Kukla's Korner

NHL- Year Two On NBC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 6:20pm, 1/12/07 (original post on 1/11/07 at 1:40pm), I am moving this to the front page of KK since hits are starting to come in, looking for this information.
Also, SteveNJ wanted to add this… Before we get to the games, I’d love to show you this nice little promo that NBC has been running, it’s quite good, and nice how they got all three play-by-play voices on it.  Very exciting stuff:

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Thanks to KK member SteveNJ for this submission…

So, welcome back my friends to the show we as hockey fans probably have all labeled as “Must See TV”, “The NHL On NBC”.  The broadcast returns for it’s 2nd season with increased coverage, new faces, and overall a dedication to spreading the good word of hockey. 
I think we are more fascinated with NBC than either of our previous network television broadcasters (Fox and ABC) because they seem to genuinely care.  You’ve heard reports from this site that they may be doing many more games in years to come.  They promoted the games during football, and that counts.  More people watched the Dallas-Seattle game than any other in NFL Wildcard history.  And they all got to see some shots of the NHL during the broadcast.  I hope we’re with the Peacock for a long time to come.

Here are some major things that you can expect from NBC in Year #2.

Continue Reading »

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How do U.S. Troops Get Their Hockey?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Kara Yorio from The Sporting News,

I recently got an e-mail from a soldier in Iraq who is watching the Sabres’ success from the Iraq-Syria border with other Sabres fans. At a Flyers game in November, I saw a photo on the big scoreboard of a Flyers pennant in the window of a fighter jet. I know these guys are not alone. You’re out there. You’re trying to stay in touch with the day-to-day here by watching the scoreboard and the standings and rooting for your team, maybe with other fans like you.
So I’m asking troops out there to e-mail and post. (I’m sure you’d rather spend your time e-mailing family and friends, but if you get a second, drop me a line.) Let us know where you are and how you’re following your team and what they mean to you.

more…

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Shanny Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Brendan Shanahan took part in the NHL tele-conference today,

Q. Since you’ve been in the marketing efforts and thoughts about the new NHL and curious how you feel it’s been going now in season two, and also your thoughts on the new sweaters to come, is that a good gamble for the League to take a new look, a new image?
BRENDAN SHANAHAN: Well, you know, I don’t know, I know we had some practice sweaters on a couple of weeks ago. Mine didn’t really fit me that well that day. We had talked about getting a bigger one.
You know, I think it’s one of those things we’ll have to have them on and play before we really know how they are. I guess I’ll wait to judge them. I’m an old school equipment guy. I don’t like to change my equipment too much. So you’re probably talking to the wrong guy as far as changing the look of a hockey player, but I’ll trust the experts, the marketing experts on that.
As far as the game is going, I think the game is still going really well. You know, I think the honeymoon is kind of over somewhat. Every once in awhile I see on TSN or ESPN Classic an old game, and I’m seeing a game from sometimes only five, ten years ago and I see the clutching and the grabbing that was going on, where just the game is just so much better right now.

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Please Sign My Car

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

He wanted an autograph, but his old ‘84 Lincoln didn’t hold anything for Gretzky to sign. So Gretzky grabbed a marker and signed the Lincoln itself — in sweeping cursive, with a marker, right on the interior roof.
And so that’s how it started, Sleeman recounts, the most unique autograph collection around. What began with one autograph has grown into a hobby for Sleeman, who now has over 235 hockey player autographs inside his current cab, a 2004 Nissan Altima. He cut out the cloth from the roof of the Lincoln, to save the precious autographs from a car now out of service.

read on

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How To Score More

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

He doesn’t serve on the National Hockey League’s competition committee, but maybe he should. Minnesota Wild general manager Doug Risebrough made a persuasive argument this week for respecting NHL tradition and history (he believes the league needs to market and emphasize the things that work in the game), but he added an interesting twist in the ongoing debate over what to do about goal-scoring, which continues to lag and drag, no matter how much they talk about the so-called new era….
So Risebrough’s solution: Instead of widening the nets, he thought the league could consider introducing a basketball style “key” in front of the goals, in which perhaps only one defender could take up residence at a time. Instead of restricting where a goaltender could play the puck behind the net, you’d reduce the number of defenders that could help him out in front.

read on... and many more hockey topics…

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The Gearhead: An Interview With TPS Hockey’s Goalie Guru

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George James Malik

My day at TPS Hockey’s headquarters in Wallaceburg, ON included a teleconference with TPS’s goalie pad design guru, Dave Wilcox.  He and I spoke at length about goaltending equipment and design until everybody left the room, and then we really talked about how goaltenders are smarter, better, and saner than everybody else.

