Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Stephens of the LA Times,
The Ducks are having talks with General Manager Brian Burke about a contract extension amid increasing speculation that the Toronto Maple Leafs have targeted him for the same job in their organization.
Michael Schulman, the Ducks’ chief executive, would not say whether there have been formal discussions to extend Burke’s contract, which runs through next season.
The Ducks’ bid to repeat as Stanley Cup champions ended Sunday.
“We talk probably every day,” Schulman said. “We’ve got a good relationship. We’re very happy obviously with his performance.”
Schulman denied a report in the Toronto-based Globe and Mail that an extension is on the table and the Ducks are awaiting Burke’s signature.
from the Montreal Post,
No matter how hard they tried, members of the mob could not tip the vacant police car on its side. They dented its doors, shattered its windows and, with nothing left to break, they sought to set it aflame.
So just after midnight, more than two hours after the Montreal Canadiens claimed victory in their National Hockey League playoff series, a group of young men shoved cardboard boxes into the cruiser a few blocks from the arena. A crowd watched as flames engulfed the empty car.
About a half-dozen Montreal police cruisers were already burning, or about to be burned, as post-game celebrations dissolved into rioting early Tuesday morning.
added 7:29am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star at his Spin blog,
It was more a spasm of opportunistic vandalism than a hockey-related riot, yet it will leave an ugly mark on the city today.
From a sports point of view, no longer will Montrealers be able to mock Torontonians for the way in which they take to the streets with honking car horns after the Maple Leafs win a playoff round, if anyone in the GTA can actually remember back that far.
The Habs-Bruins series was a first rounder, yet the honking was there in the streets of Montreal, evidence, some would say, of the very different demographic that makes up the Montreal fan base these days.
added 8:52am, from Elliotte Friedman of the CBC at his From the Pressbox blog,
from the New Yorker,
(Mick) McGeough, an appreciator, generally, of agitators and their in-game chatter, found himself giggling. “I wasn’t fond of it,” he said a few days later. “But it’s done. Are people talking about it? Sure. Was it bush league? That’s crap. It’s good for the game.” As he talked, a call came in from another retired N.H.L. referee, Paul Stewart. Stewy, who was at an Applebee’s in Walpole, Massachusetts, watching the Yankees play the Sox, left a message: “Sean Avery is like a case of jock rash. It’s there, it bothers you, and eventually you have to just play through it.”
more about Avery…
Canadiens defeat Bruins 5-0. Bruins put up a fight the whole series but the Canadiens had their number tonight.
Washington takes on Philadelphia tomorrow night in a game 7 after defeating the Flyers 4-2. Ovechkin had the game winner early in the 3rd and put the game out of reach with another goal later in the 3rd period.
Anything on your mind during the games tonight? Feel free to get it off your chest by leaving a comment.
Interesting to see the latest KK Poll is almost 50-50 when given the choice to predict the winner of the Boston/Montreal game.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
I find it hard to find a better story in the first round of the NHL playoffs than goalie Marty Turco helping his Dallas Stars knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.
You know, the same Ducks I predicted would beat Dallas in seven games. Wrong, Pierre!
In the lead-up to that series between Pacific Division rivals, it was widely reported how J.S. Giguere had the highest playoff winning percentage among active NHL goalies. That would be the difference. Especially, some people added, given “Turco’s spotty playoff record.”
New York Rangers Brendan Shanahan, Sean Avery, Scott Gomez, Fredrik Sjostrom and goalie Henrik Lundqvist will be featured in tonight’s “Late Show with David Letterman” along with comedians Billy Crystal and Chris Elliott. The Late Show airs at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
from Bill Simmons at ESPN Page 2,
Look, sometimes a sport can just evolve in the wrong direction. It happened to tennis, it happened to pro wrestling and it definitely happened to hockey. This was a sport that thrived on rivalries and feuds—Montreal and Boston, the Rangers and Islanders, Philly and Washington, Montreal and Toronto, Montreal and Quebec, Montreal and everybody—so by moving key franchises and adding too many other ones, fundamentally, they were killing the one thing that made the sport so great. As a Boston fan, how am I supposed to get fired up during the regular season for a steady stream of Nashville, Columbus, Carolina and Anaheim? It’s insane. It’s illogical. Hockey should never have more than 22 teams, and half those teams should be playing in Canada, where it’s the national sport and the citizens truly care about the game.
before you come to a conclusion, keep reading...
From the Canadian Press,
The Anaheim Ducks star defenceman already lost about US$2 million in wages from his $6.75-million salary for missing the first two months of the season. He was suspended without pay until he returned in mid-December. But in addition, as revealed by the New York Post over the weekend, Niedermayer’s salary was also reduced by $500,000 for missing all of training camp, as mandated by a clause in the collective bargaining agreement.
However, multiple sources told The Canadian Press on Monday that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are working towards a resolution that would see Niedermayer recoup most, if not all, of the $500,000 and also clarify what implications this has on the Ducks’ salary cap.
Note: Larry Brooks New York Post story yesterday, linked previously on KK
Update 9:00pm ET: Bob McKenzie at TSN says that everyone has the story wrong:
As the New York Post reported on Sunday, Niedermayer has indeed been fined $500,000 because he missed training camp, but the fine was levied not by the NHL but the Ducks themselves. And according to the CBA, it is the Ducks who are mandated to fine Niedermayer for his decision to temporarily retire and miss training camp.
Confused? Continue reading for a complete understanding of the CBA issues at play
From the Canadian Press,
Game 7s were a hot topic this week, and a player who was in a truly memorable do-or-die contest was Boston Bruins backup goaltender Alex Auld.
Auld played for a very good Vancouver Canucks team that lost to Calgary in overtime in Game 7 of their first-round NHL playoff series in 2004. The Flames went on to lose the Stanley Cup final in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
continued… with more tales of guys back for another shot at game #7s
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