Kukla's Korner Hockey
As summer draws to a close, Winnipeggers are hungrier than ever for hockey. The chance to host the best in the game has Jets fans salivating – especially those lucky enough to get season tickets.
To: Whom it may concern at the National Hockey League
From: Rob Williams, Winnipeg Free Press music critic, and Bartley Kives, reporter and former music critic
Re: The possibility of Nickelback performing at NHL FaceOff
Dear Gary Bettman et al.,
According to our intrepid sports reporters Gary Lawless and Ed Tait, the 2011-12 NHL season is going to kick off in Winnipeg with a big show at The Forks, dubbed NHL FaceOff, on Oct. 6. This will be the first of four days of festivities leading up to the Winnipeg Jets’ home opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 9.
That is a fantastic idea, and both of us are thrilled to have the Jets back. We are ready for a party to launch the season. We both are part of groups who purchased season tickets so quickly back in June that Winnipeg may never reclaim its reputation for being cheap and miserly.
Anyway, the word in last Sunday’s paper was there’s talk of having a “major Canadian concert act” perform at the FaceOff event, with the possibility Nickelback is in the running to perform.
As people who love music and love Winnipeg even more, we have a request: Please ensure this does not happen.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
So the NHL is contemplating using their newfangled nets in pre-season games. Hey, anything that makes the game better should be welcomed with open arms.
The new nets are shallower, have a clear plastic strip along the top and built-in high definition cameras to make goal reviews easier, and has thinner mesh….
The problem is the changes the NHL are proposing do not address the real problem facing the league: a lack of goal-scoring….
The answer to more goals is quite simple and not exactly new: Make the damn nets bigger.
Now before you start spewing your hate mail about how some things are never meant to be tinkered with, consider that just about everything that has to do with hockey—including the equipment, markings on the ice and training techniques—have been altered over the years so why are the nets off limits? Players are bigger than ever and yet the nets remain the same size. It makes no sense.
“When he first got called up, he sat beside me in the locker-room for a long, long time, and was a great kid,” Morrison recalled Tuesday from his off-season home in Tofino, B.C. “He had a tremendous amount of respect for all the guys in the locker-room. He respected the game, the coaching staff, everybody.
“Everybody liked him because he had a great heart and was a fantastic teammate. He’d do anything for his teammates.
“It’s a tragedy.”
-Brendan Morrison of the Calgary Flames, speaking about former teammate Rick Rypien. More from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun.
via James Mirtle tweet,
Police confirm former Vancouver Canucks tough guy Rick Rypien has been found dead in his Alberta home. More to come.
added 9:35pm, via Rick’s cousin Angela Rypien tweet,
R.I.P Rick Rypien, I love you so much and will miss you more than anything!
added 9:43pm, from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
Former Vancouver Canucks tough guy Rick Rypien was found dead by a family member on Monday in Crowsnest Pass, Alta.
Rypien, who signed with the Winnipeg Jets in July, had missed most of last season because of a leave of absence from the Canucks for personal issues.
Local RCMP told The Globe and Mail on Monday night that the death was not suspicious.
added 11:00pm, Vancouver, B.C. - The Vancouver Canucks issued the following statement today in regards to the passing of Rick Rypien:
“It is with tremendous sadness that the Vancouver Canucks confirm the passing of Rick Rypien. Rick has been a beloved member of the Canucks family for the past six years. Rick was a great teammate and friend to our players, coaches and staff. We send our deepest condolences to the Rypien family at this most difficult time.
...Bogosian, like Doughty and Schenn, appears to have a very bright future no matter where he lands. But in a day and age when some general managers are over paying certain players, they seem to be the victims of a little common sense.
-Mike Brophy of Sportsnet where you can read more on the three RFAs.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winnipeg: NHL heaven or NHL hell—depends on who is doing the talking.
Bob McCown says three members of the Winnipeg Jets are actively trying to get out of Winnipeg. Jets captain Andrew Ladd says let them go.
What Ladd says about the issue is far more important.
Keep in mind, Ladd just signed a five-year contract extension to remain in Winnipeg and he’s the leader of this team. He’s put his money where his mouth is and not just opened his yap to let it roar.
McCown, the entertaining, witty and respected host of a sports talk radio show in Toronto, from time to time likes to say snarky things about our town. Sometimes he’s right, but this time he’s missed the mark.
from Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun,
The thing opponents of the new Winnipeg Jets logo fail to understand is that honouring our air force — or our military generally — has nothing to do with supporting Canada’s foreign policy, either current or past.
Apparently there is a smattering of anti-military folks in this city who don’t like the fact that the new Jets logo pays homage to our air force’s rich history in Winnipeg.
Their argument is that by honouring the military in any way, fans donning “militaristic” Jets apparel would necessarily be expressing their support for Canada’s military actions abroad.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Well, it’s been pretty quiet on the Winnipeg Jets front these days - yes, there have been some minor goings-on, and in a hockey-starved town like this one any small development gets some big play. Personally, I’m don’t think I have the ability to hang on every tiny detail over the summer - it might actually drive me nuts. Until I start seeing some real Jets jerseys on some real Jets players, I’m going to keep enjoying the warm Winnipeg summer - the calm before the storm. We’ve waited fifteen years - what’s a couple more months?
E.J. Hradek of NHL.com answers numerous email questions…
How do you think travel to Winnipeg will shape the race in the East Conference/Southeast Division?
I think it will be a particular pain in the neck for teams in the Southeast Division, who’ll each have to make three trips to the ‘Peg. The Panthers and Lightning, in particular, must be pumped! I also imagine it will be more of a headache for other Eastern Conference foes who are spoiled by their more-cushy travel schedule.
I believe the Jets will have a real advantage because of the excitement in the market. That building will be sold out and loud each and every night. The former Thrashers were a competitive bunch for most of the season despite missing the playoffs. If they can stay reasonably healthy, I believe they have an excellent chance to secure a playoff spot in the East.
more Q & A..
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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