Kukla's Korner

Looking At Yawney

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune,

With a playoff hopes fading rapidly with each loss, and with the return of sniper Martin Havlat still far off, will the Hawks attempt to salvage the season with a change of coaches? That's the question club executives and perhaps the 23 players in the dressing room may be pondering with so much time on their hands. Whether all the Hawks' ills can be blamed on Yawney can be debated and an argument can be made that the front office deserves at least an equal share of the guilt. When things go like they have been going, however, the first head to roll is almost always is the one the whistle is hanging from.
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Neil Smith Pays Philly A Visit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

Last night, Neil Smith sauntered into the Wachovia Center press box, a recent escapee from the broadcast booth, now employed as a Dallas Stars scout. That's former NHL general manager Neil Smith to you. Formerly of the Rangers, most recently of the Islanders. Looking to get back to what he feels he does best: run a hockey team. "I'm not going to lie," he said. "I'm happy doing this, but when the time is right, I hope someone thinks of me that way."
read on

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Throw A Name Out…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

...see if it sticks... from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers' multifaceted experiments on defense from last summer have been shelved. Two weeks ago, the Flyers waived Nolan Baumgartner, who was supposed to be their answer for a puck-skating defenseman. Yesterday, the backup plan also failed. The Flyers sent Swedish prospect Lars Jonsson back to the Phantoms with fellow rookie Alexandre Picard.
Now the trade talk...
A real possibility is Calgary's Roman Hamrlik. The Flames, whose scouts have been around the Flyers lately, are looking to make a deal. Detroit is looking to move Andreas Lilja, but he is not very mobile. The guy who took his job, Brett Lebda, is mobile.Mathieu Schneider is 37, but he would be a huge upgrade for the Flyers.
read on

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Popular Hats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chronicle Herald,

The Bud Light promotion, which runs to the end of the month or as long as supplies last, offers a vintage hat in each case of 24. There are 23 different hats and, in an apparent bid to collect a complete set, some people are tearing beer boxes open looking for a desired hat. This has made for quite a mess at some outlets, where staff are repairing torn cases with tape and returning them to the retail floor, only to see them soon reduced again to tatters. There have also been reports of people removing hats from the cases and leaving the store without making a purchase. "There have been some situations in stores where people insisted they were entitled to a hat without making a purchase," said Mr. Perkins.
more

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Foote Eager For Return To Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Rocky Mountain News,

Foote, who wears the "C" as Blue Jackets captain, is one of three players on the team to have won a Stanley Cup. The others are former Detroit Red Wings rival Sergei Fedorov and Fredrik Modin, who won a championship with the Tampa Bay Lightning. "Colorado was special," Foote said. "We were lucky."
Hey...he said it, not me. Continue reading

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Bolt GM: Blame Players, Not Coaches

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the St. Petersburg Times,

Feaster reiterated the importance of the current four-game road trip in determining if player moves, and perhaps cutting payroll, will be needed. And he dismissed Tortorella's comment that in his fourth full season his voice sometimes falls on "deaf ears." "Then we ought to get the deaf and dumb out," Feaster said. "If that's the case, I wish they'd identify themselves to me and let me move them on. I'd rather see them gone than a hell of a good coach.
Read more

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Brutal Night For Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Jeff Carter and Randy Robitaille each went down with ankle injuries. Peter Forsberg got tossed then pouted his way past reporters. Oh...and the Flyers got spanked. Not the best night in Philly. But, hey, they're still thinking playoffs. Philadelphia joined Minnesota as the second team in two days to institute an April-like code of silence regarding injuries.

Meanwhile, a new injury policy is in place under the regime of interim general manager Paul Holmgren: secrecy. Late in the second period, the club informed reporters that Carter had a "lower-body injury." Stevens would not elaborate, but Carter broke the policy himself. He said that he has a swollen left ankle and that X-rays were negative. Robitaille, who was tripped by goalie Johan Holmqvist late in the game, was not available to be interviewed.
Read more on the state of the Flyers

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What Can You Do In 20 Seconds?

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

At the beginning of the season, the National Hockey League announced that the duration of TV timeouts would be increased by 20 seconds. Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun writes this morning that coaches are putting that extra time to good use.

It's a gold mine," said the Maple Leafs' Paul Maurice. "It's seems like a very small detail," said the Atlanta Thrashers' Bob Hartley, "but that two-minute timeout, rather than a minute or a minute-and-a-half is a huge difference." In Maurice's case, it's the reason Mats Sundin's ice time has increased so dramatically this season. In Hartley's case, it's the reason Ilya Kovalchuk is third among NHL forwards in average ice time with 22:22.
More from Strachan

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Leafs’ Ferguson Wants His Wing Games

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Toronto Sun,

John Ferguson will arrive at the general managers meetings next week looking to add more Red Wings, Flames, Oilers and Canucks to his team's diet. The Maple Leafs GM will push for a revamped schedule, one that would see Toronto play those aforementioned teams more than the current two times every three years. "I will champion the cause to offer a greater variety of opponents at the Air Canada Centre, with an eye toward providing additional Canadian content, as well as attempting to rekindle the traditional Detroit-Toronto rivalry," Ferguson said last night via e-mail.
Continue reading

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October Ratings Revisited

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

William Houston of the Globe and Mail goes into detail on the NHL ratings, both in the U.S. and Canada...

A demographic breakdown helps shed light on attitudes toward the revamped game. The male 25-to-54 demo is down 9 per cent. This group is made up of people accustomed to the old NHL. Clearly, not all of them are sold on the new. However, the 18-to-49 male audience is up 11 per cent and the 18-to-34 male audience shows a whopping increase of 40 per cent. If, as the numbers seem to show, young males like today's hockey, that's good news for the NHL.
more

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