Kukla's Korner

The Ultimate Power Forward

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Debbie Eicksen at NBC Sports,

The ultimate power forward,” former Bruins coach and current broadcaster Don Cherry says of Cam Neely. “He had everything going for him. He was big. He was tough. He controlled them, a 50-goal scorer, hit a ton. There was nothing he couldn’t do.”
Now Neely himself admits he was more of a finesse player when he was younger, but when his body grew bigger with adolescence, “I couldn’t go around people like I used to, so I thought about going through them.”

read on

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Sit A Spell And Read

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Shawn P. Roarke at NHL.com has a great weekly feature called Crashing the Net
Make sure to read every section of the feature, it is well worth your time.

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Rory an All-Star??!!...Who Cares?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Oh, the horror. Just three days before Christmas and we're wringing our hands because write-in 'Nuck Rory Fitzpatrick has vaulted ahead of St. Nick The Captain. Ted Kulfan was astounded this morning, as we've already mentioned. Thankfully, James Mirtle sees the campaign for what it is.

...the impetus behind Fitzpatrick's rocket up the all-star balloting vote has been nothing more than a clever program that votes for the blueliner. Over and over — and over again.
Please tell me you're not stressing over this. If you are, and you've voted, you have only yourselves to blame. Fan all star voting is the biggest common joke in all of sport. A popularity contest, a finger stamina exercise. Wing message boards are rife with outrage. Anguished cries of protest, demands to go Chicago on the ballots through 2 January when the "polls" close. Until the all star rosters are determined by the players themselves, with maybe the exception of one write-in for each side, who represents each team means nothing. We, the fans, proved long ago that we can't be trusted to vote based on stats and talent alone. Would you have voted for Patrick Roy in '97? I know I wouldn't have. I, for one, hope Fitzpatrick not only starts, but ends up the top vote getter for defensemen....just to see how Little Gary handles that one.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Frei:  Hasek Bargain Of Year So Far

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

'dique apologist Terry Frei writes for ESPN today that Dominik Hasek tops a list of ten "best bang for the buck" goalies.

That's right, the Red Wings are getting far more than their money's worth from Hasek, who will be 42 when the playoffs begin. Of course, all bets are off if he breaks down before the postseason and Detroit has to count on either Chris Osgood or Joey MacDonald in the playoffs.
Wouldn't it be something if Hasek DID break down, only to leave the team in the hands of Osgood...and he succeeds? I guess his $900,000/year deal would qualify as a bargain then too, eh?

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Lemieux Won’t Sell Pens, Threatens Move

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Pittsburgh Penguins, via Sportsnet:

“Recent developments, including yesterday’s decision by the PGCB, and the recent termination of the purchase agreement by Jim Balsillie have convinced us that it is time to take control of our own destiny.
Accordingly, starting today, the team is off the market, and we will begin to explore relocation options in cities outside Pennsylvania. After seven years of trying to work out a new arena deal exclusively in Pittsburgh, we need to take into consideration the long-term viability of the team and begin discussions with other cities that may be interested in NHL teams.
As soon as we are no longer restricted by our agreement with Isle of Capri from negotiating an arena deal here, in the next few weeks, we will also begin discussions with local leaders about a viable Pittsburgh arena plan.
We will have no further comment at this time.”

Bettman’s imposition of an NHL buy-back clause on Balsillie simply laid the groundwork for a franchise move to Kansas City and it’s empty, NHL-friendly 18,500-seat arena.

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Credit The Vote-O-Matic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle at the Globe and Mail,

Score one for the legions of Internet denizens who wanted to see Fitzpatrick in this January’s all-star contest; with the Vote-O-Matic on his side, his selection seems all but a lock.

read on

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Gift Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hockey Rants is in the giving mood…

Greg and Gőlbez, two of Santa’s busiest middle managers (We’re the ones who get to tazer the unproductive elves and goblins in Santa’s sweatshop), were put in charge of distrubuting gifts to those in and around the NHL sphere.
We’re made our lists and checked them twice.
We definitely prefer naughty over nice.

read on

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Wings PP Will Reach Top 10

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Via ESPN,

Babcock thought his group was moving the puck and doing the things necessary for power-play success. Basically, he thought the unit, led by four-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, would find its way. And, it seems, they have. In their first nine December games, the Wings have converted 13 of 53 power-play chances. In other words, they've scored one more power-play goal in their last nine games (entering Wednesday's tilt vs. Columbus) than they did in their first 23.
More

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

NBC Will Promo NHL During NFL Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sports Business Daily, (paid sub.),

NBC will debut new promos for the NHL, one of its lowest-rated sports properties, during the Eagles-Cowboys game on Christmas evening, which is likely to draw one of the network’s largest audiences of the NFL season. Anticipating a strong rating for the key rivalry game, NBC will introduce viewers to the “Game of the Week” concept and try to alter NHL fans’ traditional home team affinity into more of a national interest in the sport. Around 60% of the country will get the Penguins-Flyers game when NBC’s schedule starts January 13, so Penguins C Sidney Crosby will get a promotional push.

Continue Reading »

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Hockey Attracts Women

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Des Moines Register,

Alter that stereotypical image of hockey fans as beer-guzzling, mullet-sporting males and make room for moms, sisters and daughters.
In fact, 41 percent of fans ages 12 and older who attended NHL games were female, according to the league and spring 2005 figures from Simmons Market Research. That figure exceeded those of the other “big four” professional sports leagues in the United States - Major League Baseball, the NBA and NFL.
“It was a surprising fact some years ago, but the American Hockey League and National Hockey League all know that women are really attracted to the sport,” said John Pettit, Iowa Stars president, who also held top management positions at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and with the AHL’s Hartford franchise. “The surprising thing is they’ll often come kicking and screaming with their husbands. But after that, they’ll be bringing the husbands kicking and screaming.”

read on

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