Kukla's Korner

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Armenian Night Follow-Up

from Tapeleg of Jerseys and hockey love,

A hockey game may not mean much, but the events surrounding that game might. For me, tonight was one of those nights. In fact, it was one of those nights that is hard to put into words.

Tonight, the L.A. Kings held Armenian Heritage Night. This isn’t the only heritage night they held this season, they had nights for Russia and other nationalities (sorry, I can’t remember them off the top of my head). At first, it sounded like a joke, or a cheap promotion. The post-game entertainment was Armenian hip-hop artist R-Mean (seriously), and there would be Armenian beer at the after party. All of this because it was Atlanta Thrashers rookie Zac Bogosian’s first game in L.A., and he is the first Armenian to play in the NHL. It sounds like a cheap gimmick, and it could have been a cheap gimmick.

It wasn’t. In fact, it is going to be hard to top this night on the rest of the tour. Let me show you what I mean.

read on with some great pictures and watch an interview with Bogosian below.  Zach talks about the Armenian Night the Kings hosted and about his three point night…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+bogosian

Harvey Is 25

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

“Feb. 16, 1984: I was walking to the Saddledome with a costume that still smelled like glue in a garbage bag,” said Kelba, who’d played Ralph the Dog at McMahon Stadium for four years before convincing the Flames to give the NHL’s first mascot a shot….

Hired for $50 a game by the skeptical Flames, Kelba knew he didn’t have much time to make an impression before he’d be tossed out the door with the $4,000 costume he made.

“They didn’t think it was going to work, so they didn’t even introduce me as their mascot,” said Kelba, now 48.

“I sat down, and within a minute, some guy leaned over and said, ‘Go to hell.’ I immediately thought, ‘This is going to be tougher than I thought.’ He was tolerated or hated at best.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time To Move Briere?

from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,

Real hockey men are paid to feel, play, manage and coach as if all 82 games are vital. But what would the Flyers’ front office men say to the thought of trading Danny Briere?

If timing is everything, they’d rightfully say the time is all wrong to think about taking Briere and his huge contract and asking him if he’d mind them waving it across such trade routes as phone lines, e-mail addresses and bars during the general managers meetings.

Briere is a youthful 31 who has had a belly tear for much of the season. He might be over it soon, which would be welcome news for a Flyers team that has been suffering from viral strains of up and chuck lately. Once free of such bugs, this will be a team that shapes up well for the stretch drive, even as it continues to develop into what at some point will be a bit of a financial headache for upper management.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Keep The NHL Off Of National TV

from John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Not long ago, there was a rumor about the NHL putting another team in Toronto. While the hard-core puck heads up in Ottawa no doubt debated the plan, it seemed like hardly anyone south of the border noticed. The NHL could move every team in the league (save the Flyers) to Toronto and it’s doubtful anyone around here would blink. I’m betting the same goes for other American cities, too.

Part of that is because hockey has never been the country’s favorite sport, and part of that is because the NHL lacks the oversize personalities that dominate other leagues. Almost everyone knows about LeBron or Kobe, but how many fans can opine about Alex Ovechkin or Marc Savard?...

According to the aforementioned Toronto Sun story, the league makes approximately $10 million per season in its revenue-sharing arrangement with NBC. In sports, $10 mil is nothing. It’s the cash Pacman Jones takes to the strip club when he wants to make it rain. Which gives me an idea.

With a little effort, we could raise $10 mil ourselves, then pay the NHL to give up on NBC (and any other network that might consider coming to the rescue), keep the game provincial, and stay away from national television.

more

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Be Patient On Long Island

from Mark Hermann of Newsday,

A couple of words about tanking a season: It works. Lemieux saved the franchise as a superstar player and again as principal owner. In the latter capacity, he pulled the old bait and switch with Kansas City, making believe he was going to move the franchise so he could get Pittsburgh officials to build a new arena. Who knows where the Penguins would be had they not been bad enough to land Mario?

Ineptitude paid off again early this decade when the Penguins finished last for four straight seasons (one place ahead of the Stirling-Bylsma Islanders in 2005-06). That enabled them to draft Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, which transformed them into the NHL’s glamour team.

All of this is encouraging for the Islanders as they endure a rough year in last place. This is not to say they are tanking or that they should. There is no Lemieux or Crosby in the 2009 draft. But there is hope. The Penguins are living proof of what can happen if you play your cards right, as long as you have a bad hand.

Just be cautious and patient. The Penguins finished last in both Lemieux’s and Crosby’s rookie seasons.

more

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

Burke Talks Kaberle

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Tomas Kaberle isn’t likely to go anywhere.

While Kaberle has provided the Leafs with a list of 10 teams he’d prefer to be dealt to in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, Leafs GM Brian Burke sounds as if he’d rather keep the skilled, puck-moving defenceman….

“Two keys,” Burke wrote in an email. “One, Kaberle wants to stay. He could not be clearer. Two, (it’s) hard to believe I will get what I need to move this guy. (He’s a) quality person, great stats, good salary.

“I did not ask him to waive no-trade. (His) agent suggested looking at this vehicle because it allows him and Tomas to retain some level of control over where he goes. If we miss the playoffs, he has no control over where he goes.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Clutterbuck Keeps Hitting

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

Clutterbuck has been credited with 218 hits this season and is on his way to breaking the league record of 311 set by Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown last year.

The statistic has been tracked for only five seasons, so it’s not like he’s breaking a hallowed mark, but the number tells us that Clutterbuck exhibits a rare aptitude for body checks, whether you consider them the result of skill or attitude.

“I think it’s a bit of both,’’ Clutterbuck said. “There’s definitely some anticipation and timing involved. Especially at this level, with the guys the size that they are, and with the balance that they have, you’re going to have to catch them off-balance or by surprise if you’re going to knock them over.

“It’s an attitude, too. There are certain guys who have the opportunity to finish their checks sometimes, and for whatever reason they choose not to. They may try to pick off a pass or strip the puck off somebody. My approach is to just hit ‘em.’‘

more

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cal+clutterbuck

Sens Fans Starting To Dream

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

Got your playoff tickets ordered yet?

(See, the media isn’t always negative!)

Don’t lie, yee citizens of Sens Nation.  I know you are doing the math.

“Let’s see, if we go 21-6, and Sabres go .500…and the Panthers trade Boumeester…and all the Hurricanes get mono…and the Rangers…umm…forfeit…hey we’re in!  And the way the Habbies are goin’, Heck, we might get home ice advantage still!”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just Stop Playing

from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey ,

Jiri Slegr – remember him? – might be ending his career … and not the way he’d like it to end.

In a game against Liberec in the Czech top league, Extraliga, the Litvinov stalwart fell down on the ice with about 90 seconds to go to the final buzzer. Fully conscious, but unable to move, he was carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance and taken promptly to a hospital in Most, to be transferred later to a bigger hospital in Usti nad Labem.

“My back and legs stopped working all of a sudden” Slegr recalled in a conversation with the idnes.cz web site. “As my legs turned off, I fell. I felt pain both in my head and my legs, I knew I was down, and I was terribly scared. One never knows what’s going on inside.”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+slegr

Something Is Just Not Right

Maybe it was fighting while wearing a pink hockey jersey!!!  It happened in a game when the Belfast Giants took on the.Nottingham Panthers.

Filed in: Non-NHL 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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