Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Pens = Nordiques

from Rich Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,

A downtrodden hockey team finishes last in its division for several seasons, misses the playoffs and begins to build a powerhouse with young talent fetched with high draft picks.
Just when it appears the team is ready to make a run at a championship, the franchise is sold and moved to another city.
Sound familiar?
It happened with the Quebec Nordiques, who moved to Colorado in 1995 and won two Stanley Cups as the Avalanche, and the Pittsburgh Penguins could be on the same path.

read on

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Gelinas Dreams Of A Cup

from the Miami Herald,

“In Marty’s case, maybe we will get some calls, I’m not sure, but right now I’m still focusing on getting our team in the playoffs.”
Gelinas has never had to deal with trade talks during an NHL stretch run because he usually has been with a contending team. Yet, a change of scenery would not be the worst thing to happen to him.
“[Being a possible part of trade talks] is a first for me,’’ said Gelinas, who holds the NHL record with three series-winning overtime goals. “I’m 36 years old and I still dream to win a Cup….”

more on the Panthers inlcuding Bertuzze not ready yet…

added 10:27am, A little note from Bob McKenzie at TSN,

But after joining the team on the road and practicing hard with teammates, sources say Bertuzzi has discovered he is perhaps not quite as ready as he thought he would be. The target of about a week from now seems extremely doubtful.
It is not considered a major setback, but could be enough to affect teams that were considering Bertuzzi as a potential stretch-drive pickup.

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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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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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