Kukla's Korner

We Need To Grow The Ratings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Rouvell of ESPN,

"We need to grow the ratings. The NHL knows that, and we know that," OLN president Gavin Harvey said. "We think that's something that needs to be judged over a couple of years." To put those numbers in perspective, more people watched the 13 WNBA broadcasts on ESPN2 last year than the NHL on OLN this year. And NBC's poker series, which preceded the network's NHL playoff coverage two weeks ago, easily outdrew the hockey by more than 200,000 viewers. Still, the playoffs have been and are expected to continue to be very competitive, so the NHL is staying optimistic about the remaining Stanley Cup matchups. "We don't think having small market teams necessarily equates to bad ratings," league spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur said. "Viewership is also about the quality of the game, and the game is in great shape." One of the issues, though, for the ratings is the star power, or lack of it, on the teams still alive.
read on

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Still Waiting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes' Glen Wesley, Rod Brind'Amour, Doug Weight and Bret Hedican are in that 35-and-over territory of knowing they are in a career's twilight and still hoping for that first Cup experience. Combined, they officially have a total of 64 NHL seasons -- Wesley 18, Brind'Amour 17, Weight 15 and Hedican 14.
continued

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Crawford New King Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Kings,

The Los Angeles Kings have named Marc Crawford as the club’s Head Coach, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today at a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
continued

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Report- Richards Reaches Agreement With Bolts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Tampa Tribune,

The Lightning will announce today at 11 that they have re-signed would-be restricted free agent Brad Richards to a new contract.
update 10:49am, via Sportsnet,
Sportsnet has learned Brad Richards and the Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to a new 5-year deal. Terms have not been released but the package is believed to be in the vicinity of $40 million.
update 11:26am, from the TBL,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Brad Richards to a five-year contract valued at $39 million, it was announced by Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster. Richards’ new deal has an average annual value of $7.8 million.

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Sens Should Sign Hasek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

When the four Big Ms of the Ottawa Senators get down to work this week on improving the team for next season, the first order of business for Eugene Melnyk, Roy Mlakar, John Muckler and Bryan Murray should be Dominik Hasek. While the guy has been put through the shredder in recent weeks because of the injury that wouldn't go away, Hasek has made an offer the club and its fans might not be able to refuse. Despite suspicions the goalie's injury was more in his head than his thigh, and mounting criticism that he let down the team by not being ready for the playoffs, Hasek says he wants to return because he didn't bring the Senators a Stanley Cup championship. And Hasek says the only team he'll play for is the Senators.
continued

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Watching Pronger & Niedermayer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Seriously, would you rather watch Henrik Tallinder and Bret Hedican, defenders for Buffalo and Carolina, respectively, in the Eastern Conference final? Not likely. While Pronger and Niedermayer are making the Western Conference final a fun and educational experience on the tube, up close and personal it's even more impressive, especially for wide-eyed NHL beginners. "Some of the stuff you watch and you think, I can use that. Some of the other stuff you see and you're in awe, and you think maybe 10 years down the road I'll try to do that," Oilers rookie blueliner Matt Greene said of Pronger. "He plays the game with such intelligence it's amazing. He doesn't expend a single ounce more of energy than he has to. It's just professionalism, the way he works, approaches the game and thinks the game." And Niedermayer? "His skating ability definitely elevates his game," said Greene. "He just puts himself in position where he can get back in the play."
more

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Ducks In A Hole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

This would be a good time for the Ducks to, like, win a game in Edmonton. It's been seven years, after all. A seven-year-bitch. And thus far in the Western Conference final, the Ducks haven't been able to win anything in their own rink. Yes indeed, collars and sphincters are tightening on the Anaheim roster. Grizzled veteran Sean O'Donnell, no stranger to the acoustic environs of the Rexall Centre, had spoken of this alarming scenario presciently the other morning: "I know their fans take huge pride in how loud that building gets and it'll pump the Edmonton team up. It wouldn't be an ideal situation to have to win, down 2-0.''
continued

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What Is Nashville’s Tangible Net Worth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

Metro has asked the Nashville Predators to increase the NHL franchise's "tangible net worth" — a step the city says is necessary to protect taxpayers in case the team folds or leaves town. But a Predators attorney says the franchise disagrees with Metro's position and that it is a "safe bet" the Predators won't accept any of the city's proposed solutions.
continued

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Tuomo Ruuto May Quit Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tuomoruutu.com,

After the bronze medal game Tuomo said that he might quit hockey and this might have been his last hockey game. It may sound like dramatic news, but if you think about this issue carefully you will realize that he has battled various injuries over the past three years. Put yourself in a position where you are hurt and you won’t be able to play at the level you would like to.

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Harmony

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In general, these relationships never end well. At some point, somewhere down the road, there will be a reckoning, and the best one can hope for is that the end comes swiftly and without too much heartache for either side. It is this way for all coaches and all general managers, no matter how deep their friendship. "I've heard that. I don't know it to be true. But I have heard that," Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish acknowledged Saturday. It was a picture-perfect Southern California morning. MacTavish's Oilers are up 1-0 vs. the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their first conference finals appearance since 1992, so talk of a breakup seems wholly out of place.
continued

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