Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL, 2K & EA Announce Agreement

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League today announced that Electronic Arts (EA) and 2K Sports have agreed to non-exclusive, multi-year licensing extensions. EA and 2K Sports will continue to offer a full complement of NHL video games with rights for all current and next-generation consoles, including the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation3 (PS3) computer entertainment system, PSP (PlayStation Portable) system, Xbox 360 and Xbox video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PC, and Nintendo Wii.

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Blogger Access

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, discovered offwingopinion.com, a hockey Web log, while searching for information on his team last November. He was so impressed with the writer’s hockey knowledge that he invited him to a game two days later. NHL policy denies independent bloggers — people who write Web logs — media credentials providing access to the locker room, pressroom and other areas, but Leonsis’ invitation gave the offwingopinion.com writer access to the owner’s suite and the owner himself. In other words, more access than any other blogger leaguewide could hope for, and enough to turn the heads of some traditional media stalwarts. That visit became the subject of a Web log on offwingopinion.com, and it highlighted what Leonsis believes will be the next way for teams to use the ever-expanding world of new media. “Traditional media is being marginalized with shrinking circulation and tough ad-sales climates at the same time blogs are growing in importance and reach,” Leonsis said. “It makes good business sense to welcome in new media.” ...While not every team or league has been as progressive as Leonsis when it comes to acknowledging bloggers, organizations are increasingly recognizing their importance and drafting policies to address requests for press credentials from bloggers. ...To date, bloggers have not ambitiously pursued credentials. In the last five years, the NHL has received two annual credential requests from bloggers for the Stanley Cup Finals. ...Others see access as advantageous. Tyler Bleszinski, who runs athleticsnation.com, said the number of visitors to his site skyrocketed after he did a one-on-one interview with Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. Today, Bleszinski gets close to 10,000 visitors a day, according to Alexa, which monitors Web traffic. “I thank my lucky stars that I follow a team as aggressive and intelligent and willing to think outside the box as they are,” said Bleszinski, who still doesn’t receive credentials for games based on the MLB policy. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am otherwise.” Bleszinski acknowledges the challenge of granting bloggers’ requests. “It’s a lot of work for PR people to go online and see which blogs are being fair and not just doing a rip job,” he said.
added 1:17pm, Eric at Off Wing Opinion has more on this...

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Drink Pepsi

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

The NHL is close to finalizing a three-year agreement that will make Pepsi the official carbonated soft drink and Gatorade the official isotonic beverage of the league. The rights, solely for North America, will extend to Pepsi’s Aquafina water brand and its Frito-Lay snack food. The deal also includes rights to the NHL Players’ Association. Sources close to the deal put it at $3.5 million to $4 million annually. “As we enter a new era for the NHL, we think our partners should reflect that,” said NHL Enterprises President Ed Horne. “In PepsiCo, we have a partner who will help grow the game in Canada and the U.S., and we now have relationships in categories that we didn’t have before.”

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Silly Little….

If you have been watching the SCF on NBC, you probably have noticed the Dodge commercial in which the tinkerbell like fairy floats around with a magical wand. Have you noticed a little bit of editing lately? When the fairy crashes against the wall, the bruising guy walking his dog says "Silly little fairy", well that quote has been edited out. Wonder if some type of group complained? You can watch the un-edited version via YourTube. image

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Who Wants It More

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

From an outsider's perspective, it looks as though the Hurricanes are going to have to have Lazarus-like implications going into Game 7 to come back from the dead. They look like a defeated hockey team. Hurricanes forward Kevyn Adams says don't count them out yet while Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette suggested that for anybody who thinks they're mentally and physically broken down, that they don't know the hockey team very well. So, we'll take it at face value that they're going to be able to bounce back and it will be a competitive game. But based on Game 6, it looks like it's going Edmonton's way.
more

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Angry Hockey Fans

from the Salt Lake Tribune,

It was soccer vs. hockey. But it was the fans who felt the loss. KSL Channel 5, the NBC affiliate that has been airing the Stanley Cup Finals, was deluged with phone calls from angry viewers when it did not broadcast Game 6 on Saturday night between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes. Instead, the station was committed to broadcasting the Real Salt Lake soccer game against the Houston Dynamo. Meanwhile, the hockey game was carried on KSL's high-definition channel, on Comcast cable system and on DirecTV's satellite high-definition system.
continued

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The Sport Is Refreshing

from the Charleston Gazette,

I can’t sit here and tell you that the NHL playoffs have been better than the NBA, because the NBA tournament has been very compelling. So I just have to stew when I hear the NHL is getting outnumbered in the TV ratings by college softball and minor-league poker. But even if you cannot apply the discontinued two-line-pass rule, I bring you reason to care: The resurrection of the NHL is one of the most positive stories in professional sports. For those of us who enjoy the sport, this season has been refreshing, almost worth the year lost to the labor dispute.
read on

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Referees Tonight

Psssst- Bill McCreary and Brad Watson will be the men in charge for Game 7.

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Do What You Do

from the News and Observer,

There is one game left. It's for everything. How do you play it? You play it as you would any game. Nothing extraordinary. No new wrinkles. Play your game. The laid-back Cam Ward should stay that way. Eric Staal shouldn't try to win it by himself. Erik Cole doesn't have to be the savior. In times of high pressure, do what you know, what you've practiced, what works.... Tonight, Carolina doesn't need to come out on fire and get into the physical game the Oilers want to play. The Canes need to come out in control of themselves and the puck. They need to get to the third period -- their period -- skating well, shooting often and ready to send Pisani, Chris Pronger and the troublesome Raffi Torres back to Edmonton with a story, but without the Cup.
more

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Dream Comes True Tonight

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Remembered forever. Forgotten fast. There are two sides to the coin when you get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. It isn't upside, downside, heads you win, tails you lose. This is where the high doesn't get any higher and the low doesn't get any lower. The dream of every kid playing hockey on every street in every city in Canada comes true when you get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Win and you get to live it forever. In real life, though, it will be one and done. A remarkable run will come undone for either the Edmonton Oilers or the Carolina Hurricanes. A team that got close will go down as another team that couldn't close. But in this case, will it be remembered forever and forgotten fast?
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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