Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hossa Putting Hockey On The Map In Atlanta

from Linda Cohn at ESPN,

It wasn't too long ago when Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers had one of those "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" moments. Hossa and his girlfriend caught a bite at a Chinese restaurant in Atlanta when the waiter was intrigued by Hossa's Slovakian accent, one that's not often heard in the Deep South. When the waiter asked Hossa what he does for a living, Hossa replied, "I play for the Atlanta Thrashers." There was a moment of silence, then the waiter said, "Who are the Thrashers?" Hossa replied: "They're the hockey team, the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team." The waiter smiled and said in a serious tone, "Oh … what's hockey?"
continued

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John Davidson- “We Will Get There”

fropm George Johnson at ESPN,

Danger pay is nothing new to John Davidson. Not for a man who worked on Northern Alberta power lines in his teens, or verbally jousted Canadian hockey columnist Al Strachan during countless "Hot Shove Lounge" segments of "Hockey Night in Canada" telecasts. But this …this assignment just might beat them all. "You know what bothers me," momentarily bristles the Blues' new president of hockey operations, "this obsession with our attendance figures. Look, facts are facts. You can't dispute the numbers. "But when I read [Oilers defenseman Marc-Andre] Bergeron saying things like 'We get more people for practices,' that pisses me off. It's as if they're laughing at us. "How long ago were they struggling to put people in the seats in Edmonton? Or here in Calgary, for that matter? Six years ago? Seven? There are some awfully short memories, obviously. The world goes round and round."
continued

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What Is Good About The Game

A little different spin to the KK Free Friday today. Puckhound, a KK member and fellow blogger, dedicated a blog post at his site, Hound Central 2.0, to me.

Where else do you find athletes traveling at up to 20 mph, maintaining their balance on rockered razor-sharp edges, shooting a puck in excess of 80 mph only to have a goalie, weighed down by 30-plus pounds of bulky protective gear, flash out his glove, quicker than a hummingbird's wings, and snatch that bullet out of the air? Not only does the player's shot bring us to the edges of our seats, but the chorus of appreciation for the lightning-fast leather is a sound that belongs in Carnegie Hall. So, Paul, with a dose of my most humble sincerity, here are five things that I love about hockey:
Read on for the whole post and thanks for "getting it".

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Briere Proving His Worth

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

Daniel Briere is no dummy. He knew what people were thinking last August when an arbitrator awarded him a one-year, $5 million deal, more than doubling his previous salary: OK, Danny, you're being paid like a star. Now go out and play like one. Well, Briere hasn't played like a star. He has played like a superstar, like one of the NHL's elite performers. Through the first quarter of the season, in fact, you could make a strong case for Briere as the leading candidate for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Only one Sabre - Dominik Hasek - has ever won the Hart.
continued

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Columbus Wants The Perfect Coach

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets’ owners, who are expected to name a coach within two weeks, are said to be keen on hiring a big name who will turn heads. And that’s not just in the dressing room. With attendance dipping and fans reaching the point of aggravation quicker and quicker during recent games, a club source said yesterday that the ideal candidate will "energize the fan base and make a splash, as well as the obvious part, which is that he’s a great hockey coach. We’ve got to get the right guy in here."
continued

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Selling The Ducks

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Ducks' general manager acknowledged that although he has "changed the culture" by signing Scott Niedermayer, trading for Chris Pronger and assembling a team that's swift and smart, he hasn't triggered a box-office boom. The Ducks, who set an NHL record by earning at least one point in each of their first 16 games, averaged 14,832 fans over their first 12 home games, 86.5% capacity of the Honda Center. That's up from their average of 13,433 after 12 games last season. Burke said sponsorships and revenue are up too, but the club is budgeted to lose "several million dollars" this season.
read on (reg. req.)

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Old School- Clint Smith

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Almost every night the Canucks play at home, the oldest living member of hockey's Hall of Fame comes to watch. He uses a walker now and if you stood him still for a measurement there's no way Clint Smith would stand over five feet. He's 92 and the sleek physique that allowed him to be the third-youngest player in history to turn pro in 1932 at age 16 has felt the ticking of the clock. But his mind and sense of humour are still very much on top of their game. Memories? He could write a few books and probably should, particularly about playing in the second-largest arena in the country in the '30s, the old Denman Street one where he donned the colours of the Vancouver Lions for three seasons after signing with the New York Rangers.
continued

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Blues Sinking

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

"There's not one guy on this team who's doing the right thing," Blues left winger Keith Tkachuk said. Legace said he was kicked in the head on the first goal, lost his bearings and that had a "snowball effect." He allowed four goals on 15 shots, and now in his last two starts he has surrendered eight goals on 36 shots. "The last start I didn't think I was playing bad when I got pulled," Legace said. "But now it seems like I'm going one way and the puck is going the other way."
read on... an ugly game recap, Blues lost 6-2 to Edmonton...

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Devils Lack Fans

from the New York Times,

Through their first nine home games, the Devils have averaged 12,336 fans — 9 percent less than the 13,548 they averaged during the same span last season. The Devils, in their 25th season in New Jersey, have rarely been a big draw, but this season stands out. “We’ve been playing pretty well for many years, but attendance can be better than what it is,” Patrik Elias, the team’s captain, said.... “I am very disappointed, very disappointed,” Jeffrey Vanderbeek, who has owned the Devils for two years, said during an interview at his office in Newark last week. “I’m embarrassed for our players. Last time I checked, we were in first place.”
more

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YouTube, NHL Looking For Cross-Legitimization

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star:

While users have already been able to access NHL highlights for months at the website — clips available at YouTube, before yesterday's deal was announced, included a 1999 brawl between the Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers and a collection of goals scored by Washington's young forward Alexander Ovechkin — a formal agreement with the hockey league helps to legitimize the Internet site. "It's further validation for YouTube," said Jimmy Schaeffler, a former producer with ABC Sports who now works as the Carmel Group media consultancy in California. "It's kind of like when the government says something's illegal but doesn't do anything about it, and then they make it legal and, all of a sudden, people rush in and it becomes that much more popular." Still, Schaeffler said, "how the NHL monetizes this remains the big question."

Continue Reading »

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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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