Kukla's Korner Hockey
Hometown Hockey takes you through the lower mainland of British Columbia to the communities of new Canadians who are just being introduced to Canada’s game.
from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports,
During the Coyotes’ inaugural season in the Valley, the state featured 2,349 USA Hockey registered players.
That number rose to 7,329 for the 2014-15 campaign – a jump of 212 percent – and the most significant boost among youth players has been for those 8 years old and under (331 to 1,101).
“When the Coyotes moved in to Arizona, a hockey market grew up with the team,” Pat Kelleher, assistant executive director for development at USA Hockey, wrote in an email. “Now, with an ownership group and team staff focused on growing the game, we are seeing unprecedented hockey participation numbers in the state. It’s a credit to the NHL, the Coyotes, USA Hockey and most importantly the local volunteers who are creating great hockey experiences for thousands of families in Arizona.”
Not only did the Coyotes’ arrival seem to stir an interest in playing hockey, but it also opened up more opportunity to actually get on the ice.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Absorbed by Postmedia colleague Michael Traikos’s series on the new epidemic of hockey academies for children of the very rich or soon-to-be poor, here was my take-away from the revelations it contained:
Hockey, if it isn’t already, is in danger of becoming an illness in Canada, possibly untreatable.
We mock Americans for their obsessive love of football’s ingrained brutality and the cavalier way fans and parents and league administrators shrug off all of that sport’s accompanying detritus, but do we ever look in the mirror?
Our national winter sport has become terrifyingly expensive, dangerously elitist, and is slowly but surely hacking away at the roots of what made the possibility of greatness accessible, albeit at greater or lesser odds, to any kid with talent and a dream.
Now it also takes money, and plenty of it.
If you missed the four part feature from Traikos, here is part four with links to the previous articles too...
I've been making videos of Iguchi Aito for over a year now.
Iguchi is from Saitama Japan, and his work off the ice helps him be that much better than everyone else. It's always exciting talking to him about ways we can improve his game - he is excelling at an alarmingly fast rate. Very proud of his progress.
Looks like the kid has been watching some NHL hockey, I see some Datsyuk, Ovechkin and others in his moves.
from Bryan Weismiller of MetroNews,
Like many youngsters who outgrow their youth-sized lumber, Jack was equipped with a mid-priced junior stick that had seven inches lobbed off the top of it.
Modifying the stick made the shaft too firm for even some NHL stars.
“His 55 flex turned into an 85 flex,” Reily said. “Alex Ovechkin is 225 pounds, built like a Neanderthal, and he had a more flexible stick than my son at seven years old.
“That was the problem.”
After developing some more bendable prototypes, Reily and a neighbour teamed up with sports researchers at the University of Calgary. It lead to what’s billed as a first-of-its-kind research project using players aged five to eight years old.
That’s also where the duo discovered a third partner for their venture.
The group eventually came up with a 20-flex junior stick, which falls in line with the general rule that hockey stick flex should be roughly half of the skater’s body weight.
Reily stressed the importance of buying proper equipment, saying the stiff sticks of today are encouraging kids to develop bad habits.
“They’re putting their sticks on the puck and twisting their body to flick it,” he said.
from William Douglas of The Color Of Hockey,
Anthony Benavides never knew what to expect on most mornings when he’d go to crank up the 40-year-old, hand-me-down Zamboni at Detroit’s Clark Park ice rink.
Sometimes it would fire up. Sometimes it would catch fire. Sometimes it would work fine. Sometimes it would work, then suddenly break down in the middle of resurfacing the only regulation-size outdoor hockey rink within Detroit’s city limits.
“It’s had a lot of maintenance issues,” Benavides, the Clark Park Coalition Recreation Center director told me recently. ”It’s like an old, old car. It’s on it’s last legs. That puts a hamper on our hockey program when we don’t have a properly running Zamboni. We don’t have a back up.”
Benavides’ mornings of mystery are now over, thanks to the National Hockey League and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation. The league and foundation Monday unveiled a new, sparkling Red Wings red Zamboni to replace the rusting ancient wonder and showcased a host of other enhancements and upgrades they donated to Clark Park as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.
from the CP at CBC,
An online video that captured a brawl in the stands of a minor hockey game in a small Ontario community has caught the attention of provincial police.
The video posted on YouTube Sunday afternoon shows adults taunting each other until the crowd erupts in a massive fist fight in Tweed, Ont.
At one point, a man who appears to be pulling another from the melee is dragged backwards until he falls to the ground while a woman — possibly the videographer — screams.
The caption says the footage was shot Saturday at the Bantam C hockey finals in Tweed, about halfway between Ottawa and Toronto.
OPP Const. Alana Deubel says police are aware of the video and are reviewing it to determine whether charges are warranted.
Watch the video below and it does contain language some may consider vulgar.
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
Mike Emrick’s vacation, otherwise known as the 113-day N.H.L. lockout, is about to end. Unable to call National Hockey League games, Emrick has not been fully idle. He has called some college hockey games for the NBC Sports Network and dabbled in calling figure skating for NBC. But his most unusual assignment came last month: play-by-play of a girls’ 12-and-under league game.
The idea came from Brian Williams, the anchor of the “NBC Nightly News” and “Rock Center.”
“I figured, ‘What is he doing?’ ” Williams said by telephone Thursday. “He must be driving Mrs. Emrick crazy. So we approached him and said, ‘The smaller the better — would you be willing to call a kids’ game?’ ”
Emrick, NBC’s lead hockey announcer, liked the idea of calling a game without a labor dispute involved, and the girls’ game was put on his schedule on Dec. 12 in Troy, Mich., about 45 miles from his house. Williams, a fan of Emrick’s, was looking for a segment for “Rock Center,” and sent a crew to the Troy Sports Center to shoot the St. Clair Shores Saintes-Troy Lady Sting game.
Coaching the Sting was Doug Brown, a former N.H.L. player, whose daughter Lily played right wing.
continued and watch a video below with Doc calling the game.
Most of us in the USA do not have access to TSN, therefore we miss features like this: Alex Shapiro, 'The Fighting Eagle'.
Thanks to HockeyWebCaster for the pointer.
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