Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Fan590 in Toronto mentioned today that Brian Leetch is hanging them up. More as it becomes available.
added 10:33am, from the CP via TSN,
Star defenceman Brian Leetch officially retired Thursday, ending an 18-year career that featured two Norris Trophy wins and 10 all-star selections.
The 39-year-old sat out the entire out 2006-07 season after spending 2005-06 with the Boston Bruins, when he recorded five goals and 27 assists in 61 games.
“I have been fortunate to be an NHL player since 1988,” Leetch said in a statement. “I missed being in the NHL this past season, but believe it was the right time for me to stop playing.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators coach stopped short of accusing goalie J.S. Giguere of wearing illegal equipment, but confirmed he’s already asked the NHL’s pad police if the Anaheim Ducks’ goalie is complying with the league’s tight restrictions. The Senators will open the Stanley Cup final Monday in Anaheim.
“It’s got to be illegal,” said Murray with a laugh. “It’s legal, I know that. I was there, it’s questioned all the time. It’s measured all the time and it was approved all the time. But, he does wear it well doesn’t he?”
from On The Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Negotiations between Islanders general manager Garth Snow and the agent for left wing Ryan Smyth should begin in another week or two, but it will rank as a major upset if the Isles sign Smyth before he has a chance to sample the NHL free-agent market on July 1.
That doesn’t mean the Islanders are out of the running for Smyth. Far from it. It just means they are likely to have a lot of competition.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The only thing less impressive than Maxim Afinogenov’s postseason was his nonchalance about getting knocked out in the conference finals. The Sabres winger basically brushed off losing to Ottawa in five games and suggested he was satisfied with the Presidents’ Trophy.
“I think we had a good run,” Afinogenov said. “Yeah, we lost, but I think we fight until the end. The whole team was exciting. It was a good season anyway.”
Yawn. Is this a guy the Sabres want on their team while they’re trying to keep co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere? Afinogenov is a seductive talent, an electrifying player who puts people in the seats.
from the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup final is coming here, south of the Hollywood Hills, in the shadow of Disneyland, among the palm trees, sprawl and smog of Orange County.
But the folks in coffee shops are far more likely to be talking about Phil Spector’s murder trial than the remarkable success of the Anaheim Ducks, who dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in six games to claim the NHL’s Western Conference title.
Here in the outskirts of the world’s entertainment capital, hockey remains a tough sell. But not an impossible one, thanks to the plucky Ducks.
from bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
But here’s what’s even harder to imagine: ESPN failing to have hockey mentioned in the first 30 minutes if it were involved with the sport. Once the NHL left ESPN, it basically ceased to exist.
It’s not just “SportsCenter.” If the NHL were carried by ESPN, they’d be talking about it on the “Dan Patrick Show” (not a word Tuesday in the more than 90 minutes we suffered through) and the stars of the sport would be schmoozing with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their highly popular morning show.
Such exposure generates interest and interest generates ratings and revenue.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks would be smart to stop complaining about things that they can’t control, namely the officials.
In fairness to the Ducks everyone points out the fact that Anaheim was the league’s most penalized team during the regular season, but there is a reason for that. They fought more than anyone else. They haven’t been fighting much in the playoffs but they have been taking a lot of penalties.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Won’t it feel great tonight to kick back and watch Game 1 between the NHL’s two most deserving teams from Anaheim and Ottawa?
What did you say Mr. Bettman? It doesn’t start tonight?
OK. Tomorrow night will be a good time to begin the clash of the Titans.
Not yet, Gary?
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
A declaration in this space two weeks ago that the Ducks would defeat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals — and that Detroit could no longer call itself Hockeytown because games at Joe Louis Arena weren’t selling out — generated hundreds of impassioned responses.
Some were even free of obscenities….
The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings in six games and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, but the idea here isn’t to gloat.
It’s to suggest that the unprecedented torrents of anger sent this way are better aimed at Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings’ owner, and the club executives who set playoff ticket prices too high for an area that has been gut-punched by the auto industry’s decline, the departure of Comerica Bank’s headquarters for Texas and growing unemployment.
read on (reg. req.)
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Greg Millen will join regulars Bob Cole and Harry Neale in the broadcast booth for Hockey Night in Canada coverage of the Stanley Cup final.
This will be the first time Hockey Night has used a three-man booth in years, and the objective is clear: to bring some energy and enthusiasm to the analysis.
Millen’s work, mostly with Jim Hughson, has been solid, but Neale kept a low profile in the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League Eastern Conference final. Cole did most of the talking and Neale proved to be a good listener.
continued...plus other hockey broadcasting talk…
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