Kukla's Korner

Blame Ilitch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

A declaration in this space two weeks ago that the Ducks would defeat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals — and that Detroit could no longer call itself Hockeytown because games at Joe Louis Arena weren’t selling out — generated hundreds of impassioned responses.
Some were even free of obscenities….
The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings in six games and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, but the idea here isn’t to gloat.
It’s to suggest that the unprecedented torrents of anger sent this way are better aimed at Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings’ owner, and the club executives who set playoff ticket prices too high for an area that has been gut-punched by the auto industry’s decline, the departure of Comerica Bank’s headquarters for Texas and growing unemployment.

read on (reg. req.)

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

24 Hours Later

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated 0508 EST on 24 May:  This post is going to stay on top today because I’ll be adding to it as I have time and the inclination to do so.  However, there are a few good stories from the Diggers today you may want to peruse.

Wojo:  Wings’ Future Is Bright
Rosenberg: Wings Fans Are Spoiled
Kulfan: Biggest Question is Hasek
Little Mitch the Delicate Genius: Should Hasek Return?

Almost a full day after the conclusion of what I would consider to be a pretty damned good season, and I’m finally in a state of mind to discuss it.  So I gave myself a day’s sabbatical to deal with this thing and I’m reminded once again how pleasant it is to be a fan-blogger instead of a Deep Digger.  As much as I pick on Teddy and Helene and Khan(!), George, Young John and the rest…I wouldn’t have enjoyed their jobs last evening.  Because you can’t follow this team without developing an affection for what they accomplished this year, or how they did it.

So they had to do their jobs, and I’ll bet those jobs weren’t fun.  Oh, I’m not naive enough to believe that a loss didn’t make for interesting writing and reporting. I’m just saying that I’m betting the diggers wanted to see a bit more success.  Like 5 games of it.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

3-Man Booth For HNIC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Greg Millen will join regulars Bob Cole and Harry Neale in the broadcast booth for Hockey Night in Canada coverage of the Stanley Cup final.
This will be the first time Hockey Night has used a three-man booth in years, and the objective is clear: to bring some energy and enthusiasm to the analysis.
Millen’s work, mostly with Jim Hughson, has been solid, but Neale kept a low profile in the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League Eastern Conference final. Cole did most of the talking and Neale proved to be a good listener.

continued...plus other hockey broadcasting talk…

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Concern Over The Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WGR550,

Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn dropped by the WGR studios on Wednesday afternoon to chat with Mike Schopp and The Bulldog on a number of topics surrounding the organziation….
He expressed concern over the fact that the NHL salary cap may reach $48 million this year. Quinn feels it’s counterproductive to the original plan of the cap during the lockout.

more on the Sabres… Another management type concerned about the cap, the one the owners agreed upon!!!
Regular KK readers may recall another team doing the same about a month or so ago, but it has been a long week and I can’t recall who it was.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Report- Nashville Sale Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Darren Dreger at TSN,

Jim Balsillie is at it again.
After a failed bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN the co-chief and executive officer of Research In Motion is negotiating to purchase the Nashville Predators.

added 7:29pm, from Nashville Post.com,

The Nashville Predators are being sold.
NashvillePost.com has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.
According to NashvillePost.com sources, a press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow to announce the sale of the team. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.


added 7:50pm, from WTVF,

NewsChannel 5 learned that team owner Craig Leipold has reached an agreement with BlackBerry owner Jim Balsillie to sell the team as soon as paperwork can be completed.
Leipold met with the NHL Board of Governors at 2 p.m. Wednesday in New York, and then told his staff of the developments.
Leipold told the Predators’ front office personnel that the team will remain in Nashville for at least the next season, but made no promised for the future.

added 8:05pm, via the Tennessean,

Nashville Predators owner Craig Leopold has signed a letter of intent to sell the team to an out-of-town buyer, and an announcement in imminent, possibly by the end of the week, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The source said the deal has been in the works for weeks, but the letter of intent does not mean the deal has been finaliaized.

added 8:27pm, via Bloomberg,

Research In Motion Ltd. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie is close to buying the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators for $220 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Comparing Matchups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

friom the CP via Metro News,

The Ottawa Senators send the best line in the playoffs against the NHL’s best trio of defencemen when they face the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup final.
Game 1 goes Monday night in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET). Centre Jason Spezza and wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been the best line in the playoffs, combining for 23 goals and 58 points in 15 games.
The Ducks counter with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin at the blue-line, who have each averaged more than 30 minutes of ice time per game in the post-season.


added 7:22pm, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

The 2007 Stanley Cup finals pairs a juggernaut with few discernible flaws with a could-be juggernaut with a penchant for self-destruction. In other words, the clash between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks has all the makings of a classic. That is, unless the Ducks lose their collective minds, which they have shown the ability to do, and the Senators have their way with them.
At the start of the regular season, there were many who believed Anaheim was capable of arriving at just this point—the Stanley Cup finals. Not so many thought the Ottawa Senators would get here. But how the teams arrived here has dramatically changed the perception of both heading into the finals.


Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Short History Of The Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Since the modern Senators are only 15 years old, however, it’s not quite waxing nostaligic.
It’s more about looking back and marvelling at how the Sens landed their franchise in the first place.
And probably how they didn’t deserve to. I’ll never forget being there on Dec. 6, 1990 at the plush Breaker’s Hotel in West Palm Beach as then NHL president John Ziegler sat at a press conference with Bruce Firestone of Ottawa on one side and Phil Esposito of the successful Tampa bidder on the other, announcing the NHL’s two newest teams.

read on

added 5:00pm, for a look back at the old Senators, turn to Legends of Hockey!

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Since The 2003 Playoffs…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stats Blog,

Since the beginning of Anaheim’s 2003 run to the finals, no two teams have more playoff wins than the Ducks and Senators.
Most Wins in Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2003-2007 Playoffs
Ana. . . .36
Ott. . . .31
NJ. . . . 27
TB. . . . 24
SJ. . . . 22

more on the matchup…

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Old Or New Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TBM at NBC Sports,

And more importantly, how much longer can the Wings rely on a core of players who are living monuments to the league’s history? Chris Chelios is 45, Dominik Hasek 42, and Nicklas Lidstrom and Schneider are 37. Chelios, Hasek and Schneider are all unrestricted free agents this summer, and you can bet all three will be back next season.
How much longer will the Red Wings keep trotting out these old warhorses? As long as they a) produce and b) work relatively cheap. Hasek and Chelios both make less than $1 million a year, which makes them cap friendly. If the NHL’s salary cap does approach the $50 million mark, look for Detroit to be active in the free agent market, pursuing players like Ryan Smyth and Chris Drury.
That would be just like the good old days for Detroit. And who knows about old times better than the Red Wings?


Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Happy For The Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Rick Bowness had to live through the lean years. Jacques Martin put up with his teams being called underachievers.
Both former Senators head coaches say they’re happy for their old team reaching a first-ever Stanley Cup final.
“I’m ecstatic for the team and the city and I hope they do well,” Bowness, the team’s first coach, said Wednesday.


Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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