Kukla's Korner

Behind the Scenes with Ryan Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Ryan Miller talks about his television commercial, done partially in Chinese, broadcast live during the Winter Classic. (video from WGRZ in Buffalo, or audio from the Buffalo Sabres)

*To watch the advertisement, video posted earlier here on Kukla’s Korner.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Future Bright For Marc Staal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,

Marc Staal seems comfortable with flying slightly under the radar as he gets far less media attention than two of his brothers did during their NHL rookie campaigns.

Maybe having composure at a young age, 20, has something to do with his demeanour.

The New York Rangers’ defenceman was a remarkable plus-4 for goals scored at even strength when he was on the ice during his first 40 big-league games. His average ice time was 17 minutes 54 seconds. And Staal had more takeaways than giveaways, 21-13.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+staal

Variable Pricing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The Predators are one of a handful of NHL clubs that use variable pricing, and franchise officials said the aim is twofold: They want to increase ticket revenue in one of the league’s smallest markets and they want to reinforce the idea that it’s more economical to buy full or partial season tickets at one low base price as opposed to buying tickets to an occasional game or two.

The concept has been hotly debated among Predators fans, some of whom don’t like paying more for more popular games, especially when the team is trying to reach an average of 14,000 paid fans per game to keep its current lease with the city intact.

For instance, the overall attendance at the previous Detroit home game this season — the first premium-plus game of the season — was 14,346 (13,608 paid).

That’s a noticeable dip from most past home games against the Wings, which were usually either sold out or close to it in 17,113-seat Sommet Center.

more

Update January 3, 2008: From The Daily News Journal

The Nashville Predators are starting the 2008 calendar year by eliminating the Premium Plus Pricing program that was implemented prior to the 2007-08 season, it was announced today by Predators’ President of Business Operations Ed Lang, impacting three remaining games this season.

The Premium Plus Pricing program was in effect for the following three games: Tuesday, February 12 vs. Detroit; Thursday, March 20 vs. Detroit and the home finale on Thursday, April 3 vs. St. Louis. Tickets for those three games will be reduced by as much as $39 a seat.

*note: this post originally dated December 10th, 2007

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Harder For Teams To Keep Young Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,

It’s enough to cause a lot of headaches in several front offices in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s a look at 10 situations most likely to do so:

1. Alexander Ovechkin: It’s hard to imagine the Washington Capitals will let their franchise face go under any circumstance, but Ovechkin has already reportedly rejected a deal worth $7.5 million annually and will almost certainly get an offer sheet approaching the maximum $10 million per season if he hits the open market.

read on

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

Carolina Struggles Since Great Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Hockey News,

There’s not much Rutherford can do about injuries but he did make one notable decision Thursday, putting veteran goalie John Grahame on waivers and recalling netminder Michael Leighton from Albany of the AHL.

Grahame is earning US$1.4 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

“John Grahame didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t get any support,” Rutherford said. “We’re just giving another guy a chance here.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalev the Comeback of the Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP via TSN,

If the National Hockey League had an award for comeback player of the year, a prime candidate could be Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens.

Last season, the skilled but unpredictable right winger scored only 18 goals and looked to be on his way out of Montreal and perhaps even the NHL.

But Kovalev has rebounded to become the Canadiens scoring leader, as well as acting as mentor to young Belarus forwards Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.

“You can’t be perfect all your career - there’s going to be ups and downs,” the 34-year-old Kovalev said Thursday after the pre-game skate. “Last year was one of those years where you can’t find your game and nothing’s going your way.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+kovalev

Ryan Smyth Out 8 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Colorado Avalanche,

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that further medical evaluation on the injured right ankle of forward Ryan Smyth revealed a fracture and that he would be out approximately eight weeks.

“The fracture was discovered following additional medical tests which included an MRI exam,” said Avalanche Head Trainer Matthew Sokolowski. “We expect him to make a full recovery.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Hockey TV Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

In case you missed it, NHL Network U.S. will air two encore presentations of the AMP Energy / NHL Winter Classic game in HD this weekend. NBC’s broadcast of the historic game will re-air Saturday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, immediately following NHL Network’s live broadcast of the World Junior Championship Gold Medal game. The second airing will be Sunday, Jan. 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT.

About that World Junior Championship, here’s a complete schedule listing (below) for remaining games to be broadcast on the the NHL Network U.S.  (note: for Canadians, TSN broadcast schedule is here).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, tv+schedule, winter+classic, world+junior+championships

Numminen On Schedule For Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Teppo Numminen’s surgically repaired heart is pumping fine after the Buffalo Sabres defenceman’s latest medical checkup.

It’s his stamina that still isn’t there yet, leaving Numminen unable to predict Thursday when he might be ready to play.

“I don’t know. Still on the same schedule, day by day, week by week,” said Numminen, catching his breath after a 90-minute practice. “But things are getting closer. We’re moving in the right direction. ... They checked things out and things are like they should be.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teppo+numminen

First Half Awards & Events

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont at MSNBC,

Before we go too far — and, remember, Feb. 26 is this year’s trade deadline — let’s take a look at how the first half has unfolded and size up some of the potential award winners….

Most significant franchise-changing moment

At the risk of sounding insensitive, the Sept. 26 death of long-time Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, 77, triggered a number of changes that have aided the franchise in returning to relevance.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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