Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Empty Netters,
The NHL has staged a player draft every year since 1963. That’s 45 different drafts with 45 different first overall picks. Surprisingly, only 12 of those men have their name on the Stanley Cup. Should Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury lead the Penguins to their third Stanley Cup title, they’ll be two the “earliest” former No. 1’s to claim the trophy.
In other words, among all former top overall picks, they’ll have played the fewest seasons in the league before winning their first championship:
check the chart for more…
from Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun,
It was 108 in the shade Monday — and the Wranglers were getting ready to play another hockey game.
One hundred eight degrees. Hockey.
That had to be the strangest convergence of diametric entities since Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
Human Torch, meet Mr. Freeze.
“The Flight of the Phoenix,” meet “Ice Station Zebra.”
Habanero pepper, meet Chunky Monkey.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Every 20 years or so—or in this case 19—Gary Roberts and Chris Chelios play against each other for the Stanley Cup.
It happens about as often as all-Canadian final, which it happened to be when Roberts and Chelios met for the Cup in 1989.
For Chelios, this really is nothing new. He has rings older than Evgeni Malkin and trips to the final with Montreal and Chicago in ‘89 and 1992, and of course, a Cup ring from the Red Wings six years ago.
But for Roberts, this wait has almost been forever. From the time he won his first and only professional championship, so much has happened.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Chris Osgood has been labelled the worst goaltender to ever win a Stanley Cup.
Now, he could conceivably be the worst to ever win two.
Before we all get all weepy over Osgood’s legacy, or suggest he’s been unfairly criticized and evaluated over the course of his career, a little historical review would be in order.
Leyland’s boss, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, also owns the Red Wings. They’re in the finals for the first time since 2002. Leyland has frequently expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Ilitch and the way he allowed the Tigers to make the moves they felt they needed.
On the other hand, Leyland is a Pittsburgh resident who attended some Penguins games over the offseason with former Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, who is a Penguins season ticket holder. They’re in the finals for the first time since 1992.
It’s an exciting matchup for fans around the league, but not the best matchup for Leyland. So when a reporter asked him about it, Leyland tried to be diplomatic.
“That’s obviously a no-win situation for me,” Leyland said. “I have no comment. May the best team win.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Dispatch hockey reporters Aaron Portzline and Tom Reed discuss the key issues heading into the best-of-seven series:
Question: Is this the Stanley Cup Finals matchup that could spring the NHL back into mainstream sports fans’ consciousness?
Portzline: If it doesn’t, the NHL might forever be a fringe sport. A great sport but a fringe sport. This is a dream matchup because both clubs have dynamic players that can get fans out of their chairs. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg—these are four of the top six or seven players in the league. Even halfhearted hockey fans might tune in to watch these clubs go back and forth.
“At the end of the day, what really defines you?” he said. “Is it how much money you make? How many Cups you’ve won? No, what matters is your community. There are people out there without parents. People who can’t afford to go to a hockey game. People who can’t afford cable to even watch a hockey game.
“I wasn’t always fortunate when I was a kid. But, with the image we have as hockey players, it’s amazing the impact we can have. How fortunate am I to play in the NHL? What percentage of people get to do that? I just want to show that I appreciate it. That stuff is important, more important than hockey.”
more on Laraque at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette…
from Eric Stephens of the LA Times,
While Brian Burke has given his stars Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne until next month’s NHL entry draft to tell him whether they will play next season or retire, the Ducks’ general manager says he is confident that he will re-sign Corey Perry, although it appears that won’t happen until July. Perry, a potential restricted free agent, could be the target of a pricey offer sheet this summer….
“Right now we don’t have the tagging room [for his contract], but we think we will on July 1 if the cap goes up as much as we think,” Burke said. “We think we will be in position to sign him. He’s made it very clear that he wants to stay.”
read on for more Ducks talk…
From David Newland at The Canoe Dossier,
I want to see the NHL succeed. It’s a grand tradition and was once a great game. But as a lifelong fan, I feel like I’ve never been consulted on what would make the game great again. So I’m offering my two cents’ worth anyway, and I hope you’ll do the same.
1. Management must love the game more than the money.
I think we can call that first idea “unintended humor.” Other ideas on the list might be more feasible, however. Matters for debate, anyway—check it out.
We are getting closer folks! Soon a new picture will be added.
Watch the Cup Raise video below…
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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