Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun via Faceoff.com,
Immediately after his packed, televised press conference at General Motors Place, Linden handed over to the Canucks’ charity the $25,000 he received last month from the National Hockey League as part of a humanitarian award.
It won’t be Linden’s last act of community service even if he never skates another shift in the NHL.
“No, I don’t think that will stop,” Linden’s wife, Cristina, said.
“During my time at Nike ... I got to spend time with Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods,” Canuck president Chris Zimmerman said. “They are extraordinary people. But I have never met another athlete with a bigger heart than Trevor Linden.”
*Video of Linden’s retirement speech was posted here yesterday
From Kirk Penton via the Winnipeg Sun,
[Darren Helm] leapfrogged an awful lot of talent to go from Grand Rapids Griffin in the AHL to fourth-line centre on the Stanley Cup champs.
“Guys that I’ve played with, they just can’t believe it,” Helm said. “... My coach from last year (Medicine Hat Tigers boss Willie Desjardins), he told me he can’t believe how well I played and the fact that I won. He said it’s just such an unbelievable turnaround from last year. I feel the same way. It doesn’t happen ... almost ever.
“My goal this year was to play about five games in the NHL regular season and just be along for the ride in the playoffs. It’s starting to catch up to me now, all the things that have happened.”
From Damien Cox at The Star,
So while the headlines today will note the fact that Cliff Fletcher will be GM of the Leafs through the 2008-09 season – oh gosh, aren’t we all shocked? – the truly important news is that Peddie will remain as team president.
Like a bad odour, you just can’t make this guy go away.
From the day Peddie ascended to the power position of having both the Raptors and Leafs report to him in 2003, the hockey club has gone straight downhill. You’d think his bosses might wonder why there hasn’t been a Stanley Cup playoff game at the ACC since 2004.
Instead, he’s managed to survive. Again.
From Rick Westhead at the Toronto Star,
A prominent hockey memorabilia dealer faces a bizarre $3 million lawsuit several years after police raided a store in Vaughan and seized photos and hockey cards that featured allegedly forged signatures of NHL star Steve Yzerman.
The lawsuit is the second to surface in the past week involving Derrick Luck, who runs Mississauga’s Lucky Sports Management Inc. Luck is one of the top sellers in the hockey memorabilia industry and has had contracts with players including Yzerman, former Leaf Doug Gilmour and Ottawa Senators star Dany Heatley.
The case is certain to increase scrutiny of the multimillion-dollar memorabilia business, one that several leading dealers say is rife with fake signatures and misrepresented hockey jerseys.
From Joe Starkey at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“If people are going to chastise professional athletes who are making a lot of money, they need to look at the deal we are probably going to end up signing,” [Jeremy] Roenick said.
As if the players would be forced to subsist on food stamps and ramen noodles.
Now look: Thomas Vanek makes $10 million, and the average salary has officially cracked $1.9 million, passing the pre-lockout figure of $1.83 million.
A crushing loss for the players?
“If there were those who viewed it in the words you use,” says player agent Don Meehan, “I don’t know how they could view it that way now.”
From Bob Wojnowski at the Detroit News,
The Stanley Cup does strange and wonderful things. It causes players to throw their battered bodies in front of whizzing pucks. It causes them to grow crazy beards and ignore painful injuries and continue battling for nearly two months.
It causes upward of a million people to line a storied street in downtown Detroit, in searing heat and brutal times, and cheer for the athletes who earned the right to lift it. It causes grown men—players and fans alike—to weep at the sight of it.
The Cup can stir and bind and wow. And perhaps, when necessary, it even can heal.
A KK reader kindly passed this article onto me, correctly noting that I might have missed it when it first came out Tuesday. Even a couple days late, it’s well worth a read.
From their conversation:
KB: Did you grow up a hockey fan or has this been one of those steep-learning-curve kind of things?
CM: I was deprived of hockey when I was a kid. I’m from Houston, Texas, where it’s a sin to put any other sport above football. But I’ll admit that while I was growing up and everyone else was playing Super Mario Bros., I was dominating Blades Of Steel on my Nintendo. I would spend hours playing that game and I always wanted to be Montreal. I loved it when the computer would yell ‘Faceoff!’ and my favorite part was starting a fist fight with the other team…I always won of course.
From Jeff Z. Klein at the NYT Slap Shot,
Can you name the last time a defenseman was awarded the Lady Byng Trophy, the honor for the league’s most gentlemanly player?
As you think about that — and about the NHL Award ceremonies Thursday night — bear in mind that according to league criteria, the Byng is to go to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Nothing in there says “forwards only.”
Give up? The last time the Lady Byng was awarded to a defenceman: 1954. Red Kelly was the winner.
From Michael Traikos at the National Post,
A day after disparaging remarks were made about his client, Darcy Tucker’s agent said the Toronto Maple Leafs forward has prepared for the possibility of playing in another city next season.
“This is a business,” Carlos Sosa said in a phone interview from his law office in Seattle. “And if the Maple Leafs want to make a business move between June 15 and 30 when they can buy out contracts, that’s their right to do that. We can’t control that.
“Is he going to retire? No, that’s out of the question. He’s got lots of years left. He wants to win a Stanley Cup. But if a buyout comes, we will pursue the other markets that come available.”
There will be subtle modifications done for next season, like eliminating some of the ‘extra padding’ that helps goaltenders stop pucks as opposed to protecting them.
A universal measurement system will be developed so goalies will wear equipment that will properly fit them as opposed to wearing bulky gear. The measurement system is at least a year away from happening, but it’s designed for the process of ‘shaping’ goaltenders as opposed to making them look more square like we’ve seen in recent years.
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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