Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Full Disclosure

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

It's time for full disclosure. And that doesn't mean -- well, at least not necessarily -- all National Hockey League owners releasing their tax returns, providing a list of everything else they own, and detailing what they knew about Enron and when they knew it. Get all the salary-cap figures in the open. Let everyone easily play along at home, screaming at general managers about cap numbers as if we're watching a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune" trying to buy a "U" when the puzzle shows:

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St. Louis Blues: Marketing For Dummies

Hello KK Readers! My name is Alanah Downie and a few of you may know me from Vancouver Canucks Op Ed. Paul has graciously invited me to post here along with a couple other hockey bloggers. However, it is my understanding that I am the ONLY west coast blogger in the house, so consider me your source of all that is good and pure in the world of Kukla's Korner. And please feel free to comment or email me at vancouvercanucksoped (at) gmail.com for any reason. Thanks! ______________________ I've been thinking about writing this for a while, but then got busy with things and forgot temporarily. But today I got a new reminder, via this video. If you can, watch this first (38 secs) then I'll explain more. See the "average Blues fan" picking up autographs:

Now, this little piece (and more) of so-called Average Joe Fan footage was produced by The Blue Revolution, which is a public relations propaganda(?) site created by the St. Louis Blues in June. Which would be fine, except that it makes every effort to appear to be a fan-created blog. I first found out about this website when reading Sidearm Delivery a few weeks ago, and was pretty shocked that any NHL team would do something this foolish. The NHL itself has shown signs of trying to create better relations with their fans in the past year, but then a team like the St. Louis Blues officially sanctions nonesense like this? Let me be clear: it's cool that the Blues want to build an interactive site for their fans, but it's NOT cool that they're dressing it up as a fan-run blog. The perspectives on that site filter through their own head office, and a page like "The Fanifesto" is highly misleading, since the Blues themselves are creating and editing this so-called 'fans rights' (or whatever) page. And furthermore, it is intentionally misleading. An example of this "blogger's" words are: "I'm just one Blues fan and the idea of The Blue Revolution is to include all fans." Uh huh. Right. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch certainly refuted that when they pointed out this comment by the president of the advertising agency that created the site:
"The intention was to make the site look like fans did it. If you come out initially and say this is the Blues' Web site, it would become very commercial."
The truth is, it IS commercial, and an NHL team agreeing to create something deliberately misleading is extremely bad form. It is staged publicity, and Blues fans deserve better. Hockey fans are very internet smart (just consider how much fan-created hockey media there is) and St. Louis seems to be treating them like children. If they wanted to get in on the grass roots with Blues' fans, why not work with the Blues fan websites out there? They've got a huge built-in fan base right under their own noses, but it seems like they don't want to interact with those fans at all. Perhaps because it's much easier to manipulate them at The Blue Revolution than it is to answer to them directly. Clearly they wanted to create a grassroot viral marketing type thing with this site, so I'm just giving them what they asked for. And it looks sleazy from where I'm sitting, St. Louis. Use your head.

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A Conversation With Ken Holland

How's your summer vacation been, Kenny? No, really...I want to know. Have you found this relaxing, stimulating, stressful, challenging, emotionally destructive? Because, I'm no GM...just a Sailor who likes hockey. But, man; this summer's frigging killing me. I have to assume, Ken, that you're feeling the heat. I'm looking at the issues you've had to deal with and I can tell you I would have been in the fetal position around mid-June. Your team got punched in the face by the 8 seed, after which your starting goalie said he just may go ahead and string himself up. You told him to leave and we agreed with you. And your Captain? Well, The Captain was going to retire any day. But then he didn't. Back to that in a minute. You made some comments early on Kenny. You told us there were changes on the horizon..."a seven skater turnover", "more grit", "improving the blueline." And a new frigging goalie, Ken. You promised us a new goalie. You said it. We believed you. And then they started disappearing. Gerber...gone. We wanted him, Ken. Roloson...stayed in Edmonton. That's ok. A few of us weren't sold on him anyway, despite the repeated kidney punches he gave us in April. Names started popping up Ken...Giguere, Nabakov, Brysgalov, Biron. We thought any of them would do. We weren't greedy. No we weren't...stop interrupting. But the summer drug on Ken, your summer, the summer of Ken. The summer where you would prove to the world that you aren't just a rich kid with money to throw around. Then the defensemen started to leave. McKee...ours. Mitchell...ours. Jovo and Blake...pretty expensive, but we certainly would have welcomed them. Heck, Witt?...ours. We wanted all of them Ken. But, we didn't get any and we started to get sad. We wondered about you Ken. I'll admit it. Then we started hearing about a young man in Florida that you were trying to acquire. We don't know, Ken. We have no idea if that was true, if you were trying to bring us our Franchise Goalie. But, yeah...we got our hopes up. We started telling you to trade little Pavel, to hold on to Kronwall, to trade Robert and his flowing hair. Anything to bring us our Franchise Goalie. But then...he was gone, too. And, Ken...I'll admit it. We started to panic. We threw things and stomped our feet. We demanded answers Ken. We wanted you to tell us just how you were going to spend some cash, and spend it soon, but not too much because of the cap, just enough to get us back to our rightful place in the Finals. Then the Captain left. Man, right or wrong Ken, that sucked. Then Shanny left. Ken? Ken? Shanny and the Captain both left Hockeytown. No Franchise Goalie, no Stevie Y, no Irish Jig. It made us forget that you re-signed our boy Nick to a bargain deal...well, a bargain by your standards. Insane, obscene money to us. But a bargain for you. Then a picture showed up on the internet Ken. We had to minimize it in case the kids walked by. It was horrific...you and Eddie Belfour, together, in the basement of the Joe...walking. We revolted Ken. We lost it. And, well...we feel silly. We know courting Edward was a ploy on your part. We know now you would never bring that sociopath into our quiet, happy homes. But we still didn't have a goalie and that made us nervous. Yes, you signed our little pal Ozzie. We smiled and said "good for him." But, he's not the guy you promised us Ken. You told us in May that we'd have a goalie through trade. Then you said through free agency. Then they were all gone. In July you got us some grit. And you got him cheap. We like the Markov signing Ken. We look forward to watching him hurt bad men. But he can't hipcheck pucks out of the net, Ken. We wanted that goalie. And then you turned up the heat Ken. On the day the Tigers were certainly going to deal for their own Franchise Player, you jumped back in time and came back with a brittle legend. Your boy across the way, Double D, didn't get his guy Alfonso, but you woke us up with Dominik. Now some of us are confused. We don't know what to think or say. One minute we're happy, the next we're not. Can he stay healthy Ken? Is he going to disrupt that happy Wings lockerroom, the same room that's been home to first-round losers and underachievers? It's been a long summer Ken. Your summer. The Summer of Ken. How about closing it out by spending a bit more of that 4.2 you have left over on a power forward? That'd be cool. I know there's really none out there, but hey...make it happen.

