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Saturday Hockey Talk

It’s time for the weekly edition of the Inside Hockey Radio Show with hosts James Murphy and Todd Carroll.  Here’s a note from Murph, for anyone in Montreal today:

This week we are live from Montreal and the 2009 NHL All Star celebration! We will be broadcasting from the XM stand under the “All Star Jamboree Tent” across from the Bell Centre and we will be joined by numerous NHL stars in person. So if you’re in Montreal this Saturday, do drop by the “Jamboree” tent to say hello and listen to some good hockey talk.

The show is on the air from 2-4pm ET on NHL Hockey Ice XM 204, on TEAM 990 and YouCastr.com.  You can call in at 1-877-645-6696 or email radio@insidehockey.com.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, inside+hockey, media

Transcript of Q&A with Sidney Crosby in Montreal

Transcript courtesy of the NHL.

Q. Just, I guess, a comment from you on your decision to come here this weekend. There’s been some talk that perhaps if you didn’t come, you wouldn’t be eligible to play in the Penguins’ next game.

        SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, my plan was to come here from the moment that I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to play due to injury. I’d had a talk with Gary Bettman as to the capacity of me being here, what it was going to be.

        I obviously wanted to be here, but still want the focus to be on the guys that are here, too, and not the fact that I’m coming.

        I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m probably not here playing like I would like to be, but it’s the second-best thing and I’m happy to be here anyway.

        Q. Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom will be kept out of their next game on Tuesday evening. How do you feel about that? And did you and Gary discuss that if you didn’t come and take part in some of the events, that that would be the issue for you? And I think you play Wednesday next week.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, interview, sidney+crosby, transcript

Check Out the Skills Events

The Hockey News’ Charlie Teljeur considers those aspects of the All Star Weekend that he’s most looking forward to:

Alex Ovechkin is planning a move so theoretical people are asked to wear protective eyewear and everyone who enters the arena that night will be given a vile of insulin.

And while there are a myriad of these (ahem) events that night, my personal favorites (the ones I’ll stay awake for) are the Martin St-Louis Distance Toss and Drunk Goalie Leap Frog.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

Ending the ASG

From Damien Cox in The Spin:

If the NHL Players Association has its way, we may soon see the end of the NHL All-Star Game as an annual event.

The union, you see, has a grander plan, one in which an annual break in the NHL season would take place every February, and depending on the year it would be filled by the Olympics, a World Cup, an all-star game or perhaps a spectacular hockey convention.

“It would be a win for everybody,” said former NHL goaltender and broadcaster Glenn Healy, now the NHLPA’s director of player affairs. “We’ve got to sell the game.”

read on

*hat-tip to SI’s Fan Nation

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, nhlpa, world+cup

Morning Line

“I don’t think I’ve played good enough to be an All-Star.  I’m not mad or sad or anything. I just haven’t played good enough.”

-Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg, henrik+zetterberg

SuperSkills 2009

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2009)—The game’s most dazzling shootout artists will attempt to wow the voting public in the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge and the classes of 2007-08 and 2008-09 will battle for youthful supremacy when NHL All-Star Weekend gets underway with the 2009 Honda/NHL All-Star SuperSkills Competition Saturday night, Jan. 24, at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

    The realigned NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck and the fan-judged Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge will join SuperSkills mainstays such as the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater,  McDonald’s NHL Accuracy Shooting and Cisco NHL Hardest Shot competitions to determine the League’s best in various disciplines. The evening will culminate with the best hockey players in the world doing what they’ve done to end practices ever since shortly after their parents first tied their skates: engage in an elimination shootout contest that won’t end until there’s only one man left unstopped.

Note: Competition results for 1990-2008 noted below.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: asg

ASG Voting is Tightening in the Eastern Conference

New York (December 16, 2008) – Sidney Crosby has won a Hart Trophy and an Art Ross Trophy. He has won a Winter Classic with a shootout goal and captained his team to a Stanley Cup Final. Now, he is threatening to break Jaromir Jagr’s all-time record for the most votes received in one year of NHL All-Star fan balloting.

