Kukla's Korner Hockey
William Houston of the Globe & Mail had an interesting tidbit buried in his column,
Versus, the U.S. cable channel, has extended its deal with the NHL through 2007-08. The Versus audiences are growing, up to about 195,000 a game, but far short of ESPN’s 416,000 average in 2003-04.
much more… including status of negotiations between the NHL, CBC and TSN for 2008-09
*Some analysis at The Ice Block who spotted this story earlier.
from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press (Friday edition) via the Mercury News,
The All-Star Game was on Versus. That’s a cable network. Or so I’m told.
This kind of thing can kill a sport’s national audience. But the NHL has high ambitions. The league apparently wants to kill its local audience, too.
How else can we explain 32 Red Wings games against Chicago, Columbus, St. Louis and Nashville? Three of those teams stink.
Unbalanced scheduling is how they do it in baseball. But here is the difference:
People like watching baseball.
Before you send me gasoline-drenched e-mails, let me explain: I understand that some people think hockey is the greatest sport ever. Others (like me) enjoy it, especially live, and especially in the playoffs.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
It is not yet official and probably won’t be for another week or two, but it looks like Steve Yzerman will be the general manager of Team Canada at the 2007 World Championship in Russia.
The recently-retired superstar, who is now a vice-president with the Detroit Red Wings, has had several conversations about the job with Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson.
from the China Daily,
“Our goal is to find a ‘Yao Ming’ for China’s ice hockey team,” said Angela Ruggiero, director of Project Hope, initiated by Charles B. Wang, owner of National Hockey League (NHL) team New York Islanders.
The project was launched in August last year, and over the next five years it will aim to establish a China Ice Hockey Training Centre, three Women’s Ice Hockey Training Bases, 30 primary and 10 middle schools under Ice Hockey Project Hope.
So far, the project has involved eight schools in Harbin, Qiqihar and Jiamusi, three major cities in northeast China’s Herlongjiang province.
Anaheim Ducks Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations and Portland Pirates General Manager Bob Murray announced that the team has signed defenseman Eric Weinrich to a professional tryout (PTO) agreement, effective Thursday, January 25th.
“The Anaheim organization gave me the opportunity to stay in hockey and stay in Maine this summer as a coach. It was a great chance for me to stay in the game I love and settle the family in Maine,” said Weinrich. “Now, Kevin Dineen and the Anaheim Ducks presented me with the scenario of becoming a player. To live at home, not change the daily routine much and still have the same home with my family has made the decision almost a no-brainer. I still have the desire to compete and I would love to win in Portland.”
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren on Thursday said the following about a report involving center Peter Forsberg talking with the Colorado Avalanche about a possible return to his old team from the Flyers.
“Colorado is a team that has asked about [Peter Forsberg], and our stance all along has been that when we get to that point with Peter, we will get to that point. But, we haven’t gotten to that point.
“I have talked to Peter a few times but not about a) whether he wants to be traded and b) if he does, where do you want to go? So, our focus has been with getting his skate/foot issues fixed and possibly doing something with the Flyers on a longer term. All of this other stuff, in my opinion, is a bunch of [nonsense] stirred up by whoever.”
Media and fans always have their say on NHL players. So, in the spirit of All-Star week, we took it to the players. We contacted all 30 teams and asked them the following questions. The only stipulation: Players could not use anyone from their teams for their answers. We heard from 141 players, or roughly 20 percent of active players. Here’s what they told us:
continued... Laraque was voted toughest player…
from NBCSports.com’s Debbie Elicksen:
[A] new skate blade technology will soon impact the league. A handful are testing it right now: CT Edge Skate Design (see www.ctedge.com). The innovative skate blade makes a huge difference in glide and the slight flare at the bottom makes the blade less hollow, which means less plow into the sometimes soft NHL ice. Players can turn hard without losing their edge.
The “Edge” blade is intriguingly simple design—bevelled-out the edges on skate blades distribute a player’s weight over a larger surface area, which reduces friction. The skate doesn’t “bite” as deeply into the ice, so less skating energy’s lost from friction. The wider distribution of weight on turns also increases maneuverability.
from Ansar Khan at Mlive,
Forward Mikael Samuelsson has a broken right foot and will miss at least two weeks, Wings coach Mike Babcock said Thursday. He said it happened when Samuelsson blocked a shot in Saturday’s game in Colorado, but the club didn’t know it was broken until he had X-rays taken on Thursday.
from the Denver Channel,
7Sports has confirmed Peter Forsberg talked with Colorado Avalanche officials about returning to the team this season.
It has gone horribly wrong in Philadelphia and Forsberg wants to come back to the team he helped win two Stanley cups.
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