Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Why Are You A Fan

A year ago yesterday I posted this blog submission. I thought today would be a good time to post it again. Stealing a term from baseball, "The Dog Days of August" are upon us. But in hockey terms, the season is about to heat up. Between now and the the opening of training camp in mid-September, team rosters will receive finishing touches, a few trades will be made and all teams will start on fairly even level, as a matter of fact every team will be 0-0-0-0-0 (not sure how the NHL will be keeping win and losss stats so I added a few extra columns to be on the safe side). My question to you today is why are you a fan of the NHL? Dig deep, go back to your earliest recollection of the game and tell me (and others) why you care about the game. Who knows, maybe someone from the NHL will read your response and award you season tickets for your favorite team!!! My first memory of the NHL was listening to Budd Lynch (Hockey Hall of Fame inductee 1985) and Bruce Martin (HHOF inductee 1991) do play by play on the radio. Phrases I will never forget, The save was in the nick of time, and the nick was Libbett. How about Martyn's call of a goal, "He shoots, he scores" in that high pitch tone, followed by Sid Abel saying to Bruce, "He are a good player and another good thing, he is from Cal-Gary". When I first started watching hockey on TV, it was Hockey Night in Canada that drew me to the TV. Back then, Wings games were joined in action, usually about midway through the 2nd period and only a few games were televised. I felt like I knew Foster and Bill Hewitt, and could picture myself sitting in the gondola over looking the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens. My trips to the old Olympia to watch the Wings became quite frequent. My dad worked for one of the automotive companies and received Wings tickets maybe 20-30 times a year. I became a fixture near the Red Wings dressing room, new the back door escape routes of all of the players, and I would wait for them just to watch them pass me by are give me a friendly tap on the head. What I remember most are the scars on the faces of the players and they all had crooked noses. My favorite player at the time was of course #9. He was such a gentleman, and after a few years, called me by my first name and always stopped to talk with me. I was in heaven and hooked on the game forever. These days, I would say I still root for the jersey first and the players second. It is a matter of pride for me to cheer on the Wings, maybe you had to experience first hand all of the losing the Wings suffered through in the 70' and 80's to understand; but I am sure many of you will have similar stories and I would appreciate reading them. Note: you can comment in the original thread posted from last year as a few people have done today or comment in this post too. I put a line that will seperate posts from last year, anything below that line are comments from this year. I am fixing the year to appear in comments as we speak.

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Gionta May Not Report To Camp

from the NY Post,

Loyal. Not loony. Don't count on Brian Gionta to attend Devils training camp without a contract, invited by Lou Lamoriello or not. The Devils' goal-scoring record-setter is pondering not reporting to South Mountain on Sept. 14 unless his deal is signed, sealed and certified. "It's something we haven't worked out yet, but you put yourself at a lot of risk," Gionta told The Post yesterday. "It's something we have to talk about."
continued (reg. req.)

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Cup Brings Joy

from the Edmonton Journal,

It was, by official accounts at least, an ordinary day in the life of the Stanley Cup. A morning visit to a west-end seniors home. Bowling with the proud and happy Ward family. A public reception at Sherwood Park Arena. But nobody at the Waterford will remember it as just another Monday morning in August. The staff and residents said they haven't had this much excitement on the premises since, well, just about forever.
continued

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Antropov In Shape To Compete

from the Toronto Sun,

Lumbering Nik Antropov never will give the Donovan Baileys of the world a run for their money. But he might surprise those who think he can't keep up on Mats Sundin's wing this season. While coach Paul Maurice is still formulating lines for training camp, expect Antropov to get a week or two with Sundin to show the Kazakh put summer conditioning to good use. "I've never been a fast guy in my life," Antropov said with a laugh. "But I've been working a lot on core strength (through the lower torso) and that's going to help me get in the right position on the ice.
more

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Fact Or Fiction

from Fox Sports,

These fantasy hockey myths, as I like to call them, often confuse and cloud the minds of otherwise sensible poolies on draft day. Let's take a look at nine of my favorites. 1. There's more goal scoring in the Western than in the Eastern Conference 2. The best goaltenders play for teams in the East
read on...