        As of 7 a.m. today, Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin were running 1-2 among Eastern Conference forwards in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game Jan. 25 in Montreal. With a little more than two weeks remaining until voting ends Jan. 2, Crosby had received a League-high 793,995 votes – with Malkin in hot pursuit with 715,663.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

All Star Game Voting in the West

New York (December 3, 2008) – The Calgary Flames and NHL Winter Classic 2009 host Chicago Blackhawks heat up the Western Conference XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. Meanwhile, Red Wings fans continue to vote in droves to support their Stanley Cup champions.

Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom extended his dominance in the balloting among defensemen by gaining over 75,000 votes last week to remain, for the second week in a row, the highest Western Conference vote-getter. Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf has a stronghold on second place, while Wings’ Brian Rafalski (135,074)is holdingoff Chicago’s Brian Campbell (133,265) for third place among defensemen.   

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, hockey+fans

All Star Canadiens Getting a Challenge From Pens Fans

New York (December 2, 2008) – Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
       
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.

As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+tanguay, alexei+kovalev, all+star+game, asg, evgeni+malkin, hockey+fans, saku+koivu, sidney+crosby

Quit Whining About All-Star Voting

From Scott Morrison at CBC:

The league will still make sure that best players are represented in the game. Chances are at least a couple of those Canadiens would make it any way.

It’s curious that a game, the all-star game, that is annually mocked and criticized for what it is, can muster so much emotion from people.

There is, of course, a simple way to solve the problem, or at least attempt to solve the problem. Turn on the computer and vote. Often.

Otherwise take a valium.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

Your NHL ASG Starting Lineup

From an NHL press release today:

If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens home game—or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.

One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre Jan 25.

So the current starting lineup is: Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price.

Below is the complete list of Eastern Conference nominees and their current voting numbers:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

No Issues With ASG Voting

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

No one has been able to make the NHL All-Star Game a meaningful exercise for going on two decades now, no matter how much they tweaked and adjusted and tried to convince you that the light-hearted shinny they play bears even a reasonable facsimile to the way the game is played, night-after-night, through a gruelling 1,230-game regular season.

Given how that is not going to change this year either, even though the All-Star Game is being played in the cradle of hockey – Montreal – in January, I have little issue with the fact that Canadiens’ fans are doing such a good job of guaranteeing that all six of their candidates for the All-Star team may crack the starting line-up.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg

Habs Lose Some ASG Votes

from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,

Late last week, the NHL said it was studying the legitimacy of this Habs runaway, the rules stating that automated voting activity is prohibited. Saturday into yesterday morning, it stripped thousands of votes from the Canadiens, as many as 20,000 from Kovalev alone if you’re to believe the “real-time” totals.

But then, does it really matter? The All-Star Game long ago took a fork in the road from its original purpose and much of its relevence.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg

Staying One-Step Ahead

from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,

As part of his Saturday morning routine - a glass of prune juice, The Red Line, three antacid tablets - Bettman carefully parses EEEEE-mail. When he reads about this scam, the commish will bring it to the attention of the league’s top computer nerds. Bettman will put the NHL’s finest minds - people whose SAT scores were even better than Kerry Fraser’s - on the case.

They’ll adjust the voting procedure to counteract the Great Montreal Conspiracy. And then some teenager in Dollard will figure out how to circumvent the new system.

It’s all a joke, but no more ludicrous than the All-Star Game itself,

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg

Final Words on the ASG

From Ray Slover at the Sporting News,

Young talent is, like cream, rising to the top. And like cream, it’s pretty sweet. They may struggle a bit with English, but Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar and other 20-something foreign-born players have a language all their own. Better yet, it’s a common language, one shared by Eric Staal, Rick Nash and the cast of characters who have something to say. And it comes across loud and clear, even without poster-boy Sidney Crosby on the scene.

We saw plenty of the NHL’s future here and it, like the Georgia morning sun, is bright.

From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,

It has been very easy and convenient to rip the NHL All-Star Game for, oh, the past 20 years or so, but for at least one night, the league and its players seemed to grasp the importance of showcasing its stars by actually staging a competitive game.

