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McDonald’s Teams Up With The NHL

from Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal,

The NHL has added McDonald’s to its roster of corporate sponsors with U.S. rights. The pre-eminent quick-service restaurant has signed a deal through the 2009-10 season. McDonald’s has been a Canadian sponsor of the league since 1993 and has local rights deals with 15 NHL teams, including one in its final stages with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Under the deal, McDonald’s gets ads on NHL.com and the NHL Network and makes advertising commitments to NHL rights holders NBC and Versus. The deal also includes USA Hockey rights, which fit nicely with McDonald’s TOP Olympic deal. NHL Players’ Association rights for the U.S. were not included.

continued and thanks to SBJ for making the link available to KK readers…

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

Forget Christmas, It’s All About Practice

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

‘Twas the last practice before the preChristmas game when out on the rink there arose such a clatter.

It had to be head coach Craig MacTavish, who whistled and shouted and called his players by name; right up until the Edmonton Oilers zeroed in on the drills.

MacTavish wanted more shots on net, more battle during the drills, more of everything. By the time the players plunged into a series of

one-on-one drills in a confined space, everyone was relentless….

“You get around the holiday season and everybody has family in and it’s easy to get distracted,” said MacTavish. “You come in here and go through the motions, then you get back to your family to enjoy the festive holiday. But we need that game (tonight); then we can have a couple of days.

“The bottom line for me is that they’re not giving goals away at this level. You have to work for them, you have to practice, you have to train,” MacTavish continued.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sending Out Gifts

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

It’s time to look under the Christmas tree to see what St. Nick Kypreos, er, Santa Claus has brought this year. Yeah, that’s more like it.

To Alexander Semin: A filter for your mouth. Sid the Kid doesn’t need extra motivation from loose-lipped Russians.

To Vinny Lecavalier: The same motivation that got you your seven-year contract.

To Marty Turco: Your last two seasons of playoff games on a special How-To DVD.

To Dion Phaneuf: A kick-start to a season that is rapidly getting away from you.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wheeler Just Reacted On ‘Shorty’ Goal

via Brian Hunter of NHL.com,

(Blake) Wheeler had already scored a goal early in the first to give the Bruins the lead when he broke in with teammate Dave Krejci on Blues goaltender Manny Legace—or at least he thought. The University of Minnesota product ending up putting on a spin-o-rama move to notch his 11th of the season.

“I initially was looking to make a pass back to Krejci,” Wheeler said. “He kind of abandoned me. He went off for a change and the only thing I could do was react. There was a guy coming at me and I just kind of reacted. I got lucky.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler

Chicago Blackhawks- The Best Team In The League

from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

This is rare air for the Blackhawks - a seven-game winning streak, the team’s longest in 27 years, and an 18-6-7 record that has them sitting with the NHL’s elite approaching Christmas.

“That team right now is the best team in the NHL,” said Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault following Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Hawks at GM Place. “They’ve been perfect in December (8-0-1). Their game is real good.”

Ya think?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Can Better Hockey Socks Help Prevent Injuries?

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

It has taken a self-inflicted wound to keep Teemu Selanne from inflicting more pain on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at GM Place. It has also reopened debate within the NHL Players Association whether players are properly protected from razor-sharp blades penetrating ultra-thin uniforms….

“You think about the socks and how much that plays a role in it and how thin they are these days,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday. “I know I’ve spoken about it to a few people on the NHLPA and hopefully it’s something they address.”

read on

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

Gambling Or Not

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Now that he’s a Vancouver Canuck, all bets are off on whether Mats Sundin will play again and where.

But that doesn’t mean wagering and Sundin can’t be used in the same sentence. Aside from the daily (hourly?) updates regarding Sundin until the merciful conclusion last week, the Big Swede had been most visible as a so-called “celebrity supporter” of Pokerstars.net.

While not associated with sports wagering, the free poker website is affiliated with a play-for-cash one based in the Isle of Man, a haven for internet gaming. Sundin’s link to the wildly popular poker site hasn’t raised red flags with NHL brass officially, but the league is at least investigating the association.

“We need to understand the nature of the relationship and the entity it’s with before we have an official position,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sun Media via e-mail yesterday.

“But I don’t anticipate that it is inconsistent with any of our policies. Pokerstars does not accept wagers.”

continued plus more hockey notes…

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

The Race In The East

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

So what about the Canadiens, a team almost everyone selected to repeat as Eastern Conference champions? Thirty-three games into the schedule, they’ve had their high moments when they were healthy, lows in recent weeks when regulars such as Saku Koivu, Price, Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek were sidelined. It’s no coincidence that after losing three in a row, the Canadiens have won two and got a point last night following Komisarek’s return to the lineup. Koivu, I’m told, should be back soon, perhaps by Saturday, which leaves Higgins as the only one with a long-term injury.

In other words, while they trail the surprising Boston Bruins by a generous 10 points following their 6-3 victory over St. Louis yesterday, they’re still in the race with 49 games remaining in the schedule. It won’t be easy, because the Bruins, for the first time in a long time, appear to be the real deal and several other teams in the East are in hot pursuit.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Andy Murray Calls Out Players, One Responds Back

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“I didn’t think (Patrik) Berglund was good, I didn’t think (David) Perron was good, I didn’t think (Keith) Tkachuk was good ... I didn’t think (Brad) Boyes was good,” Murray said. “I thought (David) Backes was all right.”...

“The last time I checked, we’re all in this together,” Tkachuk said. “We’ve got a young team. It’s easy to put the blame on each other. I don’t need the coach to tell me through the media, or any other player through the media ... if that’s what he’s searching for, it’s a very young and fragile team to be doing that right now in the middle of the season. But if that’s what he has to do, that’s his decision. He’s the coach.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray, keith+tkachuk

Morning Line

“I truly believe we will wind up in the top four in the conference. Watch this team. You’re going to be very, very surprised. We have nine new players. We have a new coach. We have a new system.

“It’s only 30 games into the season and we will be a Stanley Cup contender. Mark my words. You’ll see. Just give them some time and that time is right now.”

-Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.  More from Melnyk from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun.

Filed in: | 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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