Kukla's Korner

How To Save The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Slate,

The first order of business: Getting down to your fighting weight. Convene a crack independent panel of hockey people and economists (say, Wayne Gretzky, Alan Greenspan, Alan Thicke, and Neal Peart) to come up with the optimal number of NHL franchises. Some sports economists suggest that a 20-team NHL would be making money hand over fist. I’ll use that figure until Thicke and co. come back with their findings. But how do you ditch teams without looking like you’re waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.

Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cost Of A Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Team Marketing Report,

TMR’s exclusive Fan Cost Index survey, now in its fifteenth year, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four. The FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.

check it out and $7.25 for a beer in LA!

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

The “Collapsing Zone”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Enterprise,

General manager Peter Chiarelli is so confident in the ability of Julien, who coached Montreal before the Devils, to wring sound defensive hockey out of a team that Boston’s frequently maligned corps of defensemen was left virtually untouched in the offseason.

“I want to see these (defensemen), these players in Claude’s system first,” Chiarelli said.

Chiarelli describes Julien’s system as a “collapsing zone.” Players say it’s highly structured.

“There’s a transition of passing (an opponent) off, from one area to another, to another player,” said defenseman Aaron Ward. “There’s a lot of thinking involved.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins

Columbus Fans Ready For A Playoff Chase

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

It’s going to be an interesting season. Can new GM Scott Howson build something? Can coach Ken Hitchcock do anything with overpaid leftovers and wet-eared kids? Is there any leadership in the locker room? Any fire? Is the younger talent worth a reinvestment? A good number of fans, thousands of jaded consumers, are taking a wait-and-see posture. That’s fair enough.

If there’s a mere glimmer of hope, they’ll be back. And if there’s something more, they’ll be filling the building before long. Good God, if there’s just a whiff of the playoffs, Columbus will be gripped by the chase.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets

Stars Have Attendance Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Morning News,

And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.

This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.

The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dallas+stars

Havlat Hurt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Then Martin Havlat’s name came up and things soured.

Because when the Hawks’ go-to guy skated off the ice, bent over from the waist in obvious agony late in the third period after being sandwiched by a pair of Minnesota players in front of the Wild net, it suddenly didn’t matter that they had played so well in dropping a 1-0 decision in the season opener.

What mattered was that after the game Havlat’s right arm was in a sling and his right shoulder had already been X-rayed with results to be announced today.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, injuries, martin+havlat

Islanders Look To Guerin For Leadership

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

“We’ve been a close-knit bunch in a couple of weeks,” Guerin said Wednesday. “That means we’re going to play well on the ice.”

The Islanders’ top line, centered by Mike Comrie with Ruslan Fedotenko at left wing and the 37-year-old Guerin at right wing, was acquired through free agency. Half of the defensive corps was not with the team a year ago.

“I know a lot of faces have changed,” Guerin said. “I don’t think the attitude has.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+guerin, new+york+islanders

Tampa Sale Progressing

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eduardo A. Encina at the St. Petersburg Times,

For Doug MacLean and Oren Koules, opening night was just one reason to celebrate.

Their group, which is attempting to purchase the Lightning, is pleased with the progress of the application process. And one of the investment partners, Mark Burg, believes in the acquisition so much that he has doubled his stake, Koules said Thursday.

Koules said he hopes the sale to Absolute Hockey Enterprises - MacLean, the ex-Blue Jackets president, Coral Springs real estate developer Jeff Sherrin, Hollywood producers Koules and Burg and Tampa attorney Steve Burton - by Palace Sports & Entertainment will be finalized by the time the NHL board of governors meets in late November at Pebble Beach, Calif.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tampa+bay+lightning

Gretzky.com

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageSays Wayne Gretzky:

“As my Dad always said, skate to where the puck is going – not to where it has been.  I know that’s exactly what we will accomplish with my new website.  I’m really looking forward to using Gretzky.com as a great place to relive my greatest hockey memories and to also develop this website into a unique hockey resource for all fans.”

Here’s the website and be prepared for flash running on your system. There are some interesting videos available, though -  definitely worth a bit of exploration for Gretzky fans.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phoenix+coyotes, wayne+gretzky

The Feats of Phil Housley

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Kevin Allen at USA Today,

Nashville Predators vice president Gerry Helper was a public relations staffer for the Sabres that season, and he recalls when 5-10, 170-pound Housley arrived at training camp he was so small “and boyish looking” that he didn’t fit the physical profile of a NHL player.

“But when you saw him on the ice it was a completely different story,” Helper recalled. “He was such a terrific skater. When he had the puck, he was unbelievable in terms of vision and creativity for an 18-year-old or a 28-year old.”

When he looked sharp in the training camp drills, critics said wait until the preseason games. When he was dominant in preseason games, they said wait until the regular season.  “And when I was doing well at the beginning of the year, they said, ‘Wait until January,’ ” Housley said, seeming both amused and proud of the memory.

more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+housley

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