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Burnside Breakdown

Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down both conference finals. Eastern:

Forget the small-market/miniscule television ratings angle of this series. If ever there was a series designed to sell the new NHL, this is it. Even the most casual of fans can expect to be blown away by the speed and derring-do of the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.
Western:
Let's just say this about the Western Conference final between the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Mighty Ducks -- better hope they have double, reinforced boards because they're in for a workout.

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Conference Finals- OLN-HD

This morning, OLN has posted the Conference Finals schedule. No high definition games are listed and INHD has nothing either. Hopefully this is just a mistake and they plan on adding a few HD games for the NHL fans. added 12:29pm, Hockey Fights has the complete release from OLN and this is included:

During the conference finals, which will take place from May 19-June 1, the network will present both series, anywhere between 7 and 13 games, depending on series outcomes. OLN’s Stanley Cup coverage will culminate with the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final on June 5 and June 7. The network will also take advantage of hi-definition technology, presenting both series in the conference finals in HD.

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The Man Behind The Money

from New York Business,

Job: Robert Dixon, senior director of financial reporting for the National Hockey League, since March. Job One: Close the NHL's 2005 fiscal year books while looking for ways to streamline the league's reporting and accounting systems. Besides cutting revenues and alienating fans, the lockout that melted last year's hockey season led some finance staffers to leave the league, taking with them some of the historical financial data and system management knowledge stored in their heads rather than in computers or on paper. Mr. Dixon is charged with setting up systems and leaving documentation to ensure that never happens again.
read on

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Generic UFA Story

The insert team name here will get the first shot at signing insert player name for the 2006-07 season. However, if the numbers don't add up, his agent cautioned, the player has the right to look elsewhere in the National Hockey League for employment. The player's agent, said he and his client would listen to the insert latest team here first simply out of courtesy and mutual respect. "We're not the type of people who would say, 'We'll talk to you on July 1,' " the agent said. "[Player] has enjoyed his time there, they've done a good job over the last few years developing the team, and it's part of the business to be respectful to them. Absolutely we'll talk to them first." This covers about 99% of all the UFAs, if anything unique comes up, I will post it.

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Play Along With OLN

Join in the fun, play the goal horn whenever a team scores!!! Anaheim Edmonton Carolina Buffalo Which team has the best horn?

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TV Dilemma For Buffalo Fans

from Buffalo Business First,

Just two days before the Buffalo Sabres are to start play in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the possibility exists that many TV viewers the local market will be shut out of some games. The National Hockey League released its television schedule for the conference finals late Wednesday night. The first game of the Buffalo-Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference final will be broadcast on NBC at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20. All other games in the best-of-7 series are to be carried on OLN, the NHL's cable TV partner in the U.S. OLN, or Outdoor Life Network, however, is carried on Adelphia Communications Corp.'s digital tier, which costs subscribers more per month than basic or expanded basic cable service, and is not nearly as popular. The exact number of subscribers receiving OLN in the Buffalo area is not known.
continued update 4:02pm,
After a morning of negotiations, Adelphia said Thursday the remaining games in the series will be carried on channel 71, which is part of the company's "classic" package. That same package is available to all subscribers who receive MSG Network, the Sabres' main cable outlet. Terms of the agreement with OLN were not disclosed. "We know how important the Sabres are to the community so it was absolutely essential to be able to provide our customers the opportunity to watch all the games," said Tom Haywood, vice president of operations for Adelphia. "We also did not want to leave to chance the fact that CBC could change its schedule at any time so we decided to air all of the games on Channel 71 regardless of their schedule."

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Everything Upside Down

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Somewhere between the crowning of the last Stanley Cup champion and today, the NHL was turned upside down. That the next NHL champion will come from a Final Four consisting of the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres is, in itself, evidence of the massive change that has affected the 89-year-old hockey institution that is the NHL. Two years ago, at the conclusion of the last NHL regular season that preceded the historic lockout, none of those four clubs were even part of the post-season.
read on

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Who Wants 88

from the Toronto Sun,

Now what for Eric Lindros? Another team, another town, another gamble, another partial season? For a million a year, somebody might be interested. The question at this stage of his life: Is he? Last season Lindros played for the smallest paycheck of a professional career that has earned him almost $48 million US. To sign to play another season, here, somewhere, anywhere, he will have to play for less than he has ever been paid before. In the next week or so, he'll find out more about his wrist. The Leafs will find out more. A determination will have to be made. He was The Next One and the hype wasn't hype. All of it was earned early on. Lindros never scored 50 goals in an NHL season, but he scored at a 50-goal pace in each of his first five years in Philadelphia. If only he could have played 82 game seasons. If only.
more

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No Finger Pointing

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

The NHL scoring champ with 125 points during the regular season, Joe Thornton, had two goals and nine points in 11 playoff games. The goal-scoring champ with 56 during the regular season, Jonathan Cheechoo, had four, two in each series, during the postseason. Fingers will be pointed, but not by coach Ron Wilson. "If the series was going to come down to, if the only guy who can set up people is Joe and the only person who can score goals is Cheech, we're going to be in trouble," Wilson said.
continued

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Play The Patriot Card

from the Toronto Sun,

And who can't feel good about the underdog Edmonton Oilers, who eliminated San Jose last night to move into the Final Four with their 2-0 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-final. So why, oh why, does the whole spectacle seem as flat as yesterday's draft beer to an outsider? The answer is simple. A lot has changed, and most of it for the better, in the new NHL but you can't change human nature. Nothing can overcome the lack of a local rooting interest. The television ratings might lie a little bit but, generally, they tell an honest picture. And that picture is that not many people are watching, outside the towns where hope still lives. Right now, hope lives only in one town in Canada: Edmonton. At times like these, the only thing you can do is play the patriot card. I know it's tough to do when half the players in the league are countrymen but only a few of them play for a Canadian-based team. And the only Canadian team in sight is the Oilers.
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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