Kukla's Korner

Khan(!): Homer Feels “Way, Way Better”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Reason to feel slightly optimistic today.  Slightly.

Khan(!)

...was extremely optimistic that’ll be able to play this week. The cortisone shot he had on Friday is working well.

“We’ll see, Wednesday or Thursday. I don’t know about Wednesday, but I’m really hopeful for Thursday,’’ Holmstrom said. “Today was way, way better, so I think (the shot) worked. It would be nice to get some games before the playoffs. You’ve been out for a long time, it’s tough to get into the playoffs right away.’‘

Optimistic? Yes. Fully? No.  We’ll see.  The DDC also reports Hasek will be starting Wednesday and Sunday, with Osgood in net Thursday for the last BJ of the year.

Updated 1157 with more from the Anti-Digger.

Mikael Samuelsson didn’t skate and spent his morning on the training table. Coach Mike Babcock said that Samuelsson was feeling better, but there is no date set for his return.

Brad Stuart went through the whole practice. He could pass fine. He could a little, but not with any authority. Stuart said that he’s expecting to return sometime next week. There’s not much that can be done for his broken finger other than taping it.

 

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Wild Decisions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,

The Minnesota Wild’s roster could have a significantly different look next season.

Two key veteran forwards, Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston, are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and young forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard becomes a restricted free agent.

Pundits have speculated throughout this season as to whether or not the usually budget-conscious Wild management will re-sign all three.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

KK- A New Direct Advertiser - Welcome NHL PlayAction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As the way fans watch the game continues to change in this information age, we’re seeing all sorts of new ‘arenas’ where fans can compete and win while cheering on their favorite team.  NHL PlayAction launched recently, and Big League of PlayAction.tv dropped by Kukla’s Korner to give us some insight into this new age of fan-driven competition.

Paul Kukla:  Hi Big League.  What’s the driving force behind PlayAction and what can fans expect when they sign-up and play?

Big League:  All of our PlayAthletes are posed the same 8 questions, sent by text message to their phone, from which they predict certain outcomes in the game.  For example, how many points will Alexander Ovechkin tally tonight?  They then make their picks on their mobile giving fans a way to interact with each other by competing throughout the game.  The questions keep the game exciting right to the end.  Your team may be down 5-0 with 10 minutes left, but you still need to see if your choice, say “Pittsburgh Forward”, will get the last shot of the game.  It really adds excitement from the opening face-off to the final buzzer.

The cool thing is that you have a live “Game Jockey” who is watching the game and keying questions based on the action.

Continue Reading »

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Peterburg Times,

Tortorella said, and Thrashers general manager Don Waddell confirmed, it took a commitment from USA Hockey to supply young players that are “ready to win” to seal the deal.

“We need to look by the old school,” Tortorella said. “We want players to go over there and want to play, not look at it as a chance for a vacation and then play some hockey.”

Tortorella stressed, “This isn’t a criticism of anybody else. It’s just something I believe in. You play to win. It’s a great situation in the changing of the guard.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

Why AO For Hart

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail,

Ovechkin has already won the Richard trophy and seems likely to win the Art Ross as well. Let me make the case for Ovechkin’s name on the Hart.

First of all, he has not simply won the Richard trophy. He has smoked the competition with a season for the ages.

Maurice (The Rocket) Richard set the bar with 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 season. The number of 50-goal seasons has recently been raised to 182 by Ilya Kovalchuk and may grow by another should Jarome Iginla notch one more goal in Calgary’s final three games. To properly compare these results across over 60 years of the changing face of hockey it is necessary to adjust for (at least) two things.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Testing Virtual Ads

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),

In one of its boldest moves yet to build corporate support around its television broadcasts, the NHL will test virtual advertising for the first time during the Stanley Cup playoff broadcasts on its national TV partners.

In another first, the league also will put postseason logos on the ice during the playoffs.

The virtual advertising plan, which still has to be approved by Commissioner Gary Bettman and team owners, is patterned after the same type of advertising behind home plate during televised baseball games.

Hockey’s version will superimpose ads on the glass above dasherboards that protect spectators. The ads, which will not be visible in the arena, will not affect camera angles or live TV shots.

Neither the league nor the networks have pitched the new inventory to ad buyers yet, but they plan to test the concept during this year’s postseason, which begins next week. If everything goes well, NBC, Versus and regional sports networks will use virtual ads for their telecasts next season.

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Around The League

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,

The $45-million signing of Bobby Holik by the Rangers in 2002 was cited as one of the reasons why the lockout was necessary (yeah, that stopped those crazy contracts). Now the Rangers are trying to get some of the money back by welching on a bonus payment owed to Holik, now in Atlanta. The case is in a grievance hearing with Glen Sather trying to duck his handiwork.

many more NHL bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Down To The Wire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

“We play again Wednesday,” said veteran Bruins winger Glen Murray as he left here last night. “Time to focus on that.”

“If you look at the standings,” mused P.J. Axelsson, “all you do is get mesmerized.”

Get our your slide rules, folks, and dust off Mrs. Chagaruley’s dog-eared multiplication tables, the final week of the NHL’s 2007-08 regular season is shaping up as a few days only Bill James or an H&R Block tax geek could love. Round up the numerators, summon your denominator within, and check boston.com hourly throughout the week to find out if the Bruins finally, finally, finally! will make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Between The Benches - In The Action

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,

When the first TV producer decided to place a hockey analyst between the benches a few years back, the idea looked like it might end up high on the pointless ideas list, just behind the infamous glowing puck….

But this idea, used to great advantage by TSN and NBC, is proving to be one of the best broadcasting innovations since the advent of the second camera.

It was on display during yesterday’s Pittsburgh-New York Rangers game on NBC, with Pierre McGuire stationed between the benches and providing viewers with the kind of insights that only someone in that position could get.

Throughout the game, McGuire told viewers how the coaches were rotating their lines and even what players were saying to each other. When New York coach Tom Renney chastised his players for passing too much and not shooting enough, McGuire passed that on, too.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Happy 80th Gordie Howe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kernaghan of Sun Media,

I “was” Gordie Howe as a kid 9 or 10 years of age on the pond and in street hockey. A little more than 10 years later, I was once sent to interview him for my newspaper. Imagine, actually talking to Gordie Howe! How would I ever get close to the large, slope-shouldered superstar engulfed by so many people at the Canada’s Sports Hall Of Fame?

Luckily, the essential Gordie Howe radar was unfailing. He glanced over and accurately sized me up as an ill-at-ease rookie reporter, then ambled over and stuck his hand out.

What followed was Gordie’s description of being busy in the off-season, including an incident about falling through the ice during a commercial shoot up north with his young sons, Mark and Marty. Gordie did everything but walk me back to the paper and write the story himself.

more

added 8:00am, from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Joe Louis Arena erupted in applause as Howe walked the red carpet to center ice, where he was met by current Red Wings’ General Manager Ken Holland, who presented Howe with a more-modern leather Red Wings’ jacket. Howe wore it proudly for the remainder of the day.
“I still have the other one, corduroy. And, it fits,” Howe said. “This thing is heavy. They’ve treated me pretty darn nice here.”

read on and make sure to check out the info box therer for numerous Gordie stories from Mr. McGourty, who must have been in Howe’s back pocket for the last week or so.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

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