Kukla's Korner

Kansas City Waiting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star via the Mercury News,

“If you had gone to Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton five years ago, you would have seen large pockets of empty seats,” Bettman said recently. “It came back. We’re still morphing into the new world; some clubs have done it better and faster than others, and some were healthy to begin with, but they’re all heading in the right direction.
“Nashville is in better shape now than it was three years ago, and my hope is they get their act together as a market and support this club. It’s the corporate community that hasn’t stepped up, and that’s a concern. Is that a hockey issue? No, it’s a Nashville issue.”...
“We have over the last year received expressions of interest from a number of cities,” Bettman said at the NHL All-Star meetings last month. “We’ve been focused on dealing with the franchises we have. I know there is a very nice, new building (in Kansas City), but we are focused on having 30 healthy teams right now where they are.”
So if the Penguins reach an agreement for a new arena in Pittsburgh, that will leave Kansas City eyeing Nashville or one of the two teams in Florida.

read on...recommended!

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The NHL As It Stands

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

...Only this season, with a bit of the euphoria finally wearing off even in the hockey heartland, is the true measure of that “victory” beginning to become apparent.
The sport is dead as a national television property in the United States. Not struggling. Not in development. Dead….
What is obvious are more vast stretches of empty seats than ever before, most dramatically in what were once very good hockey towns: St. Louis, Chicago and Boston. The Blues, for a game against the Blackhawks this season, opened the doors and watched as only 5,400 fans (announced) walked through the turnstiles.

more

 

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Forsberg Done After This Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler at MSG Network,

• Peter Forsberg’s NHL future will end in June; or earlier; depending upon the playoffs. We’re told that, Stanley Cup-win, or not, the Sweet Swede will call it a career and return to Europe. In the meantime, Barry Trotz must figure out how to blend Forsberg into the Predators abundant lineup without disrupting the uncanny Nashville chemistry.
• Nobody is quite sure precisely how the NHL Players’ Association internal investigation will evolve but there is no guarantee that Ted Saskin will win. Nevertheless that has not halted speculation about potential successors. We’ve heard two interesting names - Steve Yzerman and Mike Liut.

more from the Maven…

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Wings “Talk” Tough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Windsor Star,

“We could use some toughness, some grit,” Schneider said. “We haven’t had problems scoring, other than the beginning of the year, since I’ve been here.
“You like to have some depth in case of injury, another centre that can play on the power play, another defenceman that can step in anytime. I think we feel comfortable with our team right now, but it’s nice to have that grit and toughness.”...
Chelios even would welcome the prospect of a long-time nemesis like Bertuzzi if it improves the Wings chances of winning.
“The only down side with Bertuzzi is he’s been injured all year,” Chelios said.
“There’s nothing personal, he’d be welcomed into this room because there was no one more hated than I was when I came here. If it helps the team, we just want to win.”

more

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Change The Point System

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

If your league spends six months playing games that decide which of its teams make the playoffs, isn’t it only logical that each of those games should have the same value?
Of course it is. But logic has never been the strong point of the National Hockey League. So for some games, it awards three points. For some others, it awards two.
How can that be fair? How can it be logical? Look at the teams battling for top playoff seeds in the Northwest Division. Look at the middle-of-the-pack teams in the Eastern Conference.

continued

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Buccigross Sees All

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Those of us in the blogosphere lay it all on the line and it’s all there forever in Googleland. We have to watch the games. We have to have an idea of what we are talking about or you will be exposed like Ashlee Simpson.
Before this season, I made my fifth annual preseason predictions. For the first time, I made a player projection. As we approach the playoff run and trade deadline, I’ll save you the time and examine those picks and look ahead to see how a trade could affect that pick.
Preseason prediction: Getting Roberto Luongo and stuff for Todd Bertuzzi and stuff is one of the biggest steals in recent NHL trade history. Luongo comes from a culture that could care less about hockey (but they have very loud Gloria Estefan music) to one that lives and breathes it.
Preseason player projection: Markus Naslund, 34-43-77. Current projection: 27-38-65.

now that you have seen an example, read on for the rest…

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Burke Proposes Changes To Instigator Rule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Anaheim Ducks’ activist GM Brian Burke proposed a change that would permit a player to receive five instigator penalties in a season before facing suspension. Currently, the rule limits a player to just three instigator minors.
Burke did not favour eliminating the instigator, but added: “I think we’ve got to get to five or six before a player gets suspended, so they can do their jobs and protect their teammates. In our group, the six of us in there, I’d say were on board for that.’‘

read on

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Trade Talk Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

“Let’s wait `til you get closer to the trading deadline,” said veteran New York Rangers GM Glen Sather, who predicts the price will come down. “This is like 30 guys at the used car lot right now, and every guy wants the same four or five cars. The guy doing the selling is asking a lot more. When you get closer to the trading deadline, it won’t be that way.”
Ottawa Senators GM John Muckler hopes the price will drop.
“Some people think the market’s already set,” Muckler said, referring to the first-round picks. “If it is, I don’t think we’ll dive in at these prices. We’re not doing to deal our future off to add another player to our hockey club. We went out and we got (Mike) Comrie and we spent a lot of our money there so we don’t have that much left.

more

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Trade Or No Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sportsnet turning trade deadline into a game show.
Mirtle has more…

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Other Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

While the talk is endless about whether or not Nashville overpaid for Peter Forsberg or Edmonton is signaling they are sellers after the dumping of Marc-Andre Bergeron, nothing is being said or written about the demise of the NHL on both broadcast TV and cable in the United States….
The NHL and NHLPA need to be looking at their “partnership” agreement. How close can the two sides be when there is an ongoing federal investigation (According to a report in Sports Business Journal) into whether or not labour laws were violated regarding contractual side agreements between the league and the Players’ Association?

much more from Jim…

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