Kukla's Korner

Different Draft Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

This year's draft primer must, of necessity, begin a bit differently than our assessments from previous years. And as you may be aware, the chief difference involves the drafting of European players. With the new draft rules in place under the CBA that force NHL clubs to sign their drafted Euros within two years, and still no transfer agreement in place with the Russian Federation, it is expected that there will be a chilling effect at the draft tables. The question is, how deep a freeze is Europe heading into? The knowledge that not many players from Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Germany or Russia are ready to come over and play in North America within two years has NHL executives talking openly about staying away from picking Euros.
continued

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The Survey Says

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Check out the recent results from a survey the NHL sent out to NHL Fans. Matt at On the Wings has the results.

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Selling Like Hotcakes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via News14,

Before the Hurricanes play Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, new and old fans are rushing to get red and white merchandise, and vendors are rushing to cash in. They are popping up in front of gas stations and on busy intersections all over the Triangle. “(I would go to those popup stores) as long as they had Ward and Brind’Amour stuff. The NHL is great, but I care about the Canes,” added another fan, Marissa Farrell. You won't get in trouble for buying unlicensed merchandise but vendors will. As for the popup shops, East Coast Concessions said if the Canes win the Stanley Cup, you can expect to see around 40 more tents selling merchandise in the Triangle.
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Stay On OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slate,

For too long, the NHL has tried to woo the disinterested masses. That needs to stop. Bettman's decision to jump from ESPN to OLN is a good first step. By switching from the world's No. 1 sports network to an obscure cable channel, the NHL has lowered expectations. In America, hockey will always be the ugly stepsister when it's sitting alongside football, baseball, and basketball. But put the NHL on a channel that's more commonly associated with hunting, fishing, and competitive barbecuing, and it actually stands out.
read on...sometimes with a story from Slate, you have to click on an ad to continue reading, but this one wasn't like that, so it may work for you too...

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John Davidson On Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Davidson was on WXYT in Detroit, making the talk circuit rounds, and stated he has heard that Toronto is interested in Manny Legace. Of course, after the conversation, Art Regner, self appointed Wings expert, stated that too. But of course he never mentioned that in the last month. J.D. said the Wings may be interested in Martin Gerber. Davidson had high praise for him, almost like he would go after him if he were involved with a team. He said Gerber had a bad virus and lost about 12 pounds right before the playoffs and lost all of his strength. He was also asked about Yzerman. Regner again said "J.D., you once had to make this type of decision, when age starts creaping up." Davidson said no, I had to retire at 29 due to knee and back injuries. Good job Art. J.D. went on to say Yzerman will come to the right decision. Leave it at that. added 4:20pm, A note on Leafs goaltending from the CP via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up the one-year club option on goalie Mikael Tellqvist's contract on Thursday. The 26-year-old Tellqvist played in 25 games for the Maple Leafs last season and posted a record of 10-11-2 with a 3.13 goals-against average. He registered career-highs in games played, wins and shutouts (two). Tellqvist and J.S. Aubin are both under contract for next season and will probably be the team's two goalies if it doesn't sign any free agents.

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The New Hockey Operations Staff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Islanders,

At a press conference this afternoon at the Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Islanders owner Charles Wang introduced the team's new Hockey Operations staff. Neil Smith, a 1974 Islanders draft pick, the owner of a 1981-82 Stanley Cup ring from his days as an Islanders scout and the architect of the Rangers' 1993-94 Stanley Cup championship team, has been named the fourth general manager in Islanders history. Ted Nolan, the head coach of the 2006 Memorial Cup Finalist Moncton Wildcats, the 1996-97 NHL Coach of the Year while with the Buffalo Sabres and the head coach of the 1993 Memorial Cup champion Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, is the Islanders' new head coach. In addition, Islanders Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, who played for Nolan in Buffalo and Smith as a member of the Rangers, has been named Senior Advisor to the Owner.
continued

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Geez, Thanks Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Red Wings ticket prices will remain unchanged for the 2006-07 season. "The new collective bargaining agreement with the players has allowed us to stabilize ticket prices, and for that we are very happy," said Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.

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LaFontaine Active In Nolan Hiring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

It appears one of the New York Islanders' most-beloved players was partly responsible for brokering the deal which allowed coach Ted Nolan another shot in the NHL. Sources told Sportsnet Pat LaFontaine, with Neil Smith's blessing, was instrumental in bringing aboard Nolan as the Islanders new coach. LaFontaine is also reportedly in line for a full-time position down the road with the Isles, either as an executive vice-president or, eventually, team president. It was announced that LaFontaine would be hired as a special consultant for now.
continued

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Finally

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Benjamin, Ladies and Gentlemen, the CBA!

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Teen Ranch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Orangeville Citizen,

The sign at the entrance to Teen Ranch, on Highway 10, south of Orangeville, welcomes the Florida Panthers to the Ice Coral and for 18 NHL wanna-be's, the sign may be seen as a beacon of things to come. A development camp put on by the Panthers, is underway at the ranch, for players who have already been recruited and signed by the team in previous junior drafts. From this crop of young hopefuls, the coaching staff hopes the next generation of Panther players will emerge. "It's a chance to get started on some team building and refine the skills from the selection in the last draft," said Duane Sutter director of player development for the team. The goals of the camp include; on and off ice training, team building, nutrition advice and allowing both the players and coaches to get acquainted.
continued

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