Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Staal Staying

The Pittsburgh Penguins will keep 18-year-old centerman Jordan Staal on their NHL roster, it was announced today by General Manager Ray Shero. Shero also said the Penguins will send 19-year-old defenseman Kris Letang back to his junior team, Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Staal, the second overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, has recorded four goals and one assist for five points in nine games. He is averaging 13:14 of ice time and played more than 17 minutes in the Penguins’ 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night. “Jordan has earned his spot on our roster and deserves to play at the National Hockey League level,” Shero said. “We all knew about his skill level when we drafted him, but his work ethic, maturity and consistent effort have enabled him to make what is normally a difficult transition for a teen-ager.”

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“The Absence” Soon Returns

From here forward, it will be referred to (in the A2Y glossary) as, "the absence." Yes, Abel to Yzerman fell off the face of the earth. Yes, it's my fault. No, I was not sent to an area with 130 degree heat. Yes, I was in a lovely spot without computer access. No, that's not a good excuse. But, and thank you for the emails, with "the absence" behind me, A2Y will be returning shortly. Where? Right here. Paul and I have been in discussion for a few days now and it looks like you won't have to go far too find the new Abel to Yzerman since it's going to be linked directly (and be part of) Kukla's Korner. What's going to change? Nothing. A2Y will remain Wing-specific. All the same features will remain. My views on Bubba, the Dive, The Punch in the Face and The Enigma haven't changed. In all seriousness, it's great to be back and thanks to Paul for welcoming me into the KK fold. Note from Paul: The logistics of adding A2Y to KK will be completed in the very near future. A2Y will have a unique url, RSS feed, etc. and I welcome Bill and his readers with open arms. Also, stay tuned for more news... KK continues to grow and expand!!!

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NHL Live

It's back!!! image added 11:23am, I wanted to make sure I had the times correct before posting... NHL Live will be available M-F 10am - Noon ET.

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At Your Service

via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

The NHL has increased its emphasis on shared business practices among teams, tripling the staff of its club services division and upping the number of visits those staff members make to each team. The league’s club services department, renamed following the lockout in 2004-05, will act as a single source for collecting and sharing information on such things as ticket pricing, marketing initiatives and promotional efforts, all designed to increase team and league revenue. In the past, teams largely were left on their own to determine and maximize such areas. “Being in the league office, we have the benefit of a view of all 30 clubs,” said Susan Cohig, group vice president for club services and until recently the department’s only employee since the lockout. “Teams don’t have that. Hopefully, from that 30,000-foot view we can say, ‘X team has gone through the same thing. Let’s see how they addressed it and see if it can help you.’” Beyond increased travel and personnel, the league also has invested in technology. This week the NHL will announce a deal with StratBridge, a Cambridge, Mass.-based software company that will provide the league with its StratTix technology. Teams will be able to use the technology to identify, in real time, who customers are, where they’re sitting and if they’re part of a group or a promotion.

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Flyers Ripe For Trade

via the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Veteran defenseman Derian Hatcher is minus-14, while defenseman Joni Pitkanen is minus-8. Winger Kyle Calder, acquired from the Hawks in exchange for Michal Handzus, has no points in 10 games and is minus-7 with 5 minor penalties. New GM Paul Holmgren is said to be looking to make a blockbuster trade to shake things up, with winger Simon Gagne’s name being floated as possible bait. It’s believed the Hawks have offered the Flyers defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who according to a report in the Ottawa Sun also has been shopped to the Boston Bruins.

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Islanders Need To Regain Fans Trust

from Newsday,

When the Islanders skated out of the tunnel to face Buffalo, they were greeted by a season-low crowd of 8,861 fans. Playing as if the life had been sucked out of them, the Islanders suffered a 3-0 shutout loss that left most in the crowd yawning, except for when they were booing....
Ted Nolan said,
The fans know how important they are to us and how much encouragement the players get from them. But the flip side is that we can't ask them to be loud if we don't give them something to be loud about. It's a Catch-22. We've got to perform to get them on our side." It's not going to happen overnight. Still, the lack of excitement over the Buffalo game never would have happened in a lot of other places in the NHL.
more

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Gallant Searching For Goals

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets are paying their top 12 forwards about $24 million this season, roughly $6 million more than the entire roster made in 2000-01, the inaugural season. The Jackets expected to be an offensive force, but they aren’t getting much bang for their buck so far. "We have to create more scoring chances, it’s just that simple," coach Gerard Gallant said. "I thought we played a real good game defensively (Saturday), but we didn’t create enough and we didn’t capitalize on the few chances we did get. "There’s no reason we should be struggling to score goals like this. With the people we have? There’s no reason at all."
read on

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Flames Offensive Woes Not That Bad

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

So why then, Darryl, does everyone in the city talk about the Flames lack of offence? "For the most part members of the media are all experts and don't watch games and don't understand it," explained Sutter, who has spent three years defending his team's scoring potential and slamming those who question the obvious. "It's not hard to figure out at all. On our last road trip the team scored 10 goals in the three games they lost. If our powerplay had scored two goals in the four game road trip we would have been 4-2 instead of 2-4. It's that simple and that close."
more, plus a mention that Conroy will not be a Flame...

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Bad Business Decisions

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Darren McCarty says freewheeling spending isn't to blame for his bankruptcy situation. Instead, the Calgary Flames forward insists the biggest cause of his current troubles are bad business decisions. "It sounds as if I blew $6 million, which isn't the case," he said yesterday. "A lot of it had to do with a couple of properties that we owned and I signed my name to. It's not as if I was blowing the money."
continued

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Weber As Good As Phaneuf

from the Tennessean,

The more comfortable Predators defenseman Shea Weber feels on the NHL level, the more he's making life uncomfortable for his opponents.... The top blueline sensation of that draft so far has been Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, who last season moved straight from the junior ranks into a starring NHL role. He posted 20 goals, recorded dozens of memorable hits and this season is averaging more than 27 minutes of ice time per game. But Weber's teammates believe he will in time be comparable to Phaneuf. "The Flames needed Phaneuf right away, and they made him one of their go-to guys on the power play and the penalty kill,'' Suter said. "I think Shea is just as good as (Phaneuf). When you get put in more situations, you start proving who you are. Shea is definitely the real deal.''
more

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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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