At the beginning of December, I let it be known that I would be going through change with respect to my blogging. At first, I thought it might only be due to the fact that I was entering the charged and key final term of my mechanical engineering undergraduate career. The very career that opened me to my three great interests: engineering leading me to writing and editorial roles, and those roles leading me to hockey.
To complete this educational career phase, I thought that I should focus on my education to the near exclusion of the other two. Not long into that decision, however, hockey insisted that if I had to focus on engineering, it would complete the circle and insert itself right into the thick of all things engineering related.
My personal life would not likely interest many readers here, and so I seldom spoke of it. But those readers I have might wonder where I have been.
That, and there might be a pique of curiosity in those who wonder how engineering, university research, and composite hockey sticks fit into the discussion on Kukla’s Korner.
The Senators trim their roster by 16, and Chris Phillips reminisces about dreams gone sour for Redden, but first. . .
The small-rink atmosphere added an intriguing new element to preseason National Hockey League action here Tuesday, but it still added up to an agonizing night for more than a dozen Ottawa Senators hopefuls after a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Goaltender Robin Lehner and defenceman Patrick Wiercioch made the decisions tougher. Both made glaring mistakes, but bounced back and should survive at least another few days in Ottawa.
“It’s in their hands and hopefully you just make it as tough as you can on them,” Wiercioch said of the Senators’ pending decisions. “You have to show them that you want to be here, that you’re willing to work for that spot on the team and that you can probably do something on the team that another guy can’t right now.”
Losing 5 feet of width and 10 feet of length, knowing that cuts were coming immediately following last night’s game, and having no real veteran support should have served well to light a fire under those players without an NHL ticket already punched.
Where do we fit in?
That is the question bloggers have been trying to answer, and that the NHL and its teams have been trying to sort out, looking rather discombobulated in their varied approaches. Currently under discussion is a new credentialing policy, leaked by Yahoo! Sports, which according to different sources seems to be under closer scrutiny at this point. Officially they are rules of thumb for teams wondering how to get into blogger credentialing, and the individual teams would appear to control their buildings and access to them at the moment.
But really, what is it that the League has to be afraid of, and what consequences of credentialed blogger actions are they envisioning?
Another possible stop for Cheechoo, another possible shot at an Ottawa All-Star Game, but first. . .
Congrats to my old #Fla broadcast partner Denis Potvin the NEW #Sens TV ANALYST! Denis see U New Years Eve here vs #CBJ.
As much as a defensive pairing, the right broadcast mix can make or break a game on television and radio.
It’s been a whirlwind few days here in Montreal for me, an incredible experience being around the teams we love, the media who keep us in the loop, and the players we’ll soon be cheering (or jeering) for years to come.
A few last thoughts for the day, for the Senators, for what faces the media, and just for the fun of it.
Two days after he publicly ripped Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock, Commodore turned his attention to current Ottawa Senators’ general manager Bryan Murray who brought him to Ottawa and briefly coached the blueliner last season.
“Bryan Murray said some things to the media that he shouldn’t have,” Commodore told the Dispatch. “I’d have a meeting with him and he’d end up saying things to the media that he wouldn’t say to my face.
“I’m struggling, the team’s struggling, and Bryan’s telling the media that I’m a player with no hands and no ability. Then they’d come to me and I’d have to spin it somehow, or try to laugh it off.”
“But when I go around the room and ask the other defensemen how we play in our own zone, and I get six different answers how am I supposed to fit in?
“I was excited when I first got there. I thought we were going to the (Stanley) Cup Finals. What they were trying to do, I had accomplished. And then they brought me in there during my unrestricted year and demoted me? That’s more than a little tough to take.”
And that, well, that got me to thinking…
Wednesday marks the final slate of games before the All-Star break. While the All-Star game gets much of the attention, for fans of the sport itself, Saturday will provide a good dose of skill and even some excitement, if it’s executed well. I look forward to witnessing the excitement up close and personal in a week.
Without a doubt, the introduction of the Breakaway Challenge last year had a lot of people (players included) scratching their heads as the League attempted to duplicate the gasp-worthy athletics and style of the NBA Slam Dunk contest. This year, however, players seem to be taking the event a little more (ie. less) seriously.
That, contradiction or not, is what will give you reason to watch, even if it’s after the fact on YouTube. Already, the competitors are getting ready to put on a show, as the video will show.
Nineteen days to go until the All-Star Game. Nine years (eight seasons) since the game was last held in Canada (Toronto).
Looking forward to the event, telling some friends, perhaps the most shocking (and common) question I received was a variant of the following:
“What’s the All-Star Game?”
Shocking, not because you might suspect that being in Canada near Toronto should erase all questions about the game, from the obvious to the obscure, but because I’m not really sure how clearly you can answer that.
With the Winter Classic fanfare fading from a loud roar to discussions of the future, the NHL turns its sights now to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal happening in just under three weeks.
For the official news and stories, you can hop to the official 2009 NHL All-Star Game website.
For unofficial news and stories, I will be attending on behalf of KK, and will post my own thoughts and other related stories in the weeks leading up to and during the event on my blog here at KK.
Tis the season to be jolly, be merry, and of course to have wish lists for those shiny boxes under the tree come Christmas morn.
Like some children asking for a pony, or like me every time I asked for a car, some wish lists go unfilled, but just like the gifts themselves, the wishing and hoping is important. If not for now, then in some cases at least for later.
With that, I continue writing my NHL wish list, five things I’d like to see from the League that I believe will benefit not only fans, but the players and the League as well. Today, it’s about spreading the good word.
My NHL Christmas Wish List thus far:
Better out-of-arena viewing options for fans
Better and more accessible statistics
Better direction with the next CBA to heal and even grow the League
Better approach to League discipline, suspensions, and acceptable conduct
Today’s item: Better advertising for our game
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at email@example.com