Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
I’m working on a project where I need to study old playoff scoring stats, so the NHL’s stats whiz Greg Inglis has been digging in its archives and he sent me a batch, which I’ll now share with you. These stats aren’t readily available elsewhere. They’re not in the NHL Offiicial Guide and Record Book.
So, here we go, Top Five Stanley Cup playoffs scoring stats 1927-49.
NHL PLAYOFF POINTS LEADERS, 1927-1949
from the Examiner,
Resch, who resides in Lyndhurst during the hockey season, signed copies of his new book, “Chico Resch’s Tales from the Devils Ice,” which he penned with Holmdel-native Michael Kerwick….
Donna Stralkus, a Devils fan from East Brunswick, said she is eager to read Resch’s book.
“I’m interested in the locker room stories and the stuff you don’t catch on the sports pages,” she said.
Kerwick said that the book is an inside look at the Devils team from the perspective of a former player who was with the team during its first four years in the Garden State.
“It’s a collection of stories from Chico’s time with the Devils to his times announcing Devils games, and all of the games in between,” he said.
If you are interested in the book, “Chico Resch’s Tales from the Devils Ice,” it is available at Amazon.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
The network has highlights of every game—every night and every morning; miles of NHL Productions footage, heretofore wasting away on shelves and unseen by the masses; special presentations; and, yes, vintage games shown in their entirety. It’s all a hockey fan needs….
And with the NHL Network showing those vintage games, it gives me the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while—blog a game from the past.
So, here we go. The game is between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs from Jan. 2, 1971.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
MARVELVILLE—The road from this hamlet south of Ottawa to Montreal goes east and north to Hwy. 417. For Larry Robinson, it was paved with the work ethic of a farmer’s son.
Broke after his first year in pro hockey, and with a young wife and son, Robinson worked on the paving crew—7 a.m.-7 p.m.—on the 417 between Russell and Maxville in the summer of 1972.
Robinson made just $7,500 the previous winter playing for the Canadiens’ AHL farm team in Halifax. With wife Jeannette and son Jeffrey, money was stretched thin, especially when the team went on a long playoff run and won the Calder Cup.
Update 5:25pm ET: (alanah) From The Hockey News,
If the Montreal Canadiens keep retiring the numbers of everyone who deserves it, they’ll look more like a football team than a hockey team in a few years.
The Canadiens, who do these ceremonies far better than anyone else in the NHL (are you watching, Maple Leafs?) are set to retire their 12th number Monday night when Larry Robinson’s No. 19 is raised to the rafters of the Bell Centre. That will be followed by Bob Gainey’s No. 23 in February with it all but certain the Canadiens will retire Patrick Roy’s No. 33 next season when they celebrate their 100th anniversary.
Update 8:22pm ET: (alanah) via TSN:
Montreal Canadiens fans had waited a long time to give Larry Robinson the ovation he received Monday night, and they weren’t going to sit down until they were good and ready.
Robinson joined 12 other Canadiens legends when his No. 19 was retired and raised to the Bell Centre rafters before Montreal’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Robinson received an ovation of several minutes when he was first introduced to the crowd, and he tried sitting down to get the fans to stop. But they refused, continuing for several more minutes despite Robinson’s repeated attempts to get them to sit down.
More photos here.
*original time of post 8:28 a.m. ET. Last update 5:22pm ET
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