Kukla's Korner

Still Feeling Symptoms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Folks, I have had flu like symptoms for about 30 hours now. As you may have noticed, posts have been kept to a minimum. Hope to resume normal amount of posts very soon.

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Datsyuk Wants To Retire As A Red Wing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mlive,

Pavel Datsyuk had difficulty articulating in English his thoughts and emotions after being reunited with his Detroit Red Wings teammates during practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. But it was evident from his expression. "Only watch my smile," Datsyuk said. "I'm too happy I'm here."

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Goon Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

Hockey is back. Send in the goons. It's a brave new world in the NHL, but the same hairy Cro-Magnons rule the sport. The Avalanche and Red Wings bumped into each other Tuesday night, and a caveman convention broke out. The league threw away the rule book, burned every page and wrote all new laws - except for the most important one. Fighting is not only still permitted, it's celebrated. Colorado fans booed every time the puck was touched by newly acquired Avs winger Brad May, condemned for posting the "bounty" that resulted in a brutal 2004 pummeling of Steve Moore at the hands of Vancouver thuggery. But the Avalanche faithful lustfully screamed bloody murder whenever one of their hometown boys force-fed a knuckle sandwich to a visitor from Detroit. Did anybody else in the arena notice the hypocrisy? Stupid is as hockey does.

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Avery Opens Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Los Angeles Kings forward Sean Avery - never one to shy away from opinion - had plenty of strong words regarding Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Denis Gauthier and French Canadian hockey players. When asked about the blueliner's hit on Kings teammate Jeremy Roenick in a preseason game Sunday night, Avery did not hold back digging into Gauthier and Quebec-born NHLers. "I think it was a clean hit," he explained on Monday. "I think it was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up." "I'd think if a guy like Brett Hull was coming up the middle, somebody probably wouldn't have stepped up and hit him, but like I said, a typical move from a guy wearing a visor that certainly doesn't like to get scratched at all."

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Bettman & Saskin Head To Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The NHL and NHL Players' Association will come armed with a new anti-doping policy when they once again appear before a U.S. Senate Committee on Wednesday. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin will testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation - one of four U.S. Congressional Committees looking into steroid policies in U.S. athletics, and the possible need for federal legislation which would mandate certain minimum standards.

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NHL Fresh Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A sneak peak (will open wmp video) of the NHL season preview show that will air on NBC this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET

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The Great Rivalries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The recipe for a great rivalry includes a measure of time, a healthy dose of hatred and more than a little blood. If you can throw in some politics, slights real or perceived, and some shared geography, so much the better. They're the kinds of confrontations that make fans and players alike pore over the NHL schedule, looking for the nights when those teams clash. They're the kinds of confrontations that inject a level of intensity and excitement into the mundane and everyday.

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Feeling Blue Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am suffering with the flu since the middle of last night. Looks like it is going around... via the AP,

A day after their dressing room was cleaned and disinfected as a precaution, the flu-ridden Columbus Blue Jackets returned to the ice Tuesday on wobbly legs. About three-quarters of the 39-man roster complained of fever, aches and pains, headache, dizziness and upset stomachs last weekend. Because of the number of sick players, the dressing room was closed Monday. The Blue Jackets were expected to be near full strength for Tuesday night's exhibition game at Pittsburgh. "We found it a little bit odd," team spokesman Todd Sharrock said Tuesday. "The flu always seems to hit during the course of a year, but never this way. We had people come in and clean and disinfect the dressing room as a precaution. Monday was an off day, so it was a good day to do it." The Blue Jackets played in Chicago on Sunday night, getting by with 11 forwards and five defensemen - one fewer of each than would normally be used. Pascal Leclaire started in goal but came out after the first period because he wasn't feeling well. Columbus president and general manager Doug MacLean said doctors had run tests on the players but there were no indications it was anything more than the flu.

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Teamsters Support Rejected By NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Eight days after the NHL announced last fall that it was locking out its 700-plus players, the head of one of the world's largest unions quietly contacted NHL players association boss Bob Goodenow with an intriguing offer. In a two-page letter sent to the union on Sept. 24, 2004, Teamsters president James P. Hoffa wrote that his powerful union was willing to help the players put more pressure on NHL team owners such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Maple Leafs and basketball's Raptors. "The BT (Brotherhood of Teamsters) stands willing to support the NHLPA's fight for fairness," Hoffa wrote in his letter to Goodenow, which was obtained by the Star. Two months passed before Goodenow responded to Hoffa's letter and when he did phone one of the union's top Canadian officials, Goodenow's reply was terse, a Teamsters official said. "He just said `thanks but we're ok with where we're going,'" said Larry MacDonald, president of Teamsters Local 938 in Toronto. "I've been around 25 years and I've never seen such a lackadaisical approach to collective bargaining," MacDonald said. "We had members who would have been ready to picket Raptors games in Toronto and we have members in the U.S. who would have come up with a strategy to pressure companies like Disney (which until this year owned the Anaheim Mighty Ducks). This is our business."

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Corporate Sponsorship Sales Are Difficult

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

When looking at all of the NHL’s businesses, the league’s corporate sponsorship sales will take the longest to recover from a full year without games. The league is not expected to open its season with any new corporate sponsors and it is looking at new ways to sell corporate affiliations. “Our conviction is that we’re going to grow, so we’re presenting new ways to make deals, with success-based fees,” said Andrew Judelson, NHL group vice president of corporate marketing. Those “success-based fees” include benchmarks that would let potential sponsors structure a deal with sliding fees based on meeting or exceeding certain measures that could include product sales, television ratings, attendance or traffic on NHL.com. “We’re telling people that hockey is coming back in a big way, and this is a way for us to put our money where our mouth is,” added Judelson. With some incumbent sponsors having marketing rights in Canada only, the league is trying to adopt a policy under which sponsors can buy only North American sponsorships. While the league is unlikely to open its season with any new partners, some current sponsors are activating with the “My NHL” advertising campaign that the league debuted last week, including Anheuser-Busch, Dodge and McDonald’s. The league must also rebuild its sponsorship staff, which shrank from more than 20 people to fewer than a handful during the lockout.

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