Kukla's Korner

Cup Champs Vs. Euro Cup Champs?

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the New York Times:

HPK Hameenlinna of Finland and Ak Bars Kazan of Russia will play in the European Champions Cup final today in St. Petersburg, Russia. The tournament, staged by the International Ice Hockey Federation, pits the champions of the six top leagues in Europe against one another.

René Fasel, the federation president, was asked last week if he could envision a day when the N.H.L.’s regular-season or Stanley Cup champion might take part in a world club championship tournament.
“That will happen, sooner or later,” he wrote in an e-mail message. “It will happen because this is the natural thing to happen, a best-on-best on a club level. We have discussed it for many years with the N.H.L., and we are trying to find a solution.”

more, with other goodies as well…

 

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Current Events

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've been delinquent. But I have excuses. In the last five days I've been back in Bubba territory, Diveland and finally into the Canes backyard...all last week. And, no, I didn't see any hockey. I'll be back with regular posting tomorrow around mid-day. In the meantime, a little reaction from yours truly on a couple of deep diggers who did a little writing over the weekend. First, stand by for Helene St. James. Not since Khan(!)'s "deal for Luongo" manifesto of last Spring has a deep digger gone out on a limb and actually graced us with an opinion. Well, here we go.

Barring any disastrous injuries, by the Feb. 27 deadline the Wings will have more than enough cap room to acquire the roughly $2 million that'd be left on Forsberg's contract. It has been a frustrating season for him because of all the problems with finding a boot to fit his surgically repaired right ankle, but at long last he appears to have rebounded. When he plays, he is still one of the top five forwards in the game, and better than any forward on Detroit's team. If he doesn't have any setbacks over the coming month, he'd be an amazing acquisition.
Ahhhh....I welcome your thoughts. Me? A healthy Forsberg? A 3/4 Forsberg? Ok, but not if it means giving up the Pavel Datsyuk we've seen the last two weeks. Delma may have just bought himself one more playoff to prove himself. Has he ever played better? If I had to choose today, which I don't, I'd say bring Floppa to town, but only if it means we don't give up much in return. If it's a salary dump for Philly and we can afford it, do it. But give up nothing of value. I see Hank has been added to the all-star roster. Nifty. Hasek's been snubbed? Even better. One less game, one less chance for injury. Nonetheless, the decision to leave him off was ridiculous.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Hasek said in between lifting weights in the Red Wings' dressing room. “I thought I was going to be there.” Hasek owns a league-leading 2.03 goals-against average. Kiprusoff's average, meanwhile, is 2.32. Hasek is 23-7-3, while Kiprusoff was 21-14-3 heading into his game against Edmonton Saturday. Both goaltenders have five shutouts.
Not much today. Back tomorrow with much more. Thanks for your continued patronage and patience. Signed/Management

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The Post Man Always Rings Twice

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from NHL.com’s Evan Weiner:

“That was more for superstition,” said Roy explaining why he was carrying on conversations with iron piping. “I was really a superstitious person. So when I turning and facing the net, I was feeling like the net was getting smaller. That was good for my confidence. I think every goalie needs something special to make his confidence bigger and that’s mine.”
So Roy found this particular teammate, albeit a piece of cold metal, a settling influence and he would strike up a conversation during a game.
“I treat them more like a friend, when a shot hits a post, I say good job and stuff like that or it’s a good job my friend, it’s a good save,” Roy said.

continued

 

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Having A Long Ball

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

via the CP,

There will probably be a lot of sore muscles and tired feet this spring when 40 Manitobans try to break the world record for the longest game of ball hockey.
Chris Watchorn, 20, and his Winnipeg friends are planning to play for more than 30 consecutive hours. They have received permission to make the attempt from Guinness World Records, which has laid out ground rules.
“We can do shifts. We can have people resting as long as they’re staying courtside,” said Watchorn, a second-year fine arts student at the University of Manitoba.
“It’s going to be tough, I guess, but we all have a passion for hockey.”

continued

 

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HDIC Needs New Ideas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

The CBC’s love letter to the game of hockey went off without a hitch.
The seventh edition of Hockey Day In Canada, the 13-hour show that celebrates amateur hockey in this country and also airs a National Hockey League tripleheader, was well done. It was perhaps the best yet….
So, why did it seem flat? Why was there almost a ho-hum tone to whole thing?

read on

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A Full House

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I had a few people over yesterday to take in HDIC, and to be truthful, still recovering.

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Cleary On The Edge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Daniel Cleary came to that edge. Put his skate blade over, even. And stepped back.
Talk to Cleary in the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room and it’s not so much the words he uses to describe the experience but the look on his face that tell this story of transformation. Beneath the various cuts and bruises and scrapes that are the hazards of the trade the way it is plied by Cleary, is etched a look of understanding that these kinds of chances—second chances, last chances maybe—are not to be squandered but cherished.

read on

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Salary Production

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Canada.com,

The key to success in the new NHL—with a $44-million US salary cap this season—is for general managers to get the most bang for their bucks.
In other words, it you’re paying big money for a player, he’d better produce.
As the NHL heads into the second half of the season, it’s interesting to note which financial strategies have paid off so far—and which haven’t.
Heading into Saturday’s action, the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators were the three best teams in the NHL.

read on

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Handling Drury & Briere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Chris Drury and Daniel Briere certainly aren’t comfortable discussing business and impending unrestricted free agency. Drury is one of the all-time gamers, a guy who seldom loses focus when it comes to winning. He’s not thinking about money. He’s thinking about his next shift….
Like it or not, Darcy Regier and his cohorts will eventually need to make a decision about these two. The math suggests the Sabres can keep one or the other, probably not both, perhaps not even either. Even if the salary cap doesn’t become an obstruction, their value could exceed the Sabres’ budget. They’re already spending about $7 million more than they had planned.

more

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Preds Add Value To The Area

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

In an interview with Predators beat writer John Glennon, team owner Craig Leipold shared his thoughts on ...
The perception that hockey in Nashville is still a weekend or holiday event: “I think we are something of a destination event, an entertainment night. ...This is a sports business. We expect our players to give us 100 percent and show up every night. We’d like to see our fans show up 41 nights a year.’‘

continued

Also from the Tennessean,

Changing needs, cost-cutting and a lack of interest in the game are among the reasons companies have given in canceling their accounts, Violetta said. The team may also still be struggling to overcome local residents’ lack of familiarity with the game the Predators play.
“Hockey is not a native sport here,” Stein said. “I think because of the cultural element of their geography, it’s going to be a challenge in many seasons.”

more

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