Kukla's Korner

On The Road During The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN The Magazine,

Your team’s in the playoffs, trying to steal a W in your opponent’s house. The crowd is rowdy and vicious, attacking you, your teammates and even your mother with howls and rally rags and those damn ThunderStix. But you’re prepared. You’ve stuck to your routine—a nap (thanks to that block on your hotel phone) and cards with teammates—plus, you know your game plan cold and are ready for anything. “It’s those first 10 minutes that can kill you,” says Pens center Jordan Staal. “The fans can’t scream for a full two hours….

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time To Shrink The League

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province via the Calgary Herald,

The Coyotes have now been in the desert for 13 years, they’ve gone through owners the way some people go through cellphones and the situation has never been worse than it is now.

A similar story exists in Florida, Tampa Bay, Long Island and Atlanta. Those stories have also become one of the league’s talking points, which is why you see Bettman giving the same implausible answers to the same tired questions every time he holds a news conference.

And to what end? If the NHL has proven anything over the last decade, it’s proven it doesn’t work as a 30-team entity.

But think of what a 26-team league would look like. Think of the concentration of talent. Think of the product on the ice. Now think of the game being played in markets that cared about hockey and, while you’re at it, think of the revenues that league would generate.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All East Action Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Will Pittsburgh maike it a series tonight and will Boston get back home-ice advantage?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Now What Detroit?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The Ducks continued to amaze Tuesday night with a 2-1 win in Game 3 and now have the defending Stanley Cup champions playing catch-up for the first time in the playoffs. They’ve achieved this with the tried-and-true methods of playoff success – incredible, game-stealing goaltending, timely scoring and almost flawless penalty killing.

The Red Wings, on the other hand, must be wondering what the heck is going on. Going into this playoff series, they controlled their opponents largely because they had the puck almost all the time. In this series, the Ducks have figured out a way to take a physical toll on the Wings and control the puck long enough to generate enough offense to win games.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Did He Hear It Or Read It?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV,

Sports writer Howard Bloom, publisher of Sports Business News, said he has heard that Balsillie has offered Gretzky a stake in the team worth between 10 and 15 per cent. Bloom also reported speculation that Balsillie would build a new arena for the team named for Gretzky patriarch, Walter.

The overtures to Gretzky show Balsillie will do what it takes to become the owner of an NHL franchise, Bloom said, and the moves may just work.

more

Last night I posted this,

Just to up the ante, Balsillie should offer to give 10% of the Coyotes to Gretzky (who coaches the team), locate the team in Brantford—driving distance from Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo and west-end Toronto—and name the arena after Walter. Then watch Bettman squirm.

-Kelly McParland of the National Post when writing about the Phoenix situation.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Versus Talk In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,

“A lot of people don’t even realize that Versus exists,” Hawks’ owner Rocky Wirtz said Tuesday before Game 3 at the United Center. “You just have to grin and bear it. It’s a league-mandated decision.”...

“Hopefully the league will realize that access can only help the game instead of trying to funnel it through a very small eye of the needle,” Wirtz said. “We didn’t make a lot of money on our WGN deal, but the idea was that eventually we would.”...

“Hopefully, the league will look at this,” Wirtz said. “What we’re competing with is everybody’s free time. There are a thousand things they could be doing besides watching the Hawks.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Caps Make Plans To Eliminate Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Carrera of the Washington Post,

Through two games, Crosby has accounted for four of the Penguins’ five goals, and three of his tallies have come while standing atop the Washington crease. Coach Bruce Boudreau said that without the Capitals taking penalties against Crosby every shift, it’s likely the Penguins center will continue to position himself in front of or next to goaltender Simeon Varlamov.

“We’ve got to make sure that we eliminate him,” Mike Green said. “[In Game 2] there was two times where pucks bounce off legs and in the blink of an eye he’s got it on his stick. Definitely have to be more aware of it, but you live and you learn. It’s just his presence around the net. If he’s not able to have any room or you get more in his face, then maybe he won’t have that opportunity to score.”

more

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

Lightning Looking For Investors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,

Hoping to strengthen their financial backing, the Lightning are looking to bring additional investors into the ownership group, a process that is already under way.

“It’s a work in progress, but now that we’ve gotten through the first year and we’ve had time to work on it, we’ve got a couple of real good guys looking at it,” team co-owner Len Barrie said. “It’s about reducing debt. The more debt you eliminate, the better you can run your business.”...

While team officials have denied the Lightning were in any financial hardship during the first year under OK Hockey, there have been signs the team is not exactly on solid ground, despite qualifying for the league’s revenue-sharing pool this season.

read on

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

Bettman Hopes To Find A Suitable Owner & Keep The Team In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Wall Street Journal,

Research In Motion founder Jim Balsillie has put in an offer to buy the Coyotes and move the franchise to southern Ontario. But Mr. Bettman indicated at a panel Wednesday morning hosted by the Journal with the commissioners of the four major North American team sports that the NHL first hopes to find a suitable owner in the Phoenix area.

Referring to past economic troubles facing franchises in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Ottawa, Mr. Bettman said, “We fix the problems. We don’t run out on cities.”...

Mr. Bettman said he had been planning to meet with Coyotes CEO Jerry Moyes about an offer from the team already when news surfaced of the team’s bankruptcy. He also hinted at the past trouble Mr. Balsillie has had in failed attempts to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.

The commissioner stated repeatedly that he has no vote on whether Mr. Balsillie would be approved as an owner – the owners of the league’s 30 teams make that decision.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Must Get ‘Closer’ To Ward

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

At the risk that Cam Ward could get into their heads, the Bruins tonight will perform their own exploratory surgery on the talented Carolina goalie. For starters, they’ll get in his face.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll take aim on some of the goalie’s other body parts with their intimate, probing work around the net. We would divulge more saucy details here, but for the sake of a family readership, we can only tell you so much about how the Bruins intend to break the 1-1 series deadlock, and Ward’s mesmerizing spell, when they meet the Hurricanes tonight in Raleigh, N.C., in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

continued

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

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