Kukla's Korner Hockey
"It's a tremendous honor. 'm excited to be a part of this summit and conference that they're having at the Vatican on sports and faith and service for humanity. I think it's going to be a tremendous opportunity to sit down with all different faiths and delegations from different sports and talk about the impact that sports has and faith has.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."
-Pat LaFontaine who will be traveling to Rome in early October for a sports global conference and will meet Pope Francis. John Vogl of the Buffalo News has more.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
The first sign something was wrong probably came in the fall of 2013. Scott Matzka was putting up drywall in his garage when a finger on his right hand locked up.
More signs appeared early in 2014. If he opened the middle console in his car and reached for something, his right forearm cramped. If he clenched his right hand into a fist, he couldn't release it easily.
He was 35 then, married with two young children in Kalamazoo, Michigan, starting a new job as a consultant in the auto industry. He was two years removed from a career as a professional hockey player that included a training camp with the Nashville Predators, still an athletic man who ran, lifted weights, played racquetball.
He was used to his body obeying orders better than the average person, but he also was in tune with his body more than the average person. So he started researching on the internet, plugging in his symptoms.
What kept popping up was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named for the New York Yankees great who died of the affliction in 1941, two weeks short of his 38th birthday.
“For the first time in my life, I find myself in unfamiliar territory. I am not happy about the situation I put myself into on Friday Night. I am a very proud person that accepts the responsibility of my actions and have always accepted being in the media eye. I have used this popularity to try and positively impact as many lives as possible. I am happy that no one was hurt in the accident and thank everyone who has reached out in support of my family and me. Please be patient as I go through this process and respect my family and my privacy.
Thank you all for your understanding.
– Ray Bourque
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ parent company is locked in a legal battle with rapper Snoop Dogg over his bid to trademark Leafs By Snoop, the musician’s new line of marijuana products.
Snoop, whose given name is Calvin Broadus Jr., filed a trademark application for Leafs By Snoop, with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office in November. His logo features the slogan in white lettering over top of a seven-leaf green plant, according to his trademark application, which was obtained by TSN.
Snoop said he planned to use the logo on products such as cigarette lighters.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment filed an opposition to Snoop’s logo on June 8, asking the Alexandria, Va.-based trademark office for more time to detail its opposition.
from Conor Heneghan of JOE,
There were any amount of examples of Irish and Swedish fans getting on swimmingly before their encounter in Paris on Monday; the communal singing of Abba songs providing the best example.
Before the madness of Monday, there was an encounter between Irish and Swedish fans in Quigley’s Point Bar in Paris and it was only after the encounter that the Irish fans realised that one of the Swedish party happened to have a very high profile indeed....
With plenty of Irish fans in attendance, it wasn’t long before a sing-song broke out and when a small group of Swedish fans passed by, some good-natured taunts were chanted in their direction.
We’ll let William take up the story.
“Finding this hilarious, the three Swedish lads decided to join us for a beer. After chatting to them for a bit, I found out that they were three brothers, the Nordströms, who were living around the world but had all come back for the Euros.
"The eldest of them, Joakim, happened to mention that he was a hockey player but at the time nothing more was thought of it. After a couple of more songs and a beer, the bar man in Quigley’s Point informed us that there was a drink for the house paid for by Joakim.
from Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends,
In the early 1980s the unofficial championship belt arguably belonged to Dave Semenko. The tough guy known as "Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard" was as big and strong and as feared as anyone on the rink.
So have you ever wondered what would happen if hockey's heavyweight champ got into a fight with boxing's heavyweight champ? Well that's exactly what happened on June 12th, 1983.
Some of the details about this three round exhibition are pretty sketchy. It turns out Mark Messier's uncle Larry was behind it all. He was always trying to promote something, and his idea of Hollywood celebrities playing the Oilers in a floor hockey match turned into a heavyweight battle between Semenko and Ali, who at 41 was just 5 years removed from his last title reign.
I turned to Semenko's excellent autobiography "Looking Out For Number One" and unearthed some more details, but I never did find out who won the fight. I've seen some online comments suggesting Semenko "acquitted himself nicely."
Semenko apparently trained quite hard for the event, training under Rocky Addison, a former Manitoba middleweight champion.
Watch the exhibiton bout below...
In a special edition of the opening montage, Hockey Night in Canada salutes Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip.
from CBC News,
In Mitch Albom's latest work of fiction, a Christian God has decided to wipe hockey off the face of the earth.
Such a notion might incite traditional fans of the sport to drop their gloves, while others turn to a more diplomatic debate.
Albom just hopes he gets a good laugh from audiences when they see his play, Hockey, the Musical!, which opened Thursday at City Theatre in Detroit.
from Milton J. Valencia of the Boston Globe,
Famed former pro hockey player Kevin Stevens, who was raised in Massachusetts and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was charged in federal court Thursday with conspiring to sell oxycodone....
He has battled substance abuse and entered the NHL Substance Abuse Program before retiring in 2002.
In a statement, his attorney, John J. Commisso of Jackson Lewis, P.C. in Boston, said that Stevens remains plagued with “injuries, pain, and other challenges.”
He said Stevens would contest the charges.
a bit more...
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