Kukla's Korner Hockey
Phil Coffey of NHL.com weighs in with his Leafs preview,
Saying the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most scrutinized team in the NHL is like saying it gets cold in the winter outside the Air Canada Centre. Leafs Nation extends well beyond Toronto, so wins, losses, and player movements spark a hue and cry all over the landscape. So it wasn't surprising to hear Leafs Nation vent its collective spleen when veterans Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk split for Florida, followed by Brian Leetch's departure for Boston and Alexander Mogilny's return to New Jersey. Toss in the turmoil of Owen Nolan's departure from the Toronto scene and fans were hitting the panic button early and often.
from TSN, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Blues have signed a letter of agreement to sell the team and the lease to Savvis Center to businessman David Checketts. Blues President Mark Sauer would not confirm the deal to the paper, which was reportedly consummated Wednesday afternoon. The NHL Board of Governors has to approve the sale of any franchise in the league.
from the Vancouver Sun,
The biggest challenge of the 45-year-old's business career is to provide value to Canucks fans, who spend the equivalent of a week's grocery budget for a pair of seats and expect much in return. They want players to work hard. They demand entertaining hockey. They expect the team to win and they want a Stanley Cup, which has eluded Vancouver since the Canucks joined the NHL in 1970 and Aquilini took on Imperial Parking soon after. And the fans aren't much interested what it might cost the Canucks' new co-owner to provide all this. They should be, because Aquilini insists the team faces far tougher economics under the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement than it did under the old one. "The perception is, we're rolling in dough," Aquilini says. "It's actually the opposite. Financially, we're behind '03-04 because of the new CBA. It actually hurts us. It has made significant impact on us, but we're trying to cope."
from Broadcaster Magazine,
In its ongoing commitment to High Definition, TSN today announced an unprecedented initiative to produce and televise a record 27 of its 71 nationally televised NHL regular season games this year in High Definition on TSN HD, becoming the only Canadian broadcaster to air games in wide-screen HD format during the 2005-06 season. TSN's dedication to hockey in High Definition is strengthened by the fact that to-date, there has been only a handful of NHL games televised in HD by a Canadian network. TSN's NHL HD coverage gets underway on opening night (October 5) with a doubleheader, as two of the network's four scheduled games are available in High Definition.
from the Mercury News,
The NHL and Martha Burk, hurtling on separate paths toward sports irrelevance, on Wednesday unveiled a revolutionary plan in which they agree to share newspaper headlines. Sources hinted that a revenue-sharing plan could become part of the arrangement eventually, if either side has revenue to share. The heart of the deal is an NHL advertisement, scheduled to debut Saturday, that shows a woman in lingerie dressing a bare-chested hockey player. The woman appears in roughly four seconds of the 30-second spot. But that was enough to draw the ire of Burk, who made herself famous by trying to take the no-girls-allowed sign off Augusta National's treehouse and now plans to write a letter of protest to the NHL and NBC. ``I mean, is this great or what?'' NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. ``A week ago we're being grouped with arena football, Major League Soccer and the WNBA. Now we're mentioned alongside The Masters. The Masters! We couldn't buy publicity like that.
from the Daily News Journal,
Tomas Vokoun is prepared to play 82 games — if not more — this season. Just don't expect him to be the Nashville Predators' goalie every time they take the ice. The combination of a regular-season schedule altered by a three-week Olympic break and the Predators' playoff aspirations has Vokoun thinking about how and when he will have time to rest. "I guess I'm going to play a lot, but there's a difference between playing a lot and playing too much," he said. "Hurting, getting worn out — it's a tough mental game. Once in a while you need a night off and you need to kind of step away from hockey. We have a great backup goaltender. Everyone has total confidence in (Chris Mason). So we'll see how it goes. It's a matter of how you feel and communicate with the coaches."
from the Chicago Tribune,
Lost in the hand-wringing over the penalties called in exhibition games has been the impact of other changes the NHL is making this season to increase the flow and speed of play. While the zero-tolerance measures lurch along, the Blackhawks seem to approve of removing the red line, touch-up offsides, restrictions on where goalies can play the puck and barring line changes on icing. "It's great," winger Eric Daze said of allowing what formerly were two-line passes. "You have seen a lot of [scoring] chances. Especially on the power play, goalies are moving the puck and you go right back and almost have a breakaway or a two-on-one."
from the Buffalo News
, Sometimes, there's no point in beating around the bush. You see Dominik Hasek, 40 years old, sweat pouring off him after a meaningless gameday skate in late September, and you get right to the question. "Why are you still doing it?" I blurted out Wednesday afternoon at HSBC Arena. "There's still something to prove," Hasek said. "There is always something to prove, especially at my age. I feel there is something I can prove to some other people, and to myself."
from the Buffalo News,
Rob Ray, his back to the rink, craned his neck at the JumboTron before Wednesday night's preseason game between his former teams, the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. He had heard his name mentioned during the replay of a 1993 Sabres-Senators game and turned around in time to see a young version of himself pulverize Darcy Loewen into the glass. "I was pretty good then," he cracked. Ray's playing days are done now - officially. The Sabres' all-time tough guy deposited a $70,000 check that settled his lawsuit with the NHL Players Association. He sued the union after it informed him in November he had been classified as retired even though he hadn't filed the required paperwork. The union's stance denied him the $5,000 and $10,000 monthly lockout stipends paid to other players.
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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