Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Daniel I. Dorfman of the Northwest Herald,
This year was supposed to be a fresh start for the Blackhawks and a chance to emerge from a decade-long doldrums.
But 2006-07 appears to be more of the same. Unless something truly dramatic happens in the second half, it will be another year without postseason play.
The Hawks stagger into the All-Star break having lost nine in a row and 12 of 13. With 41 points, they are 13 points out of the final playoff position. Conversely, they are tied for 13th position in the Western Conference, three points out of the cellar. After 48 games last year, the Hawks were 16-26-6 with 38 points.
The struggles can be traced to several areas.
from the Democrat and Chronicle,
The question is being asked over and over wherever Buffalo Sabres hockey is discussed.
Just 14 months ago, could you have ever imagined Brian Campbell starting on defense in the NHL All-Star Game?
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is asked the question outside the team’s HSBC Arena dressing room.
“No. Easy answer. No,” Ruff said.
At the Ed and Lorna Campbell house in Strathroy, Ontario, Mom and Dad ask each other the question.
“No,” they say. No way.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The only news of any consequence that may come out of the NHL’s All-Star festivities won’t happen until Tuesday’s much-anticipated board of governors meeting which will, once again, address the possibility of a scheduling change. In the past week, the league gathered feedback from its 30 clubs on three revised schedules that could be introduced for next season and the sentiment for change remains high among 22 or 23 of the league’s 30 clubs.
A KK reader emailed me last week and pointed out the pure filth and garbage that has spammed the NHL Forum at the Versus website.
I contacted Versus by phone and email to alert them of this problem.
As of this morning, nothing has been done about it and I do see the Forum is un-moderated. Perhaps they should just shut it down….
from the Calgary Sun,
As the future of NHL jerseys is unveiled in Dallas today, fans can say their fond farewells to one of the old Calgary Flames silks.
While it hasn’t been officially retired, the team’s alternate jersey—the black version featuring a flame-breathing buck crest—is no longer being manufactured.
You won’t find it for sale at the FanAttic, the team’s official store, and the Flames have yet to pull on the sweater this season.
It’s not expected they’ll do so anytime soon, either, although Flames president and CEO Ken King suggests the design still exists as an option.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
I want the people running the Rangers to decide what’s best for the Rangers; not the person who runs Hartford. (Is it better for the Rangers organization or is it better for the 2006-07 Wolf Pack to have Hugh Jessiman playing in the ECHL right now?).
I want Renney this week to make personnel evaluations based on the best interests of the Rangers. And in conjunction with Renney’s visits to Wolf Pack practices, I want Sather to use waivers to cut the safety net of veterans the head coach has used as a security blanket right out from under him.
I want to see two or three fresh faces - Brandon Dubinsky, and maybe Ryan Callahan, maybe Lauri Korpikoski, maybe Dane Byers, maybe Nigel Dawes - when the Rangers reconvene Thursday.
via the Tennessean,
Predators Coach Barry Trotz said Tomas Vokoun remains the team’s top goalie heading into the NHL All-Star break.
“Tomas is the No. 1 goalie, plain and simple,’’ Trotz said. “We’ve just got to get the rust off him like we would with anyone coming back. I’m actually the luckiest coach in the league to have two guys who can step up like that.”
If you have been a regular reader of KK and been around for some time, you know I created a KK Shopping section.
My intention was to update date it on a regular basis, but sometimes intentions go “bad”. To be truthful, I simply did not have enough hours in the day to maintain it.
But in the last week or so, I have been updating that section on a regular basis and will continue to do so.
As many of you know, I only ask that if you have an interest in the products or services offered by any of the advertisers you see throughout the KK Sections, to please consider taking advantage of those offers.
KK will never ask for donations and the bloggers here are very determined to continue growing.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In the NHL, it is possible to go from dead-in-the-water to a playoff team in a few months. Things change that quickly in a league that has seen a hard salary cap narrow the gap between the top and the bottom.
The Blues have suffered through an 11-game losing streak that led to a coaching change. They trail Minnesota by eight points for the final playoff spot in the West.
Given those circumstances, the NHL should give the Blues permission to print playoff tickets any day now.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Former NHL all-star goalie Patrick Roy says he is questioning his future with the major junior hockey team he co-owns and coaches following claims he was involved in a shoving match….
Roy denied Sunday that he did anything wrong following the game Friday.
“From my part and the part of the Remparts, we have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about in this incident,” he told a brief news conference following a Remparts game at the Pepsi Colisee.
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