Kukla's Korner

The Boos?  Oh, They Pretty Much Stopped With Nine Minutes Left

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You know, it’s a little strange that we refer to the Blues fans as “bitter.”  I mean, they are…don’t get me wrong.  But we definitely shouldn’t be so narrow-minded as to think that other fans aren’t included in that description.

Now, I think you have an idea where I’m going with this.  So, before I begin…I’m playing with house money.  For three years I’ve been building up the collateral that allows me to say what’s gonna follow after the little jumpety doo.  Because I’ve defended Sergei Fedorov every time the pretend Wing fans boo’d him at the Joe?  Because I’ve done that consistently, I can say this with a certain amount of credibility.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

NHL & MLB Online Video Package

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Fisher and Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal,

MLB Advanced Media and the NHL next week plan to begin co-selling an unprecedented online video package in which the out-of-market game subscriptions for both leagues will be marketed in a joint offering. In addition, MLBAM is set to cut a separate deal with ESPN in which MLB.TV will be sold with the media giant’s Insider content subscription in hopes of driving usage of both.

The NHL-MLBAM deal marks a rare level of cooperation between sports entities with limited common ownership. The leagues’ digital arms will sell the combined video package for $139.95, less than the cost of purchasing current packages for each sport individually….

The NHL says its research indicates that 80 percent of hockey fans are also fans of MLB. The league hopes that giving baseball fans who are also hockey fans the chance to experience the NHL’s digital product during the high point of its season will lead to new subscriptions for the 2009-10 season, said John Collins, NHL chief operating officer.

more (normally a paid subscription site but this link seems to be working.  If not, I will try to get a link for you later today)

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mlb

Flames Need To Get Back To Their Style Of Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via Canada.com,

Todd Bertuzzi, the Calgary Flames resident philosopher, waxed poetic Sunday about the troubles plaguing his slumbering hockey club.

``Put it this way,’’ the big brute said after a back-to-basics practice at the Pengrowth Saddledome. ``We’re not a paintbrush. We’re sandpaper.’‘

The quip actually generated a few chuckles in the melancholy clubhouse as the Flames prepared for a home date Monday with the Montreal Canadiens.

``We’re coarse sandpaper,’’ defenceman Robyn Regehr said through a sloppy grin. ``I can only draw stick men, anyway. I wouldn’t be pretty with a paintbrush.’‘

In other words, the Flames need to quash any fantasies of masquerading as the NHL version of Monet or Van Gough.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fantasy Hockey- A Great Marketing Tool For The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

Back to Weber. Nashville’s coach, Barry Trotz, recently commented on his slump, saying “They’re aware of him, not letting him get the shot off as much. He’s also been battling some bumps and bruises for the past month, which probably takes a little edge off his game. But he’s starting to get healthy again, so I think you’ll see him coming back.”

Brilliant. Right from the source. Once the media, the National Hockey League AND its players get their heads around just how powerfully this type of insight resonates with a considerable portion of the fans of this game we will experience a degree of interactivity that the NHL has never known. As it stands, the media, generally speaking, ask lame questions of players and coaches in one-on-one opportunities. And, generally speaking, most hockey people oblige with lame, run-of-the-mill answers. We all know the cliches.

Look, I’ve said it a thousand times and I’m going to say it again. Fantasy hockey is the most cost-effective marketing solution the league has at its disposal.

more fantasy talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Get Avery Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It would be the smart play for the Rangers to accelerate the process rather than allowing the Stars to assign Avery to the Blueshirts’ AHL Hartford affiliate for an indeterminate period of time before going the re-entry route.

The Rangers gain nothing by allowing teams to get a free look at Avery for a week or two before deciding whether to pluck him. That’s a time frame in which some club might suffer a series of injuries and thereby choose to take a shot at him. If any team wants him, the Rangers should force the decision to be made immediately, sight unseen.

Plus, it best serves the Rangers’ interests to get Avery into the organization as quickly as possible in order to integrate him into the equation as smoothly as possible and to have complete control of the process and the timetable.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Canadiens Now In A Playoff Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The outspoken Laraque was more direct in his assessment as the team packed their equipment bags after Sunday’s practice.

“This is the turning point for the season,” he said matter-of-factly. “Make or break.”

The Canadiens sit seven points ahead of the 10th-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s conceivable that a subpar trip could send them plummeting out of a playoff spot.

But Carbonneau pointed out that parity among the teams jockeying for playoff position means the pressure is on for everyone, other than perhaps the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, who bestride their respective conferences.

“If we’re in trouble, a lot of teams are in trouble,” said Carbonneau, who huddled with his coaching staff and general manager Bob Gainey before practice for a postmortem of Saturday night and then held a team meeting to hammer in a few truths.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stanley Cup Is Ultimate Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

His goal for the organization isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about winning them.

“I won’t even say the word to the guys, to be honest with you,” Murray said. “I will say we’re playing for the Stanley Cup.”

There are two realities to what Murray says. First is his belief that you concede nothing, that you strive to win every game, win a championship. If you would have asked Murray to project how many points he hoped to get before the season, he would have answered 164, which would translate to an 82-0 record. To answer anything else would be to concede a willingness to lose a few games.

Ask him about the playoffs and you’ll get a similar response. He’s not suggesting these Blues consider themselves a Stanley Cup contender, per se. But there is a perspective to consider. At one point in their history, the Blues advanced to the playoffs 25 seasons in succession. And what did they have to show for it? Close your eyes and what do you see?

“We just have to have a night-by-night focus,” Murray added. “And at the end of the year, if we have enough points to be playing more games, then we will have earned it.”

more on the Blues…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray

Avs Should Be In Sell Mode

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some emails….

what do you think will/should be the Avs’ next move before the upcoming trade deadline?

Try to sell somebody on Darcy Tucker, and get out from under the next year of his contract, at more than $2 million per. Try to sell somebody on Brett Clark and the $3.5 million he’ll make next season. Maybe sell off one of the young prospects like T.J. Hensick and/or Marek Svatos. Try to get a decent goalie for one or all of those guys. Then, go into this offseason with a plan to draft big forwards, guys who can bang and skate and create a little energy. Hensick and Svatos have talent, but get swallowed up a little too easily against bigger teams.

read on for more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Norris Trophy Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Some years there is nobody who truly deserves to win a major award, but that isn’t what happens.  A winner has to be found.  It doesn’t matter if that winner would have been an also ran in almost every year in recent history.  This year it looks like the Norris Trophy will be one such award. 

There is a relatively large group of Norris Trophy candidates that include Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Dan Boyle, Andrei Markov, Duncan Keith and others.  How do hockey pundits tend to handle such situations?  They find a leading candidate not by looking at this season, but by looking at other recent seasons.  Many have done that and are picking Nicklas Lidstrom as the Norris favorite.  Lidstrom has basically owned the Norris Trophy having won it six times recently.  The problem is at age 38 he is finally starting to slow down.  He has struggled through injuries this season including tendonitis in his elbow and a broken nose and has not been nearly as dominant a player as we have seen in the past.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There’s something almost unfair about Detroit’s immense depth. They have guys like Hossa, Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen and Holmstrom, all-proven 20-goal threats, on the wing.  The Penguins have… Petr Sykora and? Who? SIdney Crosby had Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis on his wings today. They’re fine third-line caliber player, but they shouldn’t be on a line with one of the world’s best players.

-Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters.  More on the game including Seth’s unique live play-by-play blog.

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

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