Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via TSN,
A small-town New Brunswick arena was transformed into a makeshift chapel on Sunday as thousands paid their respects to Luc Bourdon, a 21-year-old rising National Hockey League star killed in a motorcycle crash on Thursday.
Mourners filed past Bourdon’s coffin in the middle of the rink where he once played hockey as a boy and offered their condolences to Bourdon’s family.
“It’s just right now really, really quiet,” said Gilles Cormier from inside the arena during Sunday’s visitation. “Everybody is stunned.”
Kris Letang also flew in from Pittsburgh to attend, and more NHLers are expected to attend the funeral on Monday.
Update 8:48pm ET: More from Jason Botchford via the National Post:
They came by the thousands to an arena in Shippagan, a small fishing village in remote New Brunswick, and waited in line for hours to pay tribute to Luc Bourdon, the area’s fallen star.
They left wrecked with emotion.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy,
The biggest disappointments in Game 4 ... well, I was going to say it was the strange lack of fire from the Penguins during stretches; but in reality, and without a doubt, they were found in NBC’s broadcast.
While it was nice the telecast acknowledged the tragedy, failing to show the moment of silence before the game in honor of Luc Bourdon was a disgrace and showed a massive misunderstanding of NBC’s hockey audience. The death of an NHL player is a rather atypical occurrence; a moment of silence before a Stanley Cup finals game for a fallen peer is extraordinary. It was a newsworthy moment, and NBC dropped the ball.
and more thoughts on game #4
Update 1:15pm ET: Also from Greg today, Darren McCarty’s thoughts from years back on the horrors of a nude Brendan Shanahan.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Sobbing uncontrollably just hours after losing her son, Luc Bourdon, in a tragic motorcycle accident, Suzanne Boucher said she had tried desperately to stop him from buying a bike.
Her plea worked last year when her fears changed his mind. That’s when Bourdon, the promising Canucks defenceman, first told his mom he dreamed of riding, and was spellbound by the “power and beauty” of motorcycles.
“I was scared when he told me that,” Boucher said yesterday through tears from her home in Shippagan, N.B. “I disagreed with it so much. I said, ‘You can’t do it.’ It was too risky, too dangerous. His girlfriend helped me reason with him. But this year was different. This year he wasn’t going to listen….”
Luc Bourdon of the Vancouver Canucks was killed today when his motorcycle crashed
into a tree
into another vehicle.
Alanah at Canucks and Beyond is providing updates to this tragic story.
Kevin Lowe has stated he’s not likely to consider doing business in the future with the new Canucks GM, given their previous run-in as agent-vs-GM last summer over Michael Nylander. But not everyone has sympathy for Lowe’s position.
From Jason Botchford at The Province:
“I am horrified that someone’s integrity is called into question for something they didn’t do and by someone who did something much worse than Mike Gillis could ever be accused of,” agent Rich Winter said. “It’s an embarrassment to the game that Kevin Lowe would use the news media to make these accusations given what he’s done.”
In December 2003, Lowe was shopping Mike Comrie, Winter’s client, and found a taker in then-Ducks GM Bryan Murray. The pair agreed to a deal that would send young Anaheim forward, and future Stanley Cup champion, Corey Perry and a first-round pick to Edmonton for Comrie and a second-round pick.
Murray was worried he would lose Comrie to free agency if he made the deal. To appease Murray, Lowe authorized the Ducks’ general manager to begin negotiations with Comrie. Anaheim then signed the forward to an extension and, in its view, the deal was done.
But “not so fast,” says Botchford. The rest of the story…
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Luongo has played two seasons with the Canucks. In the first he played like Superman and got the Canucks to the second round of the playoffs. In the second season he was average by his standards and the team didn’t make the playoffs.
Add it up and it would appear that Luongo is good enough to make a below-average team average but, even at his best, isn’t good enough to take it to the Stanley Cup.
If that, in fact, is Aquilini’s assessment of the team it then follows that Luongo should be moved for players who can legitimately change this franchise.
Again, that presupposes there’s a plan in place. We shall see.
from Marty Henwood of Hockey.com,
Besides the short-sighted rationale from the lunatic fringe suggesting the ‘Nucks should re-sign Trevor Linden and give him the ‘C’-hey, ‘94 was a long time ago-one vindictive reader went as far as to suggest the Canucks “shouldn’t be like the Leafs”, whatever the heck that means. Last I checked, Vancouver’s Cup count was no larger than Toronto’s. Or, for that matter, Columbus, Atlanta, Nashville, Florida, Los Angeles….
Uh, newsflash. The Canucks ARE the Leafs with a great goalie. Should they not try to address a little scoring, Luongo may choose to bolt town when the opportunity arises.
from the blog of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Yesterday reports surfaced out of Sweden that Brunnstrom had decided to accept an offer from the Vancouver Canucks, but that decision may be altered in the aftermath of Vancouver firing its general manager, Dave Nonis, last night.
Brunnstrom had whittled his list of choices to Detroit and Vancouver from a list of five or six NHL teams that had made offers.
“We’ve heard he’s reconsidering,” general manager Ken Holland said this morning.
from Elliotte Friedman at his CBC blog From the Pressbox,
Immediate reaction to Vancouver’s firing of Dave Nonis: The battle is on for Brian Burke.
Burke clearly has bigger concerns right now. His Ducks are an endangered species, down 2-0 to a Dallas team that didn’t exactly resemble a serious contender down the stretch. However, the Stars look superior in every way to Anaheim, a popular pick to represent the West – again – in the Stanley Cup Final.
The timing of Canuck owner Francesco Aquilini’s announcement is very strange. It’s rare – extremely rare – for anyone to fire a general manager by statement, in the evening, while playoff games are going on.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The main actor on Saturday was Linden, and the fans came to glory him regardless of what the scoreboard read. An emotional farewell began before the start of the third period, and continued throughout the frame and into a post-game ceremony.
Rather than surrounded their goaltender after the final buzzer, the Canucks encircled Linden, each player getting a personal moment and some whispers into his ear. Then, in a classy move, Flames captain Jarome Iginla pulled his teammates from the locker room and had them line up and shake hands with Linden.
Several times, Linden gestured towards his heart and then to the crowd during a parade lap around GM Place.
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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