Kukla's Korner

Blues Get #1 Pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NHL, The St. Louis Blues won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing today and retained the first overall drafting position for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Saturday, June 24 at General Motors Place in Vancouver (6 p.m., ET, TSN, OLN). The Blues had the greatest chance that one of the numbered sequences assigned to them would be the winning combination, 25.0%, based on inverse order of regular-season finish. Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one. The Blues have never selected first overall in their 39-year history. The club's highest pick was forward Perry Turnbull, selected second overall in 1979. The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in each round of the 2006 Entry Draft is as follows: 1. St. Louis Blues 2. Pittsburgh Penguins 3. Chicago Blackhawks 4. Washington Capitals 5. Boston Bruins 6. Columbus Blue Jackets 7. New York Islanders 8. Phoenix Coyotes 9. Minnesota Wild 10. Florida Panthers 11. Los Angeles Kings 12. Atlanta Thrashers 13. Toronto Maple Leafs 14. Vancouver Canucks

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Datsyuk Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Talk today on Detroit radio was Datsyuk may miss the Wings game tomorrow. WXYT started it this morning (with a little help from a source) and now WDFN is reporting he may not play tomorrow. More on this as confirmation continues, the latest word from the Wings was he would be a game time decision. added 12:35pm, from Sports-Express,

Datsyuk became Detroit top scorer this season despite being injured for the last two weeks as his team won the regular season in NHL. “I picked the injury in the beginning of April. Its two weeks already, and I hope to be back soon.” “Of course I would like to be perfectly fit for the weekend, when we start play-offs. Yesterday I trained with the team for the first time and I am not fully fit yet.”
Not sure when this interview took place, but Datsyuk skated yesterday on his own, it was an off day for the Wings. added 12:56pm, WXYT reporting Babcock talked after practice today and he does NOT expect Datsyuk to play tomorrow. added 1:00pm, WDFN reporting Babcock said Datsyuk will NOt play. So expected and will not is yours to figure out. added 1:48pm, via the AP,
Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is expected to miss the first game of the playoffs Friday against the Edmonton Oilers because of an injured left thigh. Datsyuk practiced Thursday, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he didn't appear to be ready to play in Game 1. "He looked to me like he was going to take tomorrow off,'' Babcock said. While the team did a drill at one end of the ice, Datsyuk skated in circles around the other net with a puck. Datsyuk said Monday he hoped to be healthy enough to play at the start of the playoffs after skating for the first time since being knocked out of the lineup April 3. He was hurt during a shootout win at Calgary, but didn't realize he was injured after being checked by Andrew Ference. "It was not a big hit,'' Datsyuk said earlier this week. "I felt it on the plane. It was swollen.''
added 3:03pm, Babcock was just on Detroit radio and said it is time to find out if they are any good. Said the Wings are a confident group and excited to prove it. Asked about Datsyuk, he said he is NOT playing, no ifs ands or buts. Flippula not brought. Babcock was asked if Dats would play game two, and said yep, he thinks Dats wants to play in game two and he thinks he will. added 7:07pm, Holland just confirmed, no Datsyuk Friday night.

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Nothing Better Than Playoff Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

I've watched about 10 minutes of hockey all season. I'll admit it. I suggested hockey fans boycott the clueless league that went to the penalty box for a year. I still think anyone who bought season tickets this year is/was a sucker. Boycott's over. Let's drop the puck. What the duck. There is nothing better in sports than a series-deciding NHL playoff game in overtime. Nothing. Maybe Stanford's "Hi-Def" football, but we'll have to see about that. Hockey is faster and more intense in the playoffs. The surge picks up with each round. You can feel it through the TV, even if the puck glows.
more

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Quinn Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Head coach Pat Quinn has become the first to pay the price for the Toronto Maple Leafs failure to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The team has fired Quinn and assistant coach Rick Ley, four days after the Maple Leafs were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

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Report- Patrick Gone In Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a called a news conference for 12:30, at which time it's expected they will announce general manager Craig Patrick will not have his contract renewed.

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The Stars Of Raleigh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Yamaguchi remembers when Bret Hedican, an N.H.L. veteran, decided to tease her when they were at a California rink several years ago. Hedican put on a pair of figure skates, stepped onto the ice where Yamaguchi was practicing and performed some less-than-smooth figure skating moves. "I'm like: 'O.K., all right. That's fine,' " Yamaguchi recalled during a recent telephone interview. "I said: 'Let's do one lap around the rink. Let's go. Let's see how fast you are.' He took about three strides and forgot about the toe picks and just went crashing down."
more

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Rebranding OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brandweek,

While a rebranding of Comcast’s OLN isn’t expected until later this summer, some recent trademark activity at the property formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network suggests that sports will continue to play a key role in the channel’s development. Among the brands OLN registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month are Versus: The Network of Champions; Sports Country Channel; Sports Nation Channel; Victory Channel; Victory TV and a handful of other permutations. Although some regional sportswriters have characterized OLN’s NHL ratings as somewhat underwhelming, hockey has been a boon for the network. In the first quarter of 2006, OLN’s average prime time audience was around 196,000, an increase of 23% over the same period a year ago.
more

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Power Struggle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson and coach Pat Quinn reportedly spent the first day of their off-season locked in a political power struggle for the hearts and minds of the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Sources have said that Quinn, whose future as coach of the team is the subject of considerable speculation, has gone on the offensive and is rallying to keep his job
continued

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Another Dear Gary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This time Bill from A2Y sends a letter to Bettman.

Memorandum From: Abel to Yzerman To: Gary Bettman Subj: PROMOTING THE NHL PLAYOFFS Gary, we’re close and you know how much I respect everything you’ve done for the league; the good will you’ve fostered, the lockout you allowed to fester, the shootout, the unbalanced schedule, the insistence that certain teams bred for the Eastern Conference remain in the West and get continually shafted by time zone changes that would render you fetal. So, when I make this recommendation understand I do so from one pal to another. You want to promote your game, your postseason…bring it into the psyche of the American sports fan, steal a few fence sitters away from roundy, roundy, left turn, left turn?
continued

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Exit Stage Left

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

At the moment when they expected to need him most, at the time when he was supposed to be a looming, guiding, confidence-instilling presence for a young team, he never seemed so far away as he did yesterday, sent off the ice, put out of sight, when the real work began. "He skated early, he stayed for (practice) for a little bit and I told him I preferred if we just had the two goaltenders out there for the core of the practice," said Murray, "so after he had a few shots, he left the ice." When pressed, Murray said not to read too much into the situation. This was not a gesture borne out of frustration with Hasek's lingering injury problem, just one of pragmatism. There is no time left now for leisurely tours of the ice.
read on

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