Kukla's Korner

Make Sure To Bring The Siren

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Derek Jory of VancouverCanucks.com,

You know the guys I’m talking about. The ones so into the game they hoot and holler regardless of the score and have some kind of extreme noisemaker with them that keeps things interesting.

In this instance it was a Second World War Chema siren and its alarming sound jolted a whack of energy into the Pacific Coliseum and led the Canucks to a 6-3 win over the visiting Boston Bruins the first time Wideski and Grant tested it out.

The stirring siren, which a buddy of theirs had picked up at a swap meet, also caused a face-to-face meeting with then Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths.

“When we were cranking it at the game security showed up and we thought we were getting kicked out,” recalled Wideski. “Instead we met Arthur and he gave us tickets for that season and for the next couple years to keep coming to the games with the siren.”

more

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Measuring The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Greenberg of ZDNet,

I have to tell you, the Philadelphia Flyers‘ fan engagement program is by far the single most well thought out and successful CRM strategy and program I’ve seen to date in professional sports. Bar none - including my beloved New York teams. Shame on the Rangers.

What makes this program, which is called “How You Doin’?“  exceptional in any environment is that it begins where CRM strategies and programs should begin - with the culture….

All the staff at the Philadelphia HQ of the Flyers and at the Wachovia Center are trained to greet everyone as they come into the stadium,  trained to answer questions for anyone who has them,  and trained to go above and beyond for customers.  They take a high touch, get involved approach.

Their strategy is two pronged.  First, engage the fans generally. Second, know each fan and their individual lifestyle and customize programs according.  The third prong is measure, measure, measure; learn, learn, learn.

read on & thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How Will The Ducks React?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

It’s not that Carlyle is being outcoached. Not that it would be an embarrassment if he were. Babcock, after being on the wrong end of a first-round upset in 2006 and a loss to the Ducks in the 2007 West finals, found his footing and won the Stanley Cup last spring.

And with a few moves that were instrumental in Detroit’s 6-3 victory in Game 4, he put Carlyle in the position of reacting instead of initiating.

Given the Ducks’ lack of offensive depth compared to the roll-four-lines Red Wings, Babcock’s team appears to have gained the upper hand in what is now a best-of-three series with two games on its home ice.

Babcock’s decision to mix his top two lines Thursday might stand out as the turning point.

read on

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

Questions & Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, sources say, is telling owners they have to stand against Balsillie’s attempt to force his way into their club or he could try and invade their territory next.

One owner, who likes Balsillie, says he will side with Bettman because “I support the process. If you don’t,” he adds, “you have chaos and anarchy.”

Besides, the owner asks, if Balsillie wants a team in Southern Ontario so badly, why doesn’t he buy the Buffalo Sabres? “[Owner] Tom Golisano would sell in a heartbeat,” he says.

And if a team in Southern Ontario is worth $300-million, the owner wonders, why should the co-founder of Research In Motion get that market in a sweetheart deal by buying the league’s worst financial basket case? “Why shouldn’t the NHL sell Southern Ontario as an expansion market and cut every owner a big cheque?”

much more (Shoalts is in Arizona trying to get some answers)

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

Capitals Still Upset With HNIC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Hockey Night In Canada was to get the official freeze out from the Washington Capitals last night at Mellon Arena.

CBC producers were told yesterday that cameras not only weren’t welcome in the team’s dressing room, but the public broadcaster would not be granted between-period interviews during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-final between the Caps and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Caps still are upset that the CBC aired footage prior to Wednesday’s Game 3 that included strategic information on the team’s dressing room white board.

A team official said the ban is “indefinite” and will preclude CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman from interviewing players during intermissions both last night and for tonight’s Game 5.

update 9:32am,  It is my understanding the Capitals now will allow intermission interviews.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lessons Not Learned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Based on what has happened with Phoenix, the NHL should have learned three key lessons:

1. There is no benefit to be derived by intentionally shielding public eyes from the economic troubles of individual teams.

Bettman and his lieutenants are by nature either secretive or very protective. But it eats at the credibility of NHL leadership when, after months of blunt denials, the Coyotes prove to be swimming in precisely the overflowing pool of red ink that many reports suggested….

2. Treating the players’ union as a minor irritant rather than a true partner isn’t a productive strategy.

NHLPA head Paul Kelly can deny it all he wants, but the union knew what Balsillie was up to and was supportive. The last straw for Kelly was probably going to the GMs meetings in Naples, Fla., in March and having his presentation summarily dismissed.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

“Obviously, we’re in a deep hole,” said Zdeno Chara. “We all realize that. But you have to win four games to get to the next round. It’s 3-1 and it’s not over yet.”

That said, the Hurricanes made the Bruins look like bantams for most of last night, with little resistance from the Black and Gold. The once-proud Bruins, now looking like paper tigers, have buckled at the exact point where winners strut their best stuff.

“I think our team has probably picked the worst time of the year to play their worst hockey,” said coach Claude Julien. “When you look at the whole team right now, there isn’t anybody that’s played up to their potential. Obviously, out of synch. Our passes are not crisp. We’re not in synch. You can see the frustration on the players right now. It’s certainly getting worse.

“This is something that has to be resolved before the next game. We don’t have much time to do that. You’ve come too far in the season to all of a sudden say, ‘You know what? It’s not working.’ We’ve got to find solutions. That’s got to come from coaches. And it’s got to come from players.”

more

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

Ovechkin Says Hit On Gonchar Was An Accident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,

Opinions among the media varied regarding Ovechkin’s right knee to right knee hit on Sergei Gonchar at the end of the first period. Gonchar had to be helped off the ice and speculation around here is that it could be serious. We should know more in the morning.

We should also know tomorrow morning whether the league felt the hit warranted a fine or suspension.

“It tried to hit him and he tried to move to his left, and I don’t have time to realize what is going on and I hit [him with] my knee,” Ovechkin said. “It was accident. I’m not the kind of guy who wants to injure a player like this, especially [because] I know Gonch. I tried to hit him with my shoulder and he moved left but his legs were in the same spot.”

A couple of Penguins had a different take on it.

more and Bob McKenzie of TSN doesn’t expect a suspension.  If you missed the hit, watch it here....

added 8:14am, Craig Custance of Sporting News Today says it is hard to imagine the NHL suspending Ovechkin with the Capitals playing their biggest game of the year tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, sergei+gonchar

The Unsuspendable

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL has given a surprising number of suspensions out so far in the playoffs.  There have been suspensions to Daniel Carcillo, Donald Brashear, Milan Lucic and John Tortorella.  The underlying philosophy behind the suspensions has been to show an apparent tough face by strongly dealing with goons and marginal players, but to not appear to decide any playoff series by punishing the stars who are most important to their team. That policy will be tested after the knee-on-knee hit Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals gave to Sergei Gonchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.  Gonchar left the game with a knee injury and is questionable for the rest of the series.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Thinking Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Which compels me to bring Marian Gaborik to your attention, since he soon will be an Unrestricted Free Agent.

His price will be high and there’s a bit of a gamble involved. On the other hand, the returns can be immense. Just ask any Ranger fan who remembers Marian’s five-goal bonanza against the Blueshirts a couple of years ago.

I’m not forgetting that Gaborik spent most of this past season on the injured list, but these things happen and players do recover. I say that this is a gamble worth taking. We all know that the scoring issue depends in part on a successful power play. Regrettably, no such abundant PP was evident in 2008-09. And that brings us to a free agent or two.

How about Scott Niedermayer? In one fell swoop, Nieder would solve several issues. He’s a master quarterback, all-rink rover and, arguably, the best total player in the NHL.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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