Kukla's Korner Hockey
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mark Bell received a 15 regular season game suspension from the NHL on Wednesday.
added 12:07pm, Statement from Gary Bettman,
“Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a corresponding responsibility for exemplary conduct off the ice as well as on it,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Mark Bell will serve jail time following the 2007-08 season after pleading to felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an alcohol-related automobile accident that caused an injury. He also left the scene of the accident. Such conduct is a violation of our covenant with our fans, and to the game, and is prejudicial to the welfare of the League.
“However, over the past year, Mark has made extraordinary strides in his rehabilitation. This positive progress was a material factor in reducing what could have been a lengthier suspension,” Commissioner Bettman added. “The NHL supports Mark’s commitment to learning from his past mistakes and his efforts to move his life forward in a positive direction.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The optimism that abounds with every team as the NHL season approaches does not fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
You cannot shake the feeling that this is the calm before the storm, the final days of the latest administration that failed to turn the Leafs into a champion. The signals are everywhere that the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has the plunger poised to blow things up come spring.
First, there was no sign of the contract extension supposedly promised to general manager John Ferguson. He is entering the final season of his contract. Making the playoffs is the only thing that will save him.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
Fans are captivated by the thing that makes Tucker tick, granting him latitude, more forgiveness than most athletes get, and an unabashed fidelity. “I don’t think it’s necessarily a love affair. But fans can see how much I want to win, for myself and for the city. I’ll do anything to win a hockey game.
“A lot of this city is blue collar. Guys get up in the morning, have their Tim Hortons, go to work. They understand that I have the same blue-collar attitude towards my job. Maybe I didn’t grow up in Toronto watching the Leafs. But I grew up on a farm in Alberta. When I wasn’t playing hockey I was working my tail off like the rest of the world.”
from Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
The slow dance between the Maple Leafs and Scotty Bowman never seems to end.
Although the music has once again stopped playing.
Bowman recently had meetings with Leafs CEO Richard Peddie and board chairman Larry Tanenbaum while he continues to maintain a public stance that he has no interest in leaving his consulting role with the Detroit Red Wings.
The role the Leafs talked to Bowman about recently was not that of adviser to general manager John Ferguson, but to be the senior hockey voice in the organization.
from the Toronto Sun,
Eugene Melnyk has a novel idea to spice up the Battle of Ontario.
How about if the Maple Leafs got into the playoffs for a change?
“You would like to see the Leafs competitive,” Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, said. “I think they are making changes that will make them more competitive. They have to. We’ll see what happens. (The rivalry) does lose a little lustre, but it is still there and it will continue. But hopefully it never gets reversed and we keep winning.”
from the Toronto Star,
“Is it as hard to play there as I’ve heard it is?” inquired Toskala, conjuring up the stories of media and fan pressure passed on by fellow Finns, and former Leafs, Aki Berg and Jyrki Lumme.
“It’s worse,” came the reply. “It’s an awful place to play. If you play well, you’ll be next to God. If you don’t – oh my God – they’ll stone you to death.”
There was a long pause at the end of the line.
“Good,” Toskala finally said, breaking the silence. “I look forward to the challenge.”
It is, however, one thing to be open to a challenge, quite another to be open about it.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell has been suspended indefinitely without pay after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program.
In order to be reinstated, Bell will require the recommendation of program doctors along with the approval of both the National Hockey League and the NHLPA.
Update Sept 4, 2007 - 4:06pm ET
The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell has been placed in Stage 2 of the Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health program of the NHLPA and the NHL.
from the Toronto Sun,
“I think Ottawa and Carolina are the class of the East,” he says. “The Rangers and Flyers improved themselves, too. I just feel we have bolstered our team in certain key areas.
“Hey, we just missed out by one point a year ago and I feel we are a better team now.”
In order for his Leafs to take the next step, there are a number of issues Maurice must deal with once camp kicks off.
And here is how he plans on facing each and every one of them:
The moment Paul Maurice holds his first press conference of camp, you can bet he’ll be grilled concerning the identity of his No. 1 goalie.
from George Gross of the Toronto Sun,
The GM told me that while he is not planning on going into the free-agent market, if conditions become favourable he could be interested in Peter Forsberg, the often injured Swedish warrior.
“As it stands now, we won’t go into the free agent market,” said John Jr.
“But things could change. We could be interested in Peter Forsberg if conditions are right.
However, in that case, we would have to make room for him in view of the cap situation.”
Over the past week, SportsCentre filed look-ahead reports for Canada’s six NHL teams, getting you primed for the start of training camp. Now follow it up with TSN.ca’s Canadian six-pack, an online synopsis with all the reports on where your favourite Canadian team is headed this season.
read on for reports on all the Canadian teams in the NHL…
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