Kukla's Korner

Just Guessing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CanWest via the Daily News,

Last season? Fuhgeddaboudit. The new NHL, preoccupied with post-lockout growing pains, rule-changes and teams discovering new identities as the massive personnel shifts took root, was immune to logic. Hands up, if you predicted Carolina, Buffalo, Edmonton and Anaheim as the NHL's final four, and the Hurricanes to win it all. So it is that the league's marketing department has come up with a new slogan to cover all eventualities, namely: Your Guess is as Good as Ours.
continued

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Bucci Believes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

I believe ... Sidney Crosby will win the Art Ross Trophy. Ilya Kovalchuk will win the Maurice Richard Trophy. Hockey is more vinyl than digital, and if we take any more sandpaper out of the game, the game will lose its soul. Cold rinks make for warm people. Kerry Fraser in a hockey helmet is just not right. You might as well put one on Bobby Orr. Jack Johnson should be able to do whatever Jack Johnson wants. I'm looking forward to this NHL season more than last NHL season. The Western Conference will look something like this-
read on

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Gionta Expects To Play In Opener

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,

Ongoing efforts by the New Jersey Devils to free up salary-cap space means Brian Gionta should be on the ice for their NHL opener on Friday. Gionta, coming off a 48-goal season, is a restricted free agent who remains unsigned because the Devils are at least $5 million over the $44 million salary cap. "I'm cautiously optimistic we could have it done (by today)," his agent, Steve Bartlett of Pittsford, said.

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Bill Daly On Hockey Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was on XM's Hockey this Morning on Monday, October 2nd. He informed the XM listeners on the Malakhov deal, the possibility of Mogilny/Devils cap relief and the state of the game on the ice heading into the season. All files will open an audio file (all less than 5.5MB) and special thanks to XM Home Ice, Channel 204 for providing KK with the audio cuts. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be on the Power Play show today at 1pm. image

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Cup Keeper

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Shea at NHL.com,

Close your eyes for a moment, clear all thoughts from your mind, sit back and envision the greatest job in the world ... serving banana daiquiris to a bathing suit convention on a sun-drenched beach in Hawaii? Great, but not amazing. Or how about a taste tester in a chocolate factory? I like that, but you'd get tired of it after awhile. Let's see, how about taking the world's greatest trophy around the globe to celebrate the successes of hockey's world champions? Yeah, that's it! That's the greatest job in the world!
continued

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Only In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Eric Duatschek of the Globe and Mail,

You gotta love the new National Hockey League. Where else would you get two teams, trying to position a transaction as an actual hockey deal, when everyone in their right mind knows that it’s a deft, contrived maneuver to circumvent the salary cap? We’re talking, of course, about the New Jersey Devils-San Jose Sharks’ deal on Sunday night, in which the Devils unloaded the rights to Vladimir Malakhov and his $3.6 million salary-cap commitment, plus a conditional first-round pick, to the Sharks for forward Alexander Korolyuk and defenceman Jim Fahey.
continued

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Bettman Sees More Growth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP & CP via the Globe and Mail,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with The Canadian Press on the eve of the NHL's 89th season in a wide-ranging interview that, among other things, touched on the salary cap, visors, Rick DiPietro's 15-year deal, Bob Clarke's offer sheet and TV ratings south of the border. Here's what he had to say: Question: What are your expectations for league revenues this year, in other words, where do you think the salary cap is headed? Bettman: We will continue to grow. I expect the cap to continue to go up. Will it jump as dramatically a year from now as it did this year? The answer is no. I think that the burst that we were able to show, the resiliency that we were able to demonstrate in bringing the business back, is something that you cannot replicate every year. However I am extremely bullish in our future prospects. I believe in the strength of the game and the business of the game.
read on

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First Baseball - Now Golf

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Washington Capitals are holding their annual charity golf tournament, the Caps Care Classic, today, at the Springfield Golf and Country Club in Springfield, Va. The event, which began at 1pm with a shotgun start, includes an online auction (already underway at WashingtonCaps.com) and a dinner after the golf tournament. It benefits the Children’s National Medical Center, Athletes Against Autism and Washington Capitals Charities. Click the pic for a larger view. image
update 4:46pm, from the Caps PR department,

Those of you who have seen the photo of Alex Ovechkin practicing his golf swing will probably be surprised to hear this, but Ovechkin just hit a hole in one during the Caps Care Classic at the Springfield Golf and Country Club in Springfield, Va. Ovechkin took a shot on the par-3, 160-yard fourth hole that landed short of the green and rolled in. In fairness, Ovechkin had been practicing at that hole for some time, meeting each group as it came through. But a hole in one is a hole in one.
more pics added at 5:34pm

Continue Reading »

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Dream Theme

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

PHOENIX -- It's mid-May, 2007. The Western Conference finals series is about to begin. Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky is surrounded by a sea of reporters. "How did this happen?" Gretzky is asked. "How did a team many believed wasn't capable of even qualifying for the postseason end up in the conference finals for the first time in franchise history?" Gretzky shrugs his shoulders. "Anything is possible," the greatest player of all time says. "Anything."
continued

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Shannon Will Improve Hockey On TV

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

OLN came out of the All-Star break with a new on-air set and a new graphics package. Plus, in March the NHL hired veteran hockey producer John Shannon to help make the broadcasts more professional. Shannon was a longtime executive producer of “Hockey Night in Canada” and Leafs TV.... Much of this confidence comes from a television schedule that gives NBC and Versus more exclusive windows for hockey games. NBC will show its games on Sundays this season, as opposed to Saturdays last season. And Versus will have an exclusive game of the week on Tuesday nights through November, after which it will switch to Monday nights. “I view last season very much as a transitional season for us on television,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “This summer, and obviously this year leading up to this coming season, we’ve been able to develop a very good schedule for Versus and for NBC. … We weren’t able to create exclusive windows last year, just because of the timing.” So far, some advertisers are stepping up. Dodge and Enterprise agreed to return as sponsors on Versus. New sponsors for the upcoming season include Rent-A-Center, Philips Electronics, Clorox and Midas. NHL executives credit Shannon’s hiring with helping to stabilize the hockey broadcasts, which look like much admired “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcasts. “He is working to establish minimum standards and minimum criteria with our rights holders, and he’s going to work on a constant basis in terms of providing feedback and evaluations with our local broadcasters and working with them to help improve the quality of the broadcast,” Daly said.

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