Kukla's Korner

The State Of The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Yahoo,

The inaugural season of the "New NHL" is winding to a close, and as great as it was for the league, the future appears to be even brighter. Sounding predominantly optimistic but defensive at times, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held his annual state of the game news conference prior to Monday's Game Bettman addressed a host of topics, including the overwhelming success the league enjoyed this season and the prospects that hopefully will improve the game in the years to come. "This season was about re-engaging our fans," Bettman said. "The credit goes to our clubs, our players and most importantly, to our fans. Now that we are focused on moving forward, we are also looking into ways that we can do that job even better."
continued added 8:26pm, The CP version via TSN... added 8:44pm, Complete transcript of interview can be read in the comments section of this post...

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The Maven Says Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

Goaltending will be decisive. I like Carolina’s chances because I’m convinced that Roloson is playing over his head. If he’s dented, the Oilers are kaput. Edmonton’s defense is formidable, but the Canes’ have a solid unit with a rising star in Commodore. I believe the Finals, ultimately, will be decided on the front lines. Or, to put it another way, Carolina’s fourth line is better than Edmonton’s. ‘Nuff said. Edmonton has won enough Cups. Carolina fully deserves one. Go -- for the good, old USA -- Canes!
read on

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Forget The Ratings- Enjoy The Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

The hue and cry is that Edmonton-Carolina will produce some of the worst sports television ratings ever registered and that this is further proof that hockey is a fast-fading niche sport and that Commissioner Gary Bettman's NHL is a failure and that the league and its broadcast operations have been hopelessly mismanaged. I say: bunk. (Actually, I would use a much stronger word, but kids read this and I for one will not contribute to their already hopelessly crude use of the English language.) Look, for starters, do you really believe, even for a moment, that Commissioner Bettman didn't anticipate the day that in a 30-team league there might be a possibility that two very small markets would compete head to head for the Stanley Cup?
read on

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Listen To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced it is teaming with sports, rock and talk radio stations in five NHL markets to promote the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. Through on-air, on-line and outdoor ‘My Stanley Cup’ promotions, each radio station will offer listeners opportunities to win special NHL-themed prize packages. Six winners will receive the grand prize of a 42" plasma high-definition flat-screen television. WCKG-FM and WSCR-AM in Chicago; WRIF-FM in Detroit; KLSX-FM in Los Angeles; WMMR-FM in Philadelphia; and WFAN-AM and WFNY-FM in New York will air ‘My Stanley Cup’ promos and will host listener parties, outdoor events and in-studio contests, all of which are designed to drive TV tune-in to 2006 Stanley Cup Final broadcasts on NBC and OLN in the U.S. added 12:15pm, As part of the in-market promotions, the NHL will deploy street teams to join on-air radio personalities at high-traffic outdoor locations, including the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif., Times Square in New York City and Rittenhouse Square in Philadephia, to distribute more than 25,000 pucks. The pucks and the custom-designed Dodge vehicles the NHL street teams will operate will feature NBC and OLN tune-in branding. In addition, former and current NHL players and coaches, including Luc Robitaille, Scotty Bowman and Jeremy Roenick, will call-in during on-air peak programming to discuss the Stanley Cup Final. image

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Smart Bettor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

When the Stanley Cup Finals between Edmonton and Carolina begin tonight, at least one bettor will be hoping to strike it rich with an Oilers victory. The Ontario based bettor had the foresight to wager $150 on Edmonton to win the NHL championship in early October when the team listed was an 80/1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup. Now only four wins away from capturing their sixth title in franchise history, the bettor is close to cashing a winning ticket for an amazing $12,000 return.

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It’s Time To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

In one sentence, Ryan Smyth summed up the feelings of both the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes on the eve of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. "It's time to play," said Smyth, the Oilers' veteran forward. eams with time off have not fared well this postseason. But for the Oilers, the break was a tonic in ridding the team of a lingering flu bug that had plagued most of the team against Anaheim. Smyth said in recent days, the players have gotten back into the swing of things.
read on

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Watching the NHL & NBA Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

Again, why would a true hockey fan, or even an intelligent general sports fan who enjoys marquee events and contagious excitement, base a decision on whether to pay attention to the Stanley Cup finals on population of Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas? Does that mean if the combined populations of the two cities involved don't cross a certain threshold, it's not worth tuning in or even following? That just doesn't make sense to me, and yet that's the implicit assumption in a lot of what I'm reading and hearing as the Cup finals approach.
read on

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Good News - Bad News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The good news for the NHL: The league's salary cap and revenue-sharing plan is working. The bad news for the NHL: The league's salary cap and revenue-sharing plan is working. This is not what the NHL needed, certainly not for its greatest showcase in this post-lockout season. Bettman and the more radical owners (Nashville's Craig Leipold among them) will never admit it, but they wanted at least one if not two big-market franchises to skate it out for Lord Stanley's Cup, thus putting some pep in the TV ratings and giving hockey more international buzz. Instead, we get Tobacco Road against Prairie Home Companion. They'll play freeze-out on TV ratings.
more

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All About The Ads

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Media Life,

In addition to standard hockey signage on dasherboards and in concourses, branding can also be placed on team benches, in penalty boxes, wrapped around a Zamboni and in the ice. Additionally, advertisers can customize their campaigns with on-ice intermission events, interactive concourse displays, player appearances and co-branding using team logos. Promotions can include events like youth hockey players appearing at halftime in branded jerseys. Advertising messages are often placed in areas of the arena, like the team bench and penalty box, that are picked up in television coverage. “We have an advertising space behind each player bench,” says Minnesota director of corporate sales Mike Snee. “Frequently during the game they’ll show a closeup of a player or coach there.” Creative for areas that will be scanned by TV cameras is often the sponsor’s logo in a repeating pattern, Snee says. “It’s most effective to have their logo so when they show a coach or player there’s at least one isolation of that logo behind them." Ad-wrapped resurfacing machines are a popular sponsorship option, says Chris Hibbs, senior vice president of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment. “There’s usually a promotional tie-in, like giving away rides on the Zamboni.” Creative can tie into the hockey theme. For example, Toyota wrapped a Zamboni to make it look like one of its trucks.
read on

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Milbury Still Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

Milbury consistently has said he is trying to set the table for the new GM by giving him as clean a plate as possible. But he also is looking out for the people who worked for him. However, the recent activity - along with the absence of a new GM - has prompted several credible hockey people to surmise that Milbury might not really be on his way out. Speculation among NHL people is that Charles Wang might emerge from the GM search proclaiming he has not been able to find a candidate who meets his satisfaction, and that - brace yourselves - he's sticking with Milbury.
more

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