Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Stiebel at the Gold Stream News Gazette,
Even though it’s been two months since my journalistic mental meltdown, I’m still kicking my ink-stained ass over how badly I blew it with Ken Dryden.
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with the NHL hall of famer when he wandered out to the West Shore in April, and I handled it with all the poise of a doe-eyed student caught in the headlights of his first assignment for the Stumbling Bumbler Review….
When I was in Grade 3, I sent the Golden Jet a letter asking for an autograph, addressed, with the naivety of youth, to ‘care/of Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois.”
Within a couple of weeks, I received an 8 X 11 glossy of Bobby, with a hand-written message wishing me the best and saying “We’re always looking for fans in Montreal.”
When the Hawks won the Cup in 61 when when I was 11, my allegiance knew no bounds, despite the regular ribbing I took from my Hab-crazed buddies.
I wanted to tell Dryden about the picture from Hull; I wanted to ask Dryden if he ever talked to Steve Shutt, a former teammate who I got to hang out with when Steve stayed with his dad one summer in the same apartment complex I lived in.
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
After a long and somewhat strange search for a new general manager, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the final stages of negotiations to name Edmonton Oilers assistant GM Scott Howson to their vacant position.
Barring any breakdowns in the talks, the Blue Jackets could make a formal announcement as early as Thursday and probably no later than Friday.
Countless young hockey players in the state of Michigan grow up dreaming of one day pulling on the Winged Wheel and skating out onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
It goes without saying that few will ever get the chance, based on the long odds against most young players making it to the National Hockey League, but based on recent NHL Entry Drafts, the odds are particularly long in Hockeytown. From 2001 to 2005 (inclusive), the Red Wings selected only three college or college-bound players in the NHL Entry Draft, by far the fewest of any NHL team….
A total of 346 college or college-bound players were selected in the 2001-05 entry drafts, an average of just over 11.5 per team. Still, though, some teams’ preferences remain in place, as evidenced by the limited forays into the college ranks by teams like the Red Wings, the Toronto Maple Leafs (six college draftees), and the Montreal Canadians (six).
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
But putting Hamilton out into the open signals open warfare which should lead to a battle royal between the Balsillie interests and Commissioner Gary Bettman who wants a territory rights fight about as much as he wants Bob Goodenow back as head of the Players Association….
This is one of the great tests of Bettman’s control in the history of his tenure with the NHL and there’s no sure sense of the outcome except that Balsillie and company have shown their hand and they aren’t going to back down.
more and other NHL topics…
from Scott Morrison of the CBC,
It just might be time for the NHL to rejig its awards ever-so slightly.
In the past, of course, there had been a call to tinker with the Hart Trophy, which is technically awarded to the player judged to be most valuable to his team, but is often regarded as being given to the most valuable player. There is a difference.
In the past, the idea was keep the Hart the way it is and add another trophy, named after Gordie Howe or Wayne Gretzky, for instance, for the most valuable player in the league.
A great KK supporter, Roman Jedlicka of eNHL.cz, had a camera crew at the Ducks celebration. Great stuff and thanks Roman for the pointer.
Some of it is in Czech, but you will get the picture…
from the Anaheim Ducks,
The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed head coach Randy Carlyle to a one-year contract extension. He is now under contract with the Ducks through the end of the 2008-09 season.
“Randy has been the perfect fit for this organization with his hard-working, aggressive style,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke. “He has been a major factor in the success we’ve had the past two seasons.”
from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,
In order to win with consistency in these times, you must have a creative and smart GM (Brian Burke is as good as it gets), a hard, but fair coaching staff (Randy Carlyle and his staff of Dave Farrish and Newell Brown are all of that), and plenty of good young players (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Dustin Penner, Travis Moen; you can add Bobby Ryan and Brendan Mikkelson to the mix).
It does not hurt that the Ducks also have top defensemen like Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin locked into contracts that make sense.
Maybe the San Jose Sharks or the Detroit Red Wings will be able to challenge them in the West, or maybe the Vancouver Canucks can add some more offense to push the Ducks, or perhaps the Calgary Flames can be more consistent.
more on a possible Ducks dynasty…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
NORRIS TROPHY (Best Defenseman)
Nominees: Nicklas Lidstrom (Red Wings), Scott Niedermayer (Ducks), Chris Pronger (Ducks)
MY PICK: Lidstrom. Niedermayer and Pronger would’ve been great even if they didn’t play on the same team, but each certainly helped the other this season. Lidstrom, has no comparable teammate, yet still scored 62 points and led all blueliners with a plus-40 rating. That’s good enough for me.
check out Adam’s other picks for the hardware, and yes, before you ask, the Awards Show is Thursday, not tonight…
From John Niyo at the Detroit News,
A decade later, it’s still so difficult to separate the two, to recall the triumph without running into the tragedy. It was 10 years ago today that a celebration for the ages ground to a sickening halt in Hockeytown, only six days after it began when the Red Wings ended a 42-year championship drought by hoisting the Stanley Cup.
On June 13, 1997—a Friday the 13th, as fate would have it—a limousine crash that nearly killed defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, and seriously injured teammate Slava Fetisov, turned a stretch of Woodward Avenue into a crime scene and sent an entire city into mourning.
*thanks to Joe for the pointer
added 2:15pm, Joe Pelletier just sent me a link to a Wings 1998 Tribute Video to Vladimir and Sergei.- Paul
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.
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