Kukla's Korner

Take It Back Mike

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

This edition of Wednesday with the Deep Diggers is brought to you by Goldmill's Gym in South Philly, home to the greatest heavyweight in history: Rocky Balboa. I spent 11 minutes of quality time on Monday defending our game to a co-worker. You've been there. You've used the standard lines, "you have to see it in person," "it was a lockout, not a strike," "the CBA doesn't guarantee defense attorneys for every player like the NBA's". I was winning. I pointed to Kulfan's article on blood and stitches and got the reaction I wanted. Awe. The discussion ended as I'd hoped, with a convincing victory for hockey and hockey fans. No one's tougher. No sport requires more character or fortitude. Real men playing a hard game

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What Happened

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Balsillie walked away and left the team without an owner as the hours slipped away before the state’s all-important decision on the gaming license.
Sources tell ESPN.com that had those same restrictions been in place for other owners who have purchased teams in recent years, those owners would have walked away from the league in a heartbeat….
But the team source said Lemieux might be equally chagrined at the league for pushing away a man whose personal wealth would have allowed him to purchase the team without financing.
“I can’t imagine the current ownership group in Pittsburgh is very happy with Gary,” the source told ESPN.com.
Unless Bettman is already in the process of negotiating a backroom deal with the state and/or city to ensure a palatable Plan B is already in place if Isle of Capri is dealt a losing hand.

more

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Fact Versus Fiction

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik:

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock raised an interesting point on Monday:

Babcock said, “Who sells hockey? To me, I don’t know. I don’t know for sure.”
After mentioning baseball, Babcock jumped to football and said the NFL markets its product well. He said he thought NFL games were much better to watch on television than in person.
“Our game’s just exactly the opposite,” Babcock said. “We gotta do a better job of the guy at home knowing how good the game actually is. How fast-paced, how physical, how great the athletes are, how hard they work.
“To me, we got a way better game than we sell. Somehow, we gotta figure that out and sell it.”

That’s an understatement.

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Brookbank Property Of The Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Wade Brookbank from the Boston Bruins for future considerations, it was announced Tuesday by general manager Ray Shero.
Brookbank has been assigned to the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

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NHL May Get Bigger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via 680 News,

Scoring is down from last season, which has the NHL’s rules guru contemplating a change he never thought he’d consider.
“I know this is going to rock some traditionalists, and I can say this because I’m one of those, but I really think we’ve got to look long and hard at bigger nets,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations, said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

continued

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Thornton Hires Brother As Agent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,

Just weeks after Alex Ovechkin fired Don Meehan and announced that his parents would be handling his affairs, San Jose Sharks superstar Joe Thornton has left well-known agent J.P. Barry. Thornton’s brother, John, who had previously worked with Barry, is in the process of being certified by the NHL Players’ Association and will represent Thornton.
The firings bring into question whether or not top-end players, most of whom are automatically paid 20 per cent of the team’s salary cap, are finding that they don’t need their agents.

read on

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Those Were The Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E. M. Swift of Sports Illustrated,

Show me the passion! I’m not suggesting that the NHL bring back goons, the thugs like Broad Street Bully Dave Schultz of the Flyers or Detroit’s Joey Kocur, who could be counted on to mug opponents a couple of times in every game. But there can be no denying the entertainment value of watching genuinely angry men, guys who could play and fight.
Ted Lindsay. Tiger Williams. Bobby Nystrom. Wayne Cashman. Thy kept the bad blood flowing from one game to the next, leading to a delicious sense of anticipation that is utterly lacking in today’s cleaner/faster/safer NHL.

more

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Throwback Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Is this the year of the Original Six revival?
OK, it may be too soon to go down that path right now, with mid-season still a couple of weeks away, but the recent turnarounds in Boston and Chicago have all six of the 1967 pre-expansion teams in the playoff chase, which is something you couldn’t have said last year, as the Bruins stumbled and the Blackhawks bumbled their way through seriously underachieving seasons.

continued

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HDIC- Getting Closer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - Four weeks and counting! Canada’s unofficial hockey holiday - CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA - hits the ice for its seventh annual broadcast celebration, Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 noon ET, live from the Nelson and District Community Complex in Nelson, B.C. Host Ron MacLean will be front and centre in Nelson to pay tribute to Canada’s great frozen game, alongside Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell, Scott Morrison and Dick Irvin. The 2007 edition of CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will honour Canada’s countless hockey volunteers: the tireless individuals who are the backbone of the game at the grassroots level and who will do anything - including selling snacks and 50/50 tickets, making hot chocolate and driving cross country - to give kids a chance to play hockey. CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will also feature the traditional big-ticket NHL all-Canadian tripleheader, beginning with Montreal at Ottawa at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Vancouver at Toronto at 7 p.m. ET (available in High-Definition) and Edmonton at Calgary in the night-cap at 10 p.m. ET.

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All Over The Hockey World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

John Buccigross of ESPN is all over the NHL today in his NHL column…

John,
Is Barry Melrose illiterate or does he just not want to actually write an article?

Barry is a bilingual illiterate. He can’t read or write in two different languages. Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Enjoy the veal! Level 42 is next. [Editor’s note: Barry can write, but he does a podcast and video clips for ESPN.com.]

much, much more including the Pens situation…

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