Kukla's Korner

Where Is Bill Clement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Many people have emaled me asking why the absence of Bill Clement from the OLN studio lately. It appears he is involved with the Frozen Four broadcasts... from the Bangor Daily News,

...In the meantime, Thorne and analysts Bill Clement and Darren Pang will be gathering and reviewing a mountain of media guides, statistics, and team information while preparing for their Frozen Four broadcasts. Next week they'll be meeting with coaches and attending practices.

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Time To Start Playing Hasek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Hasek was on the ice in his stuff for all of about two minutes before calling it a day. And who knows for sure when he's going to go through the motion again. This is just getting ridiculous. Listen, I had never even heard of an adductor before Valentine's Day. And even then, I thought it was a car part. Obviously, I have no idea what a strained one feels like. It's probably painful. But surely, there comes a point where the guy has to give an injury a legitimate test, no? "Our medical staff decided that I'm not able to play. It's over," Hasek explained to reporters before leaving Turin a month and a half ago. "I don't want to get hurt for the rest of the NHL season."
read on Having experienced this exact same thing in Detroit with Hasek, Sens fans will soon start worrying about Hasek getting into game shape before the playoffs. With Hasek you just never know his next move, and expect the unexpected with him. update 2:36pm, via Sportsnet,
In Ottawa, the news regarding Dominik Hasek was not so good for the Sens. Hasek did skate, but not in full equipment. Hasek has been skating in full gear of late, but Friday's skate in a warm up suit is considered a step back.

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Just Observing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Last summer NHL players gave in on a salary cap for the first time in league history. And since that concession, this has been a season marked by people making difficult decisions. * If OLN's reach, profile and performance don't improve next season, the league must go, hat in hand, to ESPN and negotiate a deal to return to the network. The league is still in a position where it needs the brand association with ESPN. * Even though defensemen Nick Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara are both worth the $8 million they could get on the free agent marketplace next summer, each will probably have to accept less to stay with their existing clubs.
read on for many more good observations from Kevin Allen...

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Saskin Needs A Heart To Heart With The Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press (Friday edition) via the Mercury News,

Other Red Wings are joining defenseman Chris Chelios in questioning the leadership of NHL Players' Association executive director Ted Saskin. Mathieu Schneider, the player representative for the Wings, said he wants to know what each letter says. "We want to know exactly what's out there," Schneider said. "There's 30 letters, side letters, that haven't been released that, in effect, changed the CBA.
read on

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OLN News, Playoff Rounds 1 & 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have been in correspondence with someone with inside information regarding OLN. This person has been correct on everything so far during the season, therefore I have no reason to doubt. By the way, I tried to contact OLN and have yet to hear from them and after three phone calls and four emails, well, enough is enough. Regarding the first round of the playoffs, any game OLN picks up, the OLN feed will be blacked out in the local markets of the teams participating in the game. The game therefore will be shown on the local station, just like a regular season game. So that is good news for fans who don't get OLN and were worried about not getting the broadcast. In round 2 of the SC playoffs, OLN can air two games in the series of your local or favorite team and those games will be blacked out on your local carrier. If they show more than two games of the series, then your local can also broadcast the games. For example, OLN wants to show games 1,5 and 7 of the Detroit/Calgary series. Games 1 and 5 would only be available on OLN, game 7 would be available on your local carrier and OLN. Remember, CI will be available for the first two rounds and as I stated a few days ago, the price for CI is dropping to $49 beginning April 5th. If anything changes, I will let you know.

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Stop The Sideshow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

But in terms of game-night presentation, the NHL too often is following the NBA's lead. As I've pointed out many times, I'm old enough to remember when the NHL's marketing strategy was turning on the beer taps. So, some of this is considerable improvement, but like many things in life, it has gone too far. ("Zamboni races! People love Zamboni races!") At some point, it's insulting to the product -- as well as the fans -- when those in charge of the game-night experience make it clear they believe the game can't stand on its own two skates.
more

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The Heat Is On The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fishcler of MSG Network,

The cushion is gone. Where once the Devils sat comfortably in a playoff position - - even looking up at catching the Flyers and Rangers - - they now have lost their protective pillow. They may also lose a playoff berth if they don’t immediately get their collective act together.
continued

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Penguins Have No Comment On Governor’s Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Business Times,

Pittsburgh Penguins president and CEO Ken Sawyer was noncommittal Thursday about a proposal by Gov. Ed Rendell that offered a new way to pay for an arena for the NHL team. Sawyer said the Penguins are pleased with Rendell's effort, but not ready to comment on it, much less commit to it. Rather, Sawyer reiterated the team's belief that a $290 million arena built by Biloxi, Miss. casino operator Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. was the best deal for the region.
continued

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Ovechkin About To Hit 50

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

He tries not to let it become an obsession, but Washington Capitals sensation Alexander Ovechkin is approaching a rare feat — 50 goals as an NHL rookie. The 20-year-old Moscow native had 48 going into a game Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. "I think about it, but when you go on the ice, you must try not to think about it," Ovechkin said into a forest of media microphones and notepads at the Bell Centre. "It's hard.
read on image

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Briere Suspended For Two Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NHL, Buffalo Sabres forward Daniel Briere has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of a highsticking incident during NHL game #1075 against the Boston Bruins last night. The incident occurred at 10:29 of the second period when Briere struck Boston player Brian Leetch with a highstick. No penalty was assessed on the play. Briere will miss tonight's game at New Jersey and April 1 at Toronto. He will be eligible to return April 3 in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.

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