Kukla's Korner

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NBC Plans For The NHL

I just participated in a tele-conference NBC had regarding their plans for the NHL. Participating on the call were Mike "Doc" Emrick (lead play-by-play); John Davidson (lead analyst); Pierre McGuire (lead inside-the-glass reporter); Bill Clement (studio); Ray Ferraro (studio); Cammi Granato (inside-the-glass reporter) and Sam Flood, NBC Sports Coordinating Producer and the producer of the NHL on NBC. The goalie cam will be used Saturday, the Ranger goalie will have it attached to his helmet for a uniqure view of the game. The studio will be at 30 Rock in NYC, and the ice rink outside the studio will be used during intermission to show and describe some of the play. Messier will be a guest this week in studio and Ed Olczyk will be the special guest in studio the 2nd week. The "Inside the glass" reporters; Pierre McGuire, Joe Micheletti and Cammi Granato will bring the fans closer to the action. They will be cutting in with comments like who is trash talking on the ice, why isn't a certain player get the ice time expected, etc. McGuire mentioned they do not plan on "dumbing down" the game for the viewers. John Davidson stated hockey is a very difficult game to broadcast, but they will be bringing the game to you and this is your chance to see the game in the best way possible. JD was asked if the NHL will ever get bigger on the national level. He mentioned Shanahan, on his own dime, got together a bunch of people to make the game better. Many people were startled by this, but the next thing you know, the game is being played a whole different way. The game was not doing well, and now is our chance to show people how great the game really is. McGuire stated this is our chance to show the people in non-traditional markets how cool this game is. Sam Flood was asked about the HD broadcasts. The primary game will be in HD and when the playoffs start, they may do more than one game in HD. Doc mentioned the NBC crew will be doing a test game during the Philly-Detroit game tomorrow. We will not see it, but it will help fine tune the broadcasts. Sam Flood mentioned it will take some time to get the game broadcast they way they want it, but they will keep trying things in the future like the dasher cam. Question was asked about the Olympic break, Bill Clement spoke up and said it will be a break for some players but will be a torture test for the players going to Torino. It will be a true test of their endurance. A question was asked if Sidney Crosby had an influence on NBC scheduling some of the Pens games. Duh!!! (my comment) Conference is still going on, will update if any pertinent information is released. This is also a raw post, please excuse and gramatical errors. update 1:07pm, One last question was asked about the playoffs- Do you think the game will be called differently? Ferraro responded that the defense will pick up, the game will get even quicker than it is now and he hopes the game is called the way it is right now.

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Aaron Ward Out 3-6 Weeks

via the AP,

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward will miss three to six weeks after surgery Wednesday to repair a hernia. Ward left the Hurricanes' 3-2 win against Detroit in the second period Tuesday with the injury.

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Old School- Roger Crozier

from NHl.com,

It has been 10 years (Jan. 11, 1996) since Crozier passed away at the age of 54. Just four years following his untimely death, the NHL honored Crozier's memory by creating the MBNA/Master Card Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award. The award is presented to the goaltender having played a minimum of 25 games with the NHL's best save percentage during the regular season. "Roger was the foundation of the Buffalo Sabres franchise. That was why Punch Imlach traded for him. The minute Punch got Roger from the Red Wings, it gave the Sabres instant credibility. And that said a lot about the Sabres, which was just an expansion team at the time".
read on image

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Blues Still Looking For Buyer

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues owners Bill and Nancy Laurie have decided to end their exclusive negotiations with General Sports and Entertainment CEO Andy Appleby, a source has told the Post-Dispatch. The Post-Dispatch has learned that Appleby signed his agreement with the Blues on Dec. 20 and that the deal expired Tuesday. It is believed that Appleby still has interest in purchasing the Blues and the Savvis Center lease, but when reached Tuesday, he declined to comment.
more

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Hawks Want To Make Moves

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources say Senators GM John Muckler is one of several teams that has talked to the Hawks. The club is believed to be trying to move several veterans -- including Matthew Barnaby, Curtis Brown, Martin Lapointe, Jaroslav Spacek, Jassen Cullimore, Jim Vandemeer, Todd Simpson and Kyle Calder.
more

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Esche Not Rushing His Return

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

There is no confirmed date when Esche will play again. Or even practice with the Flyers. "It's day to day with me, and I have to get where I can practice for an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes to get to my fatigue point and see how I feel," he said. The Flyers are not pushing Esche to come back. That's because they are in better shape than anyone expected. Esche's injury has permitted the entire NHL a glimpse into what Antero Niittymaki is capable of as a starter.
read on

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The Other Norris Candidate

from the LA Daily News,

Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and ... Lubomir Visnovsky? Anyone compiling a list of the NHL's best defensemen this season can be excused for pausing before scribbling down Visnovsky's name. After all, the third-year Kings defenseman hasn't made much of a name for himself outside of Los Angeles, but that is changing with every solid game he plays.
continued

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Koivu Still Battling

from the Denver Post,

Saku Koivu will take the ice at the Pepsi Center tonight as the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. A little more than four years ago, Koivu wondered if he would ever put on a pair of skates again.
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They Live Hockey

from the Journal News,

To understand why Rosen and Davidson have become one of the most beloved and enduring broadcast teams in New York sports — they are the longest-tenured pair in the NHL, and the second-longest in professional sports — you should see as well as hear them over the course of a broadcast. They are skilled, yes, and insightful, and any number of different words to describe men who are leaders in their profession. But beyond that there is a boyish enthusiasm that never seems to wane. "They just live hockey," said Joe Whelan, the pair's producer on the MSG Network. "They eat it and drink it and that's something that comes across."
read on

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One Big Bust

from the Beaver County Times,

Over the summer, Pittsburgh general manager Craig Patrick was being hailed for putting together a team that was supposed to lift the Penguins out of the dregs and into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Six months later, Patrick's detractors are fuming, and rightfully so. After all, Patrick is in control of a team that was supposed to contend. Instead they have already gone through one coach and are 14 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
more After last night's loss to Edmonton, Pittsburgh coach Therrien went off, via the Edmonton Sun,
“Half the team doesn’t care!" “It’s like ‘Are you going to be happy to play eight minutes? I’m not going to be happy with eight minutes!" “We should take 50% of their salaries because they only played 50% of the time!" “I’m really starting to believe the goal of our defence is to be the worst defensive squad in the league!" “They’re doing the best job to be the worst defensive squad in the league!" “They turn the puck over. They have no vision. They suck! “I’ve never seen a bunch of defencemen suck like this!" “The guys don’t care! They pretend to care, but I know they don’t care!"

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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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