Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Chicago Not Happy With Hits

from the Chicago Daily Herald,

Michal Handzus is the second top-line player the Blackhawks have lost with a knee injury because of what general manager Dale Tallon believes was a questionable hit. Tuomo Ruutu suffered a sprained knee in the preseason and hasn’t played since because of a clip by Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who got only a two-game suspension from the league. Tallon said the NHL was looking at the hip check St. Louis defenseman Denis Wideman put on Handzus in Saturday’s game, but the GM wasn’t going to hold his breath waiting for the proper punishment to come from Commissioner Gary Bettman’s office.

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Battle Of The Bands

from the National Post,

It's war, off the ice, between Darcy Tucker and Sean Avery. And it's not over a puck; it's over a band! Just days after Avery, that Los Angeles Kings loose cannon, told journalist Dave Bidini that Nickelback is "Canada's worst export," the Toronto Maple Leafs's Tucker was found defending their honour. Bidini -- evidently a reporter who gets around -- was talking to Avery for Canadian men's glossy Toro. In their sporty exchange, which appears in the current issue, he complains that there's too much Nickelback in NHL dressing rooms. That they are, if you put it another way, the radio equivalent of lice. And this is, moreover, because the other guys who typically play hockey are "dated" and "old."

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The Bottom Line

from Inside Bay Area,

Jamison, who would not specify how much the Sharks received in revenue sharing, said limited income from local TV and radio stations is one thing that keeps San Jose in the red. In broadcasting, how much revenue a team receives for broadcast rights depends heavily on ratings. "When you do a team comparison and analysis across the NHL, it's harder in this market to do well in television than it is in some other markets," he said. Neither the NHL nor the players' association will disclose which teams donate to the revenue sharing pool and which teams draw from it. An NHL spokesman did say about $90 million helped 11 teams. Sometimes the line that separates profitable teams from the others can get fuzzy, especially when franchise owners have tangential business interests. SVSE, for example, also manages the arena for non-hockey events and has set up publishing and merchandise operations. "Teams may have a fair amount of discretion as to what costs they assign to the team and what costs they assign to the arena," said economist Sanderson, citing one of the flash points in the labor impasse that shut down the NHL for the 2004-05 season.

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Selling Tickets Requires Market Sense

from Brian Millner of the Globe and Mail:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is right when he insists that it's far too early to draw any conclusions from the attendance figures. But it's not too early to point out that the NHL continues to lose ground in certain U.S. markets, including some long-standing hockey towns. Or that some franchises are badly run and poorly located, a reality that won't be altered by any of the changes meant to make the game more appealing. "The National Hockey League is going to continue to go through peaks and valleys and I don't think it's constructive for anybody to focus on the significant upticks or hand-wring too much over any of the shortcomings," said David Carter, the executive director of the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute. "In the macro sense, the league is coming back. In a micro sense, looking market to market, there are certainly challenges."

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JSG Has Something To Prove Every Day

Jean-Sebastien Giguere took part in a NHL tele-conference today.

Q. Like you said, with a guy like Chris Pronger in front of you, how much more of a calming influence has Chris been for you compared to maybe how you felt last year with some of the other defensemen around? JOHN SEBASTIEN GIGUERE: You know I was really comfortable with what we had last year. But I think having Chris, you know, probably one of the top three defenseman in the league, and having Niedermayer on our team as well, I think those guys on the ice will have to you know, like one is on the ice and the other one comes on the ice. It's a one two punch, and I mean for a goalie they're great. It's awesome having those guys on my team.

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Back Again

Bertuzzi's back is still an issue and he will not dress for the game tonight. He is seeing a doctor about his back and may miss the upcoming Panthers road trip.

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The Making of One Hockey Fan

By Alanah Downie I've been spending a lot of time lately, indoctrinating a non-hockey friend to the awesomeness of our favorite sport. Not knowing the game very well, it's hard for him to understand the sequence of brilliance that leads to an Ovechkin goal or a Luongo save -- he's learning, but it takes time. So today I sent him the video below just for the hell of it, and surprisingly, this is the highlight reel that finally got his attention:

Hockey grabs different people for different reasons over time, but maybe it's just the raw energy, risk and power of the game that reaches people first. For every person who complains about "too much violence" and that it's "not family friendly enough" there are many others who are open to it, but just don't understand the skill, speed and physical prowess that make this a brilliant sport. A highlight video of hockey checks like this one shows only small aspect of the NHL game. But it's winning over my friend one hit at a time. Go figure. [YouTube video link]

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Move Doan

from Arizona Central,

Shane Doan doesn't deserve this. He needs to find out that the grass really is greener on the other side. He needs to go play for an organization committed to winning. He needs to go somewhere where he has a chance to win.... Doan is the captain. It is his team. He becomes a free agent after the season and although he has stated his desire to stay, why would he want to. The Coyotes are farther from winning now than at any point in their desert existence. Doan could demand a trade and go to a contending team where he would have a chance to win, maybe the Calgary Flames, his hometown team. He could force the Coyotes' hands. Although neither side has attempted to negotiate a new deal at this point, if Doan comes out publicly and say he will test the market the Coyotes would have to trade him

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An Invitation To Belinda

Belinda Luscombe (bio), a senior editor at Time, wrote today about the process she went through to become an American citizen. She also used this comparison...

In a way it's probably a shame if I'm the 300 millionth American, because I'm not nearly as excited about becoming one as most of the other folks here. They're mostly beaming and chatting in hushed tones with all the family members they brought to watch a three-and-a-half-hour ceremony with no music, costumes or red carpet. Basically it's three hours of sitting and 15 minutes of picking up paperwork. As spectator sports go, this is up there with a visit to the DMV or an ice hockey game. I figure they keep it dull to provide contrast with with the moment of 300 millionth American unveiling, just like how Jim Carrey movies are so stupid so he can look more funny in them.
You can read the full article but what I would like to do is invite Ms. Luscombe to attend an "ice hockey" game with me. I would hope I could change her opinion of the "ice hockey" game!

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Single Season Magnificence

KK member Joe Pelletier sent in another submission for the "KK Free Friday" last week. I was suffering with the flu so decided to hold off posting this until today. I have given Joe an open invitation for more of these type of themed articles and hope he takes me up on it. Also, make sure to check out his blogs- 1972summitseries.com & legendsofhockey.blogspot.com.

A look at the 10 greatest regular seasons in NHL history
Every season the NHL witnesses a few amazing year-long individual performances that resonate hockey greatness. Last season we watched the emergence of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Jonathan Cheechoo, Dion Phaneuf, and the re-emergence Jaromir Jagr. In a really magical season we are able to watch a player turn in a campaign that becomes legendary or, even better, transforming. The achievements of that season may garner iconic status because of historical significance, dramatic impact, defining nature, or statistical dominance. Without taking into account the Stanley Cup playoffs, it has been a while since we’ve seen a player’s regular season efforts reach a status of truly important in NHL history. We might have to go back to Dominik Hasek’s days in Buffalo for that. All of this got me thinking: Which individual season is truly the greatest? With over 90 seasons and countless great performances, I have narrowed my choices down to five key performances. In my estimation, the single most consequential NHL campaign was turned in by Bobby Orr in 1969-70. In his fourth NHL season, the 22 year old Orr captured the Hart, Norris and Art Ross trophies. Yes, the Art Ross. Bobby Orr became the first and only defenseman to win the league’s haloed scoring championship. It was a signature moment in a career that revolutionized the way the game is played.

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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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