Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Connolly of the Daily News,
On the one hand are the hockey purists and more learned observers found mostly in Canada who like the game played hard and clean at high speeds.
On the other hand is the vastly larger number of American fans less enthused about game quality than physical violence, with insatiable appetites for bare-knuckle brawling.
With only six Canadian governors out of 30 sitting at the NHL board making decisions concerning the direction of the league, guess which side wins?
A prime example of how influential one governor can be is Bettman confidante and boardroom bully Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that has reinvented itself as the 1970s’ Broad Street Bullies.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
Latchford didn’t know a whole lot about Downie when she opened her Peterborough, Ontario, home to him two years ago. She had heard about his on-ice fight with junior teammate, Akim Aliu, but other than that, she knew very little.
But as their relationship grew, so did Latchford’s affection and appreciation for Downie.
She was there for him when he lost a 19-year-old friend to leukemia and a 20-year-old friend to meningitis. She has seen a side to Downie very few people in the hockey world has seen.
“He’s been through a lot, but he doesn’t want anybody to feel sorry for him because he lost his father,” Latchford said from her home in Peterborough. “Other kids have been through things, too, but nobody knows about them because they’re not in the limelight.”
But No trades!!!
Spector breaks down the latest trade talk. More denials than actual trades these days.
from Devon O’Neil of the Boston Globe,
By 1996, most of the sports world - and, for that matter, the rest of the world - had forgotten about Willie O’Ree. Which explains how he found himself working in San Diego at the historic Hotel del Coronado as a security guard, making about $9 an hour, a soft-spoken black man with gray wisps of hair from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, creeping through his 60s politely and privately.
Every so often, O’Ree would bump into someone who knew who he was. Like the time before he took the job at the hotel, when he was assigned to work security for Michael Jordan at a pro-am golf tournament. Jordan grinned when he saw O’Ree. He knew he’d been the first black man ever to take the ice in an NHL game, that he was, as it’s said, the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”
read on (take some time out to read this lengthy story) & more hockey bits.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
Their lives will be a mad jumble of airports, buses, hotel lobbies and restaurants.
They’ll bump into such recognizable faces as Jonathan Toews, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Olli Jokinen, Rod Brind’Amour and Rick Nash along the way….
The Flames will either return in a little under two weeks time still very much in the mix in a Western Conference that’s looking more and more like one of those ‘50s campus stuff-the-telephone-booth fads, or find themselves staring at an empty Yuletide stocking.
Christmas is always the close of the unofficial first half of any season. A chance to stop momentarily, inhale, and take stock of what’s gone right or wrong, individually and collectively. For a team stutter-stepping along, groping around in the dark, piling inconsistency upon inconsistency, a disastrous road swing just before the spiked-eggnog break could prove catastrophic.
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The temptation has been there for Blackhawks coach Denis Savard ever since Martin Havlat returned from his shoulder injury.
And on Friday, Savard decided to go for it—so he put his three most skilled players on the same line. Havlat skated with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the 5-3 loss to Anaheim and the trio is expected to stay together for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at the United Center.
“It’s a lot of skill,” Savard said. “The three of them are great players, and I think it’s going to work out beautiful.”
from the Montreal Gazette,
Carbonneau, who called a practice this morning on what was supposed to have been a day off, was at a loss to explain the Canadiens’ problems at home.
“It should be the opposite,” he said. “Maybe it’s the distractions, maybe we try to do too much.” Christopher Higgins said the Canadiens play a simpler game on the road.
“When we get home, we get away from that. Maybe we’re trying to please the fans, but the effort isn’t there.”
via the Edmonton Journal,
Knowing Bergeron could be gone for the year, and on long-term injury reserve, the Bruins can get a break on their cap issues. They only need a rental for a year. They could probably have the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sergei Fedorov, who has $4 million US left on his contract.
from the News & Observer,
What may be the most anticipated road game of the Carolina Hurricanes’ season will be played in a television void when the Hurricanes visit the tonight.
FSN South, Carolina’s local rightsholder, will be showing a Top 50 touchdowns countdown when the Canes take the ice at 5 p.m. because the network chose to air the ACC game between Boston College and Maryland at 7:30 p.m. instead.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
Somebody explain to me why the holiday gift shops aren’t filled with posters featuring Aaron Voros, Stephane Veilleux, Todd Fedoruk, Sean Hill, Matt Foy and Branko Radivojevic - all brandishing wrenches and toilet plungers.
The plumbers are the coolest thing going in the Twin Cities these days. I can’t believe the Wild haven’t figured out a way to cash in.
Another thing: The above-mentioned dirty half-dozen should be instructed to play hockey with their breezers riding low in back. Then when they bend over to take a slap shot, well, trademark plumbers’ crack. It could lead to a whole new line of active sportswear. Suddenly, the ultra-finesse Wild are becoming known for something else. There is grit sprinkled throughout the lineup, and the fans are loving it. The opposition is not so happy.
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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