Kukla's Korner

Hockey Night In Canada On The Line

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

The buzz this week has the CBC emerging as the favourite to retain National Hockey League broadcasting rights. A source well connected to the NHL speculated the CBC will hang onto the rights by signing a relatively short-term deal with the league, perhaps only three or four years in length. Insiders say the network made a presentation to the NHL about two weeks ago in New York and, as the incumbent rights holder, is operating now in a window of exclusive negotiation. Although it has been speculated an agreement could be announced as early as this month, others say a complete presentation by Bell Globemedia, which owns CTV and TSN, has yet to be heard.
continued

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PA Draws A Bad Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the NHLPA's site (really): It's for a good cause, but this is the worst way to go about raising money for charity if you're an NHL'er...

Some of the biggest names in the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) will try to outwit each other at the poker table – all in the name of charity – in the PartyPoker.net Charity Faceoff. The new seven-part, 60-minute TSN original series premieres December 16 and is available in High Definition. A made-for-TV Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, PartyPoker.net Charity Faceoff features 16 current and former NHLers with a total purse of $100,000 (Cdn), all going to the players’ charities of choice. Some of the players participating include three-time Vezina winner and New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Bryan McCabe, Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet of the Montreal Canadiens, and tough guys Sean Avery, Donald Brashear and Georges Laraque
It gets worse:
Hosted by TV and radio sports personality Blake Price, the series features analysis by TSN’s Russ Anber and player interviews by Canadian-born Hollywood actress Elisha Cuthbert.
continued

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Looking At The Average Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

This season, all but five of NHL's 30 teams raised ticket prices, and while the biggest increases have generally been for the premium seats that usually belong to corporate interests, it suggest that the NHL is moving closer to becoming inaccessible to the core base it has relied on. "Teams are run on luxury boxes and club suites," said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt economics professor who focuses on sports economics. "The marginal fan is becoming less and less important because the arena structure has turned hockey demand upside down. "It used to be the regular fan was important. Now the corporate fan is what counts. The marginal fan in upper deck, the one you see on the videotron, doesn't really matter."
more

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“Sugar” Has Had Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CBS-5 News,

Brandon Sugden announced his retirement on Thursday before the team's morning practice. Sugden told CBS-5 that he's leaving the team and the AHL because new rules in the NHL is taking fighting out of the game. Sugden has only played in a few games this season. He said he's happy with his decision and he may remain in Syracuse to raise his family

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Bell Facing More Than 3 Years Of Jail Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office charged Shark's left winger Mark Bell for an alleged hit-and-run drunk-driving incident from earlier this year, officials said today. He faces up to 3 years and 8 months in prison if convicted of driving under the influence and felony hit and run.
continued

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Joe Meets With The Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Joe Nieuwendyk took part in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. Thanks for taking this call. I just want to say you're a helluva player in all those battles of Alberta. I just wanted to say what do you remember about those battles and what do you remember about playing against Jeff Beukeboom? JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, that was obviously early in my career, and I think the thing I remember the most is just how the two cities got involved. It was a rivalry like no other, especially in the sport of hockey, but I think it rivaled other sports, as well. Just the mayors got into it. I remember the mayors talking about who would wear the opposing city's jersey, and you couldn't get a ticket for those types of games back in the day around Christmastime, and it was just a thrill with the team they had, with Messier and Gretzky and Kurri, and we were trying to get past that group. It was a great thrill. To play against my cousin and have some of the battles we had, we grew up being very close together, and there was no love when it came to playing in those types of battles, though, and we got into it a few times. It was good, great memory, great times early in my career.

Continue Reading »

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Stillman Preparing For Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschhek of the Globe and Mail,

"It's tough watching," said Stillman. "It was tough early and it's getting tougher now, when you get close to the end of rehab. It's almost four months and almost 30 games into the season, but I'm getting closer. I'm hoping to play on this trip." It's a trip that takes the Hurricanes into Vancouver for a Friday match with the Canucks and then finishes with a Monday game against the Colorado Avalanche, the most likely date for Stillman's return.
more

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Anaheim’s Chris Kunitz is Thriving

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Pierre Lebrun, Canadian Press:

Chris Kunitz's 15 goals have him tied with linemate Teemu Selanne for tops on the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks. But just last season, Kunitz found himself on the waiver wire - twice. "It tested my thoughts about whether I would ever make it," Kunitz said of being waived. "But good things happen sometimes when you get a second chance." The Ducks first waived the 27-year-old Regina native last fall and he was picked up by Atlanta on Oct. 4. After two games with the Thrashers, they also waived him. He was then re-claimed by Anaheim on Oct. 18.
Continued... Note: Evaluating players on a dollar-per-goal basis, James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail has Kunitz down as one of the top buys in hockey.

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Consequences Of A Schedule Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The heavily unbalanced schedule, with its emphasis on intra-divisional games and the once-in-every-three-seasons appearances in the other conference's arenas, has another downside. Well, maybe it's not a downside. If one of the more influential franchises in the league, or one with the highest-decibel fan and media bases, again gets skewered by it, as Toronto did last season, that will increase the chances of the system being scuttled, at least at the end of the first three-season cycle.
continued

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Turgeon Activated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has activated forward Pierre Turgeon from the injury reserve list.

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