Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Times (Sunday edition),
Edmonton is the smallest metropolitan market in the N.H.L., with roughly a million people. Yet all but one regular-season game was sold out at the 16,839-seat Rexall Place, long called Northlands Coliseum, where banners line the rafters and players still walk through the crowd from the locker room to the ice and back again. Edmonton is a place with an economy built on oil and an identity built on the Oilers. "The team has provided a huge symbolic value, an icon value, to keep Edmonton recognized as a so-called major league city in North America, and even the rest of the world," said Cal Nichols, the team's chairman.read on
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Floyd Whitney wonders what the odds on this might have been. "Astronomical,'' he said. Ray Whitney is the former stick boy of two Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup-winning teams who went on to become an Oiler player. He became an ex-Oiler when Edmonton acquired Doug Weight. Now they're playing on the same line for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Oilers in the Stanley Cup final. Floyd, an Edmonton cop, has been the Oilers practice goalie and a member of the support staff who opens the dressing room door to let the media in after every game. The Oilers gave him Stanley Cup rings the last two times Edmonton won the Cup. Ray is amused with the spot his dad is in.continued
from the Toronto Star,
Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller called the rule "the stupidest thing ever," but it appears that the NHL's powerful competition committee will lobby hard to keep the rule exactly as it is. "I would have to think it will be discussed this summer," said Nashville Predators GM David Poile, a member of the committee. "That was a tough rule to pass. But I voted for it and I like it. The idea is for the puck to be in play and instead of using the glass and the boards all the time, maybe you risk going up the middle of the ice." NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell, who oversees the committee as a non-voting member, said people should not forget that the effect of the delay of game rule has to be considered in concert with all the other radical changes the NHL made prior to this season to enhance offence. In fact, Campbell suggested the rule worked to perfection, pointing out that Brian Campbell was tired and under pressure and he was trying to clear the puck out of danger.more
via the Globe and Mail,
TSN drew a record 1.47 million viewers for its telecast of Game 7 of the Buffalo Sabres-Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference final on Thursday. It was TSN's largest audience for a National Hockey League playoff game and second largest for all NHL games, behind 2.1 million for the Toronto Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators regular-season opener last October.
from the Toronto Sun,
He's playing like there's no tomorrow because, when it comes to the Stanley Cup final, Michael Peca of the Edmonton Oilers knows there might not be one. "I'm lucky to be back here again. Next to the World Series of Poker, it's the toughest championship to win," said Peca with a smile. "I want to win a championship," Peca said. "As disappointed as I was in the numbers throughout the year, the team was being successful, so I wasn't as down on myself as I probably could have got. "I was still trying to contribute in other ways. In the playoffs, I started to get results offensively. It makes you feel a lot better, but ultimately, it's about winning. That's my sole passion right now."read on
Online Q & A with Gary Thorne, from USA TODAY,
Ann Arbor, MI: What will happen to the Red Wings next season? Will Yzerman be back? Will GM Ken Holland realize that despite their success in the regular season, this team wasn't built to win in the playoffs? Gary Thorne: I'm not so sure. They have to settle the goaltending matter in a big-time way. If they do that, they are solid and have speed up front and still have a defense that can move the puck. Chelly will still get the job done, but not beyond another year. Stevie Y needs to call it quits, but with the dollars hanging out there, he may come back and that means spot play. It's what happens after next year that will determine the Wings' future. First though, who's in net? McLean, VA: While the NHL is no doubt happy just to have a Stanley Cup finals to broadcast, league and OLN officials can't be too happy about an Edmonton-Carolina matchup. When will the NHL dump the smaller markets? Gary Thorne: No. They can't. The league is a gate driver. So long as the seats are full in whatever city plays, a lot of money is being made. This was a very good year at the gate for the NHL. Put 18,000 in a rink at $200 or more a ticket and then they spend a hundred more on concessions and tees? You do the math. Small markets still equal big bucks.more
from the NHL,
-This marks just the second season since NHL clubs exclusively began competing for the Stanley Cup in 1927 that the Stanley Cup Finalists did not meet during the regular season. The abbreviated 1994-95 season, during which the clubs played a 48-game schedule of exclusively intra-conference contests, featured a New Jersey Devils-Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Final. -Hurricanes RW Mark Recchi is making his first Final appearance in 15 years. In 1991, he captured the Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Oilers RW Radek Dvorak is making his first Stanley Cup Final appearance in a decade. In his rookie season of 1995-96, Dvorak went to the Final as a member of the Florida Panthers. -Hurricanes D Mike Commodore and LW Cory Stillman are appearing in the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive season. They were on opposite sides in 2004, Stillman for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Commodore for the Calgary Flames.more
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Peter Laviolette did a good job of maintaining his carefully sculpted image as a bland, unemotional hockey coach until the last press conference after the last game of the Carolina Hurricanes' playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres. Shortly after the Hurricanes beat the Sabres on Thursday night to advance to the Stanley Cup final against the Edmonton Oilers, Laviolette came to the podium with an unopened bottle of wine. He sat it firmly on the table and said nothing about it at first.continued
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Fittingly, the physical testing portion of the NHL Draft Combine is located in a basement ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel. The entire program is a more condensed version than the more famous NFL combine, but according to E.J. Maguire, the Central Scouting Service's chief scout and host for this weeks combine, it provides an ideal measure of a player's physical ability to handle the athletic demands of playing the sport of hockey at an elite level. "We're here to give you the info you want," Maguire told the coaches. "Are we trying to mimic the NFL Combine? No. We're trying to design one to serve our own purposes and we believe this it." And what did the first victims think Friday morning when they finally came face-to-face with the beast from below? Who knows? Few had the lung power to issue even the most generic of judgments.read on...I wonder if these guys take the Wonderlic Test...
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.
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