Kukla's Korner

Corporate Leadership?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yeah, I got spun up when I saw it too. The NHL has created, seemingly out of the blue, a leadership award and named it after Mark Messier who, according to their public release, "many believe to be the greatest captain in hockey history." I'm not one of the many. And neither are you, if you're reading this here. But, whether he is or isn't may not be the question. The more interesting issue could very well be just where the heck this award came from. According to the release, one leadership award will be given monthly and another yearly. Keep that "yearly" item in mind.

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Pointing At The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Maven at Hockey Journal,

*Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who often seems more consumed with harassing Ted Saskin than earning his millions playing hockey, is about to have the challenge of his “Look, I’m Rich” career. With Edmonton a mediocre 8-8-1 and trying to prove that its trip to the Finals last spring was no fluke, it’s now up to pseudo-union-expert Roloson to lead his club. Otherwise Rollie goes down as yet another vastly overpaid netminder, who always seems to be beefing about something rather than appreciating what he has. *Speaking of the Salary Cap, we haven’t heard a single player beef about the new system that the union had so vociferously fought; until Trevor Linden, Bill Guerin and Vince Damphousse wised-up the NHLPA. …
more from Stan Fischler... while on the topic, did you know The Maven has a blog?

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The Return of Grampa Pinhead

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You know by now that the idea of writing about the NHL at large scares me. So I leave that to Grampa Pinhead. Opinionated, often cranky and certainly willing to debate should you choose to take that step, I'll bring you his viewpoints whenever he sees fit to provide them to me. ------- Tonight Buffalo (14-1-1) at Carolina (9-6-3) Montreal (8-4-3) at Ottawa (6-9-1) San Jose (13-5-0) at Los Angeles (5-10-4) and I get Philadelphia (3-11-2) at Pittsburgh (7-6-2) In spite of all their efforts and improvements, VS (OLN) continues to suck. No wonder I am having a little problem getting into hockey this year.

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Gallant Gone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Gerard Gallant of his head coaching duties with the National Hockey League club, President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. MacLean will meet with the media in the press conference room at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday at 10 a.m. prior to the club's practice. Media parking is available in the service yard, located next to the loading dock on the northwest side of the arena. "I am extremely disappointed to announce that Gerard Gallant has been relieved of his head coaching duties with the Columbus Blue Jackets," said MacLean. "He has shown tremendous dedication to our organization over the past six-plus years and worked as hard as he could to help our team be successful. Unfortunately, we have not gotten off to the start we expected this season and while there are always a multitude of factors involved, we felt a change was needed."
Update 7:06pm, A coach is expected to be named tomorrow. Let the speculation begin. Update 9:20 pm, TSN is speculating that while assistant coach Gary Agnew will be named interim head coach, he will not be permanent replacement and there will still be a search for a new candidate.

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Monday Evening Odds and Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Josh Langfeld has been recalled by the Wings as the team waits out Jason Williams' recovery. Also, according to Helene St. James' Wing blog, Niklas Kronwall has been ruled out of tomorrow's game at Vancouver; along with, surprise, Chris Osgood.

Langfeld will replace Tomas Holmstrom, who is sidelined by a groin injury. Holmstrom, Chris Osgood (hand) and Niklas Kronwall (groin) didn’t practice Monday, and coach Mike Babcock said the three would not play Tuesday. Babcock said none of the injuries are serious.
Ummm, Kronwall's injury "wasn't serious" after the Nashville game. Three days later, he's still nursing the groin, and it's still not serious. Considering our boy's injury history, it sounds mildly serious to me. And check this out. Just before Patrick Roy headed to the land of happiness and light in '95, guess who almost nabbed him? Pierre LeBrun/CP
Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman confirmed the Wings were contacted by then-Montreal GM Rejean Houle. "Yes, he called us, I was handling trades at the time for Detroit," said Bowman, in town Monday for the Hall of Fame festivities. "But we had just got (goalie) Mike Vernon a year or two before from Calgary. I didn't think I could make a trade with them. But I figured maybe I could get the price up. We didn't do it. They moved him pretty quick. "I knew he'd be going somewhere but I was just hoping it wouldn't be Colorado."
Finally, according to NBC's Eric McErlain there are lessons to be learned from Darren McCarty's troubles.
The story of a veteran player like McCarty, who won three Stanley Cups in Detroit and is now closer to the end of his career than the beginning, ought to serve as a cautionary tale. Fortunately, there is help, and it can be found on the campus of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It's there that you'll find the Professional Athlete Transition Institute (PATI), the home of a cooperative venture between the NHL, NHLPA and the NHL Alumni -- Life After Hockey.
Noble effort on the part of the league, but man...c'mon. You're making millions. Hire a financial advisor.

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Going With One Or Two Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

At first glance, many NHL teams have definitive starters in goal, with the backup getting spot starts, typically on road trips in the second game of back-to-backs. But with the league now governed by salary cap considerations, and goaltenders seeing more demanding action on a nightly basis due to increased power play time and more aggressive attacks unleashed by the rule changes, having two established goaltenders to share the load seemed to be a trend in the making.
continued

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Kasparaitis Recalled

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Darius Kasparaitis has been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) and left wing Nigel Dawes has been reassigned to Hartford (AHL).

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Rebuilding The Foundation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

(John) Shannon has already trained cameramen in 12 cities; he hopes to get to the rest this season. To help that, the league has added three people to his department, one who joined the staff last week and two who will join it this month. “Because we’re dealing with 30-plus shows, different entities, different rights holders, we have to be patient,” Shannon said about the changes his department has been able to effect so far. “But as long as people are prepared to listen, it won’t be a problem. So far people have been sponges just dying for information.” Shannon thinks it will take three years before viewers see a qualitative improvement in the TV product at every regional carrier around the league. “I don’t think there’s anything short term about this,” he said. “We’re rebuilding the foundation.”
An excellent article in SBJ today on John Shannon and how his work will lead to an overall enhancement on how the game is delivered to hockey fans. I am attempting to get this story released to the hockey world. I should now something later in the day. update 2:23pm, Thanks to the folks at Sports Business Journal for making the link available so all can read. A must read for all hockey fans and comments are encouraged. note: this post first appeared at 11:37am today...

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The Best Actor Award Goes To…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 13, 2006) –Adweek, a premier national publication geared to marketing and advertising executives, has named the NHL promo “Bed with Peter Forsberg” as one of October’s “Best Spots of the Month.” The promo will be featured in the print and on-line editions of the November 13 issue of the magazine. You can get more information from Adweek.

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Ducks Trade Fedoruk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Anaheim Ducks made two deals on Monday, dealing Todd Fedoruk to Philadelphia for a fourth round pick and acquiring George Parros from the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick.
update 2:03pm, As a KK member just stated in the comments, Ducks sent Chistov to the Bruins for a 3rd rounder. The TSN link is updated with all of the movement.

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