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|When Worlds Collide||Dec 19, 2004||Sarah Green|
|Last week I read in the paper that talks were back on between the bloated, rusty entity known as the NHL and the needling, wheedling piranha known as NHL players. I heard the flat-voiced Bill Guerin on a radio somewhere droning that the fans of hockey were owed something after the CBA crisis, and if the season resumes, less expensive ticket prices would only be fair. I heard him hum along boringly about a 24 percent reduction in player salary and about the player's proposed luxury tax system... blah, blah, blah. As a fan, I found that all the NHL sludge was giving me tired-head. After all, for the past three months I've been getting a pretty good hockey buzz following the minors. I maintain the heart and soul of hockey have always lived in the minor pros, not in the Big League, and that premise hit home hard when the two worlds of the NHL and the minor pros collided in the person of Brad Lukowich.|
|Q & A: Eric Cairns||Dec 3, 2004||David M Singer|
|Eric Cairns is the model of an improved hockey player. He has climbed through the ranks of the professional leagues, starting in the ECHL and eventually making it all the way up to the NHL because of his hard work.
Cairns has become a solid NHL defenseman. Last season, he earned around 12 minutes a game as part of the New York Islanders defense core which includes Janne Niinimaa, Kenny Jonsson, Roman Hamrlik and workhorse Adrian Aucoin. He's gone from a rookie with shaky legs to a heavyweight champ contender.
He's currently playing hockey for the London Racers of the UK's EIHL. I had the opportunity to speak with Eric about his career and came to find out that sometimes on-ice skills aren't the most important things for the development of a player.
|Introducing Gretzky NHL 2005||Nov 12, 2004||David M Singer|
|After a year of dormancy since “Faceoff 2003”, 989 Sports has released Gretzky NHL 2005 in hopes that their ice hockey franchise can roar back to life. The game seeks to add several new wrinkles to the standard ice hockey gameplay, such as a rivalry mode, unprecedented arena and team specification, extended control of play calling, and detailed player and team customization. Moreover, the company hopes to capitalize on Wayne Gretzky’s name recognition, not only as a detached name on the cover, but also as an intricate part of achieving hidden milestones throughout the game. These include breaking various Gretzky records in order to unlock The Great One himself to skate with your favorite team.|
|Q & A: Scott Parker||Oct 12, 2004||David M Singer|
|Scott Parker, “The Sheriff”, is an elite enforcer in the National Hockey League. Known as a power puncher, he carries a big reputation with him onto the ice.
Before last season the San Jose Sharks sent out a press release. It recapped the Brad Stuart – Jody Shelley incident, where Shelley punched Stuart in the back of the head, and Stuart missed 21 games with a concussion because of it. Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said that will not happen again – and then announced the Sharks traded for Scott Parker.
|Review: Stanley Cup Champions 2004 DVD||Oct 1, 2004||Jon Porus|
|After Calgary had won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Warner Brother's Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup 2003-2004 Champions DVD, I began to feel the rising excitement and nervous anticipation of an imminent Flames victory. Though I knew all along that these hopes were doomed to failure, I strangely felt the gloomy emptiness and sting of defeat as the DVD caught up to reality and Tampa Bay won their first ever championship. The mark of a successful sports video is being able to recapture some of the emotion of the actual event, and it is a goal that this DVD accomplishes well.|
|Brad Lukowich Announces Fort Worth Brahmas Are His Team||Sep 20, 2004||Sarah Green|
|NHL defenseman Brad Lukowich, a former Dallas Stars player who helped lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship this past June has become the first NHL player to make the jump and sign with a Central Hockey League team, the fortunate Fort Worth Brahmas.|
|CBA Considerations||Sep 18, 2004||David M Singer|
|With the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the NHL has announced a lockout. Unlike 1994, where people kept carrying hope with them, the most hopeful this time around are predicting a half-season, while many are already predicting the complete loss of this season and some are already pushing the labor disagreement into the 2005-2006 season.|
|World Cup Power Rankings||Aug 21, 2004||Joe Pelletier|
|Training camps for the World Cup of Hockey have opened. Tomorrow exhibition games begin and continue for the next week while these national teams, mostly comprised of NHL players, try and gel as quickly as possible before starting the tournament on Monday, August 30 at 1pm EST when then Czech Republic faces off against Finland. Joe Pelletier stops by to break down the eight teams vying for the World Cup trophy.|
|Q & A: Matt Barnaby||Jul 26, 2004||David M Singer|
|Hockey fans know Matt Barnaby. It’s hard not to, as you can usually hear him up in the rafters or through your television yapping at someone on the ice. It doesn't take long to see his name adorned on the backs of sweaters. Legions cheer him on no matter what team he plays for, some who hated him just days earlier. He's a player any hockey fan would want on their team. He can instantly become part of any rivalry, hated by the opposition, in just one shift.