Okay, okay, so not all of that is true, but those pesky skaters did leave the room because there’s one truth that’s undeniable: goalies are definitely the pickiest, most finicky hockey players in terms of their equipment preferences. 

As such, I’d like to introduce myself as a goalie with a dirty little secret.  I actually started out playing hockey as a late-blooming 13-year-old forward.  I loved scoring goals and making deft passes in traffic, but a 13-year-old who’s built like Shawn Burr tends to find himself pigeonholed into a particular role—pushing people around.  When big guys start to analyze how to push people around more effectively, and how to intimidate with a slash here and a cross-check there, the forwards and defencemen who tire of welts and bruises tell that big, vicious guy, “Would you mind filling in for our goalie, please?”

Continue Reading »

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High Praise

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

We are all about giving praise when praise is due, and that includes the NHL’s improved ad campaign.
And after last season’s Art of War ad campaign, which seemed more like a men’s cologne ad gone bad, this season’s television campaign featuring stars like Joe Thornton, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Alexander Ovechkin are must-sees by comparison. And we’re not the only ones who think so.

read on.. plus teams dealing with injuries…

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The Gearhead: TPS Hockey And The Art Of Stick-Making

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George James Malik

Charlie had the Chocolate Factory, and Ralphie had his Red Ryder bb gun.  Me, I’m a hockey gearhead.  I’ve handled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sticks, gloves, skates, pads, and goalie gear over the last fifteen years, and I was recently given my Gearhead Experience of a Lifetime as TPS Hockey opened the doors of its Wallaceburg, ON factory to me.  TPS graciously opened its doors and gave me an all-access pass to their stick-making facility, and there’s only one word to describe it—AWESOME!

When I parked my Pacifica in a suburban business park in Oakland County and shook hands with Mr. Graham Watson, TPS’s tremendous TPS Sales Representative for the Detroit area, I was almost immediately given a piece of advice that I must emphasize from the get go: “These days, everybody makes good gear.”

Continue Reading »

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A Big-Picture Assessment

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet:

Through the years the National Hockey League (particularly the NHL commissioners) has always had a catch phrase, the hockey equivalent to a politician’s stump speech.

Gary Bettman, who appears destined to outlast them all, is fond of buying time with the tried and true: “Don’t take a snapshot, look at the big picture,” a device that has bought more time than the legend of Santa Claus.
We here at Sportsnet.ca have our own favorite phrase, it’s “bullspit”, or a word to that effect. We find it remarkably effective at cutting through the various spin cycles so common to hockey as a business. With that particular word in mind, we take a hard and clear look at the NHL at the halfway point of the season and even beyond.
To do so we break things down into three parts: the league as a business; the teams themselves; and a handful of key individuals. The goal is to give you a state of the NHL on and off the ice and despite what you hear, see and are told by a variety of spin masters. In many cases it’s simply somewhere in between.

much more

 

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Conspiracy Theory- All Star Edition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle,

In case you’ve missed the news, there’s just a wee bit of controversy over the final ballot totals in the case of the Rory Fitzpatrick business. As in, some appear to be missing.

continued

The comment from snafu in the Mirtle post is perfect…

Who fudged the numbers here? If there are a few fans smart enough to figure out how to set up bots to cast repeated votes, and to tie up the interface so others can’t get in, who’s fudging here?

added 10:22am, The Ice Block- How To Prevent This From Happening Again…

added 3:41pm, from the Globe and Mail,

National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said via email this afternoon that measures were taken in the beginning to ensure against tampering with the all-star balloting system:
“There were no changes made to the vote counting process at any point in time from the start of the voting to the end,” Daly said. “But there were procedures and safeguards in place from the start to prevent automated or other fraudulent voting methods.”

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