Kukla's Korner

OLN & NBC Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the U.S. national television network schedule for the 2005-06 regular-season. New television partners OLN and NBC will highlight the national television debuts of teen-age Pittsburgh phenomenon Sidney Crosby, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky, and Philadelphia superstar Peter Forsberg. The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the U.S. national television network schedule for the 2005-06 regular-season. New television partners OLN and NBC will highlight the national television debuts of teen-age Pittsburgh phenomenon Sidney Crosby, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky, and Philadelphia superstar Peter Forsberg. OLN, the exclusive cable partner of the NHL, begins its 58-game schedule Opening Night (Oct. 5, 7 p.m., ET) when the re-vamped Philadelphia Flyers, led by scoring sensation Peter Forsberg, host Atlantic Division rival, the New York Rangers. On Monday, Oct. 10 (7 p.m., ET), U.S. fans will see Crosby's national television debut when the Penguins visit Buffalo. The following night, Tuesday, Oct. 11 (7 p.m. ET), Wayne Gretzky will be behind the Coyotes' bench as Phoenix faces a Pacific Division foe, Dallas. OLN's exclusive NHL coverage, which spotlights the new rivalry based-schedule, continues throughout the season on Monday and Tuesday nights. Featured are such games as Boston vs. Montreal (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., ET), Chicago vs. Detroit (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., ET), Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia (Nov. 16, 7 p.m., ET), Anaheim vs. Los Angeles (Jan. 23, 10:30 p.m., ET) and Colorado vs. Detroit (Feb. 12, 5 p.m., ET). NBC Sports' broadcast season begins Saturday, Jan. 14 with three regional games, highlighted by Forsberg facing his former team, Colorado, for the first time. Other games include marquee matchups between the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, and Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars visiting Joe Thornton and the Boston Bruins. NBC will preview the NHL season, and examine how the new rule changes will transform the game, with a half-hour show on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., ET. NBC Sports will present six weeks of Saturday afternoon regular-season action: Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, April 8 and April 15. Schedule highlights include Crosby, Pittsburgh owner and captain Mario Lemieux and the rest of the Penguins hosting the Flyers on Jan. 21, and the Red Wings visiting their Conference rivals, the Avalanche, on Jan. 28. On-air talent, new broadcast enhancements and playoff coverage will be released at a later date for both networks.

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Smyth Wants Fair Market Value

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Oilers winger Ryan Smyth wants to have the security of a long-term contract, but he doesn't know whether he'd take a pay cut to stay in River City. "Everybody knows I've bled Oiler blue and I'm happy playing in front of my family. I was was born and raised in Alberta," said Smyth, a native of Jasper. "But I don't want to sell myself short. I just want fair market value."

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Let The Fans Know

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Comcast-owned OLN, the NHL's new cable TV partner, refuted a newspaper report that declared that Cablevision subscribers would be able to watch NHL games this season on the company's sports tier. "We cannot discuss specific language within the NHL contract," an OLN spokesman. "We can state with certainty that, while it's our desire to resolve this issue prior to our first game, the blackout guidelines previously communicated remain in effect."
The story they are referring to is the Larry Brooks article from a few days ago. Here's and idea- why not let the fans of hockey know what exactly is going on. Bettman, OLN and Comcast need to put the guessing games to rest. Just lay it out folks, enough of this!

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The Best Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Captain Coyote can't catch a break. He wears the most important uniform on his team. He's a national hero back home, the guy who scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the 2004 World Cup. Wayne Gretzky went so far as to call Shane Doan the best captain in the NHL, the kind of praise that can make a grown man blush. Yet here in Arizona, Doan is overshadowed in his own dressing room by a host of big names and big mouths. Despite the "C" on his chest, his Q rating is below Gretzky, Brett Hull, Mike Ricci and possibly even Curtis Joseph. He's not even the most popular Canadian in the Valley, an honor he dutifully concedes to Steve Nash.

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Bondra Decision By Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Post,

Peter Bondra plans to inform the Washington Capitals by Friday of his plans for the upcoming season, he said yesterday. Bondra has been offered a one-year contract, believed to be worth $1.5 million, to return to Washington. The 37-year-old right wing also said he is weighing offers from "four or five" other teams. "I'm really happy the Caps are trying to sign me. Who knows? Maybe by the end of the week, we might have a deal with the Caps. It would be nice be back, stay here, play for the Caps."

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NHL Hires PR & Marketing Firms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brand Week,

As part of its strategy to ramp up efforts following a season-long lockdown, the National Hockey League said Tuesday it has signed a roster of marketing, communications and PR agencies "to help reconnect with fans and launch the 2005-06 season." Conductor, Los Angeles, an entertainment and brand agency, will use its "Hollywood storytelling skills" as the NHL's lead marketing communications and integration agency. CarryOn Communication, New York, will oversee strategic brand and consumer public relations. Rogers & Cowan, Los Angeles, will handle entertainment public relations. Media services will be overseen by PHD. Financial terms were not released.

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More Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Another Datsyuk interview from Russian Newspaper Sports Express. Someone at RWC translated the article and basically the same stuff we have been hearing for days.

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Official- Emrick Doing Play by Play For OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

OLN, the exclusive, national cable television home of the National Hockey League, announced veteran NHL announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick as the main play-by-play voice for the network's NHL coverage this upcoming season. Emrick will be part of an announcing team that will call OLN's NHL games on Monday and Tuesday nights. More additions to OLN's hockey commentating team will be released as details become available. The NHL season begins on Wednesday, October 5 when OLN will present the Rangers vs. Flyers. A complete schedule will be released shortly.

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Karmanos on Leafs Lunch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Karmanos was just on Leafs Lunch and mentioned something I haven't heard about revenue sharing. He said the NHL has given teams 3 years to reach 85-90% capacity for games. If they do not reach that figure, revenue sharing will be cut off.

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Lockout Changes Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

When Boston Bruins fans last saw Joe Thornton, the future for their beloved captain looked, well, a little bleak. The Bruins had collapsed in the first round of the 2004 playoffs against an undermanned Montreal Canadiens team, blowing series leads of 2-0 and 3-1 along the way. Thornton had zero points while quietly suffering from a rib injury. He was barely visible on and off the ice, prompting a respected Boston columnist to suggest Thornton cash in the coveted captain's "C." In the offseason, top-scoring linemate Mike Knuble shuffled off to Philadelphia as a free agent, following a long line of top-level Bruins driven from the fold for want of cash. All in all, it looked like Thornton's days in Boston were numbered -- and destined to be played out under a rather ominous cloud. But what a difference a lockout makes.

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