Kukla's Korner

‘Walt’ Is Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, who was suspended at the start of training camp after failing his physical, joined the team for practice on Thursday. Tkachuk was suspended last Friday. He had been working with a personal trainer since then, and had done some skating at area rinks. Last week, the NHL Players' Association filed a grievance on behalf of Tkachuk, who had 33 goals and 38 assists in 2003-04. Tkachuk, 33, is the second-highest paid player in the NHL at $7.6 million.

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Preseason Stats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Who is leading the NHL in preseason goals (Guerin), how about points (Spezza). The NHL has listed your favorite stats leaders thru the preseason. Not sortable, but hey, it is a start.

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Blackhawks Open Checkbook

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Somehow, open checkbook and Blackhawks just doesn't seem right. from Sports Ticker via allsports,

One of the NHL's "Original Six" franchises, the Blackhawks have stumbled badly of late, missing the playoffs six of the last seven seasons after making them in 28 consecutive campaigns. They also have not won the Stanley Cup since 1961, the longest drought in the NHL. A major reason why the Blackhawks had become a laughingstock around the NHL was the club's management, which drew the label of being "cheap." However, after the 2004-05 season was wiped out by the lockout, the NHL implemented in the new collective bargaining agreement a $39 million salary cap, something the Blackhawks were more than ready for. Owner Bill Wirtz and first-year general manager Dale Tallon suddenly took an aggressive approach. "We are changing, you have to, with the times," Tallon said. "It's a different era than it was. This is the direction we want to go in now and how we handle things." "Going into this, Dale, Pully (senior vice president Bob Pulford) and Mr. Wirtz had a plan and said they would spend money, and they did," assistant coach Denis Savard said. Yes, spend money they did.

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NHL & STATS

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League and STATS LLC, the world's leading sports information provider, today announced an in-depth partnership involving the NHL's statistical data and video highlights. In this new alliance, STATS will operate as the exclusive third-party licensor of the league's real-time data feed as well as a licensor of the NHL's video highlights. STATS will provide data and player statistics for use on the nhl.com website as both parties work to explore fan-friendly complements to the site. In addition, STATS will provide its flexible XML data feed to each NHL arena for scoreboard and press box use. "NHL fans are always looking for more and better information about our game. We can imagine no better resource for them than STATS and the wealth of NHL information they'll provide to NHL.com and other outlets," said Keith Ritter, President of NHL ICE. "STATS is extremely pleased to help spearhead the NHL's effort to provide deeper and more accessible statistical information and highlights to its fans all around the world," said STATS CEO, Gary Walrath. "STATS is eager to bring to the NHL its powerful reach into multimedia platforms such wireless, internet and broadcast and interactive television." STATS will enjoy worldwide rights to market, license and distribute NHL data, along with rights to market, license and distribute video highlights via the internet. Further, STATS will have the right to market, license and distribute video highlights via wireless applications outside of North America. Plans also exist for STATS to create, in conjunction with the NHL, an expanded, state-of-the art, in-game graphics solution for use during television broadcasts of NHL games.

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Leafs In Transition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Phil Coffey of NHL.com weighs in with his Leafs preview,

Saying the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most scrutinized team in the NHL is like saying it gets cold in the winter outside the Air Canada Centre. Leafs Nation extends well beyond Toronto, so wins, losses, and player movements spark a hue and cry all over the landscape. So it wasn't surprising to hear Leafs Nation vent its collective spleen when veterans Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk split for Florida, followed by Brian Leetch's departure for Boston and Alexander Mogilny's return to New Jersey. Toss in the turmoil of Owen Nolan's departure from the Toronto scene and fans were hitting the panic button early and often.

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David Checketts To Buy Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Blues have signed a letter of agreement to sell the team and the lease to Savvis Center to businessman David Checketts. Blues President Mark Sauer would not confirm the deal to the paper, which was reportedly consummated Wednesday afternoon. The NHL Board of Governors has to approve the sale of any franchise in the league.

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New CBA Hurts Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

The biggest challenge of the 45-year-old's business career is to provide value to Canucks fans, who spend the equivalent of a week's grocery budget for a pair of seats and expect much in return. They want players to work hard. They demand entertaining hockey. They expect the team to win and they want a Stanley Cup, which has eluded Vancouver since the Canucks joined the NHL in 1970 and Aquilini took on Imperial Parking soon after. And the fans aren't much interested what it might cost the Canucks' new co-owner to provide all this. They should be, because Aquilini insists the team faces far tougher economics under the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement than it did under the old one. "The perception is, we're rolling in dough," Aquilini says. "It's actually the opposite. Financially, we're behind '03-04 because of the new CBA. It actually hurts us. It has made significant impact on us, but we're trying to cope."

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NHL ON TSN goes HD

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Broadcaster Magazine,

In its ongoing commitment to High Definition, TSN today announced an unprecedented initiative to produce and televise a record 27 of its 71 nationally televised NHL regular season games this year in High Definition on TSN HD, becoming the only Canadian broadcaster to air games in wide-screen HD format during the 2005-06 season. TSN's dedication to hockey in High Definition is strengthened by the fact that to-date, there has been only a handful of NHL games televised in HD by a Canadian network. TSN's NHL HD coverage gets underway on opening night (October 5) with a doubleheader, as two of the network's four scheduled games are available in High Definition.

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Thank You Martha

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The NHL and Martha Burk, hurtling on separate paths toward sports irrelevance, on Wednesday unveiled a revolutionary plan in which they agree to share newspaper headlines. Sources hinted that a revenue-sharing plan could become part of the arrangement eventually, if either side has revenue to share. The heart of the deal is an NHL advertisement, scheduled to debut Saturday, that shows a woman in lingerie dressing a bare-chested hockey player. The woman appears in roughly four seconds of the 30-second spot. But that was enough to draw the ire of Burk, who made herself famous by trying to take the no-girls-allowed sign off Augusta National's treehouse and now plans to write a letter of protest to the NHL and NBC. ``I mean, is this great or what?'' NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. ``A week ago we're being grouped with arena football, Major League Soccer and the WNBA. Now we're mentioned alongside The Masters. The Masters! We couldn't buy publicity like that.

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NHL Carnival

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kukla's Korner will be hosting the 10th Edition of the NHL Carnival this week. Since this will be the last Carnival before the opening of the NHL regular season, I am asking bloggers to thnik ahead. How will the NHL be viewed by die hard fans, band wagon jumping fans, the media, the non-believers and the average joe. Give me your take on the outlook for your team, the NHL and hockey in general. Will the 'My NHL' theme take off, will Iginla, Heatley, Lecavalier, Marleau, Datsyuk and Crosby become household names? Please submit your entries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by 10pm EDT, Thursday, September 29th. If you wish to stray off the requested topic, that is fine by me, but special attention will be paid to bloggers sticking to the format. Carnival #9 was hosted at Bolts Mag, and I must say, a job well done.

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