Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The most boring story of the hockey season got a little more boring on Tuesday when, after much anticipation that spectacular, earth-shaking changes were at hand, the NHL once again voted to maintain the status quo.
“It’s been a long walk down a very short trail,” one general manager quipped.
The only new matter of interest was the thick layer of hypocrisy that enveloped the GSD in Dallas, emanating chiefly from western Canada and thinly disguised as protecting the best interests of the game.
What a bunch of prairie baloney.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
This week’s all-star celebration in Dallas is a perfect example of how far hockey has to go in America. Strolling around the city, it was hard to believe there was any all-star “celebration” taking place.
When the NHL hired Bettman, it wanted a commissioner who would help grow the game in the States. He wasn’t hired for his hockey expertise because, at the time, he didn’t have any.
That’s why when the board of governors fails—twice—on a resolution to produce a schedule that fans can embrace, you have to question Bettman’s leadership.
from William K. Wolfrum of WorldGolf.com,
So it was nice to see that the NHL All-Star Game was outshined by a golf news story about Tiger Woods possibly missing the British Open due to the birth of his first child. Think the British Open would be outshined if Lubomir Visnovsky was debating missing a big game?
It’s a small victory, but when the NHL’s best combine for 21 goals and get shown up by Tiger possibly missing a golf tournament several months from now, I get a warm feeling. I know it’s yet another sign that hockey will be eradicated in my lifetime, taking that nasty-ass equipment with it.
more... Hmmm, this is the first I heard about Tiger missing the Open. So Mr, Wolfrum, to me, it looks like golf is losing the luster…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
For one would think that a franchise that reflexively defers to Sandis Ozolinsh (or maybe the deference in this case is paid to agent Paul Theofanous, who curiously has helped himself to a seat beside GM Glen Sather in the Meadowlands press box during each of the Blueshirts’ last two visits to New Jersey) would at least have had the common courtesy to inform Kasparaitis of the decision either directly or through his representative.
But that was not the case. Indeed, Mark Gandler, who represents the 14-year NHL veteran, first learned of the move when contacted by phone by The Post shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday,...
from the Windsor Star,
The Wings’ senior vice-president attended Tuesday’s Board of Governors meeting in Dallas and expressed disappointment over the decision to retain the current schedule for another season.
“There’s no question we’re the victim of our popularity,” Devellano said. “That’s been the case for a number of years now.
“The reason is because we’ve produced excellent clubs year in and year out. We’re the team in the United States in my opinion.
“We’re needed by NBC and Versus and we’re needed to draw in other rinks in the Western Conference. It’s just a fact.”
thanks to a KK reader for the link…
from the CP via the Windsor Star,
I didn’t feel restricted, I didn’t feel there was a big change in the way they felt,” said Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. “I would call it an improvement.”
Players wore the new uniforms during Tuesday’s skills competition, a day after they were officially unveiled by the league.
“When everybody goes to them, I don’t think you’re going to get many complaints,” said Montreal Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray. “They don’t absorb water, I mean you can feel it - it’s pretty unbelievable.
“The socks were really comfortable and the pants were good. Everything was really positive.”
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
A little love and understanding, please, for the commissioner. This time, it’s not really his fault.
Blame is falling on Gary Bettman from all over for the failure of the National Hockey League’s governors to ditch a scheduling system that clearly works against the larger interests of the game….
And Bettman couldn’t change their minds. As he acknowledged this week, he is not a caster of lightning bolts from on high. He works at the pleasure of his employers, the club owners, and when push comes to shove, they call the shots.
But there’s more to it than that.
KK member Mac takes the cake with his pick of Phaneuf. Mac, are you really going to accept this prize with that 200 foot dump out?
By the way, Mac was first to respond, maybe he knew something!
Mac, I will be in touch with you tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for playing this game and more to come in the near future.
from Mike Chen’s Hockey blog,
The TV ratings question of doom always elicits an interesting answer from Bettman. As he told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:
“The answer is we’re working very hard with our partners. Both of our partners tell us not to be concerned, that these things take time. We’re committed to doing the right things over the long haul and we’re confident over time our ratings will grow.”
...You know what, though? For all of the double-talk and spin Bettman always gives, he does have one truth in there that he always emphasizes: TV sports ratings for team sports across the board have taken a nosedive. The NFL is the leader that everyone wants to emulate but other than that, the evidence shows that the NBA and MLB TV ratings are dipping just like the NHL’s.
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press (Thursday edition) via the Mercury News,
In the old days, everybody yawned until at least the trade deadline. Now, with all NHL teams functioning under a salary cap, the Wings are learning that there’s nothing wrong with scratching and clawing for playoff positioning. There’s nothing wrong with outmaneuvering other teams to add that huge piece at the trade deadline instead of relying on an owner’s limitless resources. The situation provides a degree of drama long missing.
The Wings need Peter Forsberg. He’s available.
The former Avalanche great is wallowing in Philadelphia and just might consider waiving the no-trade clause in the final months of his two-year contract with the Flyers to come to Detroit and create an elite Swedish national team.
added Thursday 8:25am, link to Detroit Free Press now available…
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