Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Build It & They Will Play

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

We build a backyard rink.
After the temps hit 70 earlier this month, winter came back to Connecticut last week. An arctic blast of Canadian air was forecast by Todd, the local weatherman (it’s a scientific fact that 65 percent of all weathermen are named either Todd or Jim Cantore).
The low temperature was expected to hit single digits for two successive nights. That was my cue.
I had planned on storing the giant white liner I purchased from nicerink.com and using it next year, but this sudden blast changed everything. Time to move. You can’t be a hockey parent and be lazy. The two don’t mesh. It’s perpetual and maddening…


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Imperfectly Clear

from Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News,

It may never be entirely clear why ice hockey doesn’t work, not in the way that other sports do, why it is stuck on the same TV channel as Babe Winkelman and why its All-Star Game reveals its defects instead of showing its charm.
But that is how it is and that is how it has always been and nothing can be done about it.
Hockey remains a local story and never the biggest one, and places where it does matter most moan about places where it does not; that is, Canada sighs and Colorado snoozes.


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AHL Will Follow NHL’s Cutting EDGE

from the Democrat & Chronicle:

A week after Reebok introduced their new-fangled, sleek-looking hockey jerseys to the NHL last week, the American Hockey League announced today that their players will wear the same uniform next season.
Along with a more aerodynamic look, the jersey also absorbs much less water, a feature players like.
“We felt if the NHL was going in the direction next season, we should share that look from the outset,” AHL president Dave Andrews said at his annual state-of-the-league session with the media as the All-Star Classic.



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Recchi- 1st Star Talks

Mark Recchi participated in a tele-conference today.

Q. Good. Thanks for taking the time. Mark, I know we’ll all want to talk about the Penguins and how well they’re doing this year. But I’m looking here at 1313 points in 1304 games. You’re one of the few NHL players who, over a long career, have produced at better than a point a game. Can you talk about at age 39 your satisfaction with a career that includes a couple of Stanley Cups and a record of steady production?
MARK RECCHI: Yes, it’s been pretty awesome. And I have to thank Dave for telling everybody my age. I was trying to hide that. It’s obviously been great. Winning in ‘91 and getting an opportunity with Carolina last year to win. And that’s what keeps me going. I look at our team right now and I don’t see—I see a contender in the not too far distance here. That’s what I play for. Ultimately that’s what we all play for. You get a taste of it and you want to keep going and. I’d like to take another run at it again.

Q. Mark, congratulations on 500 goals.
MARK RECCHI: Thank you.

Continue Reading »

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Still The Same

from the CP via CBC,

Peter Forsberg’s future with the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t become any clearer Monday despite a meeting with GM Paul Holmgren.
With trade rumours swirling around the veteran star centre, Forsberg and Holmgren agreed the only thing that matters right now is figuring out the player’s foot/skate problems which have plagued him all season long.
“We said that we have to figure out the foot before we talk about anything else,” Forsberg told reporters after the meeting. “And that’s what we’re going to focus on.”


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Brand Strength & More

from Ad Age,

After a lockout canceled its entire 2004-2005 season, Gary Bettman’s NHL returned last year to record attendance and record revenue. The commissioner credits the strength of the brand, and cites efforts to reconnect with the league’s tech-savvy fans via new media such as NHL.com, where traffic is up 100% over last year.
Ad Age: Now that we’re a year removed from the canceled season, can you talk about how you kept everybody onboard? You didn’t lose a single sponsor.
Mr. Bettman: Last season was about relaunching our game under extraordinary circumstances. There are few, if any, businesses—not just professional sports—that could endure not operating for a year and then come back to record attendance and record revenue. It’s testament to our great fans and the strength of the brand. We had to use all of our assets to re-engage our fans.


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Pens Fathers Take A Trip

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Nearly all the fathers of the players and some staff members accompanied the team for its recent two-game roadtrip to Dallas and Phoenix in the organization’s first fathers trip.
The result – two crucial wins and some unforgettable memories.
“It was so nice of the Penguins to have it,” said Dan Whitney, the father of Ryan Whitney. “It was so much fun just getting to meet some of the other fathers. It was neat putting a face with a name.”

read on

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Calgary Gets Conroy

via the LA Kings,

The Los Angeles Kings have traded center Craig Conroy to the Calgary Flames in exchange for center Jamie Lundmark, a fourth-round draft choice in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round draft choice in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today

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A Bad 14 Year Run

from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports,

The Bettman era has been an unmitigated disaster for the league in virtually every possible way, one outrageously terrible initiative after another.
I could write a book about Bettman’s insulting and imbecilic moves through the years (Chapter 9, “The Glowing Puck”) but the main problem has always been the same. He has shown no respect for the game, for its history, for its fans, for its unique qualities.
Bettman might consider himself an astute sports marketer, but in practice he is arguably the worst of all-time. He has never figured out how to change his marketing plans to fit the product of hockey. Instead he changed the product to fit his marketing plans.
The league is now overexpanded and overpriced, misplaced and misdirected. It is less exciting, less interesting, less traditional and more difficult to follow for the non-obsessive fan.


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Don’t Show Your Hand

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...Just don’t expect that whatever they decide, they necessarily share that information with the hockey public at large. What if, for example, the Flyers convince Forsberg that his greatest contribution to the long-term future of the organization is to go to a contender for the final six weeks of the season and playoffs and then re-sign with Philadelphia when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1? That way, Forsberg can do something for the Flyers today (help them land a prospect and/or draft choices) and then something for tomorrow (coming right back to the City Of Brotherly Love to prove this year was an aberration and they really aren’t as bad as their record in the overall standings indicates).

The Flyers should not be saying anything on the status of Forsberg, the less known the better- for the Flyers.

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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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