______________

Update 9:04pm ET: The THN story above was changed since I originally linked it.  An important feature near the top of the piece was Campbell’s concern about access to Eric Staal after the game.  There has been some suggestion that the original article was altered. Perhaps not a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning now because the allegations prompted this official response from Mike Sundheim of the Carolina Hurricanes later in the day.

______________

Finally, below is a transcript from post-game Q&A’s with All Star MVP Eric Staal and goalie Tim Thomas.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, atlanta+2008

Alfredsson Having Fun

From David Shoalts in the Globe & Mail blog,

“The game itself is the most fun,” he said on Friday. “Skills competition, I can’t say that I enjoy too much because I’m not really good at anything. The game is the most fun.”

Even more fun, Alfredsson said on Saturday, is just being at the game.

“It’s an ego trip, to be honest” he said. “Everyone tells you how great you are.”

more… on the skills event and thoughts on showboating.

note: a reminder that Steve will be hosting a LiveChat when the skills competition starts.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, daniel+alfredsson, ottawa+senators, skills+event

ASG Memories: 1991 Chicago

1991 All-Star Game – January 19, 1991, Chicago Stadium: Just days into the Persian Gulf war, the Chicago faithful saluted their country during the U.S. anthem.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, chicago+blackhawks

Tim Thomas Conference Call Transcript

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas participated in a NHL conference call with the media today.  His current record is 15-11-3 with one shutout, and his 2.38 GAA and .927 save percentage leads all NHL goaltenders.

Here is the transcript of the Q & A session.

Q.  I think for a lot of us, you’re sort of the poster boy for determined belief in yourself.  It’s been a long haul, and at one point there wasn’t room in the National Hockey League for you and now they have to make room for you in the All-Star Game.  Can you talk about this whole long experience that you’ve gone through?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, conference+call, media, tim+thomas

Jazzing Up the All Star Game

From Scott Morrison at CBC,

A big part of it will be what they are calling a creative shootout, where players will be asked to perform wild and crazy shootout techniques and will be judged by a panel of celebrities, including Wilkins and Glavine, as well as some retired NHL stars. The idea is similar to a slam-dunk contest in basketball and, if it is done well, should be fun.

Yes, it is hokey and it isn’t purebred hockey, but what the hell? The whole idea of the skills night is about entertainment and in recent years, well, it hasn’t been very entertaining. So give the league, which has been working closely with the players’ association, credit for trying.

more… covering the various changes to the game this year

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

ASG Captains—Iginla and Lecavalier

NEW YORK (Jan. 17, 2008)—Right wing Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and center Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning have been named team captains for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, Sunday, Jan. 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio), the National Hockey League announced today.

Iginla, making his fourth career All-Star game appearance, will lead the Western Conference. Lecavalier, skating in his third All-Star Game, will represent the East. Each player, on-pace to record a career-high scoring total this season, was voted to the starting lineups in All-Star fan balloting.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, jarome+iginla, vincent+lecavalier

Mike Richards Conference Call Transcript

Today, the NHL and the Philadelphia Flyers made Mike Richards available for a media teleconference. Below is the text of that Q&A session.

Q.  Does it get any better than finalizing a 12-year contract extension and being named an All-Star in the span of two months?

MIKE RICHARDS:  I don’t know, it’s been a pretty big season getting the privilege to play in an All-Star Game, it’s pretty exciting.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg, media, mike+richards, philadelphia+flyers

YoungStars Roster Announced

NEW YORK (Jan. 15, 2008)— Rookie scoring leader Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and first-year defenseman Tobias Enstrom of the All-Star host Atlanta Thrashers headline the 16 ‘NHL YoungStars’ invited to the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend, the National Hockey League announced today.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, youngstars+even

Mike Richards Conference Call Transcript

Today, the NHL and the Philadelphia Flyers made Mike Richards available for a media teleconference. Below is the text of that Q&A session.

Q.  Does it get any better than finalizing a 12-year contract extension and being named an All-Star in the span of two months?
MIKE RICHARDS:  I don’t know, it’s been a pretty big season getting the privilege to play in an All-Star Game, it’s pretty exciting.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: asg, media, mike+richards, philadelphia+flyers

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