Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Center Stage Tonight

from the Toronto Sun,

Sidney Crosby is even more motivated than usual, if that’s possible.
“It’s a big game,” Crosby said of the Leafs-Pittsburgh Penguins tilt at the Air Canada Centre tonight. “It’s centre stage. Toronto is a big hockey town. It is Hockey Night in Canada so this is a big stage for us and I think everyone gets excited, not just us.
“(The Leafs) are going to be pumped up, too. They played pretty well against Nashville and came up short, but we are going to expect a desperate hockey team.”


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Duck Talk

from the OC Register,

Niedermayer returned to the ice this week after missing three games because of a stress fracture in his right foot, but he does not look fully recovered.
He didn’t seem to have his usual explosive speed chasing the puck or getting back on defense Wednesday night against the Sharks, and he was a minus-2 while logging 26:03 of ice time.

more on the Ducks plus… you guessed it, Forsberg talk…

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Fill Those Seats Nashville

from the Tennessean,

If the Nashville Predators don’t boost paid attendance by one-fourth for the rest of the NHL season, owner Craig Leipold will be able to ask for about $2 million in help from the city and lay groundwork for a possible departure.
Under the team’s 30-year lease, average paid attendance has to reach 14,000 a game for this year or Leipold can declare next year his pivotal “cure” season — a designation that among other things would let the club ask Metro government to buy thousands of tickets to prop up sales with taxpayer money.
It also would set the stage for the Predators to consider moving to another city at the end of next season, although they would have to pay an $18 million exit fee.


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A Different Game

from the Columbus Dispatch,

“I’ve seen everything over in Europe,” Norrena said yesterday. “I’ve been able to win in two different countries. Basically, this was a whole new challenge. I knew in August when I showed up what was more or less going to happen.”
He knew he was going to be faced with a different game.
“The way defense is played here is a little different — the way teams collapse on the goalie,” he said. “There are a lot of shots from the points, a lot of traffic. There are a lot of small details to work out. Things happen quickly when you turn over the puck. A lot can happen in five seconds.”

read on

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Thanks Canada

from the Toronto Star,

Canadian fans truly are the backbone of the NHL.
The six Canadian teams, representing 20 per cent of the 30-team league, account for 33.3 per cent of all NHL revenues.
That means Canadian team fans cough up an estimated $733 million (all figures U.S.) of the league’s $2.2 billion revenue.


added 8:34am, from the National Post via Canada.com,

The National Hockey League has always played fast and loose with the fans and media over the word “attendance.” And while under the league’s revenue- based salary-cap system, it does not behoove the NHL to spin gate receipts, the latest numbers do not paint a positive picture.


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The Instigator

from the Edmonton Sun,

He understands it. It’s his job to make other players want to hurt him. And he doesn’t blame them for trying. In fact, if nobody tried hurting Jarkko Ruutu, or Matt Cooke, or any of the other shift disturbers who get paid to create havoc in the NHL, they’d be sitting in the press box.
“You have more bumps and bruises when you play this role,” admits Ruutu, a Finnish troublemaker with the Pittsburgh Penguins.


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NHL Online Presence

From Craig Custance at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The NHL has to be different. With a national television deal on a growing, but basically unrecognized network (Versus), the league is looking beyond television to promote the game.
Plus, commissioner Gary Bettman recently said that surveys suggest hockey fans are more tech-savvy than any other sports fans.
So the NHL is ramping up its efforts on the Internet. The league is determined to lead the way in the next wave on media.

(Includes comments on hockey blogs and online hockey video.  Plus a mention of Kukla’s Korner, which is always appreciated.)

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from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

According to current NHL statistics, there are 107 players who have appeared in at least one game this season without scoring. Some of those players were called up from the minors, barely played and were sent back down. Some played in a number of games then got hurt (i.e. Darren McCarty of the Calgary Flames, who has zero points in 31 games and is not likely to play again this season because of a hip injury.)
But then there are those like Cam Janssen of the New Jersey Devils who can’t buy a point. Jansen has nothing in 29 games this season and had more of the same last season when he played in 47 games. If you do math, Janssen’s point-scoring drought has now reached 76 games, which begs the question: what will Janssen score first — an NHL goal or an NHL pension?


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U.S. Hockey HOF Needs Help

from Pat Borzi of the New York Times,

Attracting people to the Hall has been difficult. The three-story white building is visible and accessible from State Road 53, a four-lane highway leading to northern lakes, rivers and campgrounds. Hubbard said the road was much busier in the summer than in the winter, making the Hall a seasonal attraction.
Some critics of the Hall in Eveleth blame poor marketing for its problems.
“I don’t think they really exploited it,” said Mary Baratta, who owns Mary’s Morsels, a popular coffee shop not far from the Hall. “They thought they’d hang some rusty skates, open the doors and people would come. You have to market yourself.”

read on

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Blackhawks- Potential Sellers

from the Daily Herald,

Rumors persist that the Montreal Canadiens have some interest in Hawks defenseman Adrian Aucoin and center Bryan Smolinski. Aucoin has played three solid games since his return from a groin injury.
There could be teams lining up before the deadline for a crack at the versatile Smolinski, who had another strong game in Vancouver when he played 23 minutes, was plus-3 and won 11 of 18 faceoffs in the Hawks’ 3-0 win.
Meanwhile, according to an NHL source, the Red Wings have shown an interest in Martin Lapointe as they look to add depth at forward for a run at the Stanley Cup.

more talk...

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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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