Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Someone To Learn From

from Marc Crawford of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

I have watched many a game this year involving the Los Angeles Kings and one of the players who has stood out for me is their emerging superstar defenceman in Drew Doughty.

While he is a gifted puck handler and an extremely quick skater, what I enjoy most about watching his games is the interaction he has with his partner on defence, veteran Sean O’Donnell.

With his 15-plus years of experience, O’Donnell is the perfect foil for Doughty.

continued and Crawfors uses Yzerman as an example too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty

Columnist Becomes A Coach

from Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer,

Head coach Derek Wilkinson, Mann and I meet in the coaches’ office three hours before the game to talk strategy. Wilkinson offered me a one-game gig as an assistant. I get to see the game from his perspective, and the Checkers get publicity.

In the office is a desk, two laptops, a sofa and a cooler with one Coke and at least 15 cans of Bud Light.

At 2:30, we walk down the hall to the locker room to address the players. Mann stands in front of a dry-erase board and talks about inside hockey stuff such as PKs, the F3 pushing to the neutral zone, CFLs and PFKLs. As we leave, a player yells, “Maybe coach Tom would like to put something on the board.”

There’s a tradition. Somebody will write on the board the amount of money he or she will donate to the team’s fines/party fund if the team wins. I write $20, which makes me the team’s new most popular coach.

read on and thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charlotte+checkers

Selanne Trying To Put The Power Back In His Play

from Curtis Zupke at Ducks Blog,

Teemu Selanne has had enough injuries in his career that he knows it takes time to re-gain what has been lost.

In his case, he is trying to build up his quadiceps muscle after he missed five weeks with a laceration to the leg.

“Obviously the strength is not back,” Selanne said. “It’s funny how much muscle you lose when you don’t use it in 2-3 weeks.”

Selanne has played six games since his return from the injury and has yet to score a power play goal. He had an NHL-leading 13 power play goals in his first 27 games but has none in his past 12.

His drought is a microcosm of the Ducks, who are 0-for-9 on the power play over their past three games - the first time they have gone three games without a power play goal since an 0-11 span in mid-December.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

NHL & MLB Online Video Package

from Eric Fisher and Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal,

MLB Advanced Media and the NHL next week plan to begin co-selling an unprecedented online video package in which the out-of-market game subscriptions for both leagues will be marketed in a joint offering. In addition, MLBAM is set to cut a separate deal with ESPN in which MLB.TV will be sold with the media giant’s Insider content subscription in hopes of driving usage of both.

The NHL-MLBAM deal marks a rare level of cooperation between sports entities with limited common ownership. The leagues’ digital arms will sell the combined video package for $139.95, less than the cost of purchasing current packages for each sport individually….

The NHL says its research indicates that 80 percent of hockey fans are also fans of MLB. The league hopes that giving baseball fans who are also hockey fans the chance to experience the NHL’s digital product during the high point of its season will lead to new subscriptions for the 2009-10 season, said John Collins, NHL chief operating officer.

more (normally a paid subscription site but this link seems to be working.  If not, I will try to get a link for you later today)

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

Flames Need To Get Back To Their Style Of Play

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via Canada.com,

Todd Bertuzzi, the Calgary Flames resident philosopher, waxed poetic Sunday about the troubles plaguing his slumbering hockey club.

``Put it this way,’’ the big brute said after a back-to-basics practice at the Pengrowth Saddledome. ``We’re not a paintbrush. We’re sandpaper.’‘

The quip actually generated a few chuckles in the melancholy clubhouse as the Flames prepared for a home date Monday with the Montreal Canadiens.