Hockey player, agitator, fighter, he’ll wear whatever title you like as long as you put him out on the ice. About 190 pounds of heart skating around willing to do whatever it takes to win the game and win some fans in the process. That willingness is undisputed. Since 1996-97, Barnaby is tied for fifth on the fighting majors list. Making him an asset to any team, he happens to have more points then anyone else in the top ten.
|Whatever happened to Evgeny Mishakov?||Jul 7, 2004||Joe Pelletier|
|Many experts described the 1972 Summit Series as a war. None other than Phil Esposito himself said he would have “killed” to capture victory in that series. The tension on the ice was that high.
There were some pretty dirty moments in that series. Bobby Clarke’s two-handed slash to the ankle of Valeri Kharlamov, perhaps the greatest Russian forward of all time, has been well documented. Boris Mikhailov’s use of his skate blades to bloody of Gary Bergman’s shins is equally disgusting. J.P. Parise almost committed the worse offense when he nearly clubbed controversial referee Josef Kompalla with his stick.
|Czechoslovakian Victory Tops Summit Series for Emotion||Jun 29, 2004||Joe Pelletier|
|When Canada defeated the United States in the gold medal game in the 2002 Olympics, Canadians from coast to coast to coast and all around the world celebrated. As far as Canadians were concerned, it was the greatest international hockey victory since the 1972 Summit Series.
But to Canadians, there is still no more significant victory in hockey than the 1972 Summit Series. Never mind the fact that it should be one of our worst moments - narrowly escaping a series everyone overconfidently predicted we should have won handily - the series became much more than a hockey victory.
|Let the Tug of War Begin||Jun 20, 2004||Troy Shockley|
|Now that the finals are over, the focus of the NHL and its players will be
centered one thing - a salary cap.
Owners claim they are losing millions and are insisting on a cap, or as Gary Bettman puts it, “cost certainty”, while players - whose average salary has ballooned from $558,000 10 years ago to $1.8 million in 2002-03 - don't want one. The current collective bargaining agreement runs out Sept. 15, and if a deal isn't reached by then, expect the owners to shut down the league for the foreseeable future.
When one looks to the numbers, it's easy to understand why.
|An Energized Ending||May 25, 2004||Troy Shockley|
|From the files of the strange but true: If not for the looming lockout, the NHL may not have been able to script a better Stanley Cup Final. Okay, so the marquee teams are all out, the two remaining have virtually no stars and they are both in markets that don't generally appeal to the mass public. Forget all that, because this is going to be a great ride for any hockey fan.|
|Q & A: Craig Coxe||May 21, 2004||David M Singer|
|Craig Coxe played professional hockey for 16 seasons. Parts of 8 were spent in the NHL for a total 235 NHL games. Coxe was a gamer, doing what he could for his team each game night. In the NHL he made his mark as an enforcer. His love for hockey kept him playing far after his NHL career was over and his experience allowed him to make the transition into coaching.|
|What Price Glory?||Apr 19, 2004||Sarah Green|
|Hockey is the sport where the very toughest guys go to play. Every player on a hockey team takes his fair share of hits and checks. Every hockey player will play through pain and injury at some point in his career. A special few are chosen to protect and defend their teammates in the curiously violent way that hockey accepts and even encourages. The team "enforcers" will go out on the ice on any given night and drop sticks, gloves and helmets to settle a score with fisticuffs. The enforcers are the very men who are known and often revered for doling out physical punishment and retribution on a game-to-game basis. These guys are a specific breed of hockey player, and they usually work through an unspoken, but very clear system of "honor" that defines their fighting. For a few of them, this system of honor is being rocked to its core by this August's "Hockey Gladiators" Tournament.|