Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Kansas City Star via the Mercury News,
Three Reasons Why: The Philadelphia Flyers will hoist the Stanley Cup next -Adding Peter Forsberg. They don't come much better than Forsberg. The Flyers originally drafted him but traded him away for Eric Lindros before he ever donned the orange and black. He will make the Flyers better anytime he's on the ice. -Goaltending depth. Look, Robert Esche stepped up big-time as the Flyers almost beat the Lightning in the playoffs in 2004. And if he struggles, rookie Antero Niittymaki, who helped the Philadelphia Phantoms win the AHL title last year, will be waiting. -The Tampa Bay Lightning. As good as the Bolts were in the last playoffs, it's hard to imagine they'll be able to put everything together perfectly again. And guess who'll be ready if and when they stumble?
from the Boston Herald,
It's a whole new season for Boston advertising agency Fort Franklin. Two weeks ago, the small ad shop switched teams, leaving ESPN's roster of agencies to join up with the sports cable network's potential rival OLN. Fort Franklin has been working furiously – members often sleeping in the office – after Comcast's OLN, formerly the Outdoor Life Network, signed with the agency to provide a national promotional campaign for its coverage of the upcoming National Hockey League season. ``(OLN) called us right after they had signed with the NHL,'' said Marc Gallucci, Fort's chief executive and creative director. Gallucci said the agency pulled off a ``Herculian effort,'' developing and producing its ``We Believe in Hockey'' campaign – featuring a 30-second television spot, print ads and online marketing – in just 12 days.more
Don't forget to adjust the brightness on your TV, looks like Don Cherry is back in business. via the CP,
CBC management and the Canadian Media Guild struck an agreement early this morning that is expected to end the lockout of 5,500 staff in the coming days. The guild announced that the two sides had signed a memorandum of agreement, which means that the actual language of the deal has not been finalized.
Over the last few weeks, readers of Kukla's Korner were able to submit questions about the NHL and their TV coverage plans. Today, your questions may have been answered. from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
After the NHL announced its new cable television deal with Comcast and OLN, we noticed quite a few fans had questions about the nuts and bolts of the deal, namely when and where they would be able to see the games. To help get the pertinent questions answered, Ice Age contacted Paul Kukla, who runs the excellent Kukla's Korner blog for some assistance in getting fans to submit their questions. Thanks to Paul's help, Ice Age was well armed with queries from fans as we approached NHL Senior Vice President, Television and Media Ventures Doug Perlman for some insight. For questions on the production of the telecasts, camera angles, announcers, Adam Acone, the NHL's Vice President of Broadcasting and Programming lent his considerable knowledge to the discussion. Thanks to them and Paul Kukla for helping get the word out.more update 6:55pm Sunday, I have bumped this back to the top of the hockey section in preparation for the weekday readers. Many of them have yet to see this post and it was their questions that have been answered.
from the AP via Slam,
Mike Babcock was gliding on the ice with the Detroit Red Wings during a morning skate, usually a time for players to get in a light workout before a game. But the new coach didn't like their pace, and he let them know it. "Let's go!" Babcock shouted. Instantly, the players started skating faster because they understand the days of coasting and relying on their resumes are over. "I thought our first morning skate failed to prepare us, because we were lollygagging that night," Babcock explained. "These guys are used to doing it a certain way, but why would we practise going slow?
"If you can't skate, you can't play in the National Hockey League." This simple and seemingly logical verdict was expressed yesterday by the NHL's "hanging judge", Colin Campbell. The 2005-06 NHL season gets underway Wednesday, following a one-year hiatus. I spoke to the NHL's executive vice-president and director of Hockey Operations about a variety of topics. mainly, however, about the effect of the new rules which, in some quarters, may turn a club upside down. Most of all, though, I wanted to know if the new rules about hooking and obstruction will be enforced all the way to the end of the playoffs. "Everybody wanted the new rules," Campbell said. "The test about how the rules will be enforced will come when the regular season begins. The real test will come in March. The real, real test will come in the playoffs when there will be a 5-on-4 situation and the referee's next call could make it a 5-on-3.
from the Montreal Gazette via the Edmonton Journal,
The odds are good that at least one National Hockey League player will suffer a serious eye injury during the upcoming season. It's hard to believe, but many NHLers still refuse to wear a visor, even in today's game with bigger players using one-piece composite sticks to shoot the puck harder than ever before, making it almost impossible to get out of the way of a high, rising shot. Visors were back in the news last week after Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Denis Gauthier flattened Los Angeles Kings' Jeremy Roenick with a clean bodycheck during a pre-season game Sept. 25. It resulted in Roenick suffering the 11th documented concussion of his career. Two days later, Roenick's teammate, Sean Avery, sounded a lot like hockey commentator Don Cherry with his comments made to TSN: "I think it was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not backing anything up. I'd think if a guy like Brett Hull was coming up the middle, somebody probably wouldn't have stepped up and hit him. But like I said, (it was) a typical move from a guy wearing a visor that certainly doesn't like to get scratched at all."
Bob Duff of NBC Sports (and the Windsor Star), breaks down all the teams in a season preview. Nice to see that NBC has taken some responsibility to cover the NHL.
from the Star-Ledger,
Kevin Weekes wears a mask, but he's not trying to hide anything. The Rangers' new No. 1 goaltender is a black man, and a proud one, at that. And he would love to see a few more black men inside Madison Square Garden when the Rangers return to action after missing last season because of the NHL lockout. "Is Spike Lee only restricted to going to MSG when the Knicks are playing?" Weekes asked recently at the Rangers' Greenburgh, N.Y., practice rink. "I want to see him down on the glass, banging on the glass when we play, too. And he doesn't have to only cheer for me. I want to see him cheer for (Jaromir) Jagr. I want to see him cheer for any of my teammates. Let him cheer for the other goalie. Let him cheer for whoever he wants. Why can't Chris Rock come? Why can't Jay-Z come?"
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
Slowly but surely, the National Hockey League's players appear to be getting accustomed to the game's new philosophy. They're not fully there yet, and that's why the level of scoring has yet to rise appreciably. In a performance that is fairly typical of the pre-season, the Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings hooked up in a 4-1 affair to close out the pre-season last night, with the Leafs getting the edge over the Wings for the second night in succession. At the moment, dealing with the new rules is taking precedence over actually using the new rules, and as a result, the free-flowing game has not resulted in a scoring increase. But more and more, the players are starting to feel comfortable with the new philosophy and they're starting to learn what they can do. For one thing, they're going to the net more. In the old NHL, that area was sacred territory and trespassing was definitely a threat to good health. But now, the larger players, like the Leafs' Nik Antropov, can plant themselves in that area and give the defenders a problem.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org