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Give Bettman Credit

from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,

He’s not the commissioner of America’s most, second-most or even third-most popular professional sports league.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t even close to being the tallest figure – counting pre-teen children, ice sculptures and hockey sticks on their ends – on Saturday night at the Discovery Science Center’s opening gala for its “Science of Hockey” exhibition.

But there’s big story about Darwinian survival for the little guy running what many consider an American niche sport. Bettman and hockey aren’t hurting as much as the big three behemoths of the NFL, Major League Baseball or the NBA in this economic recession.

While the other major pro sports leagues trim luxurious budgets, lay off workers and raise some ticket prices, hockey endures largely unscathed because Bettman already had instituted belt-tightening practices after the 2004-05 season lost to a work stoppage.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Blackhawks Talk Hair Pulling Incident

via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

During the melee, Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and the Hawks’ Duncan Keith got tangled and Burrows yanked Keith to the ice by his hair and continued pulling on the defenseman’s mane as they wrestled on the ice.

“That’s not something I’ve ever had happen to me,” Keith said. “My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It’s kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice.”

“I don’t know what the ruling is,” Keith said. “I don’t know if the league reviews that or not. It’s pretty blatant he was pulling my hair.”

The pulling of hair is prohibited and normally would draw a match penalty. However, none of the officials on the ice saw it as they were tending to ther other fights on the ice.

“I think it’s silly,” Hawks forward Adam Burish said. “There’s no spot for that. I think that’s stupid the way he was pulling [Keith’s] hair. Especially a nice haircut like Duncan has. I didn’t see it at the time [but] I’m sure I would have been more mad than I was already.”

The video of the whole incident was posted on KK early today if you missed it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

All Chris Mason

Blues goaltender Chris Mason participated in a tele-conference today…

Q. Just wondering, I’m sure this is a question that you have not been asked yet, but do you think you need rest before the end of the season?

        CHRIS MASON: No, I don’t, actually. You know, I’m getting good rest on the off days, and they are taking care of me like that.

        So I’m definitely saving my energy for the games, and, you know, at this point in the season, you just find the energy. It’s just when you go out on the ice and you’re playing these games that mean so much, you just find the energy.  All of the other players are expected to do it, so I don’t see why the goalies can’t, too.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+mason

All Shea Weber

from Greg Wyshynksi of Yahoo,

Shea Weber has never missed playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

That’s either an indication of the all-star defenseman’s relative inexperience at the NHL level, or a reminder that the Nashville Predators’ consistency as a franchise is vastly underappreciated.

“Each year is a like an experience you can draw from, and I think everyone’s comfortable about the position we’re in,” said Weber, one day after his team rallied for an emotional 4-3 win at the Detroit Red Wings, moving into seventh place in the Western Conference with 84 points.

“The fate is really in our hands. As long as we do our job, we’re going to get into the playoffs.”

continuhttp://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Puck-Daddy-chats-with-Nashville-defenseman-Shea-?urn=nhl,151466ed

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Sean Avery’s New Venture

From CBC:

Hockey player, super pest, fashionista and now … bar owner?

New York Rangers forward and former Vogue intern Sean Avery is once again expanding the skills section of his resume, this time by venturing into sharing ownership duties at a new nightspot in Tribeca, a neighbourhood in lower Manhattan.

Reports indicate the most “hated man in hockey” and Rangers fan favourite will partner with club owner Matt Abramcyk and Chris Miller, a former art dealer, to open Warren 77, a bar and restaurant at 77 Warren St.

Abramcyk has described the new nightspot as a “sports bar meets country club” with a vintage sports theme.

continued…

Warren 77 seems like a serviceable name… but it’s got nothing on Puckface.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best Division In Hockey

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

Copycat ideals in sports are nothing new. If one team is having success doing things in a certain manner, others are quick to adopt those practices. Well, I don’t think cloning is the issue in the Central Division right now, but it certainly makes a strong case for competition breeding excellence.

With two weeks to go before the playoffs, all five Central teams are in the Western Conference’s top eight. I’m not sure all five will ultimately end up in the postseason, but for the moment let’s consider the transformation that is taking place.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Composite Testing

from Matt McKay of The Varsity,

A revolutionary new ice hockey stick test machine looks primed and ready to shoot down its competition.

It just needs to be built.

Unsatisfied with the current principal method used to test stick durability, University of Waterloo engineering prof John McPhee set out to design a new system.

Primarily, he wanted to build a machine that would help improve the reliability of one-piece composite hockey sticks.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

2008-09 Prime Cuts Squad

From Jeff Angus at Dobber’s Hockey, a 5 part series featuring his “prime cuts” of the 2008-09 season.

[The] Prime Cuts squad is chalk-full of intangibles such as heart, determination, hockey IQ, two-way play, grit, and clutch scoring ability. Most of the players on this squad are also under appreciated (in both fantasy and real hockey circles). There are obviously some big stars on this team – the usual suspects – but there are also some under-the-radar players who you may not have noticed this season for whatever reason

Part 1 and Part 2

Remaining parts to be published at Dobber’s over the coming days.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Exciting Time In Columbus

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With the Blue Jackets’ first playoff appearance in sight, must be exciting times in Columbus, no?

Well, dropping back-to-back games to Central Division rival St. Louis won’t do much for the angst factor in Columbus, but even with the twin setbacks the Blue Jackets begin the week in sixth place in the Western Conference and season-ticket holders are getting their first chance to buy postseason tickets since the team’s first inaugural season in 2000-2001. About 93 percent of season-ticket holders have anted up for the playoffs, Larry Hoepfner, the team’s senior vice president of business operations, told ESPN.com late last week. That number is expected to inflate to about 96 percent before tickets are made available to the general public next Saturday.

more plus Coyotes, Bruins, CuJo and Gaborik talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK—St. Louis Blues goaltender Chris Mason, Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Mar. 29.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | 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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