Kukla's Korner

Detroit Area Comcast Subscribers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Center Ice is now available for $129, $30 of the regular price. That offer is good through 10/31 and a free preview will be available for the first week beginning 10/5. You can call Comcast direct to order but if you get a CSR who doesn't know what you are talking about, ask for someone who does. update 6:48pm, Jim, a reader from the Philadelphia area just commented the same package is available there too. I would think Center Ice for cable subscribers in North America is now available or will be soon. CI for satellite has been available for a couple of weeks.

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Raycroft Signs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

Bruins netminder Andrew Raycroft finally came to contract terms this afternoon, agreeing to a one-year deal for approximately $1.2 million -- essentially the figure he was offered prior to beginning his holdout when training camp opened on Monday.

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Kariya Shining His Star In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

This is the story of a star hockey player who's lost his star and a beleaguered hockey town banking its future that he can find it again. The story of Paul Kariya and the Nashville Predators is the story of a marriage of convenience that both sides hope blossoms into a full-fledged, honest-to-goodness romance. Whether it happens, whatever happens, promises to make this surprising relationship one of the most interesting stories of the coming NHL season. For both parties, the stakes are high.

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New Habs Mascot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The storied Montreal Canadiens are getting a mascot - and not just any old one. Youppi!, who was the Montreal Expos' mascot for years before the team moved south, is coming out of retirement to join the National Hockey League team. The super furry animal is still orange but is expected to wear the Canadiens' white or red jersey when he entertains fans at the Bell Centre. There was no immediate comment from Canadiens management whether they believe the new signing can help the team win its first Stanley Cup since 1993. Youppi! was once ejected from a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Canadiens will be hoping the lumbering giant can keep his temper in check.

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A Canadian In Russia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

As a foreign student of the game, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Bryan Allen spent the NHL lockout in Russia last winter and learned many things. The name of his coach was not among them. "I still don't know," he admits. "I never found out. I called him coach. He did a lot of yelling. A couple of times he screamed at me. It didn't bother me; I had no idea what he was saying." Allen did a lot of screaming, too, during three months -- the second half of last season -- playing for Khimik of the Russian Superleague. Khimik is from the industrial city of Voskerensk, about a two-hour drive from Moscow, which is Rio by comparison.

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Sid Superstar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Maven of MSG Network,

Without having stepped on National Hockey League ice, scoring an NHL goal or taking a penalty, Sidney Crosby already is a remarkable major leaguer. Remarkable, like Wayne Gretzky. Remarkable, like Bobby Orr before him. And, if you like ancient history, remarkable like the supreme center, Jean Beliveau. Like the aforementioned terrific trio, Crosby has gotten more attention before playing in the bigs than 99 percent of those who spent a decade playing NHL hockey.

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Bringing Success Back To Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

When you're the Montreal Canadiens, expectations are always higher. That's the price you pay for being one of the most dominant franchises in sports history, one that has 24 Stanley Cup championship banners hanging from the rafters of the Bell Centre. Scrutiny becomes all the more acute for the Canadiens because they haven't had a victory lap with the Cup since 1992-93 -- an eternity in a city where championships were expected for generations. But Montreal fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because someone who knows just how hard and exhilarating winning in the NHL can be is running the show.
more Also, from NHL.com, Dandenault excited to play in front of the home crowd.

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No Chance to Say Goodbye

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

You want another reason that the NHL's lockout was the worst thing to happen to sports since Terrell Owens developed his own line of motivational-speaking tapes? Try this: It just killed nearly a century's worth of hockey greatness. Oh, that's not the company line, at least not exactly. On the surface, most people would probably look at the retirements of Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis and say, "Old school. It was time." No argument there -- on the surface. On the surface, these are four hockey dinosaurs coming to a well-earned rest after years of classic service. Between Francis, Messier, Stevens and MacInnis are a dozen Stanley Cup championships, some of the most prolific scoring totals in NHL history and defensive excellence that essentially set the standard for a generation to meet. Good stuff. And yet not one of these four guys felt fully ready to leave the sport. Until the lockout, that is.

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Remaining Free Agents

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Yahoo,

Remaining National Hockey League free agents (note: some players whose names appear on this list may recently have signed with their respective clubs but contracts have not been filed with the League):

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Fans Coming Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Reports are the fans are flocking to NHL training camp sites to follow their favorite team Calgary is packing them in and the Wings are skating to a packed house. Now I know the Penguins have sold a good amount of season tickets, but only a couple hundred (at the bottom of the story) attended their most recent scrimmage. I realize some of the arenas are very small and that could be the case in Pittsburgh. I would be interested to see how your team's attendance is for training camp!

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