Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ricci Sitting Lately

from the Arizona Republic,

Observers are starting to wonder if the Coyotes are starting to ease Ricci, 35, out of their plans. The Coyotes are paying Ricci $1.52 million this season. He has one assist in five games after missing the first 20 because of a neck injury he suffered in the off-season. Asked if he'd be content to stay with the Coyotes if Gretzky continued to scratch him regularly, Ricci said that it didn't sound like much fun. "Nobody wants to sit around and just watch," he said. " . . . I don't know what's going to happen. It's out of my control. Whatever happens will happen. I'm just going to try and stay as positive as I can."
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Schaefer “Gives Up”

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Peter Schaefer could be in hot water with the NHL for waving the white towel Wednesday in Washington. While the Senators winger enjoyed yesterday off with the rest of his teammates, officials at the NHL's office in Toronto no doubt took a second look at Schaefer's move with furrowed brows . Though Schaefer won't be suspended for tomorrow's visit by the New York Rangers, to Scotiabank Place, he will likely get a slap on the wrist and $1,000 fine. Coach Bryan Murray can expect a phone call from NHL VP Colin Campbell if there hasn't been one already. Frustrated with the officiating during the Sens' 6-2 loss to the Caps, Schaefer placed a towel on the end of his stick and waved it after Dean McAmmond was sent to the penalty box in the third period for unsportsmanlike conduct.
more update 4:31pm, via TSN,
Ottawa Senators forward Peter Schaefer has been fined $2,500 by the league for waving a towel on the bench in Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Washington Capitals, in affect surrendering to the officials. Senators coach Bryan Murray wasn't pleased with Wednesday's penalty-filled game which saw each team whistled 11 times. ''I'm not supposed to comment, but (during) the first goal, Ovechkin was offside, and we watched it. His foot was well over the line, and his other foot was in the air,'' Murray said after the game. ''The third goal, with an icing call, that's what we were yelling about, and they call it a clean play.'

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Dull West

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Of the top eight teams out west, only Minnesota, really, is a particularly interesting team to watch. Anaheim, even with the fabulous Teemu Selanne, is very good and brutally efficient, but also deadly dull. Dallas puts my feet to sleep. Detroit, once the most exciting, skillfull team in the game, is now a snooze to watch. Calgary is fast and energetic, but it's about defence and Mikka Kiprusoff most nights. Even Vancouver, formerly a vibrant and often controversial team, has now gone vanilla. It goes right through the conference. Dull, dull, dull. No wonder nobody wants to watch the back end of Hockey Night in Canada's Saturday double-header anymore.
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Hockey Night In Canada On The Line

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

The buzz this week has the CBC emerging as the favourite to retain National Hockey League broadcasting rights. A source well connected to the NHL speculated the CBC will hang onto the rights by signing a relatively short-term deal with the league, perhaps only three or four years in length. Insiders say the network made a presentation to the NHL about two weeks ago in New York and, as the incumbent rights holder, is operating now in a window of exclusive negotiation. Although it has been speculated an agreement could be announced as early as this month, others say a complete presentation by Bell Globemedia, which owns CTV and TSN, has yet to be heard.
continued

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PA Draws A Bad Hand

from the NHLPA's site (really): It's for a good cause, but this is the worst way to go about raising money for charity if you're an NHL'er...

Some of the biggest names in the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) will try to outwit each other at the poker table – all in the name of charity – in the PartyPoker.net Charity Faceoff. The new seven-part, 60-minute TSN original series premieres December 16 and is available in High Definition. A made-for-TV Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, PartyPoker.net Charity Faceoff features 16 current and former NHLers with a total purse of $100,000 (Cdn), all going to the players’ charities of choice. Some of the players participating include three-time Vezina winner and New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Bryan McCabe, Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet of the Montreal Canadiens, and tough guys Sean Avery, Donald Brashear and Georges Laraque
It gets worse:
Hosted by TV and radio sports personality Blake Price, the series features analysis by TSN’s Russ Anber and player interviews by Canadian-born Hollywood actress Elisha Cuthbert.
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Looking At The Average Fan

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

This season, all but five of NHL's 30 teams raised ticket prices, and while the biggest increases have generally been for the premium seats that usually belong to corporate interests, it suggest that the NHL is moving closer to becoming inaccessible to the core base it has relied on. "Teams are run on luxury boxes and club suites," said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt economics professor who focuses on sports economics. "The marginal fan is becoming less and less important because the arena structure has turned hockey demand upside down. "It used to be the regular fan was important. Now the corporate fan is what counts. The marginal fan in upper deck, the one you see on the videotron, doesn't really matter."
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“Sugar” Has Had Enough

via CBS-5 News,

Brandon Sugden announced his retirement on Thursday before the team's morning practice. Sugden told CBS-5 that he's leaving the team and the AHL because new rules in the NHL is taking fighting out of the game. Sugden has only played in a few games this season. He said he's happy with his decision and he may remain in Syracuse to raise his family

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Bell Facing More Than 3 Years Of Jail Time

from the Mercury News,

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office charged Shark's left winger Mark Bell for an alleged hit-and-run drunk-driving incident from earlier this year, officials said today. He faces up to 3 years and 8 months in prison if convicted of driving under the influence and felony hit and run.
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Joe Meets With The Media

Joe Nieuwendyk took part in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. Thanks for taking this call. I just want to say you're a helluva player in all those battles of Alberta. I just wanted to say what do you remember about those battles and what do you remember about playing against Jeff Beukeboom? JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, that was obviously early in my career, and I think the thing I remember the most is just how the two cities got involved. It was a rivalry like no other, especially in the sport of hockey, but I think it rivaled other sports, as well. Just the mayors got into it. I remember the mayors talking about who would wear the opposing city's jersey, and you couldn't get a ticket for those types of games back in the day around Christmastime, and it was just a thrill with the team they had, with Messier and Gretzky and Kurri, and we were trying to get past that group. It was a great thrill. To play against my cousin and have some of the battles we had, we grew up being very close together, and there was no love when it came to playing in those types of battles, though, and we got into it a few times. It was good, great memory, great times early in my career.

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Stillman Preparing For Return

from Eric Duhatschhek of the Globe and Mail,

"It's tough watching," said Stillman. "It was tough early and it's getting tougher now, when you get close to the end of rehab. It's almost four months and almost 30 games into the season, but I'm getting closer. I'm hoping to play on this trip." It's a trip that takes the Hurricanes into Vancouver for a Friday match with the Canucks and then finishes with a Monday game against the Colorado Avalanche, the most likely date for Stillman's return.
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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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