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KK Update

A new chapter begins on KK today. I have added a few bloggers, who will post at their own pace. They will be updating you on specific teams as well as all things hockey. Their opinions are their own, they of course will continue to blog at their "home" site and I invite you to welcome them to KK. As always, you can .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or pm me with any questions or comments. The first blogger to appear is Bill..you know him but maybe by another name.

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Car Hockey

Did you know they play car ice hockey in Great Britian Norway? image

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Who Is Left

from Spector's blog at Fox Sports,

Toronto Globe and Mail reporter James Mirtle recently posted a roster on his blog consisting of the remaining available unrestricted free agents, which he jokingly calls, "The Team of the Unwanted." Mirtle does point out that those players could become more attractive to teams with limited cap space still seeking to bolster their rosters with veteran help before the start of the 2006-07 season. Peter Bondra: Scored 21 goals in 60 games with the Atlanta Thrashers last season but missed considerable time to a groin injury. There's some talk the 38-year-old winger might retire but it's possible a team seeking offensive depth might offer up a one-year contract.
read on for the rest...

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NHL May Stream Into Canada

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

The National Hockey League is keenly interested in bringing live broadband streaming of game telecasts into the Canadian market for the coming season. "It's an opportunity we're looking at seriously," said Doug Perlman, the league's senior vice-president of television and media ventures. Perlman said the league would need to clear the carriage of Internet game broadcasts with national and regional television rights holders as well as the distributors of the NHL Centre Ice pay-per-view package. "You have to be mindful and respectful of our relationship with our partners," he said. "But against that backdrop, we're looking at how we can provide a streaming product that makes sense."

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Daly Responds To The Russians

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Daly confirmed yesterday that they were moving ahead without Russia on board with the other European countries that signed the transfer agreement last summer. "There is no longer a possibility of an agreement this year that will involve the Russian Federation joining our existing player transfer agreement," Daly said. But, Daly added, that does not necessarily mean that Russian players cannot come to the NHL. "If the player can secure his own release, either pursuant to the terms of his existing Russian contract or pursuant to applicable Russian law, NHL clubs will be free to sign such player, and the resulting NHL contract will be registered and approved as valid for play in the NHL," Daly said.
read on...Malkin will start talks with Pens... added 7:13am, from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators are quickly losing hope of having Alexei Kaigorodov in the lineup this season. However, stalled player transfer negotiations between the Russian Hockey Federation and the NHL means it's starting to look like Kaigorodov -- Ottawa's second-round pick in 2002 -- will have to remain in his homeland for at least one more year.

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KK- Growth Continues

The July '06 stats are in and a nice, steady growth continues. Your patronage is very much appreciated and with the addition of the KKF, it should be a great year! To see previous month statistics, start here. image

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Russia Rejects IIHF Agreement

from the RIA,

Russia will not join the IIHF-NHL hockey agreement that regulates transfers between European clubs and the American league, the head of the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) said Wednesday. "At the talks with the IIHF [International Ice Hockey Federation] and the NHL [National Hockey League]... we failed to take into full account the interests of Russian clubs, which have players that interest the NHL," Vladislav Tretyak, who was elected the head of the RHF in April, said.
continued update 3:46pm, from Reuters,
Russia's Sports Minister and former hockey great Vyacheslav Fetisov said on Wednesday he would only approve a 'fair deal'. Asked if he wanted Russia to join the agreement with the NHL, the former captain of the Soviet national team said: "Yes, only if it's a fair deal, but I'm opposed to the one that they (NHL) are forcing us to comply with at this time."

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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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