Kukla's Korner

The Underdog Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mlive,

"I'd rather people not look at us to win," goaltender Manny Legace said. "It would be nice to come in as an underdog. I think the guys would get more motivated if we were underdogs. I'd rather they look at other people for a change." "All the teams are so different. I'm anxious to get back and see what the rosters are like," Wings captain Steve Yzerman said, before sustaining a groin injury that will keep him out of tonight's game. "There's a lot of uncertainty, but I still look for us to be a very competitive team." Due to injuries and incomplete lineups, the Wings learned little about themselves during the preseason. "Today's NHL is definitely tighter, that's the one thing you do know," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "You're going to have to engage every night if you're going to be successful."

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Brodeur Says NHL Should Be Showcasing Crosby Wednesday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur says the N.H.L. is not taking full advantage of Sidney Crosby's debut. When Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' 18-year-old phenomenon, makes his much-anticipated debut against the Devils at Continental Arena on Wednesday night, the league's new cable television partner, OLN, will be showing the Rangers-Flyers game at Philadelphia instead. Brodeur, who will be facing Crosby, Mario Lemieux and the revamped Penguins, says the league and the television network are making a mistake. Brodeur said Tuesday that the league erred by having all 30 teams play on opening night rather than showcasing Crosby's debut in an attempt to increase interest in the N.H.L.'s return. "That's what it should have been," he said. "It would have been easy to do. But OLN starts with Flyers-Rangers. Sidney Crosby is the guy you want to market. He's the new, upcoming guy."

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Travel Along With Shanahan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (Wed. edition) via the Mercury News,

Hockey returns Wednesday night, after 16 months away, and what a long, strange trip it's been - none more so than the odyssey of Brendan Shanahan. When we last saw him he was in a somber Red Wings locker room, near tears. Now, he's Winston Churchill. OK. Maybe that's a stretch. But not much, once you hear his story. In the beginning, it was all a vacation. Shanahan, like a lot of NHL players, figured there was nothing he could do about the hockey lockout, so he made the most of the time. He flew to the Ryder Cup and wound up drinking with the European golfers. He traveled to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox end the Curse of the Bambino. He took up paddleball. He coached lacrosse at a high school. He even dropped the puck for his old junior team as it played for a championship in London, Ontario. "Aside from the fact that we were locked out," he jokes, "I was having a pretty good year."

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Kariya- The Voice Of Reason

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Nashville Predators' Paul Kariya has always been a thoughtful sort - not a loud-mouth in the Jeremy Roenick or Brett Hull fashion, but someone who ponders the state of the National Hockey League and is happy enough to weigh in when he sees something amiss. In the aftermath of a destructive 310-day lockout that cost the NHL credibility, fan support and billions of dollars in lost revenue, Kariya asked a simple question: What if the lockout actually turns out to be a good thing? "You never want to see something like the lockout happen," began Kariya, "and you hope it never happens again, but looking ahead to five years from now, will the changes that came this summer make the league flourish? If so, then five years from now, we could look back and say, 'well, that (lockout) was the best thing that ever happened to the game of hockey.'"

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Get Your NHL Gear

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

Hockey's back. It's time to show off that Canucks fleece blanket, Flames cushion, Maple Leafs clock, Senators floor mat, Oilers coaster set or Canadiens wastebasket. The new NHL season doesn't come with the usual amount of new merchandise and memorabilia, as the creative and production processes for those products were pushed back because the labour agreement was concluded so late into the summer.

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As The Hurricanes Goes, So Does The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Acid Queen pointed out a very interesting article from the News & Observer,

Strange to think the future of professional hockey might depend on the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes say the National Hockey League's new labor agreement, reached after owners scuttled the 2004-05 season, gives them all the tools they need to break even, if not turn a profit. But if they can't, they won't be the only team to fall -- and the 30-team league will face change even more radical than a season lost to a labor dispute. The Canes just might be the canary in the NHL's coal mine.

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I Was There

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If you happened to toss your hockey card collection from the 60's, don't read this. It happened to me, but my mom didn't toss them, my dad gave them to the neighbor, said I was too old to be collectiong hockey cards. As the NHL prepares to drop pucks for the first time in more than a year, hockey collectors are certain to drop their jaws when they discover that Mom's annual spring-cleaning binges likely cost them the equivalent of three season tickets against the glass. According to a recent study by Beckett Media, the acknowledged authority on the trading card hobby for more than 20 years, the value of the hockey cards found in a typical shoebox in the mid-'60s would equal about $15,065 today. "If you take a typical hockey-crazy kid who grew up in Canada back in the mid-60s as an example, we figured he'd have kept roughly 500 cards, or roughly three seasons' worth, in a shoebox," says Beckett Hockey editor Al Muir. "That assumption is based on the size of a youth shoebox and the varying dimensions of the cards from that era. "We estimate that the average shoebox in the winter of 1967 had a 65/35 mix of common cards and stars. That latter group would have included names like Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Jean Beliveau, along with the Rookie Cards of Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Yvan Cournoyer and Paul Henderson. "With those parameters in mind, that collection would have fetched about $33.75 back then. Today, in good condition, it would go for about $15,065. So next time you're scrimping to save for vacation or a new car, you can call your Mom and remind her what a great idea it was to ensure your room remained tidy by throwing away all your cards." Earlier this year, a similar study conducted by Beckett Media showed that a shoebox full of baseball cards from the 1950s would have been worth approximately $6,500.

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The Iggy Workout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from sports Illustrated,

An NHL player's workday consists of intense 45-second shifts. "Sometimes you get an opportunity in the first 10 seconds," says Flames winger Jarome Iginla, "but it could come at the end of your shift. If you're tired, you might miss your chance." That's why the 6'1", 208-pound Iginla, who had 41 goals in 2003-04, spent much of the NHL's 14-month hiatus following a workout meant to build speed, explosiveness and endurance. In the two-hour program, created by Rich Hesketh, Calgary's strength and conditioning coach, he works at maximum output in short bursts. Here's a look at five key exercises.

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Nash Gives Columbus Fans Hope

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ohio News Now,

The Columbus Blue Jackets' biggest ally heading into the 2005-2006 season, believe it or not, is the barren landscape left by last year's lockout. Some of the game's top players have retired or have joined new teams. The richest teams pared salaries and the have-nots have bulked up. It's been a wild and eventful summer since the lockout officially ended. Into the breach step teams like the Blue Jackets, their core players still around from teams that weren't all that competitive, who filled in some gaps and hope to make up ground while others struggle to gain (or regain) their identity. "In my 21 years in the league this is the most exciting, because nobody really has a clue what will happen," Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean told team boosters at a meet-the-team luncheon Monday. "Nobody has any idea of who's going to win the Western Conference, who's going to win the East and certainly not who's going to win the Stanley Cup.

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Quite A Lineup For HDNet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

HDNet announced today that Dan Kelly, Grant Fuhr, and Larry Murphy will comprise the broadcast team for The NHL on HDNet. Kelly will call the play-by-play action while NHL legends, Fuhr and Murphy, will share color commentating duties for this season. HDNet drops the puck on a 52 game NHL schedule on October 5th with Wayne Gretzky’s debut behind the bench as his Phoenix Coyotes take on the Vancouver Canucks. The NHL on HDNet will feature two exciting NHL games per week on Thursday and Saturday nights.

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