Kukla's Korner

The Plan To Keep The Coyotes In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rebekah L. Sanders and Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic,

Glendale’s deal to help Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf raise up to $165 million to buy and run the Phoenix Coyotes would be unprecedented in the National Hockey League and perhaps all professional sports, experts said Wednesday.

Under the agreement presented to the City Council this week, a special funding district created by Glendale at the city’s sports and entertainment hub would provide Reinsdorf with up to $65 million to help purchase the team from the NHL and as much as $100 million to cover operating losses over five years….

The closest comparison to Glendale’s situation could be Nashville and the Predators hockey team, according to John Vrooman, a sports economist and professor at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University.

Nashville pays the Predators roughly $5 million per year as part of an effort to retain the team after it was on the verge of being sold and moved to Canada, Vrooman said.

more

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

Stop Picking On The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

There may not be that many hockey fans among the five million souls in metropolitan Phoenix, but TV ratings are up and 17,000-plus have been showing up regularly lately at the Jobing.com arena, enjoying the spectacle before them.

They tailgate before the game. They howl – quite literally—starting at the national anthem and carry on at appropriate moments in the game. They spill out into the prefabricated entertainment centre known as Westgate filling the bland cookie-cutter franchise restaurants and bars after the game, giving the locale a vibrancy for a few hours that bely its desolate surroundings.

“I’m hoping the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup,” said one of those tailgaters, who gave his name only as Ron, drinking Coors Light disguised in a souvenir plastic cup. “That’ll make it 18 years in a row that a Canadian team has not won a Stanley Cup.

“Instead of ‘Make It Seven, you can make it zero. Maybe (your Canadian teams) need to come here. Quit picking on us, you guys aren’t winning either.”

read on

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

Beating Brodeur

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, I

t’s pretty hard for Brodeur to maintain that aura of invincibility once he’s been humbled for the world to see. And there’s no way Pronger and Richards can be intimidated by a guy who sat on the bench for Team Canada’s last four games, including the gold-medal classic against the U.S. team.

It would be going too far to say that, at age 37, Brodeur has lost it. He had a terrific regular season and played a large role in the Devils’ division title and No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

But there is an enormous difference between a good goaltender and one who becomes entrenched in the psyches of opposing shooters. Brodeur was the latter during those years he frustrated the Flyers and the rest of the NHL on his way to three Stanley Cup titles.

When Brodeur allowed four goals in 18 shots to Team USA, he became a spectator.

At the time, the media, especially the hockey-centric Canadian press, wondered aloud if Brodeur’s days as a big-game goalie were behind him. That may have been a bit premature. One playoff loss does not an epitaph make.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sabres Not Getting Much Attention

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

A goalie in the mix for the Vezina and Hart trophies, a defenseman who is the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy, a team offense that was top 10 in the NHL this season and a goals-against average that was top five.

Sounds like a Stanley Cup contender, right?

Well, you’d be hard-pressed to find many media pundits who have the Buffalo Sabres in their Stanley Cup finals predictions (I’ve got Washington coming out of the East). So, what gives? Why no national buzz for a Sabres team that essentially went wire to wire in winning the Northeast Division en route to a 100-point season?

continued

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

Not An LA Fad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hannah Karp of the Wall Street Journal,

There’s a strange new bandwagon to jump on here, and it has nothing to do with Botox or tiny dogs or female directors or 10-day juice fasts in the desert. The flavor of the month is an oft-forgotten sports team with an underground, pasty-skinned, punk-rock following: hockey’s Los Angeles Kings.

For the first time since Wayne Gretzky skipped town in the 1990s, the Kings, long the laughingstock of the league, are actually good again. Led by a slew of young, wisely chosen draft picks including the NHL’s first Slovenian player, 22-year-old Anze Kopitar, and a 20-year-old Canadian named Drew Doughty, who’s been compared to legendary defenseman Bobby Orr, the Kings are headed to their first postseason in eight years.

continued

thanks to LA Kings Insider for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hossa Hopes For Another Cup Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

“This is another great chance,” said Hossa, who signed a 12-year, $62.8 million deal with the Hawks on July 1. “The two times had disappointing ends, both of them. On the other hand I still consider myself lucky because some great players didn’t even go to the Stanley Cup finals. I know I didn’t win it but it’s the motivation again. It’s going to be a great challenge.”

That challenge gets under way Friday night at the United Center when the Hawks face the Predators in Game 1 of the playoffs. After rolling through a regular season that produced their first division title in 17 years and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Hawks seem primed to make an even deeper run than last season’s team that fell to the Wings in the conference finals.

“We have a great team and great thing going here,” said Hossa, who had 24 goals and 27 assists in 57 games after returning from offseason shoulder surgery. “We all believe we can go all the way. Expectations are high and we’re looking forward to it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Crosby Talks About Loss To Senators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

Question: Was that the start you wanted?

Crosby: I thought in the second and third we got a little better. But that bounce they got on that third goal, that ended up being the difference. Our start wasn’t great and we certainly got to make sure we are better.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Step In The Right Direction For Phoenix Ownership Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called the Glendale City Council’s approval of a proposed arena lease agreement by a group headed by Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf a terrific step in the process of the league finding a new owner for the Phoenix Coyotes.

continued

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

Experience Not Necessary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

While there are several accomplished National Hockey League coaches eager to work, more and more it appears teams are going down the road less travelled to fill their head coaching vacancies.

This week, the St Louis Blues extended Davis Payne’s contract by two years, removing the interim label and rewarding a coach with zero previous NHL coaching experience.

Payne was promoted from Peoria, the Blues AHL affiliate after veteran coach Andy Murray was fired in January. Columbus, Tampa Bay, and as of today, the Atlanta Thrashers, are all in the market for a head coach and early indications from these teams is that they will consider all options.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The State Of The Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Speaks of EdmontonOilers.com,

Less than 24 hours after winning the top pick in the NHL Draft Lottery, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini was back in Edmonton for his end-of-season press conference at Rexall Place.

Media packed the conference room and questioned Tambellini on a number of topics, including the upcoming draft, what went wrong this past season, the status of certain high-profile player personnel, and prospect development.

Here are the highlights:

“We have good people, good players, but we have to make some change,” he said. “Going into this year’s draft, you know there will be potentially more change. We’re going to try to do some things there as far as moving bodies.

“If I was to stand up here in front of all of you and say, ‘If I make one trade, if I make one good free agent signing then things are going to be better,’ that’s not true. I’m not going to be the person to tell you that there’s a quick fix,” he stated.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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