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The Maven Bets On Manny

from Stan Fischler at the New England Hockey Journal,

• Manny Legace was fingered in Detroit for the Red Wings’ playoff failures. Whether the acquisitions were right or wrong, Legace is history in the Motor City. Yet, we still believe in Manny and apparently, so does John Davidson. The Blues’ decision to sign ML as their top banana in goal was a wise one. It also sets up a neat goalie-counterpoint between Dom Hasek and Legace. Who’s going to emerge with a better year? We’re putting our money on Legace – and Chris Osgood. • Give Olli Jokinen credit; he not only plays like a captain he talks like one too. “I believe this team will be in the playoffs,” says the Panthers leader. “This is the strongest team in South Florida since the Panthers went to the Finals.” Should we interpret that as a slap at Roberto Luongo? Or, maybe Olli likes the Alex Auld-Ed Belfour combo better than anything he’s had before.
much more...

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Fantasy Land

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The frequency of off-season player movement for the NHL has died down over the month of August, with most teams having re-stocked their respective rosters while attempting to remain comfortably below the $44 million salary cap. While the number of traditional-media-generated trade rumors have petered off throughout August, that hasn't stopped the cyberspace rumor mill from grinding on, generating some pretty wild speculation that seemingly has little basis in the realities of the NHL's salary cap world.
continued

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Sports Terrorism Is Just Another Four-Letter Word

The "Evgeni Malkin Situation" has raised more than a few eyebrows on this side of the pond. Allegations of "sports terrorism" and defiant promises to prove the big, bad NHL that it can't "steal our players" have spouted from the mouth of Metallurg Magnitogorsk's Gennady Velichkin, with his bluster booming louder and louder with every new translation of his statements:

"They all like to talk about democracy, the American way and then they shamelessly steal our best players. This is pure sports terrorism," said the Metallurg general director. "Don't forget, Malkin is a young kid, he is still very naive and it was easy for them to get into his head all that stuff about the American dream and how great the NHL is," he added. "The Pittsburgh owners are trying hard to sell the club, and the price would be totally different if they had Malkin. "But you can't just take our best players and expect to get away with it." "We've put so much effort, resources and money into Malkin's development as a player. He was our gold diamond, our prize possession. He had a contract with us, we were building the whole team around him and now he is gone," Velichkin said. "But don't think we'll just sit there and do nothing. We'll go to court to get what we believe is proper compensation."
The drama goes from bad to worse when we hear Evgeni Malkin's stories of passport-stealing team officials and owners' strong-arm tactics which smack of mafia movie material:

Continue Reading »

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Wants & Needs

Spector analyzes the West...

The Detroit Red Wings could use another depth defenceman and a replacement for departed winger Brendan Shanahan, listing UFA Krys Kolanos as an intriguing dark horse. Spector's Note: I don't think Kolanos is going to interest the Wings. At this point it seems GM Ken Holland will start with his current roster and bolster it as needed during the season.

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Lacking Toughness

Buck Gleason of the Buffalo News writes this about the Sabres...

It won't be long before teams examine the Sabres' roster and realize how few players should be feared. Really, name a defenseman who's going to keep opposing forwards awake at night. Or name three bruising forwards who would make opposing defensemen look over their shoulders.
Does your team fall into this category, does it even matter in the "new" NHL? added 9:37am, While we are on the subject, from the Hockey News,
A well-timed fight can fire up listless teammates and precipitate momentum swings. As Ottawa Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan divulges, there is a method to the madness. “I fight for my team, not for myself,” said this season’s NHL leader in fighting majors with 19. “I do it to spark emotion, to get the team going if we come out flat or get down a couple of goals.”
continued

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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