Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (March 31, 2008) – San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis and Boston Bruins center David Krejci have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 30.
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
The Minnesota Wild’s roster could have a significantly different look next season.
Two key veteran forwards, Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston, are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and young forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard becomes a restricted free agent.
Pundits have speculated throughout this season as to whether or not the usually budget-conscious Wild management will re-sign all three.
As the way fans watch the game continues to change in this information age, we’re seeing all sorts of new ‘arenas’ where fans can compete and win while cheering on their favorite team. NHL PlayAction launched recently, and Big League of PlayAction.tv dropped by Kukla’s Korner to give us some insight into this new age of fan-driven competition.
Paul Kukla: Hi Big League. What’s the driving force behind PlayAction and what can fans expect when they sign-up and play?
Big League: All of our PlayAthletes are posed the same 8 questions, sent by text message to their phone, from which they predict certain outcomes in the game. For example, how many points will Alexander Ovechkin tally tonight? They then make their picks on their mobile giving fans a way to interact with each other by competing throughout the game. The questions keep the game exciting right to the end. Your team may be down 5-0 with 10 minutes left, but you still need to see if your choice, say “Pittsburgh Forward”, will get the last shot of the game. It really adds excitement from the opening face-off to the final buzzer.
The cool thing is that you have a live “Game Jockey” who is watching the game and keying questions based on the action.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
Tortorella said, and Thrashers general manager Don Waddell confirmed, it took a commitment from USA Hockey to supply young players that are “ready to win” to seal the deal.
“We need to look by the old school,” Tortorella said. “We want players to go over there and want to play, not look at it as a chance for a vacation and then play some hockey.”
Tortorella stressed, “This isn’t a criticism of anybody else. It’s just something I believe in. You play to win. It’s a great situation in the changing of the guard.”
from Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail,
Ovechkin has already won the Richard trophy and seems likely to win the Art Ross as well. Let me make the case for Ovechkin’s name on the Hart.
First of all, he has not simply won the Richard trophy. He has smoked the competition with a season for the ages.
Maurice (The Rocket) Richard set the bar with 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 season. The number of 50-goal seasons has recently been raised to 182 by Ilya Kovalchuk and may grow by another should Jarome Iginla notch one more goal in Calgary’s final three games. To properly compare these results across over 60 years of the changing face of hockey it is necessary to adjust for (at least) two things.
via SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
In one of its boldest moves yet to build corporate support around its television broadcasts, the NHL will test virtual advertising for the first time during the Stanley Cup playoff broadcasts on its national TV partners.
In another first, the league also will put postseason logos on the ice during the playoffs.
The virtual advertising plan, which still has to be approved by Commissioner Gary Bettman and team owners, is patterned after the same type of advertising behind home plate during televised baseball games.
Hockey’s version will superimpose ads on the glass above dasherboards that protect spectators. The ads, which will not be visible in the arena, will not affect camera angles or live TV shots.
Neither the league nor the networks have pitched the new inventory to ad buyers yet, but they plan to test the concept during this year’s postseason, which begins next week. If everything goes well, NBC, Versus and regional sports networks will use virtual ads for their telecasts next season.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
The $45-million signing of Bobby Holik by the Rangers in 2002 was cited as one of the reasons why the lockout was necessary (yeah, that stopped those crazy contracts). Now the Rangers are trying to get some of the money back by welching on a bonus payment owed to Holik, now in Atlanta. The case is in a grievance hearing with Glen Sather trying to duck his handiwork.
many more NHL bits…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
“We play again Wednesday,” said veteran Bruins winger Glen Murray as he left here last night. “Time to focus on that.”
“If you look at the standings,” mused P.J. Axelsson, “all you do is get mesmerized.”
Get our your slide rules, folks, and dust off Mrs. Chagaruley’s dog-eared multiplication tables, the final week of the NHL’s 2007-08 regular season is shaping up as a few days only Bill James or an H&R Block tax geek could love. Round up the numerators, summon your denominator within, and check boston.com hourly throughout the week to find out if the Bruins finally, finally, finally! will make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
When the first TV producer decided to place a hockey analyst between the benches a few years back, the idea looked like it might end up high on the pointless ideas list, just behind the infamous glowing puck….
But this idea, used to great advantage by TSN and NBC, is proving to be one of the best broadcasting innovations since the advent of the second camera.
It was on display during yesterday’s Pittsburgh-New York Rangers game on NBC, with Pierre McGuire stationed between the benches and providing viewers with the kind of insights that only someone in that position could get.
Throughout the game, McGuire told viewers how the coaches were rotating their lines and even what players were saying to each other. When New York coach Tom Renney chastised his players for passing too much and not shooting enough, McGuire passed that on, too.
from Jim Kernaghan of Sun Media,
I “was” Gordie Howe as a kid 9 or 10 years of age on the pond and in street hockey. A little more than 10 years later, I was once sent to interview him for my newspaper. Imagine, actually talking to Gordie Howe! How would I ever get close to the large, slope-shouldered superstar engulfed by so many people at the Canada’s Sports Hall Of Fame?
Luckily, the essential Gordie Howe radar was unfailing. He glanced over and accurately sized me up as an ill-at-ease rookie reporter, then ambled over and stuck his hand out.
What followed was Gordie’s description of being busy in the off-season, including an incident about falling through the ice during a commercial shoot up north with his young sons, Mark and Marty. Gordie did everything but walk me back to the paper and write the story himself.
added 8:00am, from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Joe Louis Arena erupted in applause as Howe walked the red carpet to center ice, where he was met by current Red Wings’ General Manager Ken Holland, who presented Howe with a more-modern leather Red Wings’ jacket. Howe wore it proudly for the remainder of the day.
“I still have the other one, corduroy. And, it fits,” Howe said. “This thing is heavy. They’ve treated me pretty darn nice here.”
read on and make sure to check out the info box therer for numerous Gordie stories from Mr. McGourty, who must have been in Howe’s back pocket for the last week or so.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org