Kukla's Korner

All Is Not Well

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Gary Bettman might be bursting the buttons off that little vest of his upon news that attendance, revenue, the salary cap and everything else is going up, but post-lockout numbers in some of the non-traditional markets suggest all is not well. Not unless it's considered progress when division-leading Carolina is drawing 11,000 a game (announced), or a visit by the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning this week drew just 12,286 in Anaheim, or Nashville is stuck around 11,000 and change. Or that the Panthers, once a sold-out, rat-chucking Stanley Cup host, now boast all the atmosphere of a meat locker. Announced crowds have been in the 10,000 range, but estimates from those outside the Panthers organization are closer to 8,000 or 9,000.
more

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Thrashers Move A Possibility

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The beauty of a salary cap tied to National Hockey League revenues, commissioner Gary Bettman likes to say, is that it means teams are not likely to move. Those with intimate knowledge of the financial matters of NHL franchises, however, say there are circumstances where the new collective agreement could hasten the departure of a team to another city. The Thrashers are also in the midst of a nasty divorce with its ownership group, which could speed up a sale or move. Steve Belkin, who hockey fans may remember as the guy who said the NHL owners planned to use replacement players during the lockout, has agreed to sell his 30-per-cent interest in the Thrashers, the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and Philips Arena to his other partners after a bitter falling out.
read on

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Devils Preparing For Elias Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

Patrik Elias' workout was short. He took a few shots. He skated a few loops around the ice. Occasionally he hunched over, his arms dangling past his legs while his skates carried him down the ice. New Jersey's favorite sniper is getting closer, close enough that Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello put defenseman Dan McGillis on waivers Friday afternoon. With Elias expected to skate with the team for the first time on Monday, Lamoriello made the move to clear salary space for Elias. "He's a professional," Lamoriello said of McGillis. "Quality individual in every way."
more

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Tkachuk Out With Broken Knuckles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

St. Louis forward Keith Tkachuk will be out four-to-six weeks after being struck in the right hand by a puck during the Blues' 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Tkachuk was injured during his second shift of the second period when he was hit with a shot from Blackhawks defenceman Jim Vandermeer. Blues coach Mike Kitchen said Tkachuk had broken knuckles and would miss from a month to six weeks.

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Some Players And Agents Are Happy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Those men you see smiling broadly this morning? They're the agents for players like Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, Rob Blake and Joe Sakic, Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara. And they're the men who'll be shopping those players this summer to NHL GMs who might have as much as an extra $6 million burning holes in their pockets.
more

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PJ Goes To Washington- Sort Of

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PJ Swenson of Sharkspage Blog fame recently had a chance to do an interview with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. It is great to see NHL officials recognizing bloggers and I hope to see more of these type of interviews in the future.

Mr. Leonsis agreed to take a few questions over the phone Wednesday, before a 3-2 come from behind Capitals win in Los Angeles that evening. Washington faces off against the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion on Friday. [Q] There have been a couple of recent negative articles about the NHL on OLN. And a mention that the ratings dropped. [TL] I think it has just become... The way the press works, that is why I like working with people like you. There is a herd mentality. If a major publication writes something, it gives permission for everyone else to write it. Even if it is not based on facts.
read on, quite a lengthy interview but well worth your time...

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Crosby Gets An ‘A’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CBC,

New Penguins coach Michel Therrien, on just his second day on the job, announced he was making Crosby one of his team's assistant captains. "Sidney Crosby starting [with Friday's game against the Sabres] will be an assistant captain," said Therrien.
more All this while Bill Watters is nailing Crosby on Leafs Lunch for being immature and he should keep his mouth shut.

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The Luck Of The Irish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

Ronan Tynan may just be the surprise free agent signing for the Buffalo Sabres this season. Ronan Tynan? The outstanding Irish Tenor? No, Tynan isn't going to be skating for the Sabres. But from an inspirational, motivational or even luck standpoint, Tynan may just be the little extra ingredient that Buffalo might need to make the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.
continued image On a side note, I have been lucky enough to meet Dr. Tynan and see him perform numerous times. What a great individual.

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Rocker Mark Smith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

Mark Smith lives in two worlds. And they were about to collide. Capping a week in which the high-energy forward had the first two-goal game in his NHL career, here was '60s music icon Neil Young moving through the Sharks' locker room last weekend, looking for Smith -- and telling any player within earshot, ``You guys rock'' -- after San Jose's 4-3 victory over Carolina. In truth, Smith does rock -- on stages, guitar in hand.
read on

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Meeting The Great One

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Elisha Cuthbert via NHL.com,

I don't know how many people out there have gotten the chance to see "The Great One", Wayne Gretzky, in person? And up until last weekend I hadn't either. OH! But now, I'm officially in the group. Let me set the scene for everyone: It was a cold, bitter-cold Toronto night. The Leafs had just lost their strong battle for a victory against the ever-intriguing L.A. Kings. There I was, not alone mind you -- I had my beautiful sister on the left -- and sadly an obnoxious fan on the right. Who would have thought, losing my hearing in the right ear would hinder me later that night?
more image update 11:35am, Why Elisha, Why!!! via TSN,
She also mentions the fact that she passes by 'a certain player' in the bowels of the Air Canada Centre after a game between the Kings and Maple Leafs. That 'certain player' is most likely Sean Avery, her rumored boyfriend. We have included photographic evidence to prove it, even though it looks like Cuthbert is holding hands with a 'What's the Story (Morning Glory)' era Liam Gallagher.

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