Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sun-Sentinel:
Ed Belfour isn’t talking.
Not on days he plays, not on days he doesn’t. Not after practice or before practice. Win or lose, turn away 40 or let in 10, Ed Belfour isn’t talking.
Irritable, difficult, cantankerous ... those are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the Panthers’ netminder over his 18 NHL seasons. And when the Panthers signed Belfour to a contract this summer, some called the 41-year-old damaged goods and broken down.
from the Washington Post:
Washington Capitals winger Richard Zednik has received medical clearance to resume playing and is expected to be in the lineup Thursday against the Panthers in Florida, the second stop on a three-game road trip that begins tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
His return from an abdominal injury that caused him to miss 24 games comes at a critical time for the player and his team. With the NHL’s trade deadline four weeks away, Zednik figures to attract interest from clubs seeking to add an offensive threat for a run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The only problem is Capitals General Manager George McPhee isn’t ready to declare whether he’ll be buying or selling—yet.
As a UFA-to-be who put up 20-30 goals before the lockout, Zednik would provide an affordable option for those non-Forsberg-buyers out there.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
It’s make or break time for a new Pittsburgh arena.
Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday that he remains “optimistic” about reaching a deal soon that will build an Uptown arena and keep the Penguins in town for at least 30 years.
“I anticipate that sometime this week we will have an answer,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday. “There will be some kind of dialogue back and forth this week.”
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
We build a backyard rink.
After the temps hit 70 earlier this month, winter came back to Connecticut last week. An arctic blast of Canadian air was forecast by Todd, the local weatherman (it’s a scientific fact that 65 percent of all weathermen are named either Todd or Jim Cantore).
The low temperature was expected to hit single digits for two successive nights. That was my cue.
I had planned on storing the giant white liner I purchased from nicerink.com and using it next year, but this sudden blast changed everything. Time to move. You can’t be a hockey parent and be lazy. The two don’t mesh. It’s perpetual and maddening…
from Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News,
It may never be entirely clear why ice hockey doesn’t work, not in the way that other sports do, why it is stuck on the same TV channel as Babe Winkelman and why its All-Star Game reveals its defects instead of showing its charm.
But that is how it is and that is how it has always been and nothing can be done about it.
Hockey remains a local story and never the biggest one, and places where it does matter most moan about places where it does not; that is, Canada sighs and Colorado snoozes.
from the Democrat & Chronicle:
A week after Reebok introduced their new-fangled, sleek-looking hockey jerseys to the NHL last week, the American Hockey League announced today that their players will wear the same uniform next season.
Along with a more aerodynamic look, the jersey also absorbs much less water, a feature players like.
“We felt if the NHL was going in the direction next season, we should share that look from the outset,” AHL president Dave Andrews said at his annual state-of-the-league session with the media as the All-Star Classic.
Mark Recchi participated in a tele-conference today.
Q. Good. Thanks for taking the time. Mark, I know we’ll all want to talk about the Penguins and how well they’re doing this year. But I’m looking here at 1313 points in 1304 games. You’re one of the few NHL players who, over a long career, have produced at better than a point a game. Can you talk about at age 39 your satisfaction with a career that includes a couple of Stanley Cups and a record of steady production?
MARK RECCHI: Yes, it’s been pretty awesome. And I have to thank Dave for telling everybody my age. I was trying to hide that. It’s obviously been great. Winning in ‘91 and getting an opportunity with Carolina last year to win. And that’s what keeps me going. I look at our team right now and I don’t see—I see a contender in the not too far distance here. That’s what I play for. Ultimately that’s what we all play for. You get a taste of it and you want to keep going and. I’d like to take another run at it again.
Q. Mark, congratulations on 500 goals.
MARK RECCHI: Thank you.
from the CP via CBC,
Peter Forsberg’s future with the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t become any clearer Monday despite a meeting with GM Paul Holmgren.
With trade rumours swirling around the veteran star centre, Forsberg and Holmgren agreed the only thing that matters right now is figuring out the player’s foot/skate problems which have plagued him all season long.
“We said that we have to figure out the foot before we talk about anything else,” Forsberg told reporters after the meeting. “And that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
from Ad Age,
After a lockout canceled its entire 2004-2005 season, Gary Bettman’s NHL returned last year to record attendance and record revenue. The commissioner credits the strength of the brand, and cites efforts to reconnect with the league’s tech-savvy fans via new media such as NHL.com, where traffic is up 100% over last year.
Ad Age: Now that we’re a year removed from the canceled season, can you talk about how you kept everybody onboard? You didn’t lose a single sponsor.
Mr. Bettman: Last season was about relaunching our game under extraordinary circumstances. There are few, if any, businesses—not just professional sports—that could endure not operating for a year and then come back to record attendance and record revenue. It’s testament to our great fans and the strength of the brand. We had to use all of our assets to re-engage our fans.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Nearly all the fathers of the players and some staff members accompanied the team for its recent two-game roadtrip to Dallas and Phoenix in the organization’s first fathers trip.
The result – two crucial wins and some unforgettable memories.
“It was so nice of the Penguins to have it,” said Dan Whitney, the father of Ryan Whitney. “It was so much fun just getting to meet some of the other fathers. It was neat putting a face with a name.”
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