Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Hartford Courant,
Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Darius Kasparaitis has been given a personal leave of absence after leaving practice last week because of shortness of breath.
Kasparaitis, a 14-year NHL veteran on his second assignment from the Rangers, was taken by ambulance to Middlesex Hospital, where he had tests and was later released. He will be sidelined indefinitely and no other details about his condition were released.
from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,
Gazing around the league, here’s what’s striking me right now as the post-trade deadline stretch unfolds:
• Roberto Luongo for MVP. That trade by GM Dave Nonis in Vancouver has had more impact than any other in the league this season. Luongo has helped the Canucks change their whole organizational mindset. They really are New Jersey West, and that is a compliment.
• Monday night’s Islanders-Rangers game should be a great watch. The Islanders look even better since they added Ryan Smyth at the deadline. The Islanders are made up of an angry group that has created an us-against-the world mentality. That is tough to beat.
read 11 more bullet points…
from Al Strachan of Fox Sports,
In the United States, even though there are hardcore fans in every city, most players tend to be nothing more than names or numbers.
If violence increases and players get hurt, it is of considerable concern to Canadian fans. In the United States, that’s not the case.
So the NHL finds itself in the position of trying to balance the two sides. It wants to allow, or perhaps even encourage, a high level of violence to cater to the American psyche, but at the same time, it has to appease the Canadian fans who are vociferous and, for the time being at least, paying a highly disproportionate amount of the league’s costs.
Perhaps being an international league isn’t such a good thing after all.
“Facing mounting uncertainty” in their quest for a new arena, Penguins officials say they’ve reached an impasse in negotiations and “will aggressively explore relocation.”
In a letter addressed to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle blasted officials for their failure to reach a deal in a timely fashion.
added 3:27pm, More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...
Research In Motion Chairman and co-CEO Jim Balsillie will step down as chairman of the Canadian maker of the popular BlackBerry device. The resignation comes in the wake of reports that the company misstated $250 million in stock options. Balsillie will stay on as co-CEO of RIM. According to a statement released by the company today, RIM will restate its 2006 earnings by $250 million. The error came to light following an accounting review.
thanks to a KK member for the heads-up.
Update from practice Monday: Tomas Holmstrom will be out for the next couple of games because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. It apparently happened during the third period of Friday’s game against Chicago but Holmstrom was able to play through it Sunday.
When Tommy Salo’s club Frölunda Indians surprisingly missed the playoffs Salo announced that it was the end of his goalie career. A career that gave gold in both in the Olympics and World Championships, he also played in 526 NHL games. The highlight of his career was perhaps when he saved Paul Kariya’s penalty shot in the Olympics 1994, a save that gave Sweden the gold medals. But despite his succesful career he will probably be most remembered for the dreadful and unfortunate mistake he made in the 2002 Olympics when Belarus eliminated Sweden in the quarter finals.
added 2:00pm, If you want to watch that Olympic goal again…
NEW YORK (Mar. 5, 2007) – Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen, Florida Panthers center Olli Jokinen and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Mar. 4.
Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League’s top performances over the past week.
FIRST STAR – KARI LEHTONEN, G, ATLANTA THRASHERS
Lehtonen posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage as the Thrashers (34-23-10, 78 points) moved into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lehtonen made 22 saves as the Thrashers recorded a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, Feb. 26. He made 21 saves in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, March 2 and finished the week by stopping 35 of 36 shots in a 3-1 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes, March 4. The 23-year-old Helsinki, Finland native improved his season record to 28-19-8 with a 2.84 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and four shutouts.
from Brad Holland at NHL.com,
Recently, the NHL put together an “all-star” team of television experts comprised of John Shannon, the NHL’s vice president of broadcasting, Jim Wilkes, an ex-Molstar TV executive and Al Mountford, famous in the broadcasting industry for his hockey camerawork and the man who shot the 1980 Lake Placid “Miracle On Ice.” The three men have compiled a DVD and have met with every team in the league in an effort to help the regional broadcasters produce a better televised hockey game.
“Every team has a copy of the DVD and we (finished reviewing it) with all 30 teams,” Shannon said. “And right now we’re in the process of writing a case-book to help the broadcasters.”
from Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
During his 11 years with the NHL Players’ Association, Ken Kim can’t recall a time when the union visited all 30 NHL teams to meet with club executives. But that has begun to change over the last three months.
Kim, the union’s senior director of business, and Devin Smith, its director of club marketing, have traveled to 22 of the 30 NHL clubs to discuss ways teams can get players more involved local promotions and marketing programs. They’ll meet with the final eight teams over the next few weeks.
“Just having these meetings is coming a long way for us,” Kim said.
The meetings are unprecedented in the sports industry, where relationships between unions and leagues are often contentious. To date, none of the other major sports unions have traveled to each team during the course of a year to discuss marketing players.
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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