Kukla's Korner

Emotions Lacking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Gary Bettman made an interesting observation in a stump speech he delivered at a sports business conference in Toronto on Tuesday. Talking about the new NHL, the commissioner cited increased scoring, greater flow, elimination of obstruction, and, not by the way, the dramatically diminished number of fights in the league. "The elimination of stickwork has removed many previous flashpoints in the game," Bettman said. As usual, the commissioner is confused. Hooking, interference and obstruction fouls never created flashpoints, but rather dismay on the part of players and fans alike. And while the elimination of that brand of stickwork is to be cheered, the elimination of flashpoints is not.

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Thriving Goaltenders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

No one has more sympathy for Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington than Red Wings goalie Manny Legace because Legace understands that if he weren't playing sharply, it easily could have been him being skewered and roasted daily on the local sports talk radio shows. In late summer, the two major sports questions in Detroit were whether Harrington was a legitimate No. 1 NFL quarterback and whether Legace could evolve from revered backup to No. 1 goalie on one of the league's best teams.

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EchoStar (DISH) Drops OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Business Wire,

EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) confirmed today that it is no longer carrying Outdoor Life Network. The Comcast-owned programmer recently demanded that EchoStar force millions of additional DISH Network customers to pay for its outdoor programming as a condition to continued availability. EchoStar was unwilling to impose those additional costs on consumers. "We work hard to provide choice for our customers and to keep prices low," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for EchoStar. "Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay the additional cost of watching that channel." For customers impacted by the loss of OLN, DISH Network recently added College Sports TV (CSTV), NFL Network and ESPNU at no additional cost. DISH Network offers other channels that provide similar programming to OLN, such as The Outdoor Channel and the Men's Channel. For hockey fans, hundreds of hockey games are available through regional sports networks offered by DISH Network, or customers can subscribe to the NHL Center Ice Package, which offers a variety of hockey games much broader than those offered on OLN.
update Friday 10:11am, Welcome to the hockey fans who are being directed to Kukla's Korner for the first time. You can read some updated information about this topic in this post.

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The NHL Dress Code

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Don't look for an NBA-style dress code flap in the NHL. That's because most hockey players have been told what to wear for years, long before they reach the NHL. Most junior and minor-pro teams have some form of dress code covering what is and isn't to be worn to games and around the rink. Dress codes for minor hockey teams are also common and are seen as a way of fostering team unity and cohesion. "Ten years old we had to wear a shirt and tie," Tampa Bay Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier said, recalling his days growing up in the Montreal suburb of Ile-Bizard, Quebec. "I had the leather zip-up tie.

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Over The Boards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

More goals, shots, excitement mark first two weeks of NHL season All offensive categories 'up.' Schedule hits 100-game mark tonight! Goal-Scoring - Teams have scored a total of 602 goals, an average of 6.2 per game. The figure represents a 32% increase over the average of 4.7 goals scored in the first 97 games of the 2003-04 season. Shots On Goal - Clubs have combined for an average of 58.8 shots per game, 11% above the corresponding 2003-04 figure of 52.9. Late-Game Dramatics - There have been 15 go-ahead goals within the last five minutes of regulation time, more than double the 2003-04 figure of seven.

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Frozen Tundra Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Duluth News Tribune,

About 22,000 tickets were sold for an outdoor college hockey game at Lambeau Field in the first day the tickets were available to the public. Tickets went on sale Wednesday for the Feb. 11 game between Wisconsin and Ohio State, dubbed the "Frozen Tundra Game." It's the first hockey game at Lambeau Field. Portable bleachers and football seating will allow around 40,000 fans to attend.

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Touring Hockey Art

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the edmonton Journal,

As the NHL celebrates the return of more elegant, wide-open hockey, a new art show travelling across the country makes the case that there's nothing more Canadian than the punched-out teeth, blackened eyes and bruised knuckles of hockey's best brawlers. Billing itself as "honouring the true characters of the greatest sport in the world," Slapshot is in Calgary this weekend after stops in New York, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. The cast of those characters transformed into art includes Dave "Cement Head" Semenko, Ken Daneyko and Toronto's Tie Domi along with Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry and Ron McLean.
read on

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No Debating Visors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sports Illustrated,

Gary Bettman gave a speech at a Canadian media awards banquet on Wednesday. Judging by the transcript of his remarks, either his sport is off to a spectacular start or he had just filled a mammoth Ritalin prescription. Gone was the dourness the commissioner had exhibited for most of the last three years, when Bettman routinely trashed his sport, trashed the players and made us all wonder why the nickname Little Ball of Hate had been wasted on Pat Verbeek. Bettman was beaming on Wednesday, and rightly so. The NHL's new era if off to a rollicking start. Scoring is up. Obstruction is down, or at least being heavily penalized. But one unfortunate holdover from the old NHL already has reared its head: the tired and foolish debate about visors.

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Wings On A Roll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doug Ward of NHL.com,

If you thought the League's new salary cap looked a lot like the bill on the Red Wings' high-priced excellence coming due, better think again. With the exception of Derian Hatcher and Darren McCarty, General Manager Ken Holland found a way to keep the core of his team together, and that means it's still hard to differentiate the Red Wings' roster from an All-Tournament team at the Olympics.

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Charitable Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Each autumn for more than 15 years, when the pretty and prodigious foliage of Allegheny County begins bursting with orange and red, Penguins players make a visit to a local mall, meeting up with children aged 5 to 12 who have been selected by the Salvation Army to go shopping for winter coats and boots, hats and mittens. The charity donates $100 (U.S.) for each child; the players donate their time. Sometimes toys slip in among the gloves and galoshes.

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