Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Far Away Fan

from Noticias.info,

There isn't much access to hockey in Australia, especially now that OLN is doing the coverage of the games. Actually, unless you have the Internet, there's no access to the NHL at all! There's no television or cable coverage available at all -- either at home or in bars in town. There's no radio coverage, no updates on sports shows or anything. So when it was confirmed online that Mike Modano re-signed with the Dallas Stars in August to play out his career with the only team he'd ever played for in the NHL -- and the only team I'd ever loved -- my husband and I decided it was time to fulfill my thirteen-year-old dream. To watch Mike Modano play for the Dallas Stars in person. Seemingly impossible, we saved up the $8,000 the trip cost us, and flew from Brisbane, to Dallas. Over 11,000 miles -- 18 hours in the air, but 37 hours of travel time, including layovers in Sydney and Los Angeles -- we finally landed in Dallas on March 16 at 10pm.
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Leafs Need Elias

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Five summers ago, the Maple Leafs went hunting for a skilled offensive player and stole Alexander Mogilny away from the New Jersey Devils. Well, the time has come to raid the Devils again. The Leafs, as has been well documented, have money to burn this summer, about $20 million worth, and many roster holes to patch. They could, in theory, shop till they drop. But even a cursory market analysis suggests they won't be able to fill all their needs through unrestricted free agency. They need to target their efforts and if they are able to target and land Devils winger Patrik Elias, they will have done very well.
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OLN Struggling

OLN is struggling, averaging a 0.19 rating (117,857 households) thru 52 games. Compared to the 2003-04 season, NHL games on ESPN had a 0.47 rating (416,385 HHs), while games on ESPN2 got a 0.24 rating (208,576 HHs). The NHL is also trying to get more celebrities at games by passing out cards to celebs that get them access to playoff action (my card has yet to arive).

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Super Hero Jersey Needs Alterations

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

The NHL is pushing back the launch of sleeker new jerseys for at least a year, following complaints from the NHLPA that players did not have enough input in the new designs. The league and Reebok were set to roll out new form-fitting jerseys next season that would radically change the look of players and the sport, showing off players’ physiques more and offering some new performance elements. But the NHLPA complained that the union and players were not involved enough in the development process and that offseason testing is needed. “This is a fundamental change for us,” said Ken Kim, the NHLPA’s senior director of business. “We want to make sure it’s right, and that everyone feels like they were a part of the change.” The new jerseys were developed over the last several years by Reebok subsidiary The Hockey Co., and have sometimes been called “Super Hero” jerseys because of the way they will hug players’ bodies. Some league and team officials whisper that Saskin and the NHLPA are looking to put up obstacles for the league, to prove to players that the union leadership is not under the league’s control. “We are committed to offering new jerseys for ’07-’08,” he said, “But our jerseys are very popular. We want to try to stay ahead of the curve, but our consumers and fans aren’t telling us anything is broken.”

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O’Neill Thinking About Retirement

from Metro Toronto,

A modest hot streak after a mostly miserable season will not deter Maple Leafs winger Jeff O’Neill from considering his future in hockey after this season ends. At the age of 30, O’Neill is still considering retiring and while last summer’s death of his brother, Don, is a major reason for his introspection, the prospect of facing another year of air travel is just as big a factor. O’Neill’s severe fear of flying has been known in the NHL for many years and his brother’s death has made things worse for him in that area.
continued

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The NHL- Actually It Is Pretty Good

from the Northwest Herald,

That partially explains why a lot of sports fans in Greater Chicago have next to no awareness of something that might be worth their while during the next few weeks. The Stanley Cup playoffs. Yes, those Stanley Cup playoffs, brought to you by that NHL. The Blackhawks remain such an afterthought that many people in these parts probably have not taken time to check out the new NHL. It is not too bad. Actually, it is pretty good.
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The Jimmy D. Awards- Not That Jimmy D.

A little change of pace today, I normally don't mention fantasy hockey, but the article is a good synopsis of the season too. from the Chronicle Herald,

Jimmy preaches working hard and beating your competition to the punch as keys to fantasy sports success. He is going to practise what he preaches this week, in giving his year-end fantasy hockey awards a week before the season ends, beating his pundit competitors to the punch. Bomb of the Year Tie: Sergei Fedorov / Todd Bertuzzi — Fedorov has eight goals in 62 games. His point total places him behind loco Sean Avery, Brian Willsie and Chris Gratton and just ahead of fantasy starlets Ben Clymer and Craig Rivet. Bertuzzi chugged down a whopping minus while not even keeping a point-per-game pace. He keeps promising a return to greatness, but Jimmy is not holding his breath.
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The Oilers Need To Win

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

There are five million reasons why the Oilers need to make the playoffs. Those are just the dollars. "I'd say making the first round of the playoffs would be worth about $5 million,'' said Oilers' CEO Pat LaForge. "It's not just the ticket money. It turns over so much more for you. Two or three home games is one thing. But it would mean about another million in season tickets. And it all brings in more jersey sales, concession money, parking ... "It can't be less than $5 million.''
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Curtis Brown Coping With Tragedy

from the Chicago Tribune,

Curtis Brown has injured his knee, nearly had his nose severed and may have been knocked out for the rest of the season after suffering a concussion while colliding with a teammate. But Brown would gladly suffer those physical injuries in order to avoid the tragedy he and his wife, Ami, suffered in September when their daughter Aubri died of sudden infant death syndrome. Brown said he relied on his faith and support from friends and members of the Hawks' organization during his ordeal. "I can't say enough about the people that helped us through a tough situation," he said. "You do the best that you can and control the things you can control--that's working hard and showing up with a right attitude. At the end of the day, sometimes things just don't go your way."
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Booing Fedorov

The booing of Sergei still happens whenever he visits the Joe. Recently Columbus forward Jason Chimera called the Wings fans classless because of their booing. from the Columbus Dispatch,

Detroit Red Wings fans go out of their way to boo Sergei Fedorov. On Saturday night, they booed from the upper deck of Nationwide Arena. "I have no idea what I did to deserve (persistent booing)," Fedorov said. "I’ve moved on. I hope they do, too." The way things are going, there will be a Marty Lapointe Night before Fedorov sees his career highlights on the Jumbotron in Joe Louis Arena.
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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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