Kukla's Korner

Columbus Wants The Perfect Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets’ owners, who are expected to name a coach within two weeks, are said to be keen on hiring a big name who will turn heads. And that’s not just in the dressing room. With attendance dipping and fans reaching the point of aggravation quicker and quicker during recent games, a club source said yesterday that the ideal candidate will "energize the fan base and make a splash, as well as the obvious part, which is that he’s a great hockey coach. We’ve got to get the right guy in here."
continued

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Around The Blogosphere

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Wasn't it around this time last year that the "McCabe For Norris" campaign started? This year's McCabe? Tomas Kaberle. The Hockey News is leading the charge. image Thankfully, we have the Battle of Ontario (at least one side of it) to inject some sanity.

Right. And Peca for the Selke, Raycroft for the Vezina, and Maurice the Adams. The Muppet was correct - not enough for the Toronto media to write about.
I'm sorry. I thought I made it clear last season that the Norris resides in Detroit. Our campaign here at A2Y will officially begin 1 January. Lidstrom should be +178 by then.

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Selling The Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Ducks' general manager acknowledged that although he has "changed the culture" by signing Scott Niedermayer, trading for Chris Pronger and assembling a team that's swift and smart, he hasn't triggered a box-office boom. The Ducks, who set an NHL record by earning at least one point in each of their first 16 games, averaged 14,832 fans over their first 12 home games, 86.5% capacity of the Honda Center. That's up from their average of 13,433 after 12 games last season. Burke said sponsorships and revenue are up too, but the club is budgeted to lose "several million dollars" this season.
read on (reg. req.)

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Old School- Clint Smith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Almost every night the Canucks play at home, the oldest living member of hockey's Hall of Fame comes to watch. He uses a walker now and if you stood him still for a measurement there's no way Clint Smith would stand over five feet. He's 92 and the sleek physique that allowed him to be the third-youngest player in history to turn pro in 1932 at age 16 has felt the ticking of the clock. But his mind and sense of humour are still very much on top of their game. Memories? He could write a few books and probably should, particularly about playing in the second-largest arena in the country in the '30s, the old Denman Street one where he donned the colours of the Vancouver Lions for three seasons after signing with the New York Rangers.
continued

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Blues Sinking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

"There's not one guy on this team who's doing the right thing," Blues left winger Keith Tkachuk said. Legace said he was kicked in the head on the first goal, lost his bearings and that had a "snowball effect." He allowed four goals on 15 shots, and now in his last two starts he has surrendered eight goals on 36 shots. "The last start I didn't think I was playing bad when I got pulled," Legace said. "But now it seems like I'm going one way and the puck is going the other way."
read on... an ugly game recap, Blues lost 6-2 to Edmonton...

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Provincial Thoughts On Chelios

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I guess the "Chris Chelios is really frigging old, but still playing and playing well" stories are going to pop up most game days, in most opposing papers. Today's? The Calgary Herald.

Still the ultimate anarchist/rebel/villain. The Jack Nicholson of hockey. And like bad Jack, he's taken the metamorphosis from leading man to character actor in stride. Even if some critics might argue he'd best be displayed in a Drumheller exhibit than on the Red Wings' blueline, he doesn't feel like a fossil. "My age,'' Chelios sighs. "That's all anybody seems to want to talk about these days. Thank gawd Dom (Hasek) is around. With all that grey hair, he makes me look good.
More

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Devils Lack Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

Through their first nine home games, the Devils have averaged 12,336 fans — 9 percent less than the 13,548 they averaged during the same span last season. The Devils, in their 25th season in New Jersey, have rarely been a big draw, but this season stands out. “We’ve been playing pretty well for many years, but attendance can be better than what it is,” Patrik Elias, the team’s captain, said.... “I am very disappointed, very disappointed,” Jeffrey Vanderbeek, who has owned the Devils for two years, said during an interview at his office in Newark last week. “I’m embarrassed for our players. Last time I checked, we were in first place.”
more

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Game Day Preview: Wings at Flames

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Barry Melrose, interviewed on ESPN News last night, was asked by whoever the heck the anchor stuck on ESPN News was, about the "hottest team in the league". Melrose said, "Calgary is playing..." The anchor, clearly shaken, said, "No Barry..I mean Detroit." Melrose stammered out a few sentences about defense, Hasek and Luc Robitaille all playing well for the Wings, then said they're not going anywhere unless Datsyuk and Zetterberg perform well in the playoffs. Then he started giggling and moved on to the Flames. Well, in three weeks when ESPN discusses hockey again perhaps they'll look back to tonite to settle the "who's the hottest team debate." Because both are on fire, so to speak. Calgary is riding Mikka Kiprusoff, while the Wings have decided not to let anyone bother Hasek.

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YouTube, NHL Looking For Cross-Legitimization

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star:

While users have already been able to access NHL highlights for months at the website — clips available at YouTube, before yesterday's deal was announced, included a 1999 brawl between the Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers and a collection of goals scored by Washington's young forward Alexander Ovechkin — a formal agreement with the hockey league helps to legitimize the Internet site. "It's further validation for YouTube," said Jimmy Schaeffler, a former producer with ABC Sports who now works as the Carmel Group media consultancy in California. "It's kind of like when the government says something's illegal but doesn't do anything about it, and then they make it legal and, all of a sudden, people rush in and it becomes that much more popular." Still, Schaeffler said, "how the NHL monetizes this remains the big question."

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Friday With The Deep Diggers; Analyzing the PP

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

All the Deep Diggers have been heard from in the Province, and all three are focusing on the Wing injury situation; where we have one worse (Holmstrom), one better (Kronwall), another status quo (Osgood) and one biding his time (Williams). As befitting his glorious title as Deep Digger Captain, we start with Khan(!), who writes that despite recent reports that Tomas Holmstrom could play as early as tonite in Calgary, that won't be the case. Khan(!)/MLive

Tomas Holmstrom left practice early Thursday and will sit out both games because of his groin injury, which happened before practice last Sunday. "There was a warm-up drill at the start and he was holding (his groin area) like he was shot,'' Babcock said. "They thought it was going to be nothing, but obviously, it's more than that.''

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