Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via CBC:
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has pleaded not guilty to charges related to an alleged impaired boating incident.
Court documents with the Hennepin County court in Minnesota show not guilty pleas were entered to all four offences.
Police stopped a boat driven by Byfuglien on Lake Minnetonka in August.
Court documents say the 26-year-old passed a breathalyzer test but a police drug recognition expert concluded he was under the influence of drugs.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winless in three tries and in a terrible nosedive to open the season, the Jets are both perplexing and vexing their boss. And the man who stepped up to the podium following Sunday’s optional skate at the MTS Centre looked and sounded nothing like the jovial sort who entertained everyone prior to the historic Oct. 9 opener.
“If I look at the three games and the way they went… are we achieving to the level that I think we should be? The answer would be no, we are underachieving. We are way below the bar,” Noel said Sunday in a tell-itlike- it-is autopsy of his club.
“Why is that? Why are you, an NHL player, playing like an American league player? And it’s not one or two, it’s more than that. What has happened between last season, training camp and the start? Where did this go sideways? You can’t tell me this is what we are, because if anybody was enthusiastic about the season, I was. I believe we can be a playoff team.
“But we don’t look like one now.”
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Hey Mayor Scruggs, hope the $50 million you’ve poured into the Phoenix Coyotes was worth it.
You kept your team, we got ours. It’s all good.
You get to sit in your private box and watch your team tangle with the Winnipeg Jets tonight.
Pricey tickets, for sure, but according to you, hockey is the key to economic survival in the desert. Well, we’ll take your word on that because surely you and your council know what you’re doing—betting on professional sports to prop up one of the most depressed economies in the U.S.
Here we are folks, back at the scene of the crime and all the usual suspects, from Scruggs to Cactus Phil Lieberman to Ed Beasley, are still in the picture.
They continue to try and peddle the Coyotes to some rube willing to pay over $200 million for a franchise worth less than half that, while agreeing to keep the team in a place that will never work as an NHL market.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Saskatchewan-born, Alberta-bred, B.C.-trained, Doan is as Western Canadian as canola and cowboy boots. He can’t forget where he came from because to do so would defy his DNA. He remembers what it was like to be 19 and playing in the NHL and admits that Saturday, when Phoenix plays host to Winnipeg for the first time in their twist-tied existence, there will be a tug at his heartstrings. “A surreal moment,” he says, knowing that at 35 he is the last Coyote with a link to the original Jets. “It was the team that gave me the incredible opportunity to play my first NHL game. I don’t take that lightly.”
But neither should his attachment to the Coyotes be dismissed. As their long-standing captain, Doan has had to address family members, teammates, Jobing.com arena workers even parking attendants on the on-going saga that has been the team’s quest for a new owner. Single-handedly, Doan has kept the flag flying, hopeful the Coyotes will stay where they are, where he feels comfortably at home.
“You look at Atlanta [whose Thrashers became the new Jets] and you’re almost jealous. It’s over and done with. We’ve had to deal with it for two, three years,” Doan says. “Last year, the hardest part was the playoffs. We’d made it and we were playing Detroit and on the day of the game it was announced when we’re beat out we’re going to be moving. Instead of feeling that incredible excitement, it stole the joy out of what we’d accomplished.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Chicago Blackhawks are the gold standard in the NHL and the Winnipeg Jets were given a first-hand look at what the elite look like and how they operate on Thursday.
Chicago showed the Jets how things are done on the ice as well as they erased an early 2-0 Winnipeg lead and steamed their way to a 4-3 victory.
The Jets didn’t have enough horsepower to stick with the Blackhawks all night and it underlined where Winnipeg is as a team and an organization right now. They’ve got a plan but it’s far from fleshed out. These Jets will need some patience.
Chicago, on the other hand, just two summers removed from a Stanley Cup romp, are a well-oiled machine with the most expensive of parts.
The Hawks have it all from Norris Trophy calibre defenceman in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to an elite forward group that includes Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharpe, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland.
Jay Beagle started strong, but Arron Asham finished the job.
What do you think of Asham’s gestures after the fight?
via CBC press release,
Saturday night’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators was a record-setter for CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, with an average audience of 2.359 million viewers tuning in—nine per cent more than the previous record-holder for the first Saturday game of the season, set last year.
Ratings data from the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) show the game had a total TV audience share of 31.3 per cent, reaching more than 7.55 million Canadians, almost a quarter of the country’s population. The late game, which saw the Calgary Flames hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins, had a share of 17.5 per cent, reaching more than five million Canadians, garnering an average audience of just over one million viewers.
On Sunday, the first Winnipeg Jets home opener since 1996 drew an average total audience of 1.825 million Canadians.
No words needed here.
from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
As ready goes, they’d already like to be rolling down the runway.
The new version of the Jets, though, must wait one more day before it’s time for takeoff on the NHL’s return-to-Winnipeg season.
The Jets and Montreal Canadiens will usher in the new era of the NHL here at 4 p.m.(5pm ET) Sunday at the MTS Centre.
“I don’t think this is a routine week,” said Jets left-winger Evander Kane, his team now only one practice away from getting to the start line. “It’s a week that hasn’t happened in this city for 15 years.
“Looking at Sunday, I think it’s a game where history is made and guys are excited and the city’s excited. It’s going to be a real special game.”
Will you be tuning it to watch the game, which is on the NHL Network in the US and CBC in Canada?
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
As the buzzer sounded at Winnipeg Arena and the Jets skated off the ice for the last time, Derek Meech stood in shock.
His face paint messy from tears, the 12-year-old was dressed in white for the final fight, and this was it.
The Jets were leaving town.
“It was hard to see them leave,” Meech, now 27, recalls. “After the game, none of the fans were leaving and tons of people were crying. It was a great experience but it was also pretty sad.”
The Winnipeg native never dreamed that 15 years later the franchise would return—and even better—that he’d be a part of the homecoming.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org