Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Sun,
If Dany Heatley doesn’t get 50 goals for the second straight season, it won’t be because of defencemen like Andrei Markov or goaltenders like Martin Brodeur.
Blame The Pussycat Dolls.
The Senators winger won’t decide until this morning if his sore ankle is good enough to allow him to play tonight against the hot Canadiens at Scotiabank Place.
Heatley, who has 46 goals with five games left, caught his toe in some bad ice Tuesday night against the Bruins and twisted his ankle.
The Senators said the ice was soft and in poor condition after the Christina Aguilera/The Pussycat Dolls concert the night before.
When asked if Aguilera is to blame, Heatley replied: “Maybe just The Pussycat Dolls. They were melting the ice, apparently, and it made for bad ice for the game.”
via the LA Times,
The Ducks announced they would raise their ticket prices on individual and season seats for the 2007-08 season, marking the first such increase in three years.
Season tickets will increase by an average of 7.9%, and individual tickets will jump by an average of 1.1%. All tickets will continue to have a Honda Center facility fee, beginning at $1.50 for the most inexpensive ticket.
Several seating sections were also reclassified under additional varying prices. Tickets for some seats in the lower bowl were reduced by 15.8% from this season.
“Our primary objective in evaluation our pricing structure was to keep tickets affordable,” said Tim Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Anaheim Arena Management.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League is widely perceived to be a sport going nowhere in the United States.
Hockey? Hardly worthy of a place at the table with football, baseball and basketball.
But audience results from last Sunday afternoon suggest otherwise.
The NHL telecast on NBC (Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers-New York Islanders regionally) drew a larger national audience than ABC’s National Basketball Association telecast (Phoenix Suns-Sacramento Kings).
Now if some national media types in the US would pick up on this…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
As it does with players, the spotlight shines brightest on coaches come the NHL playoffs.
For those behind the bench, putting their stamp on playoff success can come about through various means and methods.
Here’s a look at a group who are ready for all the postseason can throw their way. But before I get into my list, a couple of keys on what helps mold a top-caliber NHL coach.
There’s the need for a strong personality—one that never cracks, one that never rattles under pressure.
The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenceman Sami Salo to a four-year contract extension. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
‘‘We are pleased to have agreed to a long-term extension with Sami today,’’ said Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis. ‘‘Sami is an elite defenceman who compliments our group very well. We are confident that he will continue to perform at the high level he has established for himself over the next four seasons.’‘
Normally, this would fall under the A2Y blog, but the sailor is a busy man these days.
Chris Chelios does a weekly interview on WDFN and this week talked about the Preds, Zetterberg, Osgood and the Detroit Tigers Opening Day.
Thanks as always to WDFN for the use of the audio.
This is a big one folks! The latest KK Challenge is well worth your effort.
Tell us why your team deserves to win the Stanley Cup.
In 250 words or less, email me your best story.
Get creative and you may win an authentic, personalized NHL team jersey (your choice & yes, you can wait for the new RBK jersey).
1) Must be a KK member (Free registration here if you’re not already a member).
2) Must be received by email, including your real name and member screen name.
3) In the subject of the email, please use “Stanley Cup Challenge”.
4) Entries MUST be 250 words or less. Longer entries will be disqualified.
5) All entries must be timestamped by 10:00pm EDT, April 10, 2007.
Of course, even if your team is not playoff bound, you are encouraged to participate.
Entries will be judged by the KK Krew & the crack reporters at NHL.com.
note: This post will be sticky (top of Front & Hockey page) on occasion through April 10th.
UPDATE April 27, 2007:
Winners announced here. Thanks to everyone for contributing!
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Three-point regulation victories were rejected out of hand. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello and Ducks GM Brian Burke, among others, scoffed at it, citing the wonderful races for the playoff spots. NHL honcho Colin Campbell said, not unreasonably, perhaps the league needs to try stability and stop tinkering.
Yet with the shootout system, which guarantees that any game tied at the end of regulation is worth three points (two to the winner and one to the loser), it is becoming more clear that making all games worth three points is an idea whose time has come.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
If the Thrashers manage to finish out of the playoffs or get blitzed in the first round, then the jobs of general manager Don Waddell and head coach Bob Hartley could be in danger. Even worse, the future of the franchise, which has yet to take Atlanta by storm, could be at stake.
“This is a critical year for our franchise,” Waddell said Wednesday. “Our attendance is heading in the right direction, but if we fall short, it could affect us for years to come.”
Both Waddell and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman say they are not worried about the future of the franchise in Atlanta. But there are troubling signs aside from attendance, which is improving this season but still among the worst in the NHL.
After skating with the team Thursday morning in Nashville, Henrik Zetterberg still appears to be several days away from returning.
“I’m skating a little bit more and more every day, still no battles,’’ Zetterberg said. “Hopefully one or two games (before the playoffs) would be good, but if not, I just have to deal with that.
“I’m still just at 35-40 minutes each time out there, got to get a little longer. Then the last step will be battling in the corners. Still got a few steps left before I’m back.’‘
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 email@example.com