Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Reflections From The Top Of The Crease

By George Malik: The CBA (will open pdf file) is a strange bird. In two weeks, Sean Bergenheim (NYI) is stuck in Sweden because he's a restricted free agent. If Pavel Vorobiev (CHI), Mika Noronen (VAN), Timofei Shishkanov (STL), Denis Grebeshkov (NYI), Niklas Nordgren (PIT), or Evgeni Artyukhin (TB) are having second thoughts about their decisions to head over to Europe--in Bergenheim's case, specifically, to get contract leverage--they're simply not welcome in the NHL. Restricted free agents can't be re-signed after December 1st. Given the hold-outs staged by Yashin, Khabibulin, and Fedorov, the December 1st stipulation's well-intentioned, but it is a bit strange in its execution.

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The UFA Interview Period

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

On July 1, the interview period would begin. The objective would be to have a parade of players moving from city to city for interviews. It would be similar to what goes on in the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball when free agents, fly in, spend a day with a team, meeting the coaches and talking to other players. They see real estate agents, review the area, and talk to folks about schools. That seems much more professional than the NHL microwave approach to signing free agents. During the interview process, teams would be free to negotiate with players all they want, but no one can sign until July 8.
read on for much more...

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Cheechoo Injury Not Serious

via the AP,

Jonathan Cheechoo's left leg injury isn't thought to be serious, but the San Jose Sharks will wait until Saturday to determine their star goal-scorer's status for their next game. Cheechoo, who won the Maurice Richard trophy with an NHL-best 56 goals last season, was injured late in the second period of the Sharks' 4-3 win over Colorado on Wednesday night. He has just two goals in his last 11 games - both in a road victory over Los Angeles last week. The Sharks refused to comment on the injury's specifics Thursday. They host Philadelphia on Saturday night.

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Jordan Smith Will Skate Again

from the Canadian Press:

It took only a second to happen, and it changed his life. Skating for the Portland Pirates in an AHL game in Maine last Feb. 24 in his rookie pro season, [Jordan] Smith was struck by a deflected puck. "I was in front of the net and the puck came up and struck me in the eye," he recalls. He lost sight in his left eye, which forced him to reassess his future.
After the frightful injury, he came to accept the reality that he'd be better off choosing a different career. So, he decided to become a teacher, and now he'll attend Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., for the schooling that will someday put him in a classroom - and allow him to play hockey again. He'll begin his hockey comeback in January with the varsity Thunderwolves. Coach Pete Belliveau has him pencilled in for a Jan. 5 game in Windsor, and Smith is excited about the prospect.

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Smart Move NHL Hooking Up With YouTube

from Ray Slover of the Sporting News,

Exposure is hockey's most dire need. Great stories involving the NHL are less available than insight on the Iditarod or Galapagos tortoise races. The NHL needs to get its stories, its action, its people into the mind of its target audience. And that audience is you, or folks like you, who eschew slick, vanilla TV for video on the web. More people are getting news and information from the web every day, and more than once in recent weeks have I heard how smart folks are getting their message across via computers. No longer will fans have to wait for video to appear on TV. It'll be right there are their fingertips. I'm impressed. For a sports organization that too often goes into lockdown mode, this is a great move for the NHL. Let's see just how open it will be in distributing clips from all 30 teams and whether its video images will be honey or have enough vinegar to give a true taste of the game.
read on

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Fix The Picture

from Adam Proteau at the Globe and Mail,

However, there’s no denying some NHL telecasts still appear to be lit via candlelight, with interview sets on loan from the local community cable channel. It’s also quite clear the energy levels of a few play-by-play men rival that of Ben Stein (a.k.a. the near-comatose teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off). A remedy for the problem is, of course, an infusion of money from the owners (insert cynical belly-laughs here) to spend on broadcasts. The old adage “you’ve got to spend money to make money” obviously applies, but NHL owners have preferred cost certainty to image improvement since the league was founded.

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The NHL Store

NEW YORK / CANTON, Mass. (November 16, 2006) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and Reebok today announced plans to open a flagship retail store in New York City, N.Y. in fall, 2007. The 6,700-square-foot retail store will be located at 1185 Avenue of the Americas, at the corner of 47th Street, in midtown Manhattan. “We have wanted to open an NHL store for a long time and now the timing is right,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President, NHL Consumer Products Marketing and Retail Operations. “The store’s location, size and product offering, as well as our partnership with Reebok, all will serve to enhance the NHL brand, promote our players and offer hockey fans a unique multi-sensory shopping experience.” “The NHL has some of the most dedicated and passionate fans in all of sports,” said Matt O’Toole, President and Chief Executive Officer, Reebok Canada. “This venture will allow our brand to reach those consumers in new and exciting ways and will also serve to reinforce Reebok’s relationship with the NHL.” The NHL and RBK store will carry a wide selection of NHL-licensed and Reebok branded apparel, outerwear, footwear and equipment.

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Sens’ Owner Gets Serious

from the Globe and Mail:

Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators, will hold a media conference call Thursday at 4:30 p.m. EST. Rumours have been circulating in recent days about a potential shakeup in the organization on the heels of the club's slow start. The Senators are coming off a 4-2 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The win was just the second in nine games for Ottawa, which also snapped a two-game losing string.
Update 4:34 PM: listen along on Ottawa's Team 1200...Chris Stevenson will update his blog after the call as well...

Continue Reading »

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How About A Good Old-Fashioned Donybrook

from Douglas Karda at Fox Sports,

In recent years, there has been a move toward a "kind" and "family friendly" game on the ice. While I am a fan of many of those changes, fighting has become as endangered an existence as an intelligent TV comedy — thank goodness we still have Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Thanks, guys. Now, the first question we need to ask if a good donnybrook has a place in the NHL game.
more also from Douglas,
So here I am to tip my cap to 10 of the greatest fighters I have ever seen in person, spanning the last 30 years. 10. Nick Fotiu: Perhaps the best fighter to ever wear a Rangers jersey, Fotiu added a much-needed physical presence in New York. There was a time when teams like the Flyers and Bruins would push around the "Blueshirts" and Fotiu quickly let people know that they weren't going to get away with it any longer.
read on for the rest...

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All Rolston

from David Amber at ESPN,

In this week's Facing Off, the Wild captain tells us what it was like to be traded for Ray Bourque, why Minneapolis is a better hockey town than Boston and who he thinks is the game's next Mario Lemieux. Question from David Amber: You keep getting tagged as the "NHL's most underrated player." What does that mean to you? Answer from Brian Rolston: Not much I guess [laughs]. That's great being underrated, but I think that comes from the media. Over my career, I have seen a lot of players who aren't that good built up by the media, I haven't had that kind of buildup, but I would like to think the people in the organization and my teammates appreciate what I do.
read on

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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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