Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Raining Rats Ten Years Ago

from the Sun-Sentinel,

Rats. They were rubber and plastic, windup and squeaky. Big and small, gray, black and pink. Some were store-bought cheap ... some were intricately painted in full Panther uniform, plastic rats that had been tweaked. Works of Rart ... and every night they cascaded to the ice at the Miami Arena. You must remember. First one, then a dozen, then a hundred, then a thousand. Some nights they showered the ice in waves like locust. Yet it seemed you could see each one as it hit the ice, like every snowflake in a blizzard.
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The NHL Academy

Visit The NHL Academy, you may learn something.

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Opening Night Ratings

Hockey's return to the ice for its first opening night in two years was a success for OLN, though it rated lower than ESPN's opening night in 2003. And regional sports networks showed strong ratings in hockey's return. OLN's inaugural NHL telecast included four solid hours of hockey in primetime, including the New York Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers faceoff from Philadelphia. Nielsen Media Research said the game averaged a 0.42 household rating and 353,000 viewers, much better than season-to-date averages and comparisons with last year. It fell short of ESPN's opening-night national telecast of three games in October 2003, which averaged a 0.54 rating and 476,000 households. But ESPN2 has more distribution than Comcast, which is available in only about 64 million homes nationwide compared with ESPN's 88 million. update 8:51am, Huge Ratings For TSN from Slam via the Ottawa Sun,

If you're thinking Canadians seemed more wound up than usual about opening night in the NHL ... well, let's just say nobody knows that better than the folks at TSN. Wednesday's season-opening doubleheader shattered all records for NHL viewership on the network, and rated as one of the most-watched nights in TSN's 21-year history. "It exceeded our wildest expectations," said an incredulous TSN president Phil King. "Hockey is back in a huge way, that's for sure. It was just unbelievable." A few numbers for your consideration. The Senators-Leafs early game, combined with a regional Flames-Wild telecast in Alberta, pulled in 2.1 million viewers. It peaked at 2.7 million during the overtime and shootout won by the Sens.

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Flyers Want It Live, Not The DVD

from Phillyburbs,

Watching a Bruce Springsteen concert on television is fun, but there's nothing like being there live. That's kind of the way Mike Rathje feels about the NHL's presentation of its new rules. The Flyers defenseman said watching a league-produced video of what will and won't be called was nice. But he would prefer if a guy like referee Kerry Fraser (who lives in the Voorhees area) would show up at the Skate Zone one morning and give some personal instruction.

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Hey, Hey Hockeytown

The official website of the Detroit Red Wings needs to realize the NHL season has started. Why you ask? As I pointed out a week ago, they still maintain NHL games are being televised on ABC, ESPN & ESPN2! The Wings website has always lacked the most current NHL news, a perfect example is durng the NHL Draft, when all other team websites were updating as the picks were being made, the Wings still had a pre-draft story up on their site; 24 hours after the draft had taken place. Hmm, can we take a look at the Wings Entry Draft History? Geez, it looks like the 2005 Draft hasn't even taken place! Well at least they are trying to help out the bars and restaraunts around the Joe. Under the 'Interactive' menu on their site there it is 'Local food and Entertaiment, so what do you think is listed. One venue, the Hockeytown Cafe, which happens to be owned by the Ilitch Family. Is that the only place in the area? Not by my calculations, there are at least 15 such establishments, all closer to the JLA than Hockeytown is. Hey, Hey Hockeytown, this is embarrasing! Oh yes, it almost slipped my mind, but I did try to email the Wings through the website and received the following message: Your message with Subject: Fan Comments could not be delivered to the following recipients: DRWPublicRelations@hockeytown.com Please do not resend your original message. Delivery attempts will continue to be made for 2 day(s). They may want to try to fix that too!

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Why Not A Visor

from the Toronto Sun,

The NHL says it is in favour of implementing a rule -- in conjunction with its close friends at the NHL Players' Association -- that would mandate eye protection in the league. The league has said that before and refused to implement it without agreement. The matter actually came up in the recent collective bargaining talks. The NHLPA didn't object to mandatory eye protection -- only a majority of its members did. So what did Maple Leafs rookie Carlo Colaiacovo do on Tuesday? He decided he no longer needed to play with a visor, which may explain why the Leafs chose to send him back to the Marlies yesterday. Never mind his playing ability, it may be his ability to think that they have to be concerned about. When asked about what affect the Sundin injury would have on him, Colaiacovo said: "Probably won't influence me."

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Money Due

from TSN,

In the midst of the gddiness of a Renaissance hockey season that is only two days old, there is no escaping the harsh economic reality of the new NHL. And for members of the NHL Players' Association, it can be summed up in one word: escrow. TSN has reviewed opening-day NHL team payrolls and player salaries and has determined that when the players get their first pay cheque of this season on Oct. 15, at least 10 per cent of their salary, and perhaps more than that, will be withheld in an escrow account to ensure the league does not overspend on player costs.

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Warming Up

from the CP via the Toronto Sun,

Joey Lee knows first-hand the importance of warming up before hitting the ice. "I've noticed over the last few years, the few times I was stupid enough to get on the ice without exercising, I pulled a muscle almost immediately," said Lee, 48. While kids and teenagers are not as prone to throwing out their backs when playing hockey, pre-ice warm-ups help NHL wannabes stay physically and mentally focused. "You want to get them warmed up, not so much for injury prevention, but so they are performing at their peak a little bit faster than they would be otherwise during a practice or a game," said Lee, who helps coach a team in Richmond Hill. Many experts are of the same opinion
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Sundin Could Miss 4-6 Weeks

via the CP,

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin has a fractured lower orbital bone and could be out four-to-six weeks after taking a puck in the face in Wednesday's season opener, the NHL team said Thursday. Sundin lasted just seven minutes of the 4-3 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators when he was hit in the face by the puck.

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The Maven Meets The ‘Rocket’

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

When I first began following hockey as a kid, “The Rocket” Richard was beginning to emerge as the game’s most prolific goal-scorer. In 1945, the year of my Bar Mitzvah, Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games, a record that has never been matched. Being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, I naturally regarded Richardian feats with fear and awe, but my admiration for the man never ceased, and as I grew older and began writing about hockey, I zeroed in on the Rocket whenever I could.
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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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