Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Competitive Balance

from the senior year thesis of Ottawa Senator Tom Preissing,

The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association would both benefit greatly if they were able to make the league more competitively balanced. It would not only help the overall product of the game but also create more interest in National Hockey League cities that currently have perpetually losing teams. In the end, a more balanced league would also help generate more revenue for NHL teams and, in turn, its players. This research helps distinguish the determinants of competitive balance in the National Hockey League. This is the first competitive balance study for the National Hockey League that uses the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index as its basis for determining parity. This study will hopefully act as a stepping-stone for future studies of the determinants of competitive balance in the National Hockey League. Armed with the knowledge of knowing how to improve parity, the league and its players could potentially offer the public a superior National Hockey League product.
read on...will open a .pdf file...

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The Chances Are…

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Being drafted in the late rounds is like being a piece of parsley on an appetizer: it looks good on the plate but doesn’t add much to the meal. It’s likely a good idea to prepare yourself for that inevitable talk with the coach, that rickshaw ticket to Pawtucket, and those nice parting gifts. NHL teams traditionally invite, like, two hundred players to camp (more, if it’s catered). They do this for a number of reasons, the main ones being atmosphere and hotel discounts
more

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Leafs Press Conference

Leafs Lunch is reporting the Leafs have called a 4pm press conference and it could be about the possible retirement of Tie Domi. update 4:41pm, Tie Domi has joined TSN. The announcement was made official moments ago during a press conference at the Air Canada Centre as the respected NHL veteran formally announced his retirement. He's the latest addition to the TSN family following recent signings this year of Brian Williams, James Cybulski and Darren Dreger. For Domi, the path that led from the NHL to Canada's No.1 sports broadcaster started with a phone call to CTV President Rick Brace. "Tie confided that he was planning to retire and asked if we would consider a role for him here. TSN President Phil King held a secret audition and we were immediately impressed." King confirmed that Domi has been assigned to the network's comprehensive NHL coverage, where as an analyst he will appear weekly during TSN's in-studio panel discussions and debates. His new NHL on TSN studio broadcast teammates include host James Duthie, fellow analyst Glenn Healy, TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Dreger, and veteran hockey broadcaster Dave Hodge.

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AO Can Play

from Scott Burnside at the Hockey News,

As the season wore on, Ovechkin became more comfortable chatting and joking with reporters, at one point suggesting it was more difficult to drive in America than in Russia because you couldn’t simply pay off the police. Lest he be mistaken for a flake, Ovechkin also has a keen sense of history. During the course of last season Ovechkin politely asked for and received autographed sticks from Crosby, Zdeno Chara and Mark Messier. Messier returned the favor by asking Ovechkin for one of the rookie’s sticks for his own collection. Of course, all of his personality and panache amounts to a hill of day-old caviar if the kid can’t play. But that doesn’t appear to be a problem.
read on

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Some Wings Have A Lot To Play For

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

"It's been a pretty good four or five days," Chelios said Monday night after playing in the camp's intersquad championship game. "I'm looking forward to getting home and playing some exhibition games... "It'll be nice to play against other faces and play when it counts for something." Some may argue that the players aren't really playing for anything during the exhibition season. Not true, said Wings head coach Mike Babcock. There's plenty on the line, even for the younger players who have no realistic chance of making the team. "They have a lot to play for," Babcock said. "They understand it's a process. They're trying to be part of a program. If they play well, they get a contract. If they don't, they won't."
more

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Nolan Needs To Get His Timing Back

via the East Valley Tribune,

I played a lot more than I thought I would, and I thought I held up pretty well,” said Nolan, 34, who last played for Toronto. While his conditioning was sound, “Timing is something you can only get when you play. I’m a little rusty in that department.” Nolan said he wished he’d had more chances to score, “But it’s still early. “I got caught out of position a couple of times. But after being out for two years, for the first game, I thought I did all right.” “We’re happy with Owen’s game,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. He was better conditioned than the coach imagined. And while his timing was off, “By no means did he have a bad game.”

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Sean Burke Expected To Start Season In Minors

form the St. Petersburg Times,

The Lightning is set on Johan Holmqvist as the backup goaltender to Marc Denis, a decision that means that barring something unexpected, Sean Burke, a 17-year veteran and three-time All-Star, likely will start the season assigned to AHL Springfield. Burke said he understands the dynamic. "I've never felt in this game that anything was owed to me or that I would look at anything as a lack of respect," he said. "It's a business. I signed a two-year contract and I fully intend to fulfill two years.
read on

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Sens Still Have A Chance

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

If people want to think the Senators' best days are behind them, that's fine with Jason Spezza. The Senators centre rallied to his team's defence yesterday when it was suggested the club's window of opportunity to win a Stanley Cup had closed. "They're not talking about us (as Cup contenders) as much as in the past," Spezza said yesterday. "That doesn't bother us ... we're not listening to the critics who say we're not as good as last year. The chance (to win a Cup in Ottawa) is gone for guys who are off the team like 'Z' (Chara), but we're still here with a good team, we still have a chance."
more

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Fedorov Wants A Comeback Year

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets center Sergei Fedorov had 16 points in the last 18 games of the 2005-06 season. He took the last shot of the season and scored to beat the Dallas Stars in overtime. Moments later, he sat in his locker stall in Nationwide Arena and said: "I feel they got me here to take a share of the load, play great ‘D’ and help the great players on offense. And to try to show everyone I am as good as I was," Fedorov said. "That’s my challenge, and I’m willing to take it up. All I know is I’m going to do everything I can to come back in the best shape I’ve ever been. ... I’m going to bring my best every game, every night, every practice, and we’ll see if that will help us succeed."
continued

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Sharks Goalie Coach Makes A Comeback

from Inside Bay Area,

There were times over the past three years that Sharks goalie coach Warren Strelow — praised by ESPN the Magazine as the best at what he does — thought his days teaching the fine art of puck-stopping were over. An August 2003 kidney transplant began a downward spiral of problems that read like a medical textbook's worst case scenario — multiple infections; gall bladder surgery during which a laser nicked his liver; lymphedema; a loss of blood pressure; and a fall that broke his leg in three places. "They had me not living through the night three different times," Strelow, 71, said. "It was pretty touch and go." But now Strelow is taking part in his first training camp in four years. And while the intervening time has limited his mobility — Strelow uses a motorized scooter on the ice, for example — it has not damaged what goalie Evgeni Nabokov calls the "gifted eye."
continued

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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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