Kukla's Korner

Why Small Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Motnreal Gazette,

Way to go, Vancouver. In a single stroke, VANOC, the Vancouver organizing committee, has managed to kill the Olympic hockey tournament for the 2010 winter Games. NHL ice? For the Olympics? Might as well play in a boardroom. Or a phone booth. So much for the speed, grace, elegance and beauty of Olympic men's hockey on the big surface, the one time every four years when we get to see hockey as it can be, not hockey reduced to the corner scrum, chip-at-a-time ugliness of the National Hockey League.
continued

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It Won’t Be Dullsville On The Island

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It won't be dull, that's for sure. Whether the combination of Neil Smith and Ted Nolan will return winning to Long Island, or even coax a playoff series win out of the Islanders for the first time since 1993, will have to be proven on the ice over time. But Smith, the former Rangers general manager, and Nolan, the former Sabres coach, will undoubtedly make headlines, particularly within the context of the overall Islander picture.
continued

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Where Is Smyth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

His workplace consists of a small patch of blue ice where a large man whacks at him with a stick, while a second man often does the same with a much bigger stick. For Ryan Smyth, it's not a hockey game unless he parks himself in front of the other team's goaltender and engages some large whack-happy defenceman. But so far in the Stanley Cup final, Smyth's presence against the Carolina Hurricanes has been negligible, almost invisible.
continued

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Nashville Captain Not Returning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News,

Greg Johnson accomplished more as a member of the Nashville Predators than he ever dreamed possible. Now he wants to see what other possibilities exist for him, which is why the team captain since the start of the 2002-03 season is not particularly disappointed over the fact that he will not return to the Predators this fall. Following several conversations with general manager David Poile, the most recent on Wednesday, the team and its all-time leader in games played have decided it is time to part ways.
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OLN Optimistic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier-Post,

OLN has a lot at stake, after paying the league $135 million for two years worth of rights. And so does the NHL, after finding an enthusiastic cable partner when ESPN declined its $60 million option prior to last season. So can the relationship work? "We're optimistic it will come and not soon enough," OLN president Gavin Harvey said, when asked a time frame for improved ratings. "We are putting tremendous amount of resources into it. What you've seen this season is the sport is dynamic and as hot as it's been. That's one of the most important things and now we just have to do our part."
more

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Game 3 Could Be A Ratings Disaster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

History might be in the making: NBC's Game 3 of the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night just might produce the lowest broadcast network prime-time rating ever. Reasons include: the series having a Canadian team — Edmonton — and our neighbors to the north aren't counted in U.S. ratings; the other team — Raleigh, N.C.-based Carolina — is in a midsized Southern city; neither team is a big brand name; and Saturday is TV's least-watched night.
continued

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The Deep Hole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This they know only too well: The hole the Edmonton Oilers dug for themselves the past two games is deep, and it can't get much deeper. If they want to make a series of this Stanley Cup final against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Oilers need to win Saturday's third game. Otherwise, they can book the tee times. So really, the best-of-seven is down to one game and collectively, the Oilers adopted the “glass-is-half-full” approach in assessing their chances of becoming only the second team in history to rebound from a 2-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup final.
continued

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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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