Kukla's Korner

Liking The Game For What It Is

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

Anyone who follows contemporary sport knows the genre, most recently in the form of a series called Hard Knocks, which of late highlighted the pre-season preparation of the New York Jets of the National Football League.

In that series, profanity was the athletes’ and coaches’ lingua franca, providing something far different than the cliché-filled pabulum of pre- and post-game quotes. The Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan, especially, used the F-word so frequently and creatively that it was suggestive of slam poetry. The football crowd ate it up.

Now hockey comes to the dance, better late than never. And if, once upon a time, your grandma was shocked when that nice Bobby Clarke (minus his front teeth) was inadvertently captured dropping an f-bomb on Hockey Night in Canada, these days, hearing real hockey players use real hockey-player language is at least part of the point.

There’s something more at work here than modest shock value and a desensitized audience. By opening the dressing-room doors, the NHL establishment appears to have finally acknowledged a simple, self-evident truth: People who like their game like it for what it is and like it better than anything else, making them among the most committed and loyal fans in all of sport. In an age of boundless choice, in which all entertainment options from all parts of the globe are available to nearly anyone at any time, that form of pure devotion is more valuable than it has ever been.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hbo+24/7

Fired For Dating A Blackhawk?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,

Jen Patterson, a contributor to Comcast SportsNet Chicago and its Web site, is out at the local cable sports channel….

“Jen Patterson is no longer an employee of Comcast SportsNet Chicago and we wish her well on her future endeavors,” the channel said in a statement. “Per company policy, we have no further comment on personnel matters.”

Patterson declined comment.

Pegged in January as “a rising on-air and off-air TV talent in our city” by Charlie Schumacher, CSN Chicago’s senior news director, Patterson seemed on the verge of gaining status as a bold-face name nearly on par with those she covered.

Just last Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Bill Zwecker noted in his column that Patterson and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Nick Boynton “seem to be a nice cozy item ... looking very lovey-dovey” at various events.

read on for more on Jen Patterson…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jen+patterson, nick+boynton

Phoenix Moving Closer To a New Owner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is closing in on a deal to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes from the National Hockey League.

Hulsizer and the the City of Glendale have had the framework of a lease agreement ready to be finalized for some time and now it appears he has closed the gap with the NHL.

Sources told the Free Press on Friday all three sides have made some concessions to come to a verbal agreement on a ‘conceptual deal.’

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings Need More From Simmonds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

When the even-keel, fatherly Terry Murray publicly calls out a player, you know he’s really not happy. Today, Murray took a relatively benign question about Wayne Simmonds’ production (or lack thereof) and scoring chances this season and issued a fairly strong-worded analysis of Simmonds’ play through the first three games of this season. Simmonds has zero points in three games, and had only one shot on goal before his three-shot effort against Atlanta on Tuesday…

MURRAY: “I need Simmer to be a better player than what he is right now. We’ve had a couple of meetings, he and I, and the assistant coaches have sat down and reviewed some video. The most important thing for him is to get his feet going, get skating better, on a more consistent basis. When he’s playing that straight-line game with an edge, with grit and battling along the boards, that’s the best kind of player. Right now, he seems to be a little hesitant in his game, and as a result you get caught in between and it looks real bad.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+simmonds

Flames Meet And Make A Commitment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

The Calgary Flames reported to work Friday morning expecting a regular practice at Westside Arena.

Not so.

Instead, Brent Sutter called a team meeting for the players and coaches to let it all out. The closed-door session lasted some 52 minutes.

“You’ve got to nip this in the bud,” said defenceman Ian White. “We’ve had two real bad games here. We figured out to a man today what each guy has got to do better.

“We each said our piece and what we need to do as individuals to be better to help the club win. We went through it and made a commitment to each other that we’re going to be better moving forward.”

continued

added 3:42pm, Glad to see the Flames are using Barney Fife as inspiration.  Watch the video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

CHL brawl follow up

Blog: KK Hockey By Twig

Follow up of the preseason game between the Colorado Eagles and the Odessa Jackelopes.

From the Colorado Eagles home page:

Colorado forward Brad MacMillan has been suspended 22 games for his match penalty for attempting to injure a player. 

Colorado defenseman George Bradley has been suspended five (5) games for his actions during an altercation and has been fined an undisclosed amount of money for the same infraction.

