Kukla's Korner

Final Words on the ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Ray Slover at the Sporting News,

Young talent is, like cream, rising to the top. And like cream, it’s pretty sweet. They may struggle a bit with English, but Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar and other 20-something foreign-born players have a language all their own. Better yet, it’s a common language, one shared by Eric Staal, Rick Nash and the cast of characters who have something to say. And it comes across loud and clear, even without poster-boy Sidney Crosby on the scene.

We saw plenty of the NHL’s future here and it, like the Georgia morning sun, is bright.

From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,

It has been very easy and convenient to rip the NHL All-Star Game for, oh, the past 20 years or so, but for at least one night, the league and its players seemed to grasp the importance of showcasing its stars by actually staging a competitive game.


Update 9:04pm ET: The THN story above was changed since I originally linked it.  An important feature near the top of the piece was Campbell’s concern about access to Eric Staal after the game.  There has been some suggestion that the original article was altered. Perhaps not a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning now because the allegations prompted this official response from Mike Sundheim of the Carolina Hurricanes later in the day.


Finally, below is a transcript from post-game Q&A’s with All Star MVP Eric Staal and goalie Tim Thomas.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, atlanta+2008

Yotes Sponsor PGA Golfer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),

The Phoenix Coyotes signed a one-year marketing deal with PGA Tour player Jeff Quinney to wear the team’s logo on his shirt during all tournaments, beginning with this week’s FBR Open in Phoenix.

Quinney, a 29-year-old graduate of Arizona State and resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the U.S. Amateur in 2000 and is starting his second full year on the PGA Tour. He finished 57th on the money list in 2007.

While Quinney is not the first golfer to wear the logo of a professional team during tournament play, the deal is believed to be the first in which a team has directly signed a golfer.

Financial terms were not available, but Coyotes President and COO Doug Moss called an estimate of low-to-mid-six figures “not too far off.”

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

2008 AHL All-Star Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

No NHL games tonight, so why not sit back and catch the AHL ASG?

Check out the TV, web and radio broadcast schedule.  Broadcast begins at 7:00pm ET tonight.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Home Team Discount

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

On the heels of the Dion Phaneuf All-Star Love-in, let’s get one thing straight about the contract the Calgary Flames defenceman will eventually sign for employment next year.

If indeed he is going to remain in Calgary, he will have to leave money on the table. A ton of it.

Thanks to Kevin Lowe’s desperate attempts to throw money away by way of offer sheets to restricted free agents, today’s NHL is such Phaneuf would certainly attract open market offers this summer well over the $7 million a year captain Jarome Iginla makes.

continued and more NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

The Unique Qualities Of The ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Every year the game is played and every year the same questions are asked. What can be done to make it more competitive? What can be done to make it more relevant? What can be done to make it more like a real NHL game?

And here’s the answer. Nothing. There’s nothing that can be done; nothing that will turn the all-star game into a showcase event that captures hockey’s best qualities.

You can hope for some speed and skill and a close, competitive affair, but you can’t replicate those things that make the sport attractive.

Once you accept this, you are free to appreciate this affair for what it is and even revel in its unique qualities.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

No Respect For Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Unfortunately, there are times when the city in general, and the Blue Jackets in particular, are not held in any esteem.

The NHL All-Star Weekend provided a case in point. First, goaltender Pascal Leclaire was left off the Western Conference team. Then, Rick Nash was denied the MVP award. Conspiracy? I can’t say there isn’t.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Deal With Fabian

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit News,

Wings general manager Ken Holland , who is in Binghamton, N.Y., for tonight’s American Hockey League All-Star Game, said Sunday the team has not reached any agreement with Swedish prospect Fabian Brunnstrom.

“We’ve made our pitch,” Holland said. “My understanding is he’s going through his options and trying to make a decision on where he wants to play. The teams have made their offers, so it’s now really in his hands.”

This Brunnstrom is reminding me more and more of Sidd Finch...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom

Valuable Stick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The stick, jointly owned by Brown and siblings Brydon and Sheila, was left by their late father, Charles, with nary a word as to its significance.

“Dad never talked about it,” said Brown, who as a youth played against a number of future pros.

The surprisingly well-preserved stick, which lay idle in Brown’s basement for years, bears the signatures of many hockey greats. Brown and his brother began to research the names and made an amazing discovery — all of them had participated in the first unofficial NHL all-star game in February of 1934.

The game took place in Toronto and served as a benefit for Ace Bailey of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bailey was felled by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins in a game at Boston Garden in December of 1933 and never played again.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Could Be Moved

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Panthers GM Jacques Martin has been busy working the phones. He’s trying to move: D Branislav Mezei and RW Radek Dvorak. Florida officials can deny it all they want, but league executives insists that C Olli Jokinen could be moved.

more rumor talk and NHL notes…

Now, I wonder what league executive(s) he is referring to?  The NHL list 5 people as Executives… Gary B. Bettman, William Daly, Colin Campbell,  Craig Harnett (Sr. Exec. VP & CFO) and Debbie Jordan (VP Administration,Human Resources & Exec. Asst. to the Commissioner).

Since Garrioch writes “league executives insist…”, that means more than one, well, you decide which out of the above group who is insisting Jokinen “could” be moved.  I don’t really know how you insist someone could be moved, but Bruce wrote it, now it is our job to decide where this leak could have come from.

My opinion, Garrioch could have talked to someone else who really are not league executives.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bettman Has Made The Game Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Bettman deserves a good share of praise for fixing the game, whether it was his own doing or hiring the right people around him to get it right. It’s half the battle. Bill Daly, second in command, has given him a major boost. Both are intelligent visionaries who have become better peer listeners.

The league has done a much better job marketing its players, which is to say it’s making a concerted effort….

By now, you must be wondering if Bettman bought me a beer or bailed me out of jail over the weekend. Over the past decade, there were times I couldn’t imagine giving him credit for being 5-foot-6, let alone leading hockey from the ruins.

For all of his flaws, Bettman’s biggest over the years has been connecting with the people. He has a way of alienating fans with selfrighteous speeches, legalese and stretched truths that made people question whether he had a genuine bone on his body. Predictably, he was booed after the game Sunday.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

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