Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Nashville Captain Not Returning

from the Daily News,

Greg Johnson accomplished more as a member of the Nashville Predators than he ever dreamed possible. Now he wants to see what other possibilities exist for him, which is why the team captain since the start of the 2002-03 season is not particularly disappointed over the fact that he will not return to the Predators this fall. Following several conversations with general manager David Poile, the most recent on Wednesday, the team and its all-time leader in games played have decided it is time to part ways.
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OLN Optimistic

from the Courier-Post,

OLN has a lot at stake, after paying the league $135 million for two years worth of rights. And so does the NHL, after finding an enthusiastic cable partner when ESPN declined its $60 million option prior to last season. So can the relationship work? "We're optimistic it will come and not soon enough," OLN president Gavin Harvey said, when asked a time frame for improved ratings. "We are putting tremendous amount of resources into it. What you've seen this season is the sport is dynamic and as hot as it's been. That's one of the most important things and now we just have to do our part."
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Game 3 Could Be A Ratings Disaster

from USA TODAY,

History might be in the making: NBC's Game 3 of the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night just might produce the lowest broadcast network prime-time rating ever. Reasons include: the series having a Canadian team — Edmonton — and our neighbors to the north aren't counted in U.S. ratings; the other team — Raleigh, N.C.-based Carolina — is in a midsized Southern city; neither team is a big brand name; and Saturday is TV's least-watched night.
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The Deep Hole

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This they know only too well: The hole the Edmonton Oilers dug for themselves the past two games is deep, and it can't get much deeper. If they want to make a series of this Stanley Cup final against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Oilers need to win Saturday's third game. Otherwise, they can book the tee times. So really, the best-of-seven is down to one game and collectively, the Oilers adopted the “glass-is-half-full” approach in assessing their chances of becoming only the second team in history to rebound from a 2-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup final.
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Different Draft Picture

from USA TODAY,

This year's draft primer must, of necessity, begin a bit differently than our assessments from previous years. And as you may be aware, the chief difference involves the drafting of European players. With the new draft rules in place under the CBA that force NHL clubs to sign their drafted Euros within two years, and still no transfer agreement in place with the Russian Federation, it is expected that there will be a chilling effect at the draft tables. The question is, how deep a freeze is Europe heading into? The knowledge that not many players from Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Germany or Russia are ready to come over and play in North America within two years has NHL executives talking openly about staying away from picking Euros.
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The Survey Says

Check out the recent results from a survey the NHL sent out to NHL Fans. Matt at On the Wings has the results.

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Selling Like Hotcakes

from the AP via News14,

Before the Hurricanes play Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, new and old fans are rushing to get red and white merchandise, and vendors are rushing to cash in. They are popping up in front of gas stations and on busy intersections all over the Triangle. “(I would go to those popup stores) as long as they had Ward and Brind’Amour stuff. The NHL is great, but I care about the Canes,” added another fan, Marissa Farrell. You won't get in trouble for buying unlicensed merchandise but vendors will. As for the popup shops, East Coast Concessions said if the Canes win the Stanley Cup, you can expect to see around 40 more tents selling merchandise in the Triangle.
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Stay On OLN

from Slate,

For too long, the NHL has tried to woo the disinterested masses. That needs to stop. Bettman's decision to jump from ESPN to OLN is a good first step. By switching from the world's No. 1 sports network to an obscure cable channel, the NHL has lowered expectations. In America, hockey will always be the ugly stepsister when it's sitting alongside football, baseball, and basketball. But put the NHL on a channel that's more commonly associated with hunting, fishing, and competitive barbecuing, and it actually stands out.
read on...sometimes with a story from Slate, you have to click on an ad to continue reading, but this one wasn't like that, so it may work for you too...

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John Davidson On Goalies

Davidson was on WXYT in Detroit, making the talk circuit rounds, and stated he has heard that Toronto is interested in Manny Legace. Of course, after the conversation, Art Regner, self appointed Wings expert, stated that too. But of course he never mentioned that in the last month. J.D. said the Wings may be interested in Martin Gerber. Davidson had high praise for him, almost like he would go after him if he were involved with a team. He said Gerber had a bad virus and lost about 12 pounds right before the playoffs and lost all of his strength. He was also asked about Yzerman. Regner again said "J.D., you once had to make this type of decision, when age starts creaping up." Davidson said no, I had to retire at 29 due to knee and back injuries. Good job Art. J.D. went on to say Yzerman will come to the right decision. Leave it at that. added 4:20pm, A note on Leafs goaltending from the CP via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up the one-year club option on goalie Mikael Tellqvist's contract on Thursday. The 26-year-old Tellqvist played in 25 games for the Maple Leafs last season and posted a record of 10-11-2 with a 3.13 goals-against average. He registered career-highs in games played, wins and shutouts (two). Tellqvist and J.S. Aubin are both under contract for next season and will probably be the team's two goalies if it doesn't sign any free agents.

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The New Hockey Operations Staff

from the NY Islanders,

At a press conference this afternoon at the Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Islanders owner Charles Wang introduced the team's new Hockey Operations staff. Neil Smith, a 1974 Islanders draft pick, the owner of a 1981-82 Stanley Cup ring from his days as an Islanders scout and the architect of the Rangers' 1993-94 Stanley Cup championship team, has been named the fourth general manager in Islanders history. Ted Nolan, the head coach of the 2006 Memorial Cup Finalist Moncton Wildcats, the 1996-97 NHL Coach of the Year while with the Buffalo Sabres and the head coach of the 1993 Memorial Cup champion Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, is the Islanders' new head coach. In addition, Islanders Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, who played for Nolan in Buffalo and Smith as a member of the Rangers, has been named Senior Advisor to the Owner.
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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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