Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The History Of Table Hockey

from Table Hockey Games,

Toy hockey games have been part of the Canadian scene since the days of the Great Depression. While these games can be divided into several categories (including board games, magnetic hockey, air hockey, bumper hockey and knock hockey), the image that usually comes to mind when one thinks of table top hockey is that of a miniature ice rink with players mounted on small spikes spinning and moving with the twist of their steel rods. The earliest type of these mechanical hockey games was built by Donald H. Munro, Sr. in his Toronto home in 1932-33. Made of wood and scrap metal found in his neighborhood, Munro built his first game as a Christmas present for his children at a time when he could not afford to buy gifts. Soon after, Munro built a handful of these games on consignment for the Eaton's department store in Toronto. They turned out to be an instant success. These early games, referred to as "the wooden game" by collectors, were produced every year until 1955. During this period of 22 years, many improvements were made in the playing quality and appearance.
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Brule Off Of IR

The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated center Gilbert Brule from the Injured Reserve list, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today.

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Marchant Should Be On Another Team In 24 Hours

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Sources tell TSN the Columbus Blues Jackets, as is their right, put Marchant on waivers on Saturday, which means he'll either clear by noon Monday or be selected by another team. And the betting is this time, unlike last week when he was put on waivers for the first time, Marchant will be claimed. Teams are permitted to put a player who has cleared waivers on waivers again without ever having sent that player to the minor leagues and that is what Columbus is doing. Columbus had been trying to trade Marchant, but that was made difficult as Marchant has a no-trade clause in his contract.

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NHL Attendance

from the Ottawa Sun,

Attendance statistics are an integral part of determining success within the NHL, but they don't tell the full story. Padded or legitimate, they need to be taken with a grain of salt from a fan's perspective, because this is one area of math that isn't black and white.

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Expect A Mish-Mash At the Olympics

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Rutland Herald,

Federation president Rene Fasel said, in a written bulletin: "For the first time in hockey history we have the opportunity for the IIHF and the NHL to be on the same page when enforcing the rules and calling restraining fouls like hooking, holding and interference." But Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations, told us Friday that the NHL doesn't expect its rules to be followed with full compliance. "This process has and is not an easy journey," Campbell said, referring to the months of meetings needed to get the NHL clubs to agree on rule changes. Can a new obstruction policy "be applied at the Olympics with a mixture of players and officials who are, and are not, exposed to it? It will be difficult.
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Adjusting To The New NHL

from the Calgary sun via Slam,

With harsher penalty standards in the new NHL, if obstruction isn't gone, it's certainly on the decline. That has led to less clutching and grabbing and more scoring. That's great news for fans and some players. But other players are having a nightmare adjusting to the new era. Today, Sun hockey writer Steve Macfarlane examines which players have benefitted and which ones are looking totally lost.

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Change The Shootout

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Traditionalists hate the NHL's new shootout to break ties. Lightning coach John Tortorella hates the shootout, too. Of course he does. The Lightning can't win one. But most players say they like it. That's good because, Tortorella said, from what he has heard the shootout is here to stay. However, the NHL should consider tweaking it a bit for next season. Instead of having three shooters a team, the league should do what international hockey does and have five shooters each. Nowadays, if a team falls behind by a goal in a round, it almost never comes back to win. Five shooters give teams a chance to come back. There are two reasons the NHL might have gone to a three-round shootout. One, it was worried about the amount of time five rounds would take. Two, there was a concern that five rounds would put too much strain on the goalie.

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What About Integrity

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman loves to preach about the "integrity" of his league. For those not clear what that word means in the new NHL, it manifests itself in many ways: Teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins sending the guy who is far and away their nest goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, to the minors so they don't have to pay his bonuses. The New Jersey Devils announcing that Alexander Mogilny is a healthy scratch when he is, in fact, suffering from a concussion. Teams like the Vancouver Canucks practising with only one goaltender because the league created a system that would require them to waive the goalie they wanted to call up while the regular starter was injured. Apparently, as far as the NHL is concerned, "integrity" means never compromising the standards of the game -- as long as doing so doesn't interfere with the profit margin.

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Air Under The Puck

via the Bradenton Herald,

We know the NHL season is almost six weeks old, but there's been so much going on in the world of sports, there's been no time to sit down and watch the new-and-improved National Hockey League. There were the baseball playoffs, culminating with the Chicago White Sox winning their first World Series since 1917. The college football season has had the office buzzing since day one. And we're all anxiously looking on, wondering if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can hang in the playoff race. But finally, on Tuesday night, an opportunity presented itself - the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Washington Capitals on the Outdoor Life Network. oy, did we pick the right game to watch. It went the distance, so we got to see our first NHL shootout - and it was not impressive. Players have complained about the ice being bad in the shootout, and it looked like Vinny Lecavalier and Vinny Prospal had trouble getting any air under the puck. The announcers went on and on about Caps rookie Alexander Ovechkin, but he did nothing for the first 58 minutes, 45 seconds. Then he scored the game-tying goal late in the third period and had the only goal in the shootout, handing the Bolts a disappointing 4-3 loss. We were entertained but won't pay much attention until the playoffs.

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Rumors By Bruce

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

There is talk Columbus GM Doug MacLean, who dealt for C Sergei Fedorov last week, has until Christmas to turn the club around or he'll be looking for work. There are rumours the Russian Ice Hockey Federation will bring legal action against the Washington Capitals for signing standout rookie W Alexander Ovechkin, who was supposed to playing for Moscow Dynamo this season.

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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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