Kukla's Korner


Senators Hope For Success With All-Star(s)

Another possible stop for Cheechoo, another possible shot at an Ottawa All-Star Game, but first. . .

From a Jeff Rimer tweet (also on KK), the apparent replacement for the departed-to-HNIC Garry Galley,

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.

Garry Galley’s voice would beckon me to question what was going on during the games he’d cover, inspiring a curiosity just with his intonation, but always backing it up with an observation of the non-tired-quote variety. Potvin brings with him as much experience on the ice (retired as the NHL leader in goals, assists, and points as a defence man) as off it (having broadcasted with the Panthers since their inception a year after the Senators.

I still feel that goalies and defence men make for the better start as commentators, from their natural position on the ice in watching the game develop. Either way, it will be interesting to see (or more accurately, hear) how Potvin turns out, likely alongside Dean Brown, for Senators games this season. At the very least, likely to be a better debut than mine.

From the Dallas Stars (and KK), on Jonathan Cheechoo’s next shot,

Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that right wing Jonathan Cheechoo has accepted an invitation to attend the Dallas Stars’ training camp for a tryout.

“We’re pleased that Jonathan has accepted our invitation to come to our training camp,” Nieuwendyk said. “He has shown the ability to be an effective scorer in this league. He’s a competitor and we’re going to give him an opportunity.”

Considering the man, as big on effort as in heart, you hope for the best. Considering the career turn, from a 56-goal high coming out of the lockout to the bottom of a consistent fall that saw him net just 5 goals last season, you expect a little bit less. Good luck to Cheechoo, and here’s hoping that being back in his old haunt’s division, playing his replacement six nights a year, might be able to put a spur in his boots. Failing that, here’s hoping that the chance to put pressure on the still-unsigned 22-year old RFA James Neal and still-unsigned 37-year old Jere Lehtinen, along with some hip-helping warm off-ice weather, might just reverse some of his fortunes.

From the Ottawa Sun, on Ottawa’s shot at the 2011-12 All-Star Game,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be in Ottawa for a Sept. 15 luncheon at the Chateau Laurier, along with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray.

League sources say Bettman could use the forum to confirm the Senators and City of Ottawa will host the NHL all-star weekend for the first time — from Jan 26-29, 2012.

That would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Senators’ re-entry into the league in 1992-93. In February, more than 25 teams made bids for the 2011-12 all-star weekends.

While the Toronto Maple Leafs, who hosted the weekend in 2000, also made a bid for the 2012 game, Ottawa is the only Canadian city that has never hosted the premier event. League sources say Melnyk was promised an all-star weekend by Bettman after Scotiabank Place hosted the draft in 2008. The club also held a scaled-down version of the draft in 2005 at the Westin Hotel.

The lockout took away two events from two cities: the entire All-Star Game from Phoenix, and all but a scaled-down, barely noticeable but for Crosby Draft from Ottawa. While Phoenix still waits to see its missed opportunity repaid (and likely will until things settle down), Ottawa received the draft in 2008. Between Montreal getting to host both events in 2009 and Ottawa being the final Canadian NHL city to have never hosted an All-Star Game, the fit seems right.

It does, however, leave you wondering about the presentation, outside of the main event. For one, what to make of the now missing component, the 200,000 sq. ft. of convention centre required for the event, being that it is located nowhere near (to be precise, 23 km near) Scotiabank Place. While in Montreal you could stroll just as easily between the hotel, the fan and media events, and the Bell Centre itself, Ottawa will offer no such luxury, and instead of being able to check out the exhibits leading up to the game, fans will spend their time in a car or bus, trekking out to the Bank, once again reminding us all just how sprawled the city is, and maybe what a winning MLS bid from Melnyk might also have been able to bring to the area around the Senators’ barn.

You wonder, too, which route the installations will take. Will they be primarily of the generic hockey and fandom variety? Or is there a chance that the Senators will insist that Ottawa’s history be on display — the original, double-digit Cup-winning team, what it brought to the League, and what brought it down for decades — without the same sheepish reluctance the team has had in adopting the “O” logo more prominently, for fear that it become a zero-like joke of Buffaslug proportions.

Here’s hoping that pride wins out over prejudice.

Filed in: NHL Media, NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | SENShobo | Permalink


Da lil Guy's avatar

The rumour I’ve heard flying around is that the All Star game announcement will also include an announcement that the much maligned scoreboard at the Sc’ank will be replaced with something more modern.

Good to see you’re ramping up the posts before the season starts, SH.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 09/07/10 at 05:33 PM ET

SENShobo's avatar

The Montreal board definitely had a noticeable difference in its appearance. Better ways to get in and out of the Bank - public or private transit-wise - would be first in my book. Usually takes the entire Team 1200 post-game show to get onto the highway.

Posted by SENShobo from Waterloo, ON on 09/08/10 at 01:27 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

My strategy is usually to go for a drink/bite after the game and wait for the crowds to clear out. However, one time when I chose to take the bus to the game this strategy backfired and left me stranded when I emerged from the silver seven to find that the last bus to my area had left.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 09/09/10 at 12:50 PM ET

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About SENShobo

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 talkingstick@petshark.net