Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Pittsburgh Not Moving To Canada

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

There is a pervasive theory out there that if the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t get their new arena they might move to southern Ontario. It’s a nice fantasy. Here’s the reality. It is not, as in definitely not, going to happen. And while we’re at it, toss in Winnipeg and Quebec City. They are not going to get their National Hockey League teams back, either. We’d all like to see it. As Canadians, we know that we’re supporting the league right now. We know that U.S. television ratings are in a major funk everywhere and that American attendance figures (speaking of fantasies), are wildly inflated yet still well down.

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News That’s Far From Ear-Splitting

from the Canadian Press:

Three hours of sitting next to a roaring, buzzing chainsaw punctuated by the occasional deafening blast of a jet taking off wouldn't be anyone's idea of a good time. But that's the equivalent of what hockey fanatics endured during the Edmonton Oilers' Stanley Cup playoff run last spring, according to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. "You could tell just even in watching the games on TV that it was insanely loud," said Bill Hodgetts, the study's lead author and an assistant audiology professor at the University of Alberta.

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Updating The BOG

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

One wonders if more casual fans, the fans most coveted by the league, would have been lured to games had ticket prices not gone up almost across the board. "I'm not sure any of us knows the answer on a global basis because each team does in its market what it thinks makes sense," commissioner Gary Bettman said after Monday's 2½-hour meeting. "If you raised ticket prices and your attendance drops, maybe you didn't read your market too well," Bettman added. "If you raise your ticket price and you're playing to 99 percent capacity and you're lower or comparable to other forms of sports entertainment, you have to look at each particular case. There's not 'one size fits all' in any evaluation of why attendance is up or down."
more from the meeting... added 8:45pm, Scott also breaks down the Penguins situation...

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See You In Dallas

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

The NHL All-Star Game will be played Jan. 24 in Dallas. That's less than 50 days away. So, who should represent the East and West in the skills competition and the game? In selecting my rosters for this season's squads, I used these guidelines: • Two-and-half-season barometer: Remember, the last time we had an All-Star Game, ESPN was still the exclusive TV rights holder in the United States for NHL games. That's like four haircuts ago for Barry Melrose. He's waxed his back more than that over that same span.
read on for John's picks...and his mailbag too...

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McGuire Looks “Down” On Zach Parise

from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,

The hockey world should have known something special was coming in Parise when he scored 77 goals during the 2001-02 season for Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep in Minnesota. Then it was off to University of North Dakota, followed by one season in the AHL, and finally full-time duty with the Devils. Along the way the there were a lot of individual accolades, the greatest one being when he was named the MVP of the World Junior Hockey Championship when Team USA upset Team Canada for the Gold Medal. One of the things that I will always remember from that cold night in Helsinki in 2003-04 was Parise taking the time after the game, and before boarding the American's team bus, to find me in the arena to thank me for being positive about him and his teammates even though I was working for TSN a Canadian television network. I knew then and there that he had the focus and the intensity to be a star in the NHL.

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Versus Just Doesn’t Get It

Hockey fans love the introduction of the old time hockey players before games and tonight was a very special night in Montreal. The Bruins and Canadians were celebrating their 82 year old rivalry between the two teams and had many greats there for a pre-game ceremony. What does Versus do, they have a live interview with Marc Savard outside the Bruins lockerroom (while the Canadien fans are cheering loudly as the old time stars take to the ice), then go to a break, and then to the studio to talk about next week's game between Pittsburgh and Washington. Very poor decision by Versus in my opinion!

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Hull Blows Into Town

from Dave Luecking of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, And throughout Hull's decade-plus with the Blues, we had the pleasure of chronicling his play on the ice as well as his gravelly voice off the ice. Without further adieu, here are Hullie's greatest hits....

...The next day, Keenan took away Hull's captaincy, saying it was a decision the coaching staff had made several days earlier and that “It's not personal.” "It's not personal? The heck it's not personal. It is personal,” Hull retorted. “It's a complete slap in the face. If I had done something to deserve it . . . I've worked my tail off. I changed my whole game for him, and that's not good enough? I stand up for my teammates. Isn't that what a captain's supposed to do? "I haven't done anything wrong, and he has the (guts) to blame me. What is that? I don't care where he's coached or what he's done, but no one has done what I've done for him."
read on, very entertaining...

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Another Poke At Sid

from Stan Fischler at the New England Hockey Journal,

Is Sid (Der Bingle) Crosby whining too often to officials about penalties against his Penguins? Some think so although when we asked a veteran NHL referee about it, he cut The Kid some slack. “Yeah, Sid does complain a bit,” says the zebra. “But don’t forget; he’s only 19-years-old. The kid’s still growing up!”
more from Stan...and I must ask, does he have it in for Crosby?

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It Keeps Growing

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Despite an overall decline in attendance this season in the National Hockey League, the word out of the first day of the board of governors meetings is that revenue is still expected to grow about 5 per cent, which means an increase in the salary cap for next season. The cap, which stands at $44-million (U.S.) per team this season could jump by as much as $3.5-million to $47.5-million next season.

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Crosby & AO Talk

Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin took part in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. I'd like to ask both players. How much do you guys get up when you face one another in a game? Do you guys consider that like a prime game for both of you just to show what you can do, or show each other what you can do? SIDNEY CROSBY: I don't know. I think it's always a little bit more motivating. You know, from my side I think that it's built up so much that, in a way you want to respond and make sure you have a good game. But at the end of the night the win is most important. That's the way I looked at it. But there's no doubt there seems to be more emotion and intensity when we play each other. ALEX OVECHKIN: I think Sidney is right. It's important for us, for our team, to win the game. Of course, Sidney and me want to score goals and have some points, but it's important for us to win the game.

Continue Reading »

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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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