Colorado defenseman Mario Joly has been suspended four (4) games for leaving the players bench.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chl, colorado+eagles, odessa+jackelopes

Easy Answer - No

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails,

Dear Adam, Is it me, or does it seem like the refs tend to call more penalties on smaller-market teams when they play against bigger-market teams?

Take the Avs for instance. Denver isn’t a huge market like Chicago or Philly. And in the game against Chicago it seemed like the penalty count favored Chicago big time (almost 2-1). And then in Philly with the Craig Anderson diving call to counter the goaltender interference? And let’s throw in the Sharks-Avs series last year in the playoffs when it seemed like every penalty was against the Avs, some of them feeling like they were made up out of thin air.

I am a referee and believe the NHL puts out the best officials in the world. I know how hard it is to see every penalty, but also how easy it is to get tunnel vision and look for penalties on certain teams. So could it be that the NHL is persuading its refs to favor bigger-market teams so the league gets the big TV contract it has been wanting ever since the lockout?...

No, I’m afraid it’s you.

And I’m a little surprised a guy who is a referee would be insinuating that the league and its officials are in cahoots to provide unfair advantages to big-market teams; if that’s true, I suppose NHL refs must have missed the memo when Tampa Bay, Carolina and Anaheim won Stanley Cups.

more q & a…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Winning With Low Payroll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Tom Hicks’s sports empire, past and present, is in the news daily. He, along with former Montreal Canadiens’ owner George Gillett divested themselves of their ill-advised investment in the Liverpool soccer team. Those lovable losers, the Texas Rangers, finally won a playoff series this past week and as a reward, get to host the New York Yankees for the American League crown and a chance to play in the World Series.

And over in the NHL, the once free-spending Dallas Stars - currently on the market, but with no closing deal or date in sight - have been forced to borrow a page from the Nashville Predators/Phoenix Coyotes’ operating manual and are now trying to win on the cheap.

So far so good too - three wins in a row to start the season, putting them into that heady Toronto Maple Leafs territory.

Still, the downside of operating with the NHL’s 20th highest payroll is that usually, you need to make difficult choices when it comes to re-signing top players and in the Stars’ case, that offers up the question, what will they do with Brad Richards?

continued plus additional hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Game Belongs To The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I wanted to share a letter that I recently received. It says a lot about Sharks fans and what the game of hockey means to them. Randy Hahn

Tom died in early April, right before the Sharks went on a playoff run that finally got them past that stubborn second round, and three days before his daughter’s wedding. I didn’t hear of his passing until today, oddly enough the day after the Sharks played their first pre-season game of this new season. It makes me sad that I lost contact with Tom when I moved to Boston for college, and that I did not know my friend was sick. It makes me sad to think that I won’t get to watch another game with him, the two of us talking non-stop through three periods of action. And it makes me sad that, despite being there from the very beginning, he will never get to see his Sharks hoist the Stanley Cup as they are sure to do one fine Spring.

Like the first game I watched with Tom, that thought is both a thrill and a reality check. Not everything works out the way we plan, and our time is limited, often beyond our control. Not everyone gets to see their favorite hockey team achieve the ultimate victory, that’s the reality. But the thrill is knowing that playing, watching, and loving thousands of high school, peewee, college and NHL hockey games with people you create lasting memories with, means getting that one last win doesn’t matter at all.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

DIRTY HITS, GOONS & WHY THE NHL CODE WORKS

Blog: KK Members Blog By SMWilliams


Following his reckless boarding of Buffalo Sabres’ Jason Pominville Monday night, the NHL handed down a two game suspension to the mad Swede which will make his next game back against?…you got it, the Sabres.  This was not an accident by the NHL disciplinarians.

How much is that NHL Center Ice Package again?

Whether or not the hit was dirty or intentional is a topic best left for the A.M. sports radio crowd and others who will use this as just another bullet point in their “Concussions Bad” or “Hockey Violent” PowerPoint presentations.  Thankfully, Pominville is not stretched out in some Buffalo area hospital bed in traction, and equally important in the cosmic sense, Niklas Hjalmarrson will get his chance to back up just how tough a guy he is on Saturday night at the United Center.  Only this time, the players will actually get to see him coming.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, concussions, enforcers, jason+pominville, niklas+hjalmarsson

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