Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Evolution Of Equipment

from Randy Zarnke, special to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,

Change in equipment is part of this evolutionary process, as well. For the sport of hockey, improvements in gear worn by goaltenders may be the most noticeable change over the past few decades. These improvements in the equipment follow changes in playing style and allow changes in playing style.

continued

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Take The Risk

from the News & Observer,

Las Vegas.
An NHL team in Vegas would not only be a financial bonanza but bolster the ever-eroding position of hockey in the pantheon of American sports. The NBA landed the first blow when it figured out a way to bring its All-Star Game to Vegas this February, but it’s the NHL that is best equipped to capitalize on the untouched market. Here are the top five reasons why:
1. IT MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE. Like Nixon and China, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has the chance to open the great unlocked potential of Las Vegas—and profit handsomely in the process.

read on

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The Puck

from Neil Tarpey of the Times-Standard,

It has not been slapped, kicked, knocked down or back-handed in over 30 years.
In fact, for most of those years the black hockey puck, hard evidence of my youth, has been entrusted to the safety of a small shelf at home alongside three baseball and softball trophies.
For a sports relic that is comparatively small, one inch thick by two and three-quarter inches in diameter, it brings back big geographic, historic and personal memories.

continued (great read)

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Form Fitting Has Flaws

from Canada.com,

Imagine being a National Hockey League forward. Imagine that a significant chunk of your workload involves hustling into corners and standing in front of nets.
Now imagine that everyone in the rink can see where your padding is—or, more to the point, where your padding isn’t.
That’s what scares San Jose Sharks sniper Jonathan Cheechoo about the league’s push for form-fitting jerseys—the telling exposure.
“It’s a bird’s-eye view of where your equipment stops,” says last year’s Maurice Richard Trophy winner for the league’s top scorer.

continued

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Merry Christmas From Strachan

A few months ago, the talk was Al Strachan would no longer be with the Toronto Sun come January.
In his column about the Leafs game yesterday, this was his last line…

Merry Christmas. And goodbye.

Love or hate Al, he will be missed if indeed this is his last Sun column.

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Fitzpatrick Campaign A Joke

from Sun Wire Services via the Ottawa Sun,

“The big thing Rory, if you’re watching, they’re not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you,” said Cherry.
Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean defended the campaign, saying it made for a cute story. He said fans are simply voicing their appreciation for Fitzpatrick, a concept Cherry strongly refuted.
“They never saw him play, how could they say he’s an all-star?” asked Cherry.

more

added 1:17pm, from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

The NHL needs to step in here. It needs to find away to allow Fitzpatrick out of a dilemma he didn’t create and it needs to restore some sanity to its voting process.
Anything less and Commissioner Gary Bettman will be viewed as presiding over a farce.

more

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NYT Covering Hockey

A KK salute to the New York Times- Has anyone else noticed the Times coverage of hockey has picked up in the last two months or so?  I wonder what or who is behind that decision?

via the NYT, (Steve) Nash was a bit more jaded about the slap-punch Denver’s Carmelo Anthony threw at the Knicks’ Mardy Collins.
“Typical N.B.A. punch,” Nash said. “In hockey, your own team would beat you up for that.”

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Problems Exist

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The hard cap was supposed to solve everything, remember? But Slap Shots has been told there are serious financial issues within the Nashville ownership group. Indeed, according to a pair of sources, the Predators may soon become a candidate for relocation to Kansas City.
The hard cap was supposed to solve everything, remember? But now it’s the schedule that’s supposedly to blame for pockets of empty seats just about everywhere, so the league might dramatically realign again.

read on

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The Fight Is Almost Gone

from Thomas Stinson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Fred Shero, whose barbarous Philadelphia teams of the 1970s helped transform the NHL into a nightly search-and-destroy operation, was once asked if the game’s natural grace was being compromised by his marauding Broad Street Bullies.
The late Flyers coach was not amused.
“If they want to see pretty skating,” Shero replied, “let ‘em go to the Ice Capades.”
Three decades later — and 1-1/2 years under a new set of rules designed to let the boys skate — the NHL is still dealing with Shero’s legacy. How much physical play is too much? How much brawling is gratuitous? What do the fans want? Shootouts or sutures? Hat tricks or hemorrhages?

contiued (reg. may be req.)... good read…

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Watching The Stats

from the New York Times,

Not so long ago, the N.H.L. paid practically no attention to statistics. Beyond goals, assists, penalty minutes and goals a netminder allowed, the league kept track of nothing. Players’ reputations were made and broken almost entirely on subjective grounds because there were virtually no objective measures to go by….
But starting in the mid-’80s, the N.H.L. began paying closer attention to statistics, and the league has become more and more conscientious. Shots, saves, plus/minus and other important numbers were tabulated, enabling more educated assessments of player performance.

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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