Kukla's Korner

Helm: Leino’s Gonna Be Great

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Helene St. James spoke with Darren Helm today (really…she said so) and he had this to say about Ville Leino,

While in Grand Rapids, Helm has been on a line with Ville Leino, the talented Finn the Wings signed as a free agent last spring and who, I have no doubt, we’ll also see in Detroit before the season is over.

“He’s a really skilled player,” Helm said of Leino. “He’s got a great shot, great hands. He’s starting to get used to the league a little bit more. He’s come along well and he’s going to be a great player.”

She also said Cleary will be in for a BJ on Friday or Saturday against Boston.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Pick 12

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With 24 teams in action tonight, let’s see how smart you are.

Pick the winner of every game for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to IceJerseys.com.

Anyone who enters will also be included in a random drawing for a $25 gift certificate to IceJerseys.com.

So, all I need from you is this- In the comment area, list only the winner of each game tonight.  Also, we need a tie-breaker so give me the total goals scored tonight.

The $50 gift certificate will be awarded to the person who selected the most total wins.  If there is a tie for wins, we go to the tie-breaker and if a tie still exists, a random drawing will be held between the people who met the previous criteria.

You need to be a KK member (free registration) in order to be eligible for the prizes and your submission must be time-stamped no later than 6:45pm ET tonight.

Tonight’s schedule is listed below and good luck.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: KK Website Business, KK Challenge, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Quit Whining About All-Star Voting

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Morrison at CBC:

The league will still make sure that best players are represented in the game. Chances are at least a couple of those Canadiens would make it any way.

It’s curious that a game, the all-star game, that is annually mocked and criticized for what it is, can muster so much emotion from people.

There is, of course, a simple way to solve the problem, or at least attempt to solve the problem. Turn on the computer and vote. Often.

Otherwise take a valium.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

Nationality in the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From James Mirtle at From the Rink:

Make no mistake, with a decreasing number of Russians, Eastern Europeans and even Canadians in the league, the NHL is becoming more and more American. I remember running these numbers 10 years ago and Canada came in around the high 50s and the American representation would be about 11 or 12 per cent.

European players make up 27.3 per cent of the NHL this season, which I’ll bet is a bit lower than many expect.

read on for more analysis plus stats and charts

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Those Who Should be Thankful

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lyle Richardson (Spector) at Fox Sports,

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, here’s a list of several notable folks in the NHL and what they have to be thankful for this season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: That the current economic crisis began in September rather than earlier in the year. Almost all of the season tickets — the league’s lifeblood — were sold over the summer, avoiding a potentially devastating effect upon league revenues this season.

Former Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke: He has to be thankful the Toronto Maple Leafs are so desperate to sign him as their new team president and general manager. They’re reportedly about to make him one of the league’s highest paid executives.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Expanding Horizons For An O-6 Live Blog

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Some of you felt I was shortchanging our Motown heritage by not including some traditional acts of the 60’s and 70’s.  I listened to you and caved, as usual.

I’ve excluded Grand Funk, the winners of the last home Live Blog and I took out Lightfoot because I discovered last week that he’s actually Canadia(e)n.  We just can’t have that.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

St. Louis Fans Back at the Rink

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric McErlain at The Sporting News:

But then the wheels came off the bus after the lockout. With the team crashing through the standings and dealing many of its most popular players at the trade deadline, the Blues dropped from sixth overall in league attendance (18,560) to 27th (14,213) before cratering in dead last (12,520) for the 2006-07 season.

With the arrival of new management under Team President John Davidson, the Blues rebounded last season to 13th overall (17,610) through the use of some innovative marketing—particularly free food nights and a nifty television spot where individual players made their pitch to woo back the thousands of fans who had suddenly disappeared. Toss in the signing of free agent winger Paul Kariya, and the Blues had given the locals a reason to care again.

The improvement has continued into this season, with the team now ranked eighth overall (18,961) and ahead of two Canadian franchises, Vancouver and Edmonton.

continued…

The comparison to the Canadian clubs might be inadvertently misleading, as Vancouver and Edmonton have attendance numbers at 101.1% capacity and 98.5% capacity respectively, whereas the Blues are at 90.3% capacity. (And if you look at it another way and resort the data to look at the capacity percentage, St. Louis falls to 20th in the league.)

But regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that St. Louis fans are returning to their rink in ever-increasing numbers after a few bad years, which is great news.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: attendance, hockey+fans

Tocchet Wants More Grit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

Lightning coach Rick Tocchet was adamant this morning that he wants to see better intensity and grit from his players, especially in the form of going to the net, or playing time will be lost and benchings may occur. Tocchet originally spoke about the power play and how he might start changing personnel, but later said his edict was for the entire team.

“This is for everybody,” Tocchet said. “If the results aren’t there, there has to be a time for the coach, I don’t care who it is, you’re not going to play. I don’t know if we’re at that time yet, but it’s getting close. We’re going to have to get a little bit of urgency. We thought we had taken some baby steps, but then Jersey happened.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Caps Attendance Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,

We are humbled as the Caps are now ranked as a Top 10 team in the NHL in paid admissions with only Minnesota, Buffalo, Detroit and Philadelphia ahead of us for US -based teams. We are up in paid admissions more than 27 percent year over year. Only Chicago is growing faster than us.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis

Injuries And The Vezina Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Before the season began, most people would have predicted the Vezina Trophy would go to one of Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks or Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks but each of them has missed time to injury.  Brodeur had surgery on his elbow and should be out for several months.  Luongo has a groin injury and should be out for at least a month.  Nabokov has a rather unimpressive .891 saves percentage and has missed three weeks with a lower body injury.  None of them look likely to win the Vezina at this point.  That leaves a wide open Vezina race with some unexpected candidates. 

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins has established himself as the front-runner with a league leading .944 saves percentage and a 1.80 goals against average.  If the season ended now, he would be the runaway choice for the Vezina.  If the season ended now, I would also nominate Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild along with Luongo.  With Luongo’s injury, it is unlikely that he will maintain his position as a Vezina nominee for much longer.  The most likely candidate to replace him is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.  These are new names to enter the Vezina race.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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