Contrasting views, indeed.
That brings us to the league's decision to send the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings across the pond to Austria and England, where they will open the season on Saturday and next Sunday.
"When the league asks you to go, you go," Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. "We were honored.We told our players this is the schedule.We have three road games when we come back that are all going to be tough, and it's going to be a tough five-game start to the season, but we have to deal with that."
When the Ducks committed a year earlier, Burke never envisioned playing into last June. Critics would agree that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should pursue Europe only after he solves his numerous franchise issues on North American soil first.
"When I worked at the league, we took the Winnipeg Jets to Helsinki," Burke said. "When I was in Vancouver, we had a training camp in Stockholm.And I think these are all important steps for the league to maintain its brand and grow its brand worldwide."
Kings GM Dean Lombardi gets to show off a completely revised roster on which few players know each other, and a little bonding time might help.
"When I started in this business, training camp used to be kind of like football where . . . everybody was together, be it in a hotel or whatever, and it was like you went away to summer camp for two weeks," Lombardi said.
"That was huge for guys just being together and learning to like each other. The way camps are now, with these time restraints and coaches in such a hurry to get down to their team or you've got so many exhibition games, I think we've kind of lost that. So one way to counter it is something like this, where guys have to be together.I think that is a potential positive."
The Flyers have teamed with Keith Primeau's Durham Hockey Institute to create the DHI Cup All-Star Scholastic preview.
Four area all-star teams will compete in a semifinal round on Oct. 30 at Skate Zone in Voorhees.Those winners advance to the DHI Cup Championship at the Wachovia Center on Nov. 12 before the Flyers-New York Islanders game. Players must be high school seniors currently playing varsity ice hockey in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, and must fill out an application at www.durhamhockeyinstitute.com.
The registration deadline is Oct. 5.
Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ice Bowl cometh on New Year's Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo between the Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sabres released 41,000 tickets and sold out in 45 minutes. Another 34,000 will be distributed via the NHL to other parties. Commissioner Gary Bettman expects attendance will top the Nov. 22, 2003, mark of 57,167 set in Edmonton, Alberta, between Montreal and the Oilers. NBC is televising the game. . . .
The Board of Governors tabled a vote on redoing the NHL schedule until November's meeting. But there is a movement to return to the pre-lockout days of 15 out-of-conference games a season. In other words, the West goes east every other year and vice versa. Still, the NBA plays home-and-home, and it has 30 clubs, too. Why can't the NHL? . . .
Here is an example of the l-o-n-g reach of Comcast: The top two teams in the Hockey News' Top 10 rankings of Canadian Major Junior Hockey League play in Global Spectrum-managed venues. The No. 1-ranked team London Knights (OHL) play at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario. The No. 2 Everett Silvertips (WHL) play in the Comcast Arena at Everett Events Center in Everett, Wash. . . .
Nashville defensive prospect Kevin Klein, who was expected to challenge for a roster spot, will be sidelined up to a month after a shoulder separation. . . .
Speaking of shoulders, the Flyers' Jesse Boulerice decked the Devils' Cam Janssen on Monday, separating his shoulder. There was no word on how long Janssen will be sidelined. Reportedly, he will undergo surgery once the swelling subsides. . . .
Congratulations to Brian Leetch, Cammi Granato, John Halligan and Stan Fischler, all of whom have been named recipients of the 2007 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. . . .
Finally, former NHL great Gordie Howe got a temporary restraining order barring a neighbor who was taking pictures - as many as 17,000 a day - of his house and, according to Howe, spying on him. Seventeen thousand? Yo, Gordie, did you tell this guy that Eva Longoria doesn't live there?