Kukla's Korner

Bourdon’s Mom Advised Him Not To Buy A Bike

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Sobbing uncontrollably just hours after losing her son, Luc Bourdon, in a tragic motorcycle accident, Suzanne Boucher said she had tried desperately to stop him from buying a bike.

Her plea worked last year when her fears changed his mind. That’s when Bourdon, the promising Canucks defenceman, first told his mom he dreamed of riding, and was spellbound by the “power and beauty” of motorcycles.

“I was scared when he told me that,” Boucher said yesterday through tears from her home in Shippagan, N.B. “I disagreed with it so much. I said, ‘You can’t do it.’ It was too risky, too dangerous. His girlfriend helped me reason with him. But this year was different. This year he wasn’t going to listen….”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luc+bourdon

Sid Wants To Be Like Stevie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

As was the case for Yzerman during his 19 seasons as Red Wings captain, Crosby is focused only on that next hockey game.

That steely focus is one of Crosby’s many attributes Yzerman finds appealing.

“I’ve watched how he conducts himself, and I like the way he plays,” said Yzerman, who retired in 2006 as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history and a three-time Cup champion. “He’s an extremely talented kid, but he competes hard.

“I’ve been very impressed watching from afar.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

A Beard Is A Beard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

I hear the snickers. I read your signs.

You pick on me and you pick on Sidney because I don’t live up to your lofty expectations.

You have this notion in your head that playoff beards have to be wild and unruly. Where does it say a “true” playoff beard has to look like the Cookie Monster’s back hair?

A “beard,” according to my Large-Type Whisker-Friendly Dictionary, is “hair growing on the chin or lower cheek of the face.” Nowhere does it have a thread count or a topographical map.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ratings Matter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Why all this attention on American TV ratings? For better or worse, it translates into how much money a major league makes. And that, in turn, determines so much else. Consider the NHL. If U.S. TV ratings had been higher, we would never have seen shootouts. We would probably still have the clutch-and-grab hockey of the ’90s. There might be fewer teams in the Sun Belt (or perhaps more — haven’t figured that one out yet). And so on. So however distasteful the concern with TV ratings may be, it pays to remember that those ratings have a big impact on the game — where it’s played, when it’s played, and how it’s played.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Depends On Canadian Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

A secret NHL report detailing the ticket revenues of its 30 teams reveals what Canadian hockey fans have long suspected and offers a compelling case for putting more teams north of the border.

The six Canadian teams account for 31 per cent of the $1.1 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue, and have gone through league-leading double-digit increases over last season, according to the internal NHL report.


Update 4:26pm ET: Rick Westhead talked about his article with Alex Seixeiro on Fan 590 earlier today.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Seeking Attention

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,

The NHL limited player access Thursday, providing only four Red Wings to answer questions at a news conference, even though Game 4 isn’t until Saturday. The Penguins’ four players, believe it or not, did not include Sidney Crosby. It was downtime, an extra day to rest, extra time to heal. Such conditions provided the ideal opportunity for the NHL to further build a mainstream fan base.

The Wings are entitled to an off day. It’s a long grind, physically and mentally, going this deep into the playoffs. But a sport’s championship series remains its greatest marketing tool, and when you’re blessed with an exceptional second-day talking point like Game 3, you must milk it for every ounce of publicity.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

“Boots” Under Federal Investigation

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Herhold and Pete Carey at the Mercury News,

Federal investigators are probing the business dealings of San Jose socialite and investor William “Boots” Del Biaggio III, the Mercury News has learned.

Del Biaggio announced his departure Monday from Sand Hill Capital, a firm he co-founded in 1997. Sand Hill, a boutique lender to startups, issued a terse press release saying he was leaving the company “for personal reasons.”

The 40-year-old financier, until recently a minority investor in the the San Jose Sharks hockey team, last year became a part-owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team.  Del Biaggio did not return phone calls seeking comment. His lawyer, Elliot Peters of the San Francisco law firm Keker & Van Nest, e-mailed a statement to the Mercury News:

“Boots Del Biaggio is a good and generous person. Boots will cooperate fully with any investigation.”


Del Biaggio is currently part of the investor group that recently acquired the Nashville Predators.

Update 12:17pm ET May 30th: John Glennon at The Tennessean notes a statement issued by the Predators.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: william+"boots"+del+biaggio+iii

St. Louis Extends Larry Pleau to 2010

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the St. Louis Blues,

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has extended the contract of Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Larry Pleau through the 2009-10 season. Davidson also announced the club has named Doug Armstrong as Blues Vice President of Player Personnel. He will assume the General Manager duties beginning in 2010.

“Larry has been very valuable to this organization for many years,” said Davidson. “Under his watch we have locked up our young players with long term deals and continue to stockpile many up and coming prospects. Doug’s accomplishments in Dallas are quite impressive, with two Western Conference titles, two President’s Trophies and a Stanley Cup.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+armstrong, john+davidson, larry+pleau


Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Here’s a look at those who range from ghost-like to flat-out invisible in this series heading into Saturday’s Game 4:

Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk

It’s hard to criticize players who still seem to have the puck all the time. And there is the fact that Datsyuk has turned into a human wrecking ball, knocking Ryan Malone into the middle of next season in the second period of Game 3. The pair also shut down the Crosby line in Games 1 and 2.

read on for more MIA players too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Looks Good In Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

The NHL declined to comment, but if the smiles on the faces of Oren Koules and Len Barrie were an indication Thursday, they could have control of the team by the June 20-21 draft.

Koules, the Hollywood producer, and Barrie, the former NHLer turned real estate developer, met for 60 minutes with the NHL’s executive committee at its Sixth Avenue offices in New York. Koules called the meeting “a very good step” and Barrie said, “We’re excited.”


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

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