Kukla's Korner

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Injuries Slowing The Islanders Growth

from Dan Martin of the NY Post,

Kyle Okposo, who was supposed to be back from his sprained right wrist by now, will now be out another 4-6 weeks after aggravating the injury earlier this week.

The young forward joins a seemingly ever-growing list of Islanders who have missed a substantial amount of time this season. Not only does Okposo’s injury, along with those to goalie Rick DiPietro and forward Frans Nielsen among others, hurt the team this year but they will likely impact the squad next year, as well.

“It’s disappointing,” said Gordon, whose team plays host to the Thrashers tonight. “Whatever we do this year, we want to build all our young players for next year. To lose Frans and Kyle, that’s lost time you can’t get back at a young age. And we have expectations for them for the future.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Teams Should Support The Newspapers

from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,

Newsday is firing 5% of its staff during a downturn in the newspaper industry one expert called “the worst since the Depression….

According to Newsday, the travel budget is expected to be cut.

I understand there are far greater issues here, but I recommend that Newsday and the Islanders broker an appropriate travel arrangement that’s beneficial for the newspaper and maintains the coverage of the team. Just as the Islanders travel with their radio and TV broadcasters on the private team charter, beat writer Greg Logan and any other assigned Newsday writers should fly with the team to and from games. (Needless to say, the Post and Daily News should be welcomed, too).

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Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canucks Making Their Pitch For Sundin

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

The Vancouver Canucks expect to speak with free-agent forward Mats Sundin this weekend, and they expect the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain will reach a decision on his NHL playing future in the next week….

...the biggest knock on Sundin joining the Canucks has been Vancouver’s extensive travel schedule. There was also the question whether the Canucks would be competitive in the Western Conference, as Sundin was expected only to consider teams that have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup.

But after next Saturday’s game against the Oilers, the Canucks will have played 19 of their 41 road games and have just two long trips remaining.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Financial Issues Will Be Discussed At BOG Meeting

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Amid a global credit crunch, an undisclosed number of franchises with For Sale signs on the front lawn, and mounting economic pressures, the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors will convene at the Tony Resort Hotel, The Breakers, in West Palm Beach on Monday for two days of meetings….

It is unknown how many NHL teams might be for sale at the moment, but rumblings are that as many as five could be had. Again, as a secondary holding, NHL teams are becoming dispensable by owners whose primary businesses are struggling.

Like the housing market however, more teams for sale drive the price of each individual team down.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lemieux Driven In His Comeback Attempt

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

After seeing former Devils winger Claude Lemieux this week and talking to those who have watched his comeback attempt with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, my belief is that he will make it back to the NHL. He is still driven, even at the age of 43.

Lemieux told me he still has the ingredient that made him a four-time Stanley Cup champion.

“I think it’s just the will to succeed at all costs,” he said. “I think it’s character.”

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+lemieux

Wrong Guy Handed Down The Avery Suspension

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Hockey players take great pride in never shirking their responsibilities to the sport. They’d rather crawl off the ice dragging a broken leg behind them than writhe around like an Italian soccer player with a hangnail. As the superb Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker once wrote, “If Abraham Lincoln had been a hockey player, the day after the Ford’s Theater incident, he’d have been listed as ‘slight headache; will play.’”

So when Avery made his senseless remark — the latest in a series — he broke no laws, but he absolutely shattered hockey’s code.

This was his transgression and it was certainly deserving of the league’s action.

But the question that remains unanswered is this: Why was Bettman involved? This was a matter concerning hockey’s code of acceptable behavior, and where is there the slightest indication that Bettman has even the most cursory familiarity with that?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, sean+avery

Building A Hockey Stick

Heidi Androl visits the Easton Hockey Factory to help build Ryan Getzlaf’s next hockey stick.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+getzlaf

All Patrick Kane

from David Amber of ESPN,

Q: Last season, the NHL wanted to promote Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin at the Winter Classic. This season, it’s the defending champion Red Wings along with you and Toews under the media spotlight. What does that mean to you to be given that international platform to showcase your skills?

A: It’s cool. Right now, the league is being taken over by the young players. I don’t think people realize how tough it is to make it to the NHL at that age, so to be one of the young guys playing in a game like this makes you feel good. Things were tough last year when we were getting 7,000 or 8,000 fans to some home games; no one knew who you were. So this game really represents a total 180 from where we were.

Q: You mention how young players are dominating the league. If you were starting up an NHL franchise right now and could have any player, who do you take?

A: I don’t think you could go wrong with Alexander Ovechkin. He has so much passion for the game, and he loves to score. It would be fun to play with a guy like that, and he’s so fun to watch, so I’d go with him.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

NHLPA Statement On Avery Suspension

TORONTO (December 5, 2008): NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly’s statement regarding the suspension of Sean Avery for six regular season games:

“While the NHLPA does not condone Sean’s comments, which were clearly inappropriate, the discipline imposed by the Commissioner is unprecedented both in its severity, as well as the process by which it was handed down.  We have also seen signals from the Dallas Stars that Sean’s contractual rights might be challenged.  We are monitoring the situation as it develops, and we will evaluate all legal options as the circumstances warrant.  In the meantime, our first priority is supporting Sean’s efforts to learn from his mistake and move forward in a positive manner.”

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

To Sell Hockey, Celebrate Scoring

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

One of the most intriguing ideas came from Buffalo Sabres president Larry Quinn, who was musing out loud about what needs to happen for the NHL to make financial sense in all 30 markets. His idea – increasing television revenues – was not exactly ground-breaking, but his explanation of how the NHL might get there was.

Kelly suggested the NHL needed to move closer to the NFL model, where about two-thirds of all revenues are shared because of the generous TV contracts the league has been able to negotiate.

“I talked to the NFL guys last year,” said Quinn, “and I asked them: How did you change your game from the off-tackle, three-yard running play and scores that were 13-10 to what you have right now? And a wise old guy said to me: It’s very simple. Roone Arledge walked down the street and said to Pete Rozelle one day: Listen, I have this idea. It’s called Monday Night Football. I can make you lots and lots of money, but here’s what I can sell: I can sell quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. That’s what I can sell to the American public.

“Well, if you look at what we do, we sell goaltenders. I think it’s fair to say, both Canadians and Americans, that’s not what they love about the game. They love Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Guy LaFleur and Jean Beliveau.”

read on for more stories from around the NHL, including thoughts on the Sean Avery business.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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