Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Press-Enterprise,
On Thursday night, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Pronger and Brad May were returning from their appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with the Cup, when one of them had to find a restroom. The limo driver stopped at Denny’s, and two hockey fans happened to be going into the restaurant.
“Jigger and Pronger get out, and the fans say, ‘No way!’ ” Ducks publicist Alex Gilchrist recalled. “The one guy peeks in and says, ‘No. That’s not the Stanley Cup, is it?’
“And Jigger takes it out and says, ‘Here.’ “
Whoever they are, they’ll be dining out on that moment for years.
“That was pretty cool,” Giguere said.
from the Vancouver Province,
With poker getting high ratings and with the success of all the collegiate sports ESPN has dipped into since dropping hockey, the league would have to beg the network to take the game back. Even then there’s not much likelihood given NBC’s staggeringly poor ratings.
It’s a shame, because at times this spring, the entertainment level during playoffs was high, much better than during the regular season. The pace was sometimes electric and the hitting often spectacular, with the better officials working and some intensity blossoming.
from the Detroit Free Press,
Now, on the grassy median that splits Woodward Avenue just south of Big Beaver Road in Birmingham, there is nothing. There is no reminder that this sliver of grass was the site of Detroit’s most notorious limousine accident.
This Wednesday, June 13, 10 years will have passed since that crash, 10 years since this region spilled into the streets celebrating a Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, and 10 years since that celebration was stopped cold after a limousine carrying two Red Wings and the team’s masseur hopped a curb on southbound Woodward, veered into a pole in the median and smashed into that tree, leaving two of them in intensive care.
from the Vancouver Province,
Watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup has reinforced Vigneault’s admiration of old-school, hard-knocks, bad-attitude hockey, something he thinks the Canucks need more of, which should excite any fan of in-your-face hockey.
“There’s a lot of good in the new NHL—less clutching and grabbing and a bigger reliance on speed,” Vigneault said. “But, for me, I’m always going to be a fan of hitting and checking and—I know a lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this—fighting.
“Anaheim had the most fighting majors in the NHL. I’d like us to be a little more grittier in that side of the game.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The commissioner has plenty of work ahead in legitimizing a league that for years was perceived as irrelevant. Hockey’s television ratings, laughable at their height, were down 20 percent in the United States and 18 percent in Canada from last year for the Stanley Cup between the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators.
Bettman spent years trying to sell people on the strength of the league when anybody paying attention knew otherwise. But the opposite is true in this case. The NHL isn’t nearly as weak as TV ratings would suggest. The salary cap is expected to increase again next season, a sign the league has a strong revenue stream.
Take a closer look, and you’ll see Bettman’s vision from the mid-1990s slowly taking form.
from the Anaheim Ducks,
More than 15,000 fans crowded into the Honda Center parking lot Saturday evening to celebrate the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions Ducks. Fans arrived as early as 8 a.m. to secure a spot for the celebration, which lasted from 6:30 p.m., rolled on as the sun went down and concluded just before 9 p.m.
After some pregame musical entertainment and video on the several giant screens located around the parking lot, the Ducks arrived via double-decker bus down Katella Avenue. They slowly made their way down the red carpet, stopping along the way to receive congratulations from fans who had staked out spots along the walkway.
pic via Reuters
from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
As an over-35-year-old signing a one-year contract, Brendan Shanahan would be eligible to receive signing, games-played and performance bonuses that would allow the Rangers to exceed the cap by 7.5 percent or alternately be applied against the 2008-09 cap if they didn’t have that space. Thus, Shanahan, who played for $4 million last season, could sign a deal for a cap-applied base of $2 million with readily attainable bonuses to allow him to earn another $2 million without jeopardizing the Blueshirts’ position.
Folks around the league who presume Chris Drury will leave Buffalo to play in either L.A. or Colorado are overlooking the Big Moment Kid’s lifelong desire to play the Big Stage on Broadway, and the reciprocal interest the Rangers’ organization has in him.
more from Brooks, including the cap will now be around $48.5M…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
In 1997, Dave King moved to Japan and helped get the country’s fledgling hockey program off the ground in time to play host to the Olympics in Nagano.
In 2000, he became the Blue Jackets’ first coach.
Since being fired in 2003, King, 59, has coached in Germany, Sweden and Russia. He spent two years in Siberia—willingly.
The man loves a challenge. And now, it seems, he’s ready for another one.
As the Blue Jackets’ search for a general manager drags on, King, according to a well-placed source in Canada, has made it known that he would like to be considered.
from the Arizona Republic,
There have been no strong indications on which way the Coyotes, who also have the 21st pick in the first round, are leaning, but a scenario that unfolded at the Calgary Saddledome after Canada won the World Junior Championship might provide some insight.
Defenseman Karl Alzner, 18, of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, still was unwinding from that title run when he got a tap on the shoulder from the team trainer.
“He comes up to me and says, ‘Did you talk to Wayne?’ and I’m like, ‘Who?’ And he says, ‘Wayne Gretzky,’ and I said, ‘No, what are you talking about?’ ” Alzner recalled. “The trainer said he was asking for me, and my face went red. I said, ‘Are you serious?’
“He said he was in the hall, so I walk out and I’m thinking, ‘Please don’t let this be a joke, please let this don’t be a joke.’ And all of a sudden, a guy says Wayne wanted to talk to me, congratulate me. Wayne comes over and says, ‘Hi, I’m Wayne Gretzky.’ So I say, ‘Yeah, I’m Karl.’
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
But today’s NHL is not as simple as the follow-the-leader days of yore.
In today’s NHL, success is often dictated by what the rules are, how long they will be enforced, what the competition committee decides every offseason and what Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell determines he likes or wants to see in the game.
Never was that more evident than when midway through the regular season the kind of hockey that made fast skating, good puck handling teams gave way to the bigger, badder teams that played a more physical game; and adopted a more punishing approach to attacking the net.
It’s a part of the reason the two best teams in the regular season—Buffalo and Detroit—didn’t make it to the finals. It’s a part of the reason the Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators with ease.
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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