Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (December 5, 2006) – For the second straight month, the Buffalo Sabres were the top-selling team in the NHL.com store. Sales of Sabres merchandise, including men’s, women’s and kids apparel, were up approximately 1000% in November compared to last year. Overall, sales of NHL-licensed merchandise on NHL.com were up more than 51% compared to last November.
via the AP, Vancouver
Canucks forward Taylor Pyatt will be out two to four weeks with a shoulder injury and defenseman Sami Salo could miss seven-to-10 days with a nerve injury in his shoulder. Fourth-line forward Rick Rypien will also miss six to eight weeks with a partially torn groin muscle. All three players were hurt in Monday night's 4-0 loss to Edmonton. The loss of Pyatt and Salo hurts a team that is last in scoring, averaging 2.07 goals-per-game. The Canucks have been held under two goals in five of the last six games and scored more than two goals twice in the last 16 games.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
For a league with a history of shooting itself in the collective foot (the lockout, expanding into South Florida, those Art of War commercials), sometimes progress is marked by changes that don't take place. And so it was that after much gnashing of teeth and late-night politicking, the National Hockey League's board of governors agreed Tuesday to maintain its current schedule setup. That doesn't mean it won't change down the road -- a system that sees teams play eight games against each division opponent is almost certain to change after next season, if not this offseason. But the NHL resisted the temptation to make a knee-jerk decision to modify the schedule and will instead let it play out over the full three-year period envisioned at the end of the 2004-05 lockout.continued
I am trying something a little different tonight. Join the KK Skypecast tonight to talk about tonight's games and discuss the NHL. The Skypecast will last for 3 hours so feel free to join in. update 7:57pm, the Skypecast is now over. It went ok, it is still in beta so they have a few issues to work on.
Thanks to Tony for pointing this out in the KKF... from the Detroit Red Wings,
FSN Detroit will be the first U.S. television outlet to have its play-by-play announcer stationed at ice level for an NHL game when Ken Daniels describes the Red Wings-Ottawa Senators game on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Daniels will be stationed from a position between the team benches. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. Daniels, in his 10th season of calling Red Wings' games on FSN Detroit, will describe the game from the vantage point of the players and officials, providing a unique experience for himself and the viewing audience. Mickey Redmond will remain in his press box location for the telecast, providing his usual in-depth analysis and Telestator segments to complement Daniels' ice-level observations.continued
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Hidden beneath the glow of what appears to be a slight increase in fortune, are reports of a slight drop in attendance. Now on the heels of what the league maintains was a record turnout coming back from the lockout season of 2004-05, this is nothing to lose tonight's sleep over, but this is supposed to be the "new" NHL, the reinvention of the game if you will. By any business measure the "new" and "improved" version of a product is supposed to not just hold on to regular customers, but attract new ones. That the NHL may not be doing that should create some concern.more
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:
[Rick] Tocchet's legal future remains unclear, although it's not hard to guess that the state has used the state trooper and another individual to gather evidence against him. From the NHL's point of view, Tocchet remains persona non grata, although technically it was he who asked for the leave of absence from his job with the Coyotes. So on one hand you have the league betting on a slots licence to save the perpetually teetering team in Pittsburgh, and everybody's okay with that. On the other hand you have a prominent former player possibly involved with gaming, either quasi-legal stuff or downright illegal stuff, and that takes him to a place where he is no longer fit to dine at the same table as, well, NHL players and members of the board of governors. It's a strange juxtaposition of values, one that leaves those unfamiliar with the nuances of gaming utterly confused. But if Tocchet is to be shamed for his activities, what then of climbing into bed with the Isle of Capri gaming corporation in a desperate attempt to do that which the City of Pittsburgh has steadfastly refused to do, namely build in a new rink for the Pens? Where is the line of no return here? Why is it okay to associate with the folks who operate the one-armed bandits but totally outside the pale to take bets on pro football?continued
from the Canadian Press via TSN:
The Aquilini Investment Group took full control of the Vancouver Canucks and their arena Monday, giving the NHL franchise 100 per cent local ownership. The NHL's board of governors approved the group's purchase of the remaining 50 per cent of the team and GM Place from Seattle businessman John McCaw. The Aquilini group, owned by Vancouver businessmen Francesco, Roberto and Paolo Aquilini, bought the first 50 per cent of the team and the arena in November 2004.Former Aquilini ownership partners Tom Gagliardi and Tom Beedie are still suing Francesco Aquilini for an alleged "hostile takeover" of the ownership group. continued
from the Toronto Star's Paul Hunter: Leafs coach Paul Maurice says that obstruction's slowly returning:
"The standard has moved," said the coach, whose team has lost four straight games. "There's a lot more allowed than there was three, four weeks ago. We'll all continue to adjust.
"It just seems there's more free hand stuff available now where, before, as soon as the free hand came off (the stick), they were looking," he said. Maurice said he's noticed that defensive players are now being allowed to "latch on" more to forwards who aren't carrying the puck as they move to the middle of the ice or around the net. "The old hit-and-pin is back," he said. "I just didn't see it any time last year. I'm pretty sure it's there."Maurice's statements are correct. Pinning has become commonplace again, and players are given three-to-five seconds before putting a stick or hand on an opposing player becomes an infraction. continued
from the Philadelphia Inquirer: Bobby Clarke's role as a Flyers' VP currently includes scouting responsibilities.
"The business of the sports when you're a GM is becoming bigger and bigger," Clarke said. "Personally, I like hockey way more than I like the business and the complications of the business. For me, I came here when hockey was the biggest part of it all and a GM now is as much a business guy as he is a hockey person. "I still had the enjoyment of the game, but I lost the enjoyment of what I was doing. It's been a couple of months now. The fun of watching the game and stuff is still there for me. Talking hockey with hockey people, that fun is still there for me, I still enjoy that.'' In his new role, Clarke will go to college and junior games, travel to the Junior World Cup, and meet with young players and their families. He won't have to make a decision on a player unless he's asked. "Where I am now, there is a chance to get some enjoyment out of seeing young players in junior hockey and college hockey, without having to make the assessment of, 'Is the kid any good or not?' " he said. "Just enjoy them and talk to them. Whatever [Flyers GM] Paul [Holmgren] wants me to do, I'll do.continued
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.
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