Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bad Ratings Ahead

from the Sports Network,

Now, don't get me wrong. The influx of fresh contenders is something that the league needs. It means there is a very good chance we will have a brand new Stanley Cup champion for the second straight season. No more dominance by Jersey, Detroit or Colorado. The people in Orange County or Raleigh deserve to celebrate just as much as the folks in Motown or Denver. That's my opinion, but I doubt I'm in the majority. Some hardcore hockey fans might agree, but it's the grand scope that concerns me here. The NHL came back from the lockout trying to push its way past the die-hards and reach those of the casual realm. A final four packed with teams that no one really cares about is a disaster in terms of achieving that goal. It's going to be hard for NBC and OLN to post any kind of respectable ratings without legitimate starpower.
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Flat Ratings Again

Overnight ratings for the Hurricanes/Devils game from Saturday on NBC comes in at 1.0 rating and a 3 share. But the NHL did beat out the Mavericks Surf contest and the American LeMans Lone Star Grand Prix.

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U.S HHOF Closes

from the AP via ESPN,

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, a shrine for stars from all levels of American hockey and a mainstay in this Iron Range town for three decades, has closed its doors. Officials have said the hall could be moved to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul or the Mall of America in Bloomington, though no decision has been made. The hall's closure was announced Friday. "I think it's really sad," said Eveleth resident Laurie Cundy, whose sons, Michael and Brodie, played hockey for Eveleth High School. "I think Minneapolis-St. Paul has always wanted it, and it belongs here. This is the heart of hockey."
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Check It Out

from the Star Tribune,

Mark Stephan started purchasing four club seats to the Wild before the 2002-03 season. In June 2003, he renewed the tickets at $80 apiece per game. He also committed to purchasing the tickets for three years, with a guarantee the price of tickets would not be raised in that time. Stephan was puzzled and then some when he received his ticket renewal order last month and it called for an increase to $85 per ticket. His financial advice to himself was to send an e-mail to the Wild sales people handling his account, to remind them that he had been given the no-increase guarantee. ...It was at this point when Stephan received notice that it was a guarantee for three years, not three seasons. Here's a business that didn't offer its product in 2004-05 -- did not pay its talent and laid off much of its workforce -- but it figured its ticket customers should count it as a contract year for them?
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Goulet A Favorite For Avs GM

from the Denver Post,

In the first nine seasons the Avalanche played in Denver, Michel Goulet wore various hats. He was a director of player personnel, a director of player development and, for the first time this past season, the special assistant to the president. That president was, and is still is, Pierre Lacroix. On Friday, Lacroix gave up his other title, as Avalanche general manager. Goulet, the Hall of Fame forward whose No. 16 remains retired in the rafters of Le Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City after a great career with the Quebec Nordiques, appears to be a favorite to replace Lacroix as the general manager. Former Avs goalie Patrick Roy told Denver Post sports columnist Mark Kiszla on Saturday he believes Goulet will be named to succeed Lacroix.
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Break It Up

We have a problem on the ice. Nice work by Greg Hartnell. image

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A Recommendation

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What About Hasek

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

We're pretty sure that none of the plaques in the Hockey Hall of Fame contain the word "malingerer." And we're not suggesting that when Dominik Hasek goes into the Hall of Fame, his plaque will be the first. But during a playoff season that recently featured the inspiring sight of Ryan Smyth returning to set up the winner in triple overtime for the Edmonton Oilers after having his face destroyed by a puck, Hasek's inability to answer the bell as his team careens toward elimination has hardly been inspiring.
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Did You Notice

from the Vancouver Province,

-There was a time when NHL coaches would rather dress lepers than rookies during the playoffs, but you only have to check the rosters of the five teams still alive to understand the direction the new NHL is headed. -This postseason has again demonstrated it is difficult to win when the core of your team is predominantly European. Detroit and its seven Swedes are gone. The Rangers and all their Czechs are gone. So are the Canadiens and their United Nations. The Canucks, you may have noticed, didn't make the playoffs in the first place. Conversely, look at the teams that are still going. Anaheim's best player is Scott Niedermayer. The Oilers are led by Chris Pronger and Ryan Smyth. San Jose has Thornton, Cheechoo and Marleau. Buffalo's best players are Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and, when he's not concussed, Tim Connolly. We're not channeling our inner Don Cherry, but it's a reality that can't be ignored.
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Sabres Did Their Homework

from the Toronto Star,

"There are people who are not here for good reasons, but I think anyone who is not here is missing a great opportunity." -Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier on the absence of many of his colleagues at last June's NHL research and development camp. Last summer, when the NHL set out to reinvent itself and finally rid the game of the insidious obstruction that had slowed it to a crawl, Darcy Regier did not take his eyes off the action for a second over three days.
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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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