Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Moving Down South

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

I feel that if the Hurricanes prevail over the Oilers in the Stanley Cup finals, interest in the NHL is going to take a step forward in the southern United States. I think it's hard to hold one franchise responsible for growing an interest level in a sport for an entire section of the United States, but the Hurricanes -- with the Stanley Cup in tow --moving along Tobacco Road, and then on to points south will certainly get the attention of southerners. And while hockey is still kind of a regional sport, it's a mandate of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that the league grow the sport nationally.
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Sitting Down With Grapes

ESPN sat down with Don Cherry this morning,

Some have talked about how there isn't much interest in these Cup finals. What do you think about it? Cherry: In Canada here, we're doing sensational. Yeah, it's a small market. I honestly believe it's going to be very tough for anybody to get a big [draw] on television in the States because a lot of people don't know hockey. Nebraska, Georgia. There's nothing wrong with the game and there's nothing wrong with the way it's being presented. There's just some people in some areas of the States just don't know hockey and they don't care. Do you think it will change in the U.S.? Cherry: I don't think so. It will be very strong where it's strong. There will be some places where hockey outdraws basketball. But like I said, I can't see people in West Virginia picking up hockey.
read on

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Trash Talk

from WFSB TV, Top players on Danbury's minor league hockey team and some of their spouses were allegedly given no-show jobs at trash-hauling companies to circumvent the United Hockey League's salary cap, according to a massive federal indictment unsealed Friday. James Galante, owner of the Danbury Trashers, also is accused of hiding other improper payments to players as housing allowances. "In fact, in the 2004-05 season, this scheme allowed James Galante to pay three key players on the Danbury Trashers a salary of approximately $100,000 each, when the UHL salary cap was only approximately $275,000 for the entire team for the regular season," the indictment states. The Trasher's payroll was actually closer to $750,000, prosecutors said. continued

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Peca & Pronger On An Off Day

Peca and Pronger met with the media today,

Q. Could you both answer the idea of having an extra day mentally and how much having that normal practice would mean in this situation? MICHAEL PECA: I think the extra day allows the coaches, you know, to obviously analyze Game 2 a little bit more, allows them to make the corrections. I think as players we kind of understand and are aware of some of the changes that we need to make, but it is the coaches that are able to break it down and, you know, kind of lay it out in simpler terms for us so we understand it and correct things for Saturday. So the extra day allows them the time to do that a little bit more diligently. Q. What about the mental part? CHRIS PRONGER: Obviously the mental part as well, get the two days, obviously a long day yesterday of flying, still rehashing mistakes and things that can be tweaked and corrected. Obviously using today as the day to go out and implement those changes, you know, try to brush that second game off and get back to focusing in on Game 3 here and not worrying about what has happened in the past and worrying about the present.
continued in the comment section...

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Everything But The SCF

from Allan Muir of Sorts Illustrated,

Fans may be focused on the big games in Edmonton this weekend, but there's plenty of activity going on in the world of hockey outside of the Stanley Cup Finals. As a public service, here are some stories you may have missed. News: In a state of the union press conference in Raleigh last Monday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman complimented the effectiveness of the rule that prevents line changes for a team that ices the puck. He then went one further, saying, "I'd like to also see it be considered when the goaltender freezes the puck." The Level-Headed Observer Says: At first blush, it sounds ridiculous, just another ill-informed musing from "that basketball guy." But give it a little time and Bettman's idea will grow on you.
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PR Award For NHL Executive

from Yahoo,

For her efforts in directing the communications efforts throughout the National Hockey League's (NHL) labor dispute and rebounding from the fallout of the cancellation of the 2004-05 hockey season, Bernadette Mansur has been recognized as the "Public Relations Professional of the Year" by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Mansur, senior vice president of communications, NHL, received the award during the annual PRSA Silver Anvil Awards Evening held last night at the Equitable Tower in New York City.
continued image To hear a recent interview with Bernadette Mansur follow this link and scroll down to April 28th. To save some time, the interview starts at about the 3:30 mark of the audio.

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The NHL Has Rebounded

from the Christian Science Monitor via CBS News,

Most important, the appearance of two scrappy outsiders in the Stanley Cup final means hockey has given fans what they cherish most: hope. "Fans want to know that, every once in a while, David is going to get a shot and it's not always Goliath in the ring," says Bill Sutton, a sports marketing professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. With nail-biters dominating the playoffs, some fans are getting that old-time feeling from the new NHL. It doesn't hurt that the matchup is the first between two former World Hockey Association clubs: the Oilers and the former New England Whalers. The 'Canes have even played the Whalers' old fight song, "Brass Bonanza," to get the nostalgia flowing in a league that, a year after it looked defunct, is notching fan noise at 126 decibels.
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Backing Canada’s Team

from ESPN Page 2,

So what is it about hockey, and about Canadians, that makes an entire country rally around a team like the Edmonton Oilers? One of sports' greatest dynasties in the days of Gretzky and Messier, today's Oilers aren't nearly as glamorous. Geographically, living and dying with a team from Edmonton would be like Americans going nuts for the Missoula Missoulians. "Being a Canadian, I am obliged to root for the Oilers in the Stanley Cup," explains Adam Cooper, a small-business owner from Toronto and a Maple Leafs fan. "Sure, all NHL teams are composed of a mix of international players, and Edmonton doesn't have more Canadians on their team than the average NHL team. But cheering for the Canadian team is just how it has to be. Hockey is Canada's game.
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Report- Russia Agrees To IIHF Agreement

via Russian Hockey Digest,

According to RIA Novosti Russian hockey clubs agreed with the position of the president of the Russian Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretiak regarding the IIHF-NHL transfer agreement. This agreement was achieved today at the meeting held by the Federation for the management of the Superleague clubs. The formal documents will be signed on June 16th.
added 12:10pm, The only mention I have found at the RIA is this:
Vladislav Tretyak, Russia's top hockey official, said Friday a tax needed to be imposed on foreign players in Russian hockey clubs to improve the level of national hockey. The three-time Olympic Champion, who was elected in April the head of the Russian Hockey Federation, said many foreign players turned out for Russian clubs but could not play for Russia as they already played for own national teams. "I would like to say that we are only considering new regulations [for 2006-2007 Russian championship], discussing our proposals and plans, arguing the urgent need to train Russian goaltenders and players," Tretyak said. Tretyak is holding a session Friday with heads of Russian hockey clubs.
update 12:35pm, via Reuters Canada,
Russia's ice hockey chiefs approved on Friday a transfer agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL), ending a long confrontation with their North American counterparts. Russian Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretyak said his country would soon sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the NHL. "With this agreement we can say we're back as full members of the international hockey community. Common sense has finally prevailed," the former goaltender told a news conference. Russia had been the only major hockey power not to sign the deal, which was approved by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) last year, calling it unfair.

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“Sound” Advice

The column by Al is really about the Oiler fans, but first a shot at Carolina... from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The way things are going, Peter Karmanos, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, is going to have to place a call to his hard-line buddy, Lou Lamoriello, in New Jersey. "Hey Lou! Could you give me a few tips on how to stage a Stanley Cup parade in a parking lot?" Like the Devils, the Hurricanes are a team without a town.
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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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