Kukla's Korner

Testing, Testing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

When the Predators took the ice on Tuesday morning, they were not in their usual gear. Instead, the team was donned in a slicker, tighter, more streamlined version of their practice garb, which was produced by Reebok and was being tested by the NHL as it prepares to introduce new uniforms for the 2007 season. Nashville was the first team to wear the latest version of the jerseys, and Colorado will be next. The new style will also be worn by players at the NHL All-Star game in Dallas Jan. 24.
continued

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Lupul Faces Old Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robin Brownlee of the Edmonton Sun,

What's more, Lupul would like nothing more than to light up J.S. Giguere like a cheap cigar tonight and help the Oilers deliver the Ducks their first loss of this season. He'd like to make a statement to everybody watching, Brian Burke included. "I don't think it will be weird. It'll be exciting," Lupul says. "It's a game I've had circled on my calendar since the day the schedule came out. I've been thinking about it a lot. ''There's nothing I'd like to do more than go in there and score a couple of goals and beat them."
more

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Growing The Sport

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Competing for attention in a crowded U.S. sports and entertainment market, hockey players have extra incentive to get involved in the NHL's efforts to expand its popularity. Under the labor agreement, players are entitled to 54 percent of league-wide revenue. "I think these guys recognize that growing this sport is one of the key issues," said Ken Kim, the NHL Players' Association's senior director of business. With the input of player business reps, the league has launched a series of humorous promotional spots featuring Crosby, Philadelphia Flyers forward Peter Forsberg and other players reminding people that the hockey season has started. "For us, that's really groundbreaking," Kim said. "We've never had this much of a say in the marketing of the game."
more...including Eric Staal in GQ...

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Carter Stresses Fan Diversity

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Anson Carter’s aspirations in hockey go beyond winning the Stanley Cup. "My goal, among my many business ventures, is to become an owner of a hockey team," the Blue Jackets right winger said. Voicing such a dream represents progress in hockey’s integration, but the sport is still far less diversified than other major sports. "I want to see hockey up there with the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NFL," said Carter, one of 15 black players in the NHL. "Those are the model sports leagues. In order to reach that level, we have to have a diverse fan base — more diverse than we have now.
continued

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Great Intentions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

But even as Renney was talking about the good intentions, even as he was expressing confidence in the composition of his team and in the additions that were made in the offseason, the coach noted that the club's stutter-step of a start might, in part, be due to the absence of, "people who are not here. "We miss the galvanizing presence who brings people together," he said. "Expectations were so low [last year] that we had different people help circle the wagons. We're searching internally for that." If the Blueshirts are searching for a galvanizing force, perhaps they'll even find it before Jaromir Jagr gets carted off the ice for good.
read on

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CBA Hinders Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

John Muckler says no team has been hit harder by the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement than the Senators. "It's the nature of the beast now. These contracts and unrestricted free agency are going to happen to everybody," Muckler told a Toronto radio station. "They've happened to Ottawa more than any other team since the lockout because of the quality players that we had and because of the slide (in age before unrestricted free agency) that was given to the players coming out of the lockout. That really hurt us because it put some of our players into unrestricted free agency (following the 2005-06 season)."
more added 7:43am, from the Vancouver Province via Canada.com,
Still, since the nuclear winter of '04-05, some truths have emerged that now form a new NHL orthodoxy. The most valuable person in your organization, for example, might be your chief amateur scout. If you're going to spend money, spend it on your homegrown talent and not other teams'. And if you're looking to improve your team via trades, don't bother. As for the rest of it, well, as much as everything seems to have changed for the Canucks, their payroll this season is $43.7 million US. In '03-04, the season before the lockout, it was $42.1 million
more

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Holmgren Answers Questions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Mercury News,

Q: What about the goaltending situation? Western Conference people tell me you've called about (San Jose's) Vesa Toskala. A: Not true. I don't know at what point prior if Bob (Clarke) did, but not to my knowledge. Q: Is goaltending an issue? A: No. With John coming in, he had a meeting with Robert (Esche) the other day, and I know Robert wanted that. They said it was a good meeting. We'll see. We have two goalies and I believe they are both good goalies, but we have to sort it out.
more

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Network Should Pick Up Hitchcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

It's been (what?) two days since the Flyers cleaned house and there hasn't been an announcement that Ken Hitchcock is now a TV analyst. What's the matter with NHL-showing stations in the U.S. and Canada? This man is made for analysis. OK, he's probably made to be behind the bench, but he would be fantastic behind a mike.
continued

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The Missing Link

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Mike Creigen, player for the Knoxville Ice Bears,

Gaetz decided he was going to put on a bit of a show for his fans and maybe strike some fear into the hearts of the opposing team. In the words of coach Bermingham, “ this guy Link Gaetz was a monster man, and crazy. I remember him skating down into our end during warm-up while we were taking shots on goal and just taking our net and pushing it down the ice back down to his end!!”
more...5th paragraph... image

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Notes From Clarke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Truth be told, Bob Clarke is a big softie at heart. As he announced he was stepping down from his General Manager position, he took one final opportunity to close the many open doors he had opened during his career.... To those who haven’t read the terribly wordy transcript in The Enquirer or seen the tear-jerking finale on The Oxygen Network, read on.. “To Ken Hitchcock: Who would have thought that both of us would be out of a job on the exact same day? You’re a great coach and I know you’ll resurface somewhere. Oh yeah, keep the mustache shaved off. It makes your cheeks look puffy.”
read on

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