Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
At 9:03 yesterday morning, with the players’ parking area at Mellon Arena nearly empty and his teammates possibly still home in bed, Sidney Crosby walked into the West Igloo Lounge and greeted about a dozen people.
He was sized up by two clothes stylists and shown some black duds hung on a rack and placed on tables.
This was no indulgent personal shopping spree for the popular Penguins captain. Crosby arrived for work early to devote more than an hour to ESPN The Magazine, which is doing photo shoots with several top-caliber athletes across the country in advance—well in advance—of its 10th anniversary issue in March.
The Chicago Blackhawks will name their new president today at a press conference at 12:00pm CT today.
I have been out of the loop for the last 18 hours due to a loss of internet access, so I haven’t heard much about this. Any ideas?
update 11:25am, via the AP,
Chicago Cubs president John McDonough resigned Tuesday after a little more than a year on the job and is expected to take a similar position with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks called an afternoon news conference to introduce their new team president.
from the Washington Post,
Hanlon became the target of a group of disgruntled fans, who late in the second period began booing and chanting, “Fire Hanlon.” Hanlon has been behind the bench since December 2003 and presided over some lean times for the franchise.
But this season was supposed to be different after an offseason spending spree added three veterans to a core that already included Kolzig, Alex Ovechkin and Semin, raising expectations.
But nearly a quarter of the way in, the Capitals find themselves with 13 points in 20 games, dead last in the league standings.
more (reg. req.)
The Caps still have some time to turn things around, but they better get it into gear quickly, or it could turn very ugly.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
“We are very together,” center Sergei Fedorov said earlier this month. “We know each other, we like each other, and we’re playing for each other, and that is not a small, little thing.
“Before you can do anything else in this league, first, you have to be a team.”
Now 20 games into the season, a pretty clear picture of the Blue Jackets has emerged.
more including Columbus could use more scoring…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Mere weeks after he broke Steve Moore’s neck and ended his career in a vicious on-ice attack, NHL star Todd Bertuzzi transferred the ownership of his million-dollar home in Kitchener to his wife Julie, a move Moore’s lawyers say in court documents was designed to “make Bertuzzi creditor-proof to the greatest extent possible.”
from the Mercury News,
The NHL’s Board of Governors will gather in Pebble Beach next week to ponder a new schedule format and pass judgment on the sale of the Nashville Predators to an investment group with strong Silicon Valley ties.
But don’t be surprised if conversations on the golf courses or in wood-paneled bars turn to trade talk.
“A lot of the G.M.s come out here, too,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said Monday. “Everybody seems to have the opportunity after 20 games to talk and revisit where they’re at.”...
The NHL rumor mill continues to link San Jose with other teams in potential trades. This week, there was a report in Ottawa that had Calgary General Manager Darryl Sutter trying to pry center Patrick Marleau away, but a source in the Sharks’ front office shot that down Monday, saying no one from the Flames had even inquired about the Sharks captain.
From Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Gonchar is not listed on its All-Star ballot. According to a league spokesperson, the hockey operations department has the final decision on the All-Star ballot, which was finalized at the end of October and based on performance from previous seasons.
Gonchar ranked second, eighth, first and second (tied) in scoring by defensemen after each of the past four seasons.
“And I would still definitely say he is underrated,” defenseman Ryan Whitney said. “But players know how good he is, and that is what is important to him.”
Gonchar is the only current defenseman to record at least 50 points in each of the past seven seasons. He has scored more goals (104) than any defenseman dating to 2000, and his 385 points during that span are second to only Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, who has 391.
Rossi also notes that Gonchar currently has 19 points through 20 games this season—tied for first among all NHL defensemen.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
There is no neutral zone on the subject of Sean Avery, former boyfriend to actress Elisha Cuthbert, suitor to Paris Hilton (he was shut out), member of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” contingent, provocateur in Toronto Nov. 10 in a pregame dustup that left Avery denying a rumor that he had ragged Jason Blake for having leukemia. Avery later said that that’s over the line.
For someone like him, everything is a fine line. It’s part of NHL strategy for a team to have someone who challenges players physically and tries to intimidate them verbally. Euphemisms refer to them as “pests” or “agitators.” They are different from “tough guys” or “enforcers,” who are known for using their fists, not their vocabularies.
This protocol is one of hockey’s quirks that non-fans find hard to understand. Maybe the sport would be more popular if more people took the time to love or hate the likes of Avery.
A friend of mine (not a Rangers fan) argues that—love him or hate him—Sean Avery is good for hockey in many ways. I’m not always sure, myself… but he certainly does does know how to draw a spotlight.
From Allen Panzeri at CanWest News,
To get Sherwood-Drolet to keep making his sticks in Canada, Spezza had to play his trump card as a longtime, valuable customer. He has been using the company’s sticks since his final years in junior hockey, and he’s also featured on the company’s home page.
“I made it clear with them that, if I was going to continue using their sticks, I wanted to make sure they were still made in the same place they’ve been made for the last seven, eight years,” Spezza said on Monday.
Spezza goes through 300+ sticks a season. As mentioned recently, Sherwood will be discontinuing its production of wooden sticks in Quebec, and having them made in China and Estonia starting in January.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
But judging by the early returns, the attempts to maintain the current schedule, led by Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils, will fail. Lamoriello’s dearly beloved concept of eight divisional games per year will be scrapped and reduced to six.
That frees up room to make sure that every team plays each other at least once. The existing format of playing the non-divisional teams in your conference four times — two in each venue — will stay.
So that will give us 24 divisional games, 40 conference games and 15 non-conference games. That’s a total of 79, which should be enough to determine which teams belong in the playoffs. But it’s three short of the existing total and you have to know that there’s no way the governors will voluntarily reduce revenue.
Therefore, the league will add three wild-card games.
Note: Presumably, none of this can be confirmed till after the NHL’s Governors meeting on November 29th. This issue was also addressed briefly by Bruce Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun yesterday
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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