Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Lecavalier Catching Fire In Tampa

Via the Tampa Tribune,

"He's always had that [skill] but by using his complete body he's using his strength, he's better on faceoffs, he's playing better defensively - and he's still learning - and he's killing penalties now," Taylor said. "His game is evolving and I think it's adding more and more confidence to him and with that confidence he is getting better."
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Panthers Anticipate Nieuwendyk’s Return

Via the Miami Herald,

Joe Nieuwendyk can't wait to return to the Panthers lineup Wednesday against the Rangers, and the Panthers can't wait either. ''It's huge,'' team captain Olli Jokinen said. ``If you look at our record, especially last year, we didn't win too many games without him. What he brings to our hockey club is just amazing.'' Nieuwendyk, 40, has missed the past three games after triggering back spasms Oct. 25 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
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Lundqvist Searching For His Game

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Lundqvist, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as a rookie last season, has stumbled out of the gate as a sophomore. He's allowed four or more goals in six of his 10 starts after allowing that many only nine times in 50 starts all last season. His 3.57 GAA and .878 save percentage are both near the bottom of the league after his 2.24 GAA and .922 save percentage were near the top last season. But it's more than that. For this year, Lundqvist has surrendered an alarming number of bad goals after a freshman season in which he allowed maybe a bad one a month. The bad goals are always killers for NHL goaltenders and their teams. "I feel like I'm playing OK, but I'm making one or two mistakes a game that I don't normally do," said Lundqvist, who worked for an hour at yesterday morning's optional practice.

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Hand Over The Money

from the Toronton Star,

The Toronto Maple Leafs put more money — between $9 million and $10 million (all figures U.S.) — into the NHL's revenue-sharing fund than any other team in the league, says general manager John Ferguson. "That was more money than we originally projected," Ferguson said yesterday in an interview, adding the dollar amount had nothing to do with Leaf profits. "Our percentage was not a function of revenue. "It's just the formula, and the ultimate number was higher than we thought."

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Montgomery’s over and underrated

Via USA Today,

Let's take our annual look at the NHL's most underrated and overrated players. (Under) Eric Brewer, St. Louis Blues: Brewer's a horse. He plays a lot of tough minutes and is really difficult to handle in front of his own net. He'll never score a ton of goals, but he'll play 25 solid minutes a night, every night. There are 29 other teams in the league who would take him in a minute.
On the money again Ted. Any Blues fans out there actually feel Brewer is underrated? More from Montgomery

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Meet The New “Captain Video”

From Richard Blackwell of the Globe and Mail:

When National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman gave Keith Ritter his assignment last year, the mission was clear: Figure out how to increase the popularity of the game by making use of the NHL's vast store of digital assets. Mr. Ritter, president of the league's digital arm, NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises, said he and two other executives were essentially asked "to have a good think, based on the changing landscape, where the opportunities would be down the road." While the storehouse of game videos was clearly the biggest asset, the NHL also has game audio, reams of data, photographs, and lots of text, said Mr. Ritter, who works out of the league's New York head office. Mr. Ritter said he and his colleagues have come up with a plan to manage and make money from that vast store of information, and the first element was unveiled this week when the league announced a deal with Google Inc. to make full-length games available on Google Video.

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Hockey City, USA?

According to Fox, that would be Nashville, TN.

Watch out, Red Wings. Detroit isn't the only Hockeytown in the NHL. Nashville has quietly become not only one of the best places in North America to visit, but also to take in a hockey game — and play, if you've been blessed with the skills. Long before being awarded an NHL expansion team in 1997, Nashville was known as Music City, USA and the Athens of the South for its musical heritage and dedication to the fine arts, but nowadays the capital of Tennessee is also known for its winning hockey thanks to Predators head coach Barry Trotz.
More Popular in Nashville? You bet. But here's where the Preds have their work cut out for them: introducing the rest of the state to the idea that there is (1) a sport called hockey and (2) a team in Nashville. As a west TN resident I can tell you that the remainder of the state has no clue what or where the Predators are.

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Classic Chelios

Chris Chelios was on just on Detroit radio... NHL attendance is down, it needs to be addressed. Cheli compared the spin the league is putting on to "Wag the Dog's Tail"! Fans were supposed to benefit from the lockout, instead ticket prices are back up to an all time high. Rules committee was great, lead by Shanahan, but now the rules are being tweaked without input from the players on the committee. Fighting has been taken out of the game, this decision rests on a person who never understood the North American game and fans are losing interest. The game needs a level of toughness in it and it is being taken out. No flow to the game and fans are being turned off.

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The Interview Process

from Kelly Hrudey at the Vancouver Province,

So with a partnership that can help everyone involved, including the teams and players, occasionally I'm disappointed with the lack of effort by a handful of teams to help us promote both the game and the players. If there ever was an easier show for a player to be on than After Hours, I certainly haven't seen it. Basically, we give a free, half-hour infomercial for the team and its players by raving about their talent. As well, we always show the player in the best possible manner, and from the comments I get from people I meet, most really enjoy seeing the players in a more relaxed, even casual, manner. I respect the situation when a player declines a request because he has family at the game, and we clearly would delay him leaving. What I don't fully understand are times when we ask for a certain player, and the communications person working for the team doesn't even ask the player if he's interested.

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Snider Panicked

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Two weeks later, one thing's pretty clear: Snider, normally a very smart cookie, panicked along with team president Peter Lukko and tied the can to Hitchcock in the wake of a 9-2 humiliating loss to the Buffalo Sabres rather than try to make a few trades first. Stevens may have a better feel for the young players on the Flyers because he coached many of them on their farm club, but are they any better with Stevens coaching? No. Are they playing any harder, any smarter, with any more character? No.
more..plus a tour around the NHL...even more here...

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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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