Kukla's Korner

Now What Detroit?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The Ducks continued to amaze Tuesday night with a 2-1 win in Game 3 and now have the defending Stanley Cup champions playing catch-up for the first time in the playoffs. They’ve achieved this with the tried-and-true methods of playoff success – incredible, game-stealing goaltending, timely scoring and almost flawless penalty killing.

The Red Wings, on the other hand, must be wondering what the heck is going on. Going into this playoff series, they controlled their opponents largely because they had the puck almost all the time. In this series, the Ducks have figured out a way to take a physical toll on the Wings and control the puck long enough to generate enough offense to win games.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Did He Hear It Or Read It?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV,

Sports writer Howard Bloom, publisher of Sports Business News, said he has heard that Balsillie has offered Gretzky a stake in the team worth between 10 and 15 per cent. Bloom also reported speculation that Balsillie would build a new arena for the team named for Gretzky patriarch, Walter.

The overtures to Gretzky show Balsillie will do what it takes to become the owner of an NHL franchise, Bloom said, and the moves may just work.


Last night I posted this,

Just to up the ante, Balsillie should offer to give 10% of the Coyotes to Gretzky (who coaches the team), locate the team in Brantford—driving distance from Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo and west-end Toronto—and name the arena after Walter. Then watch Bettman squirm.

-Kelly McParland of the National Post when writing about the Phoenix situation.

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

Versus Talk In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,

“A lot of people don’t even realize that Versus exists,” Hawks’ owner Rocky Wirtz said Tuesday before Game 3 at the United Center. “You just have to grin and bear it. It’s a league-mandated decision.”...

“Hopefully the league will realize that access can only help the game instead of trying to funnel it through a very small eye of the needle,” Wirtz said. “We didn’t make a lot of money on our WGN deal, but the idea was that eventually we would.”...

“Hopefully, the league will look at this,” Wirtz said. “What we’re competing with is everybody’s free time. There are a thousand things they could be doing besides watching the Hawks.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Caps Make Plans To Eliminate Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Carrera of the Washington Post,

Through two games, Crosby has accounted for four of the Penguins’ five goals, and three of his tallies have come while standing atop the Washington crease. Coach Bruce Boudreau said that without the Capitals taking penalties against Crosby every shift, it’s likely the Penguins center will continue to position himself in front of or next to goaltender Simeon Varlamov.

“We’ve got to make sure that we eliminate him,” Mike Green said. “[In Game 2] there was two times where pucks bounce off legs and in the blink of an eye he’s got it on his stick. Definitely have to be more aware of it, but you live and you learn. It’s just his presence around the net. If he’s not able to have any room or you get more in his face, then maybe he won’t have that opportunity to score.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lightning Looking For Investors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,

Hoping to strengthen their financial backing, the Lightning are looking to bring additional investors into the ownership group, a process that is already under way.

“It’s a work in progress, but now that we’ve gotten through the first year and we’ve had time to work on it, we’ve got a couple of real good guys looking at it,” team co-owner Len Barrie said. “It’s about reducing debt. The more debt you eliminate, the better you can run your business.”...

While team officials have denied the Lightning were in any financial hardship during the first year under OK Hockey, there have been signs the team is not exactly on solid ground, despite qualifying for the league’s revenue-sharing pool this season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bettman Hopes To Find A Suitable Owner & Keep The Team In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Wall Street Journal,

Research In Motion founder Jim Balsillie has put in an offer to buy the Coyotes and move the franchise to southern Ontario. But Mr. Bettman indicated at a panel Wednesday morning hosted by the Journal with the commissioners of the four major North American team sports that the NHL first hopes to find a suitable owner in the Phoenix area.

Referring to past economic troubles facing franchises in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Ottawa, Mr. Bettman said, “We fix the problems. We don’t run out on cities.”...

Mr. Bettman said he had been planning to meet with Coyotes CEO Jerry Moyes about an offer from the team already when news surfaced of the team’s bankruptcy. He also hinted at the past trouble Mr. Balsillie has had in failed attempts to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.

The commissioner stated repeatedly that he has no vote on whether Mr. Balsillie would be approved as an owner – the owners of the league’s 30 teams make that decision.


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

Bruins Must Get ‘Closer’ To Ward

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

At the risk that Cam Ward could get into their heads, the Bruins tonight will perform their own exploratory surgery on the talented Carolina goalie. For starters, they’ll get in his face.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll take aim on some of the goalie’s other body parts with their intimate, probing work around the net. We would divulge more saucy details here, but for the sake of a family readership, we can only tell you so much about how the Bruins intend to break the 1-1 series deadlock, and Ward’s mesmerizing spell, when they meet the Hurricanes tonight in Raleigh, N.C., in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Balsillie Continues To Get It Wrong

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Jim Balsillie is well on his way to becoming the dumbest, most stubborn, successful entrepreneur around.

How else to explain his latest hockey outburst—his clumsy, all-too-public attempt to bully the National Hockey League into allowing him to purchase the now-bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes franchise and move it to southern Ontario.

If all he is attempting here is to find his name in the headlines, he is certainly accomplishing that.

But if he honestly believes he can pull an end-run on commissioner Gary Bettman, secure an NHL franchise, move it, and use a public website to drum up support for a seventh Canadian franchise, then he is either getting terrible advice or he is simply fond of banging his head against the wall. Because that’s all he can accomplish here. This is a war he may not be able to win.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Not Pretty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

True fact: The Hawks have played 180 minutes vs. the Canucks. They have trailed Vancouver for 112:39 of that.

The Hawks had a big crowd and a lot of momentum coming home tied in the series. Even better, they got an early power play. But they would manage only one good chance, and really, that would be it for the period.

The Canucks, meanwhile, withstood the usual 10-minute onslaught the Hawks throw at teams in the United Center, and then they took control of the game.

Sorry, but it shouldn’t have happened. Not this way. Not at home. Not after a terrorizing comeback in Game 2.

Worse, the Hawks didn’t just lose Game 3, they gave it away, making a couple awful plays that led to Vancouver’s first two goals.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Battle Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The first thing you need to know is that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Phoenix today, ostensibly to put the finishing touches on an intent to purchase agreement from Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, whose intention was to apparently keep the financially-troubled Coyotes in their current home of Glendale, which is also home to Reinsdorf’s spring-training baseball facility (a mile away from the Coyotes’ Jobing.com Arena). That offer was expected to materialize within the next few days.

We don’t know a lot about the Reinsdorf deal but suffice to say it likely wasn’t in the $212.5 million range….

The NHL, meanwhile, is likely to battle Balsillie on the issue of ‘‘control.’’ While the league will get destroyed in the court of public opinion in Canada, it is quite likely to exert what it perceives to be its legal rights on how it does business. That is, the league believes it ultimately controls who owns NHL franchises and where they are located.

To do that, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will ultimately require the backing of the board of governors, but he has had it in the past. It remains to be seen whether he has it this time, but this has all the makings of a battle royale.


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

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