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Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Mar. 5, 2007) – Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen, Florida Panthers center Olli Jokinen and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Mar. 4.
Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League’s top performances over the past week.


Lehtonen posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage as the Thrashers (34-23-10, 78 points) moved into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lehtonen made 22 saves as the Thrashers recorded a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, Feb. 26. He made 21 saves in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, March 2 and finished the week by stopping 35 of 36 shots in a 3-1 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes, March 4. The 23-year-old Helsinki, Finland native improved his season record to 28-19-8 with a 2.84 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and four shutouts.

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Producing A Better Game

from Brad Holland at NHL.com,

Recently, the NHL put together an “all-star” team of television experts comprised of John Shannon, the NHL’s vice president of broadcasting, Jim Wilkes, an ex-Molstar TV executive and Al Mountford, famous in the broadcasting industry for his hockey camerawork and the man who shot the 1980 Lake Placid “Miracle On Ice.” The three men have compiled a DVD and have met with every team in the league in an effort to help the regional broadcasters produce a better televised hockey game.
“Every team has a copy of the DVD and we (finished reviewing it) with all 30 teams,” Shannon said. “And right now we’re in the process of writing a case-book to help the broadcasters.”

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Working Together

from Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

During his 11 years with the NHL Players’ Association, Ken Kim can’t recall a time when the union visited all 30 NHL teams to meet with club executives. But that has begun to change over the last three months.
Kim, the union’s senior director of business, and Devin Smith, its director of club marketing, have traveled to 22 of the 30 NHL clubs to discuss ways teams can get players more involved local promotions and marketing programs. They’ll meet with the final eight teams over the next few weeks.
“Just having these meetings is coming a long way for us,” Kim said.
The meetings are unprecedented in the sports industry, where relationships between unions and leagues are often contentious. To date, none of the other major sports unions have traveled to each team during the course of a year to discuss marketing players.

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Different Atmosphere For Rivet

from the Montreal Gazette,

A new hockey life for Craig Rivet begins, with this story: “We finished practice Saturday in Anaheim, we’re in the dressing room and (teammate) Billy Guerin yells over to me, ‘Are you ready for the media?’ Rivet said Sunday from a hotel lobby in Dallas, a few hours before his San Jose Sharks would blank the Stars 4-0.
“I said, ‘Yeah, let ‘em in,’ and Billy said, ‘He already is in.’ I started laughing - there was one soft-spoken reporter, and he wasn’t looking for any blood.”


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Huge Day For NHL.com

NEW YORK (March 5, 2007) – NHL.com experienced record traffic for its coverage of the 2007 NHL Trade Deadline on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007.
While Trade Deadline Day historically is one of the busiest days of the year for NHL.com, Tuesday’s Trade Deadline Day—which included a live stream of NHL Network coverage for the first time ever to fans outside Canada—surpassed years past with 1,557,715 visits and more than 13.5 million page views. The figure represents a 70% increase in visits compared to an average day in the month of February and a 31% increase in the number of visits NHL.com experienced last year on Trade Deadline Day (Mar. 9, 2006).
All audience figures courtesy of Nielsen//NetRatings SiteCensus.

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300 & The NHL

from Comics2Film,

The Spartan swords of Warner’s “300” are mixing it up with the slashing sticks of the National Hockey League.
Marking the first time the NHL has promoted a Hollywood pic, the league has cut a 30-second TV spot mixing game play footage with scenes from Warner Bros.’ violent ancient battle actioner “300.”
Spot, produced by NHL Prods., will air during NHL games on NBC, Versus, TSN and local affiliates. It also will play on the league’s Web site and in-arena games in select markets.


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Forsberg Hurting

from the Tennessean,

It was pretty obvious to anyone who saw the Predators beat Los Angeles on Saturday that Legwand suffered his injury while blocking a Kings shot.
But Forsberg? He seemed fine in the locker room after Saturday’s contest, patiently answering questions after a three-assist performance.
Things apparently deteriorated after that.
“It felt sore during the game,’’ Predators Coach Barry Trotz said of the upper-body part in question. “(Saturday) night he had more of an indication that he was getting sore and when he woke up this morning, it was real sore.’‘
Trotz said the Predators planned to have Forsberg seek further medical attention.


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Hurricanes Stumbling

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Carolina has stumbled largely because of goaltending - playoff hero Cam Ward has sat and watched John Grahame play four of the last five games - injuries to players like Cory Stillman and Frantisek Kaberle and surprisingly moderate production from third-year man Eric Staal. Staal does have 26 goals, but he’s not been the force he was a year ago.
Then again, a year ago the Canes had Doug Weight and Mark Recchi around to help the kids, Matt Cullen up front for some speed and Aaron Ward to anchor the defence.


from Spector at his Fox Sports blog,

This season, however, the ‘Canes have crashed hard back to earth.
They’ve struggled throughout this season, and at present find themselves barely clinging to one of the final playoff berths in the East, and are in danger of missing the playoffs.
Should that occur, it’ll be the first time since 1996 that a defending Stanley Cup champion misses the post-season, and only the third time since 1970.

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Frost Case Update

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The shocking case against David Frost is coming apart at the seams.
Tomorrow, many of the charges of sexual exploitation and one charge of assault against the disgraced former agent and coach are expected to be withdrawn in a Napanee court room, police and other sources indicated yesterday.
And while other charges of sexual exploitation remain, there is no indication whether Crown prosecutor Adam Zegouras will proceed with them at this time.


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Someone Needs To Step Up

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Who’s going to be the Ranger willing to go an eye-for-an-eye and take his shot at Ryan Smyth the moment the Islanders muscle up on Jagr in tonight’s Garden showdown that will precede Thursday’s rematch at the Coliseum?
Make no mistake. The story of the Islanders’ sweep of the first four games of this season’s Battle of New York is written in their overall physical dominance of the series and their ability to abuse the Rangers’ most important player, and it’s written in bold.

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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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