Kukla's Korner

The California Oakland Golden Seals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The NHL's first attempt to establish itself in the Bay Area died 30 years ago this week. Final score of the final game: California 5, Los Angeles 2 -- and hockey fans zero for the next 15 years. Talk about a doomed franchise. In its nine years on the planet, this one had seven ownership groups and three name changes. The California Seals. The Oakland Seals. The California Golden Seals. Wait, let's try California Seals again. Eventually, they came up with a fourth name: the Cleveland Barons.

Continue Reading »

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Taking A Shot At Naslund

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Brendan Shanahan, who's one of the NHL's most articulate voices on this or any other subject, delivered something of a thesis statement on leadership some time ago when he was asked about Steve Yzerman's role on the Detroit Red Wings. There comes a point, Shanahan posited, when a team resembles its leader the way a dog owner resembles its pooch. Yzerman was a supremely gifted offensive player who sacrificed his production for the greater good of the team. He was blessed with a preternatural skill-set, but he also played the game with the heart of a grinder.
continued...the article is actually on Naslund and how he is not living up to expectations...it must be take a shot at Naslund Day in Vancouver...

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A Crack In Hockeytown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

Yes, Metro Detroit still loves its hockey, but it appears we like to watch the Pistons even more on television. Ratings trends indicate the Pistons have surpassed the Wings. Up until the lockout season in 2004-05, the Wings traditionally outdrew the Pistons on FSN Detroit. The disparity was often large, as many as four ratings points in favor of the Wings. Now, the Pistons are averaging 6.0 for the regular season, while the Wings are at 4.7. "I think it's a clear sign the Pistons now have the charisma that the Wings had," Detroit Mercy marketing professor Michael Bernacchi said.
more

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Looking For A Hockey Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hartford Courant,

Lawrence R. Gottesdiener - downtown Hartford's largest landlord - said Wednesday that he has begun shopping for an NHL franchise because he thinks the best way to convince investors and politicians to build a new sports arena in the city is to have a team in his portfolio first.... "The advantage of Pittsburgh is that it's on the market and its lease is up," Gottesdiener said. The Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers are near the bottom of the league in attendance, but both teams are locally owned and not for sale. The Florida Panthers' attendance is in the lower half of the league, but there has not been talk of the team's being available.
more

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Naslund MIA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

Naslund? Two goals, eight points and minus-9 in his last 15. Certainly the Canucks have suffered greatly with the extended blue-line absences of aces Ed Jovanovski and Sami Salo. But great players rise above these situations and Naslund has been unable to do so. His offensive numbers since early March, the acknowledged start of the stretch drive, are nowhere near enough. On Monday, in a critical 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Naslund failed to register a shot on goal in the final two periods. He was in the penalty box when the winning goal was scored. He was minus-3 a day earlier in Anaheim. His plus-minus on the year is a team worst minus-16, truly an embarrassing number for a player of his ability
read on (reg. req. but normally I can't get past the registration process, this time I did and you may too)

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Will The Real Oilers Please Stand Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Chris Pronger says the Edmonton Oilers are not the inexplicable, unexplainable, manic depressive hockey team that everybody seems to see. No, says the only guy in the line-up who could possibly be considered a playoff expert. No, they're a study in consistency says Pronger. OK, a little quirky, he'll give you. "We're up. We're down. We're all around,'' he admits of the way they play day to day.
continued

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A Glorious Comeback

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Centre Daily,

For a sport that sacrificed more than any other pro sport in the modern era -- remember, there was no hockey at this time last year, only pompous posturing by men in dark suits in high-rise conference rooms -- hockey has made a glorious comeback, even if the league's television contract is with Outdoor Life Network. The black eye of the 310-day work stoppage is just about healed. Attendance is up, goal-scoring is up nearly 20 percent and the rule changes put in place to eliminate the boring, clutching-and-grabbing defensive styles seem to have worked. Want proof?
more

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Agitator Vs. Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Toronto forward Darcy Tucker and Nashville defenseman Brendan Witt applied knee-on-knee hits within hours of one another in two different games Monday night. Tucker’s hit, on Sabres forward Jochen Hecht, caused a firestorm of controversy, Witt’s hit, a wee tempest. It’s a tale of two knees. There are a number of reasons why the two allegedly dirty hits were perceived differently. Among the reasons is this: Tucker is prone to agitation and has a reputation for stretching the definition of "clean." Witt, on the other hand, is known as being physical but not dirty.
continued

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Canadian Teams Beating On Each Other

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But in Gary Bettman's new NHL, it is almost impossible for all six Canadian teams to join the post-season festivities. The theory of pitting regional rivals against each other on an accelerated basis has some obvious attraction, but it means every Canadian team plays no fewer than 16 games against Canadian rivals. Some seasons, like this one for instance, that number rises to 19. That means that for almost one-quarter of the season, the Canadian teams are busy knocking each other off.
read on...come on Al, should the U.S. based teams use the same theory?

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Management Movement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

While teams compete to get into the playoffs and do battle for the Stanley Cup, it's all set against the backdrop of what can best be described as a job fair in the National Hockey League. Early indications are there will be an unprecedented number of hirings and firings involving general managers and head coaches through the spring and summer.... There is a movement in Toronto for the Leafs to clean house and go out and steal an established GM like Detroit's Ken Holland or perhaps hire a guy like Campbell to oversee hockey operations.
much more

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