Kukla's Korner Hockey
David Amber at ESPN in a Q & A with Ray Whitney,
Q: Any crazy characters from those great Oilers teams?
A: I remember Ken Linseman had a couple of dozen sticks in his rack and he’s flexing them and weighing them and really checking them out. Then, he took a few sticks and put them aside. The rest, which was more than a dozen, he wrapped up and wrote on them in black marker “NFG.” So, I go up to him and say, “What’s NFG mean?” He says, “It’s No F-ing good,” and he tells me to send them all back. [Laughs]
Q: So, he was pretty picky with his sticks?
A: Yeah, he was really picky. Gretz was the other way. He always had a few dozen sticks on his rack and he would come in and say, “Cut me five today.” He didn’t look at them once. He felt comfortable with whatever stick he used.
via the Detroit Free Press,
Center Pavel Datsyuk was a surprise scratch for Tuesday’s game. Wings spokesman Mike Brinich said Datsyuk was day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, believed to be a groin.
Anyone who watched the game, saw Datsyuk get wacked on the wrist and then possibly the arm or ribs, all courtesy of Rob Blake.
He skated off the ice in pain, and did not return. Did he hurt his groin skating to the bench?
from E. M. Swift at Sports Illustrated,
On a night when the past was being honored in Detroit—Steve Yzerman’s jersey was hung from the rafters alongside those of Gordie Howe, Sid Abel, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay, and Alex Delvecchio—the future was also being foreshadowed:
Anaheim versus Detroit, two clubs that match up against each other like, well, Ducks and Wings. The best in the west (Anaheim is now 28-8-6, despite losing three straight) against the best in the NHL over the last 10 games (Detroit is 8-1-1). The Wings won Tuesday night’s game against the injury-plagued Ducks, 2-1, but look for these teams to meet again in May in the Western Conference finals.
from the Hockey News,
As for the Tournament of Tournaments, I think the competition would be as follows (some forwards have been moved around due to exceptional talent and a dearth at certain positions):
Team 1990s: Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Jaromir Jagr, Ray Bourque, Scott Stevens, Dominik Hasek.
Team 80s: Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Paul Coffey, Denis Potvin, Patrick Roy.
NHL Press Release,
NEW YORK / TORONTO / BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (January 3, 2007) –
The National Hockey League (NHL®), the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), and Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading wireless provider, today announced a new multi-year relationship where Verizon Wireless will have exclusive marketing and promotional rights as the “Official Wireless Service Provider” in the United States, and category-exclusive U.S. marketing rights for marquee NHL events – including the NHL All-Star Game, Stanley Cup® Playoffs, NHL Awards Show and NHL Entry Draft.
From Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues are still buzzing about last weekend’s crowd at Scottrade Center. More than 16,000 showed up for the club’s 2-0 shutout of the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Although the crowd Tuesday night for a game against Chicago was 11,069 — weeknights are generally slower at the turnstile — the atmosphere at the arena is continuing to pick up now that the team is playing better.
“For a while, you almost think, ‘God, did they forget? Is it just dwindling in this city?’ It’s not,” Blues center Doug Weight said.
Check out Kukla’s blog post today on NHL.com,
Instead of talking to former players, coaches and management types, I decided yesterday to talk to the common fan and get their views on Steve Yzerman. So I headed to a few establishments near the Joe Louis Arena, where fans were beginning to gather to watch the Steve Yzerman retirement ceremony.
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Kansas City officials, eager to find an anchor tenant for a new arena, will get their first opportunity to lure the Penguins there today.
Council wants details of proposed arena financing
Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, who lead the franchise’s ownership group, and other members of the team’s front office accepted an invitation to travel to Kansas City and meet with representatives of the city and the Sprint Center, a $276 million multipurpose venue scheduled to open this fall.
The Penguins’ lease at Mellon Arena expires in June, and they have attracted expressions of interest from cities across North America that are in the market for a National Hockey League franchise. This will be the first meeting between Penguins executives and people from one of those cities.
Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler announced that the club has acquired centre Mike Comrie from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for prospect Alexei Kaigorodov.
The 26-year-old Comrie has played in 24 games with the Phoenix Coyotes this season, recording seven goals, 13 assists and 20 penalty minutes. In his last 10 games, he has three goals and five assists for eight points. Comrie has four multi-point games this season—his last (a goal and assist) coming in a 8-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 30.
From the CP, via Slam,
Bob Gainey is back at work.
The Montreal Canadiens executive vice-president and general manager returned to his Bell Centre office in recent days after a leave to grieve the loss of his daugher Laura in an accident at sea, team spokesman Donald Beauchamp said Tuesday. Gainey was not available for comment.
Laura Gainey was swept off the tall ship Picton Castle about 700 kilometres off the U.S. Atlantic coast by a large wave during a storm on Dec. 8. Air and sea crews were unable to find her after a three-day search.
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