Kukla's Korner

NHL Made The Right Call On Smyth Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robin Brownlee of the Edmonton Sun,

Scream like hell if you must, but those are the factors NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell took into account yesterday in deciding not to suspend John-Michael Liles of the Colorado Avalanche for sticking his knee out on Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers Monday. It goes without saying fans waiting to hear what supplemental discipline Campbell would issue after Liles felled Smyth with 29 seconds to play in the Oilers 2-1 win won’t be the least bit satisfied there is none whatsoever – no matter what his reasoning. Fair enough. That said, Campbell made the right call.
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Canada Losing The Grip On Its Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle,

As much as they hate to hear it north of the border, Canada is losing its grip on what it calls "Its Game." A look at what is happening in today's NHL shows the European invasion is taking hold. Every year, more players from overseas find their way onto the 30 team rosters, and now they are making an impact like never before.
continued

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YouTube/NHL Announcement Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the LA Times (reg. req.),

The NHL will upload game highlights directly onto YouTube's website as part of a broader agreement that is designed to help the league police — and profit from — hockey-related video that appears online. The agreement that will be announced today also promises the NHL a share of revenue generated by online advertising that appears on web pages with hockey-related video. "The NHL agreement is our first with the major sports leagues, but we also have some other exciting conversations going on with other leagues," said Kevin Donahue, vice president of content for YouTube. "The NHL clearly understands the value of the community factor on YouTube. This is designed to help … connect with their fans."

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Here Comes The Litigation

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From USA Today: first "sports terrorism," now "tortorous contract interference"...

A court hearing is scheduled Wednesday in New York City to determine whether a preliminary injunction will be granted preventing Evgeni Malkin to continue playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We don't believe these plaintiffs can establish a case for a preliminary injunction -- either on the facts or the law," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says. "We're hopeful the court agrees." Malkin's former team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and Locomotive-Yaroslavl, another Russian hockey team, are suing the NHL, the Penguins, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers because Malkin, Alexei Mikhnov (Oilers) and Andrei Taratukhin (Flames) were allowed to sign NHL contracts even though they allegedly had binding contracts with Russian teams. "The basis of the suit is that the National Hockey League and its member clubs tortuously interfered with the contracts of these players with the Russian clubs," says New York-based attorney Alexander Berkovich, who represents the Russian teams. "We also claim there is a conspiracy in violation of antitrust law between the NHL and its clubs."
continued

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What Happened To The Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

How bad are they? On a scale from Poor Start to Full-Scale Chernobyl, the Flyers would have the Geiger counter ticking mighty loud and mighty fast. But that's only part of the story. Like the scene of a nuclear accident, the Flyers have a chance to be contaminated for years to come. There's no easy explanation for how this happened. The consensus going into the season was that the Flyers would be about where they were over the last few years - a fourth or fifth seed that, if healthy, could make a run in the playoffs. There didn't seem to be too many people predicting the Flyers would be the worst team in the NHL.
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Latendresse Changed Style After DiMaio Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Guillaume Latendresse said he watched replays of his hit on Lightning wing Rob DiMaio "many times." The Canadiens left wing said seeing DiMaio's head bounce off the glass during a preseason game in Montreal and watching his body crumble to the ice with a concussion was unnerving. He said he fretted about it for weeks and pulled back from his usual physical style.
continued

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Keep It Simple

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

As expected, the Sharks heard plenty about dedication to details at practice Tuesday after their most listless performance of the season Monday in a loss to Los Angeles. Coach Ron Wilson is just hoping the words had greater impact coming from right wing Mike Grier. Near the end of the workout, Grier stood in front of his teammates and shared experiences of how good teams become great teams, such as Buffalo where he helped the Sabres reach the Eastern Conference finals last season. Grier said: "For the most part, we just haven't played simple hockey. We're at our best when we simplify the game. Sometimes when we play teams we think we should beat, we look for plays that aren't there and try to do things that aren't going to work. We have to play a smarter brand of hockey and not turn pucks over.''
read on

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Tough Guys Don’t Get Calls

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Linesman Steve Miller did a masterful job of wrestling McGrattan to the ice a couple of times and keeping him from causing widespread mayhem. McGrattan said he was discussing the lack of a penalty call on Komisarek with teammate Chris Neil yesterday morning. “That guy (Komisarek) throws cheap hits all the time. If that’s me or (Neil), making that hit, it’s five (minutes) and a game (misconduct), maybe a match penalty. No doubt about it,” said McGrattan. “I hate how that works. If you’re a tough guy, you don’t get the calls. I’m used to it now.” Miller pulled McGrattan’s sweater over his head and wrestled him to the ice and McGrattan should probably be thankful. He wound up with a 10-minute misconduct on the play, but if he had gotten loose and gone after Komisarek, it could have been a lot worse.
read on

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Dynasties No More

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sherry Ross or the NY Daily News,

Remember the Montreal Canadiens winning four consecutive Cups from 1976-79? Followed by the Islanders run in 1980-83? That kind of dominance may be history in more ways than one. "I think it's going to be very hard for a team to win repeatedly, because of the amount of movement, how hard it is to keep players," said Messier, whose Oilers won back-to-back Cups in 1984-85 and 1987-88. "One of the reasons why I think teams are successful is because they have a strong nucleus of great players. But the guys who really get overlooked and don't get much credit are the fringe guys, the role players, and they're the players who really seem to be moving most. They really find a niche and a groove on a team that wins the Stanley Cup."
more

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Streaking: Make That 9

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Just a heads-up, and you can do with this what you will. Store it away for future use if you'd like, like a cute, tiny little chipmunk stashing nuts filled with essential nutrients for the harsh winter months that lie ahead. Do chipmunks store stuff like squirrels do? I'm guessing yes. I was suggesting you store something away....oh, yes. It's this: I returned from my travels on October 24th. I hadn't seen a Wing game, listened to one or read about any of them. On October 25th they won, and they haven't lost since. So I, you know, got that going for me. And the Wings? What do they have going for them? Well, let's take a gander shall we? Let's get just a little crazy and start with last night's game then discuss some significance of this nine-game carousel of joy.

Continue Reading »

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