Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bettman Changes Direction

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman is one of the most skilled practitioners of that 21st century communication phenomenon known as staying "on message." No matter what the question, or the controversy, or the issue, Bettman never strays very far from a series of practised answers to any of the hot-button topics that occasionally arise in the new NHL. Accordingly, when Bettman spoke to reporters in St. Louis Tuesday night during a Penguins-Blues' game, and acknowledged that the Pittsburgh team might be obliged to move if a new arena project isn't approved, that constituted a significant deviation from his previous "make nice" stance.
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Olczyk Still Coaching

from Sportsnet,

Ed Olczyk is most definitely feeling the heat as speculation grows he is about to become the NHL's first coaching casualty. However, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick doesn't appear ready to fire his coach just yet. Sources tell Sportsnet Patrick met with Olczyk today, following last night's 3-0 shutout loss in St. Louis and the two talked more about the improving health of the team than anything else. The topic of Olczyk's future was never brought up.
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Vote For Hobey

Each year, Vote for Hobey gives college hockey fans an opportunity to cast their ballots for the sport's most prestigious individual honor. Vote for Hobey consists of three phases: 1) Nominating: Running through Sunday, Jan. 15, fans may visit hobeybaker.com and nominate as many players as they would like for consideration in the balloting. Each player with at least 25 nominations will be placed on the Preliminary Voting ballot. image

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Preparing for Hockey Day In Canada

Prepare to celebrate, Canada! CBC'S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA sixth annual broadcast drops the puck on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 12 noon ET, as host Ron MacLean tells the story of the sport that unites us all, live from Stephenville, Nfld. The 2006 edition of CBC'S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will celebrate our game at the grassroots level, highlighting how hockey defines both the parent-child and adult-child relationship, and featuring remote video feeds from Florenceville, N.B.; Parry Sound, Ont.; Winkler, Man.; Calgary, Alta.; and Burnaby, B.C. more of the press release... If you have the opportunity, plan your day around this. CBC does a fantastic job of covering this event; takes me back to the roots of hockey! update 2:21pm, And it appears the Hockey Day in Canada theme is being copied by the NFL and NBC.

"Football Night in America" will encompass more than four hours of NFL coverage on Sunday nights-hosted by 17-time Emmy Award winner Bob Costas, the most acclaimed sportscaster of his generation-including the primetime studio show at 7 p.m. ET followed by the premier primetime game of the week "NBC's Sunday Night NFL Football," beginning with the 2006 NFL season.
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Underrated NHL Players

from The Hockey News,

The Hockey News asked 30 NHLers, one from each team, " Who is the most underrated player in the NHL?“ 26 players were named, with only four mentioned twice - Buffalo center Daniel Briere, Los Angeles center Craig Conroy, Philadelphia left winger Simon Gagne and Dallas right winger Jere Lehtinen.”
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Olympic Hockey On NBC & Affiliates

I received and email today asking me to post a link to a website where fans can vote on what winter Olympic sport they want to see. The email was filled with panic, stating we may not be able to watch any hockey on NBC. First of all, the link is to a NY NBC affiliate station and has no influence on what NBC will show. As a matter of fact, NBC will be all over Olympic hockey coverage- in case you forgot they will start televising the NHL in 2006. If you want to visit the site, here you go. update 1:50pm, Here is some information you can really use, HD plans for the NHL on NBC. Plus, scroll down just about on this link and you will see the NBC plans for daily coverage from Turin.

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Big Plans For Phoenix

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

You have to have really good eyesight to see the future of the Phoenix Coyotes. You have to be able to see beyond the expanse of scrabbly desert floor that stretches out in all directions from the Coyotes' home at Glendale Arena. You have to see beyond the scaffolding and cement pads that have just now begun to dot the area outside the arena's main entrance. It's the kind of eyesight majority owner Steve Ellman hopes fans, businessmen and investors have.
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Dreams Do Come True

from Mike Milbury of the New York Islanders,

After months of planning and stressing over passports and visas and travel arrangements, it is a pleasure to inform you that everything is a "GO" for the arrival of two youth hockey teams from the Chinese cities of Harbin and QiQihar in late December. We intend to make this a visit that they will never forget. The teams will first stop in Ottawa to attend the Bell Atlantic Atom Tournament, the largest of its kind in the world. After a welcome reception and press conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa at which they will be presented with a complete set of equipment courtesy of Nike-Bauer, the kids will join a host family from the region.
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Playing The Game Down South

from the Greenville News (South Carolina),

With its steamy summers and often snowless winters, Greenville seems an unlikely place for hockey. But tell that to the more than 100 kids who play the fast-paced sport at the Pavilion. A recent practice session for young players was like 'most any sports practice. Younger siblings frolicked on the sidelines while parents watched, critiqued and chatted with each other. On the ice, kids zipped past taking instructions from coaches. The difference, of course, was that despite being indoors, everyone was still bundled up in sweatshirts, scarves and jackets.
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He’s Back

from Inside Bay Area,

I said I would give the NHL two months. I figured the first month everyone was going to be on their best behavior no matter what, like the beginning of class with a substitute teacher. After that, though, it's game on. The NHL could have evolved into glorified pick-up hockey in that second month, with absolutely no contact. It could have turned into the Federal League, with bench-clearing brawls. Or worse yet, it could have reverted to its pre-lockout yawn-a-thon, in which case I would have been out like The White Stripes at a Bay Area concert. Anybody's guess really. That being said, I'm pleased to report the NHL has won me back. Well, sort of.
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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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