Kukla's Korner

#1 Pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Goes To…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

...the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby stats. The full 2005 Draft order.

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Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

CBA FAQS

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Schedule Format

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL SCHEDULE FEATURES RIVALRY-BASED FORMAT NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - The National Hockey League is returning with an exciting new regular-season schedule format that emphasizes division rivalries. Format * Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total). * Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total). * Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually. Features * The new schedule strengthens division rivalries; division rivals played each other six times under the previous schedule. * The new schedule maintains integrity of the conference-based playoff format; each club continues to play 40 games against non-division, intra-conference opponents. * The new schedule allows for continued exposure of teams and star players from the other conference. * The new schedule allows for more compelling television matchups, thanks to the combination of stronger division rivalries with continued intra- and inter-conference play.

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Remarks from Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EXCERPTS FROM COMMISSIONER BETTMAN REMARKS NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - Following are excerpts of remarks by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following today's Board of Governors meeting: "Today, our Board of Governors gave its unanimous approval to a Collective Bargaining Agreement that signals a new era for our League -- an era of economic stability for our franchises, an era of heightened competitive balance for our players, an era of unparalleled excitement and entertainment for our fans." * * * * "Our foundation for the future now is in place. It is the mandate of this new partnership, achieved at enormous cost, to reconnect with our fans and refocus the spotlight where it belongs: on the ice, on the beauty and the skill of our remarkable game and on the world's best professional athletes." * * * * "We will return with a modified shield, with a new 'look' on the ice and a new outlook off it, and we will return this game to our fans with a promise: We will do everything in our power to be the best we can be and to earn your continued devotion. This was a terrible time for everyone associated with the game. We will do everything we can to make it up to you." * * * * "The greatness of hockey, and the NHL, is best measured by the character and commitment of our players. The greatness of our game is best reflected by the character and commitment of our fans. We appreciate the patience and the support they have shown through this difficult time. It's time our fans had some fun again, and our objective is to give them all they can handle."

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Official Rule Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League's Board of Governors today approved a series of rule changes that will emphasize entertainment, skill and competition on the ice. Commissioner Gary Bettman, who presented the package to the Board, also formally announced the creation of a new Competition Committee which was responsible for formulating and recommending the proposed slate of rules changes for approval by the NHL Board of Governors.

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A Letter to the Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

July 22, 2005 Dear Friend of Hockey, This is a letter I had hoped to be able to send you several months ago. I am certain it is one you had hoped to be able to read long before today, and I will never be able to express adequately my appreciation -- along with that of the entire National Hockey League -- for the patience you have shown through the most difficult period in our history. While it may be said that the greatness of hockey, and the NHL, is best measured by the character and tenaciousness of its players, I would add that the greatness of our game is also reflected by the character and tenaciousness of you, our devoted fans. I thank you all for that passionate support and I apologize to all of you, on behalf of everyone involved, for testing that support as severely as we did. The negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was an extremely complex undertaking and it took a painfully long time to complete. I promise you it did not take one second longer than absolutely necessary; and while it required a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice by a lot of people -- including you -- the result is that a great game will be even better upon our return. As we move forward now in partnership with our players, we move equally, to a new era of exceptional entertainment, in partnership with you. We will come back with new rules, with a new spirit of cooperation and with a renewed sense of excitement as the best athletes in the world display their skills for the best fans in the world and strive to win the best trophy in the world, the Stanley Cup. Over the past year, there has been entirely too much talk about the business of hockey and entirely too little talk about the joys of hockey. At last, it's time, once again, to have fun -- the kind of fun only hockey can offer. I cannot wait to get back to the rink and I very much look forward to seeing you there. Let's get ready to drop the puck! Sincerely, Gary Bettman

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Detroit Area Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL Press Conference is on FSN-Detroit.

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Like We Didn’t Know

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CP,

The NHL board of governors unanimously approved the new labour deal Friday, paving the way for the league to reopen for business. A source said the vote was 30-0. Commissioner Gary Bettman was to officially announce the results of the vote at a 3 p.m. ET news conference. That was to be followed by the league's draft lottery, with junior star Sidney Crosby the big prize.

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TSN Coverage begins at 2pm

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

According to the TSN website, their cybercast of the NHL "coming out party" will begin at 2pm.

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Cost of Lockout: 2 million fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As the National Hockey League ratifies its new collective bargaining agreement, a recent research study finds that the lockout cost the sport nearly 2 million fans in Canada. In a survey conducted by Solutions Research Group among 1,776 Canadians in May/June 2005, 55% of Canadian sports fans aged 12 or older identified hockey as one of their favourite sports, down 13 points from 68% in a survey conducted in 2003.

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