Kukla's Korner

Don’t Grow Up To Be An Enforcer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Laraque can read the writing on the wall in both official languages: As more and more teams eliminate the enforcer position from their payrolls, more and more players who fight for a living are now fighting to stay in the league. "I think they are becoming extinct," the 29-year-old said of his colleagues in the policeman's union. "I feel lucky that I've been in the league for nine years because in the next couple of years there won't be any. "I feel bad for the up and coming tough guys in the league who won't have a job. I can see in the future that there won't be any more."
more

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Preparing For Boos

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News,

He said what? This thought immediately came to mind after Halifax Mooseheads forward Garrett Peters took a powerful shot at the home-town fans following the team's dramatic 3-2 victory over the St. John's Fog Devils on Saturday night at the Metro Centre. "I want to know why the fans were cheering at the end, because we didn't win it for them - we won it for ourselves," the 19-year-old Peters told The Daily News after fans directed boos at the team in the second period. "We were playing our best game of the season, and they booed us."
continued

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Iffy Staal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Beaver County Times,

If Staal stays, the Penguins might have to pay him and Malkin major money as restricted free agents in 2009, a year after also doing so with Crosby. They also might have trouble matching qualifying offers to all three and remaining under the salary cap. Previously, the Penguins felt they could spread out the contracts of the first-round picks over at least three seasons. If the Penguins send Staal back to his junior team in Peterborough, Ontario, he can't rejoin them or be sent to the minors until that team's season is over. If they keep him, and his progress levels off, the Penguins will have unnecessarily used up one season of the seven he can play before becoming a free agent and disrupted their own financial timetable.
read on

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Flames Time Is Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald via Canada.com,

They're in such desperate need of a little cutting-edge, feel-good publicity that there's been unsubstantiated talk down at the rink of someone in the organization flying to Africa and adopting a Malawi baby. "It's been a difficult few days since we got back,'' acknowledged left-winger Alex Tanguay. "I know it's early in the season, but there's starting to be a sense of desperation. You can feel a sense of urgency. And that's good.
continued

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Quinn Weighs In On Flyer Shakeup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Pat Quinn was shocked that two of his best friends in the game were suddenly unemployed, but says he was not in the running to rejoin the re-vamped Philadelphia Flyers. The former Maple Leafs and Flyers coach maintained close ties to fired general manager Bob Clarke and coach Ken Hitchcock, despite years of bad feelings between the clubs, on the ice and off. It was thought Flyers owner Ed Snider might turn to a familiar face such as the 63-year old Quinn when he cashed in Hitchcock. But assistant coach John Stevens has been moved up, while Paul Holmgren will be interim general manager. "I was not contacted," Quinn said yesterday from Vancouver. "I still feel I can coach, but who knows what could happen."
continued

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Turnover Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hockey Rants has the YouTube video of the Markov hit on Stoll from the other night. The hit created a center ice turnover which directly lead to a Datsyuk goal, which is not part of the video. image

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Chicago Not Happy With Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Daily Herald,

Michal Handzus is the second top-line player the Blackhawks have lost with a knee injury because of what general manager Dale Tallon believes was a questionable hit. Tuomo Ruutu suffered a sprained knee in the preseason and hasn’t played since because of a clip by Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who got only a two-game suspension from the league. Tallon said the NHL was looking at the hip check St. Louis defenseman Denis Wideman put on Handzus in Saturday’s game, but the GM wasn’t going to hold his breath waiting for the proper punishment to come from Commissioner Gary Bettman’s office.
continued

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Battle Of The Bands

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

It's war, off the ice, between Darcy Tucker and Sean Avery. And it's not over a puck; it's over a band! Just days after Avery, that Los Angeles Kings loose cannon, told journalist Dave Bidini that Nickelback is "Canada's worst export," the Toronto Maple Leafs's Tucker was found defending their honour. Bidini -- evidently a reporter who gets around -- was talking to Avery for Canadian men's glossy Toro. In their sporty exchange, which appears in the current issue, he complains that there's too much Nickelback in NHL dressing rooms. That they are, if you put it another way, the radio equivalent of lice. And this is, moreover, because the other guys who typically play hockey are "dated" and "old."
continued

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The Bottom Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Inside Bay Area,

Jamison, who would not specify how much the Sharks received in revenue sharing, said limited income from local TV and radio stations is one thing that keeps San Jose in the red. In broadcasting, how much revenue a team receives for broadcast rights depends heavily on ratings. "When you do a team comparison and analysis across the NHL, it's harder in this market to do well in television than it is in some other markets," he said. Neither the NHL nor the players' association will disclose which teams donate to the revenue sharing pool and which teams draw from it. An NHL spokesman did say about $90 million helped 11 teams. Sometimes the line that separates profitable teams from the others can get fuzzy, especially when franchise owners have tangential business interests. SVSE, for example, also manages the arena for non-hockey events and has set up publishing and merchandise operations. "Teams may have a fair amount of discretion as to what costs they assign to the team and what costs they assign to the arena," said economist Sanderson, citing one of the flash points in the labor impasse that shut down the NHL for the 2004-05 season.
more

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Selling Tickets Requires Market Sense

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Brian Millner of the Globe and Mail:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is right when he insists that it's far too early to draw any conclusions from the attendance figures. But it's not too early to point out that the NHL continues to lose ground in certain U.S. markets, including some long-standing hockey towns. Or that some franchises are badly run and poorly located, a reality that won't be altered by any of the changes meant to make the game more appealing. "The National Hockey League is going to continue to go through peaks and valleys and I don't think it's constructive for anybody to focus on the significant upticks or hand-wring too much over any of the shortcomings," said David Carter, the executive director of the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute. "In the macro sense, the league is coming back. In a micro sense, looking market to market, there are certainly challenges."

Continue Reading »

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