After taking Labor Day off, I think it would be a good time to get caught up on some of the emails that are filling up my inbox. There have been a number of interesting emails sent in the last couple of days, and I'm glad to bring these stories and images to light with hockey season less than one month away. Of course, there are always other things I could write about today, but I need to bring these stories to light. The hockey history of Houston - nice alliteration there! - will come tomorrow, and it is a great look at the old WHA days, the former IHL days, and the current AHL days. Lots of great photos and some interesting stories on-tap for tomorrow, so hit this site up again. Today, however, we have a variety of pictures and stories. Let's go!
- One reader, Bill W., sent me images of the new centre line being painted on at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. As seen earlier this summer, HBIC examined the ads on the boards around the ACC, so it seems appropriate to show off the new paint on the ice. The Maple Leafs are adding maple leaves! The centre line splits the logo down the middle, so there will be maple leaves all over the ice this season. It remains to be seen if the team can duplicate the efforts of the paint on the ice (ZING!). More photos found here!
- Terry Melia sent on an article he wrote on the Upper Deck Blog. Terry wrote a piece on the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase that some of the industry insiders attended, and there are some great photos on the Upper Deck Blog. However, one picture really caught my attention: what's with the TV numbers on Mats Zuccarello Aasen's jersey? You can see it in the picture I posted last week as well. I guess the numbers have to be up much higher to accommodate the sleeve stripes, but it looks horrible.
- The KHL kick off their 2010-11 season tonight with defending champion Ak Bars Kazan traveling to Moscow to play Dynamo Moscow at the Megasport Arena. Updates will come shortly from the first week, but there appears to be a large celebration taking place in conjunction with the first game of the season. Updates shortly!
- The KHL has launched a new website to promote their upcoming exhibition games with the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and Phoenix Coyotes. SKA St. Petersburg will play host to the Carolina Hurricanes on October 4, while Dinamo Riga will battle the Coyotes on October 6. Visit the new site here, and check out the History links for each club.
- Speaking of SKA St. Petersburg, they unveiled their newest players for the coming season. Denis Grebeshkov and Evgeni Nabokov were introduced by KHL President Alexander Medvedev, and both players took questions from the gathered media. It appears that Grebeshkov will wear #73 this season while Nabokov will wear #20. As he states in the interview, Nabokov's father wore #20 while playing in Russia as well! At the bottom of the article, note that Maxim Afinogenov's status as to being a player with SKA St. Petersburg is also confirmed!
- There were also a couple of notes about teams that would potentially play in the KHL this season. First, Czech-based Hradec Králové hockey club Lev was denied entry into the KHL by the Czech Ice Hockey Federation. The members of the Czech Federation voted unanimously to prevent the hockey club from leaving the Czech League, thus HC Lev will remain as a team in the Czech League.
- Secondly, Budivelnik of Kyiv, the second team that was to join the KHL for the 2010-11 season, announced that they will not be joining the KHL due to their inability to construct a suitable arena for KHL play. The loss of a major team in the Ukraine is a blow to both Ukrainian hockey and to the KHL's pan-European dream. Thus, no expansion for the KHL for this season.
Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!