Kukla's Korner

The Sporting News Cuts Back Hockey Coverage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit News,

The Sporting News once published a wealth of hockey news. The absence of anything about the NHL in recent issues prompted an e-mail to editor John Rawlings. We wondered what's going on. "Given what I saw as a big decline in interest in the NHL among general sports fans, we decided we could cover the league only irregularly," said Rawlings, who counts himself as "a very fervent hockey fan." TSN did an NHL preview and covered rookie Sidney Crosby's first weekend as a professional. Then the plan was to provide coverage every six to eight weeks. That's being modified. "I have heard from so many subscribers who are unhappy about not getting coverage, we'll step it up to coverage every three to four weeks," Rawlings said. "We'll continue to monitor interest, and if it grows, we'll increase frequency of coverage again." That's a big "if." Based on what we've seen during televised games, there is an increasing number of empty seats in NHL buildings. In any event, TSN's next hockey Insider column is scheduled for the November 25 issue.

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Can Lundqvist Save The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

Panthers players Olli Jokinen and Kristian Huselius state that Henrik Lundqvist was the best goaltender in the Swedish Elite League last season. Before you say "big deal," consider this: With the NHL shut down, the competition for the New York Rangers' breakout rookie in Sweden included Jose Theodore, Miikka Kiprusoff and Marty Turco. "The whole question was the transition — what he could do when he came here," Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire said. "Now I have no doubts."
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The Other Kronwall

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Memo to amateur scouts for all 30 NHL teams: If you can’t decide what to do with your last draft pick, take a big Swedish defenceman. That’s what the Maple Leafs did in 2002 when they took Staffan Kronwall and three years later, the 285th overall pick from that draft has emerged as a regular in their lineup. “I would suppose that would be safe to make that statement at this point,” a very non-committal Pat Quinn said when asked whether Kronwall is with the Leafs to stay.

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Strong Like Bull

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Deb Kaufman of MSG Network,

Here in New York we finally got a chance to see Sidney Crosby for ourselves, and the first thing you notice about him is -- and I'm not kidding -- the size of his thighs. They're bigger than telephone poles. He must use them to leap single bounds! This kid has apparently been Superman since he was 14 years of age because of the incredible leg drive and lower body strength he has when he skates.

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Inspiring Demers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Mr. Demers, 61, has lived a life of pain but he is laughing now. A new biography ("Jacques Demers: En Toutes Lettres," which translates roughly as "All Spelled Out") highlighting the abuse he endured from his violent and alcoholic father and the humiliation surrounding his illiteracy has become an instant best seller. His life story - a janitor's son who dropped out of school in the eighth grade to work at a grocery store, drive a Coca-Cola truck and then work his way up in the grueling world of professional hockey - has made him an inspirational figure on television talk shows. Canadian literacy groups hope his example will inspire other illiterate adults.

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Lewis Sees The Same Old Dominator

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Dave Lewis has seen Dominik Hasek at his championship best. And, as he watched the Senators goaltender on Thursday night, the former Red Wings coach saw a replica of the guy who backstopped Detroit to a Stanley Cup in 2002. Lewis, an associate coach with the Wings that season, is convinced a healthy Hasek will give the Senators the same opportunity next spring.

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Avery Appealing Diving Fine

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Daily News,

This time, it wasn't Sean Avery's mouth that got him in trouble. Avery drew a $1,000 fine from the NHL league office for diving during the Kings' Nov. 3 game at Phoenix. Avery said Friday morning that he would appeal the fine. "There wasn't a penalty called," Avery said about the alleged diving. "I spoke with our (players' union) rep (Mattias Norstrom) and Andy (Murray). It's an issue that I'm not going to let go unnoticed."

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Captain Gagne- Not Yet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Times,

Want to see Simon Gagne squirm? Then talk to him about being the captain of the Flyers. With Keith Primeau sidelined for days, weeks, months -- who knows? -- Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock asked Gagne recently to don the "C" as team captain in Primeau’s stead until ol’ No. 25 could clear his head and get back on his skate blades. Gagne thought about it. Talked about it with Primeau and former Flyers captain Eric Desjardins and then went back to Hitchcock with his decision. "I don’t feel comfortable because we already have a captain and it’s Keith Primeau," said Gagne. "I told Primeau ‘you’re the captain, I should not wear it.’ The NHL asked us to try and put a captain in place. Hopefully we can stick with three assistant captains."

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The Art Of Goal Scoring Returning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

It used to be that virtually every NHL goal looked alike, a four-footer out of a crowd of players jamming the crease against an overstuffed goalie on his knees. Now, solo rushes are plentiful and thrilling, and already this season most fans can rattle off several of their favourites. There was Jason Spezza's spectacular effort around Sheldon Souray in overtime to beat the Habs. Matt Cullen of Carolina created a piece of art to pot a winner against Philly. And the list goes on and on.

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The UAE Skates Into Town

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

In a dressing room at the Brampton Centre, members of the United Arab Emirates national hockey team are kneeling on the floor, praying. Their jerseys are laid out beneath them, doubling as prayer rugs. Quietly, the men perform the ritual all Muslims are required to complete five times a day. Afterward, they pick up their jerseys and assemble their equipment, almost all of it ordered over the Internet because it isn't sold back home. These dozen or so men make up possibly the only team of its kind in the Arab world. At home, they are at best the subject of occasional curiosity from their soccer-mad fellow citizens. In Canada, most find it hard to believe a desert country even has a hockey team. But it does, and tonight the members are playing the most exciting game of their lives.

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