’s through school or community teams. Where I’m going, a lot of the teams the kids can play on will be in the schools so it’s kind of a double-edged sword where you get the kids playing and having fun and interacting with other children and also getting to school because that’s where the sports are. Immunization is also done through sports.
from the Press-Enterprise,
On Thursday night, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Pronger and Brad May were returning from their appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with the Cup, when one of them had to find a restroom. The limo driver stopped at Denny’s, and two hockey fans happened to be going into the restaurant.
“Jigger and Pronger get out, and the fans say, ‘No way!’ ” Ducks publicist Alex Gilchrist recalled. “The one guy peeks in and says, ‘No. That’s not the Stanley Cup, is it?’
“And Jigger takes it out and says, ‘Here.’ “
Whoever they are, they’ll be dining out on that moment for years.
“That was pretty cool,” Giguere said.
from the Vancouver Province,
With poker getting high ratings and with the success of all the collegiate sports ESPN has dipped into since dropping hockey, the league would have to beg the network to take the game back. Even then there’s not much likelihood given NBC’s staggeringly poor ratings.
It’s a shame, because at times this spring, the entertainment level during playoffs was high, much better than during the regular season. The pace was sometimes electric and the hitting often spectacular, with the better officials working and some intensity blossoming.
from the Detroit Free Press,
Now, on the grassy median that splits Woodward Avenue just south of Big Beaver Road in Birmingham, there is nothing. There is no reminder that this sliver of grass was the site of Detroit’s most notorious limousine accident.
This Wednesday, June 13, 10 years will have passed since that crash, 10 years since this region spilled into the streets celebrating a Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, and 10 years since that celebration was stopped cold after a limousine carrying two Red Wings and the team’s masseur hopped a curb on southbound Woodward, veered into a pole in the median and smashed into that tree, leaving two of them in intensive care.
from the Vancouver Province,
Watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup has reinforced Vigneault’s admiration of old-school, hard-knocks, bad-attitude hockey, something he thinks the Canucks need more of, which should excite any fan of in-your-face hockey.
“There’s a lot of good in the new NHL—less clutching and grabbing and a bigger reliance on speed,” Vigneault said. “But, for me, I’m always going to be a fan of hitting and checking and—I know a lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this—fighting.
“Anaheim had the most fighting majors in the NHL. I’d like us to be a little more grittier in that side of the game.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The commissioner has plenty of work ahead in legitimizing a league that for years was perceived as irrelevant. Hockey’s television ratings, laughable at their height, were down 20 percent in the United States and 18 percent in Canada from last year for the Stanley Cup between the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators.
Bettman spent years trying to sell people on the strength of the league when anybody paying attention knew otherwise. But the opposite is true in this case. The NHL isn’t nearly as weak as TV ratings would suggest. The salary cap is expected to increase again next season, a sign the league has a strong revenue stream.
Take a closer look, and you’ll see Bettman’s vision from the mid-1990s slowly taking form.
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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