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Talking Ratings

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

U.S. regional audiences are down by about 25 per cent. National viewership on Versus, the U.S. cable channel, is up 3 per cent. But the average audience of 195,476 on Versus is about half of what ESPN2 used to pull in.
For the CBC, the numbers tell two stories: one grim, the other worrisome.
The Hockey Night in Canada audience for the first game of its telecast (1.285 million) has dropped 12 per cent from last year. For the second game (723,000), the decrease is 30 per cent.

read on

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A Coach’s Dream

from the Toronto Star,

“You would have to be with Brad Richards every day to understand what he does for our team,” Tortorella said.
“He works on the all the little things that win games. I look at him, and see everyone is all over him, he’s a bad player, he’s this, he’s that ... but he continues to do all those things that win games. He’s coming on too, and if he (scores more) in the second half, it’s only going to help our team.”
When his leadership and commitment to defence are factored in, he becomes a coach’s dream.

more

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Stay-At-Home Phillips?

from the inestimable Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

[Chris] Phillips can’t help but sometimes wonder what is going to happen next for him. Phillips, set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, is making $1.675 million US in the final year of his contract and there haven’t been any discussions on a new deal, although the NHL ban on teams speaking to their impending free agents was only lifted two weeks ago.

“Being here since I was drafted and putting on the jersey then, it would be tough to put on a different jersey.
In saying that, there aren’t a lot of guys that are staying with one team their whole career. If there’s a possibility of that happening (finishing his career with Ottawa), that would be great.”

continued

 

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Ales Kotalik’s Negative Success

from the Associated Press:

Give Ales Kotalik bonus marks for effort — and semantics.
The Buffalo Sabres forward creatively categorized his team’s current rough patch as anything but what most — even his coach, Lindy Ruff — are referring to as a bona fide slump.
“You guys always like to call it a slump. It’s your job,” Kotalik said, referring to reporters after practice Tuesday. “I would call it a stretch of results we are not used to.”

Those of us who’re passionate about the English language would call that “brilliantly-crafted BS.”

continued

 

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Worldly Player

from Asahi.com,

Since 1990, Jarrod Skalde has been the ultimate hockey nomad. The 35-year-old Canadian has suited up for no fewer than 27 professional hockey teams on three continents since then, including eight National Hockey League clubs.
The Niagara Falls, Ontario, native’s career has taken him everywhere from Atlanta to Leksand, Sweden, where he spent last season. He has been a Flame and he has skated for the Ice; he’s worn Gulls, Mighty Ducks, Blackhawks and Falcons on his jersey as well as Grizzlies, Solar Bears, Wolves and Sharks. He’s been both a Bandit and a Devil, and he’s weathered stints with the Cyclones and Thunder.
The latest stop on his global glide across the world’s hockey ponds has brought him to Japan, where he is leading the Asia League’s Oji Paper club in scoring.

continued

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Fantasy All-Stars

from Ray Flowers at Sports Illustrated,

With the All-Star game fast approaching, we thought it would be wise to submit our fantasy all-star lineup this week. After the standard fare where we list the top fantasy performers at each position, we will offer two more teams which might be of utmost interest to you. The Out of Nowhere All-Stars list those players that were afterthoughts on draft day which means that their high-caliber performances so far have likely helped their owners vault to the top of their league’s standings.

continued

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SI Retrospectve: Gretzky On Great Covers

from Sports Illustrated: Wayne Gretzky discusses his SI cover appearances:

1981 ( OCT. 12 ): I remember this picture so well. The photographer [Paul Kennedy] wanted me to keep flipping the puck so he could capture the Oilers logo on the puck perfectly. I told him I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I think he got it in the first couple of takes. You can see I’m pretty happy. The writer [E.M. Swift] had done my first story in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED three years before, but I never thought I would get to be on the cover.

1982 ( DEC. 27 ): A great honor. I think SI’s Sportsman of the Year is the hardest award to win in sports. When the picture was taken I was in the middle of what would be a 30-game point streak, so I didn’t want to cut my hair. My hair was so long it was going in my eyes, and I remember lying on a blanket they’d put on the ice and pushing the hair from my eyes after each shot. I guess the picture turned out nice with my reflection on the ice.

continued

 

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He Likes It

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Yahoo,

The NHL is getting a new look and J.P. Dumont likes what he sees in the league’s new uniforms.
The Nashville Predators forward and his teammates tested them this season and Dumont feels the new form-fitting jerseys and socks from Reebok will be a hit. “It looks really good,” Dumont said Tuesday from Nashville. “I was surprised because I was hearing that they would be more fitted and I was thinking they might be too tight. But they feel really comfortable.”

continued

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A Cold Front

On Frozen Blog pointed to the Panthers Weekend Intro Video.
Watch it!

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Yan Stastny A Blue

from the St. Louis Blues,

St. Louis Blues’ President John Davidson announced today the team has acquired forward Yan Stastny from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the Blues fifth-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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