``We’re coarse sandpaper,’’ defenceman Robyn Regehr said through a sloppy grin. ``I can only draw stick men, anyway. I wouldn’t be pretty with a paintbrush.’‘

In other words, the Flames need to quash any fantasies of masquerading as the NHL version of Monet or Van Gough.

continued

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

Fantasy Hockey- A Great Marketing Tool For The NHL

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

Back to Weber. Nashville’s coach, Barry Trotz, recently commented on his slump, saying “They’re aware of him, not letting him get the shot off as much. He’s also been battling some bumps and bruises for the past month, which probably takes a little edge off his game. But he’s starting to get healthy again, so I think you’ll see him coming back.”

Brilliant. Right from the source. Once the media, the National Hockey League AND its players get their heads around just how powerfully this type of insight resonates with a considerable portion of the fans of this game we will experience a degree of interactivity that the NHL has never known. As it stands, the media, generally speaking, ask lame questions of players and coaches in one-on-one opportunities. And, generally speaking, most hockey people oblige with lame, run-of-the-mill answers. We all know the cliches.

Look, I’ve said it a thousand times and I’m going to say it again. Fantasy hockey is the most cost-effective marketing solution the league has at its disposal.

more fantasy talk…

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

Get Avery Now

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It would be the smart play for the Rangers to accelerate the process rather than allowing the Stars to assign Avery to the Blueshirts’ AHL Hartford affiliate for an indeterminate period of time before going the re-entry route.

The Rangers gain nothing by allowing teams to get a free look at Avery for a week or two before deciding whether to pluck him. That’s a time frame in which some club might suffer a series of injuries and thereby choose to take a shot at him. If any team wants him, the Rangers should force the decision to be made immediately, sight unseen.

Plus, it best serves the Rangers’ interests to get Avery into the organization as quickly as possible in order to integrate him into the equation as smoothly as possible and to have complete control of the process and the timetable.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Canadiens Now In A Playoff Battle

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The outspoken Laraque was more direct in his assessment as the team packed their equipment bags after Sunday’s practice.

“This is the turning point for the season,” he said matter-of-factly. “Make or break.”

The Canadiens sit seven points ahead of the 10th-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s conceivable that a subpar trip could send them plummeting out of a playoff spot.

But Carbonneau pointed out that parity among the teams jockeying for playoff position means the pressure is on for everyone, other than perhaps the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, who bestride their respective conferences.

“If we’re in trouble, a lot of teams are in trouble,” said Carbonneau, who huddled with his coaching staff and general manager Bob Gainey before practice for a postmortem of Saturday night and then held a team meeting to hammer in a few truths.

more

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

Stanley Cup Is Ultimate Goal

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

His goal for the organization isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about winning them.

“I won’t even say the word to the guys, to be honest with you,” Murray said. “I will say we’re playing for the Stanley Cup.”

There are two realities to what Murray says. First is his belief that you concede nothing, that you strive to win every game, win a championship. If you would have asked Murray to project how many points he hoped to get before the season, he would have answered 164, which would translate to an 82-0 record. To answer anything else would be to concede a willingness to lose a few games.

Ask him about the playoffs and you’ll get a similar response. He’s not suggesting these Blues consider themselves a Stanley Cup contender, per se. But there is a perspective to consider. At one point in their history, the Blues advanced to the playoffs 25 seasons in succession. And what did they have to show for it? Close your eyes and what do you see?

“We just have to have a night-by-night focus,” Murray added. “And at the end of the year, if we have enough points to be playing more games, then we will have earned it.”

more on the Blues…

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

Avs Should Be In Sell Mode

Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some emails….

what do you think will/should be the Avs’ next move before the upcoming trade deadline?

Try to sell somebody on Darcy Tucker, and get out from under the next year of his contract, at more than $2 million per. Try to sell somebody on Brett Clark and the $3.5 million he’ll make next season. Maybe sell off one of the young prospects like T.J. Hensick and/or Marek Svatos. Try to get a decent goalie for one or all of those guys. Then, go into this offseason with a plan to draft big forwards, guys who can bang and skate and create a little energy. Hensick and Svatos have talent, but get swallowed up a little too easily against bigger teams.

read on for more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | 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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