Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the CP,
KITCHENER, Ont. -Being an NHL referee can be trying at times. But Cambridge native John Ashley never let the crowd get to him.
“My dad’s commentary was, `if they’re watching me, they’re missing one helluva good game,”’ Ashley’s daughter, Kristine Bailey, recalled. “I think I heard him say that hundreds of times.
“Most people don’t like officials. You either love them or hate them. He used to just laugh it off and say it’s apart of the game.”
Ashley, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and called more than 650 NHL games, died of heart failure Saturday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener. He was 77.
Mr. Ashley’s Biography at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Along the way the NHL has opened up to the best international players, joined the Winter Olympics (at least until it’s Russia’s turn to play host), and seen technology change the equipment players wear and the sweaters they put over their gear.
Have all the changes been for the better? Certainly not. Then again, nostalgia, by its nature, can be a deceitful bit of business and not to be trusted.
Here are 10 reasons why the hockey fan of today longs for yesterday:
1. We knew their faces:
No helmets, no face shields, a player could be identified without checking his number.
Not only could the Montreal Canadiens play on the ice, they also could act… well, the acting could be questioned.
Watch the videos…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
They’re back, so once again you can expect to hear about the Canadiens-Maple Leafs “rivalry.” The Rocket and everyone wearing a Leafs sweater. Eddie Shack and any Canadien who was within a stick-length of him. Dickie Moore and Frank Mahovlich.
“Hey, remember the time Dickie led a charge off the Canadiens bench after the Big M intentiallly shot the puck into Henri Richard’s face?” That was then and this is now - so what rivalry? The rivalry as we knew it was at its height in the six-team league and continued after the NHL’s first expansion and into the 1970s. Since then, it has gone the way of the grus Americana.
from Black Athlete,
Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.
“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.
He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.
“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.
Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week.
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 E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
The National Hockey League is very good at letting people know about its latest deal with any of the seemingly thousands of new media companies or any minor percentage jump in attendance or its D-list celebrity blogs.
However, when it comes to getting the word out about a special hockey night in a particular city, the league isn’t quite as adept.
That’s why most fans probably had no idea the Canadiens were having a very unique ceremony prior to Tuesday’s game against the Red Wings.
continued... E.J., you should have made a stop at KK yesterday, you would have known about it!
from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
The other reason I give Howe the edge over Gretzky is that you never heard him complain about the rough treatment he received from opponents. Howe didn’t need Dave Semenko riding shotgun. Opponents took on Howe at their peril and his elbows were legendary. He dropped the gloves often enough that he gave his name to the Gordie Howe hat trick, which consisted of a goal, an assist and a fighting major.
The gathering at centre ice last night wasn’t as emotional as some of the spectacles staged by the Canadiens, but it produced enough nostalgia for Howe to remark: “I feel like elbowing someone.”
a bit more and some other NHL talk…
Remember the KK post about a month ago called “Gordie Howe Is The Greatest Of Them All”? Well, if you enjoyed it I suggest you read Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette today,
Whether Detroit Red Wings Hall of Famer Gordie Howe was the greatest of them all, regardless of the record book, might forever be debated by hockey fans.
But in the spring of 1963, when Howe was celebrated in a hit song by Verdun’s Bob Davies, there was no doubt.
Tonight, the man they call Mr. Hockey will be joined by a handful of other Red Wings legends at the Bell Centre when the Canadiens pay tribute to one of their Original Six rivals, another special event on the road to the Habs’ 2009 centennial.
With the game being on Versus tonight, we can only hope they care enough about their fans that they show this pre-game tribute!
from Habs Inside/Out,
Tuesday’s Canadiens-Detroit Red Wings game will be preceded by a tribute to the 81-year rivalry between the two Original Six clubs.
The Red Wings are expected to be represented by legends Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Marcel Pronovost and Marcel Dionne. The Canadiens are expected to have icons Jean Béliveau and Dickie Moore taking part, with Jean-Guy Talbot, Stéphane Richer and Claude Lemieux.
added 9:20pm, Because KK member snafu brought up the name Lemieux…
check out the video…
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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