Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Out For A Bit

Just a heads up, I will be unavailable for about three hours. Should be back online by 1:30pm or so.

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Yzerman Helps Out Tommy

You may recall the story about Tommy I posted back in late August. from the NHLPA,

Hockey great Steve Yzerman and Peterborough artist Murray Henderson have teamed up to raise a whopping $25,000 for the Tommy Garrett fund. Yzerman was being treated for a groin injury in Detroit over the weekend when he signed a limited edition of 19 prints and four artist proofs to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis today. Henderson said the stretched canvas prints were limited to 19 because 19 is the Detroit Red Wing centre’s jersey number. Prints are $1,000 each and four artist proofs, more detailed and 25 per cent larger in size, are $1,500 each. Yzerman played for the Peterborough Petes in the early 1980s and is Tommy’s favourite player.
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NHL In Winnipeg Is A No-brainer

from Slam,

Howard Bloom has never lived in Winnipeg, never seen a hockey game here and hasn't set foot inside the new, downtown arena. But that doesn't stop the Ottawa-based sports business analyst from making a bold prediction about the possible return of the NHL to this prairie city. "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that hockey will return to Winnipeg in the not-too-distant future," Bloom, founder of SportsBusinessNews.com, told The Sun. "It's a no-brainer. The NHL will return to Winnipeg. Much sooner than people anticipate."

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Puck Music

he NHL and manufacturer Electric Red have announced a partnership with Future Shop in Canada to bring an exclusive line of hockey team-inspired MP3 players to customers. The two available models, the 512MB Flikx and the 1GB Pocket Watch, resemble a hockey puck, only much smaller. more

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Finding More Fans

An added feature of this article allows you to listen to a recent tele-conference with Bill Daly, Colin Cambell, Mike Murphy and others. from Bloomberg.com,

The National Hockey League returns to the ice tonight after a 16-month absence with a new labor contract, several new rules and the same old problem: getting more people to care. ``Let's be honest, it's not a major sport in the U.S.,'' said Steve Lauletta, 41, president of Radiate Sports, Omnicom Group Inc.'s sports marketing firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. ``They have never been able to reach past the hard-core fans, and after the lockout, that hill is going to be much, much harder to climb.'' The NHL, which trails other U.S. team sports in revenue and television ratings, is trying to win back fans after canceling last season in the labor dispute. Under its TV deal that starts with this season, the league reaches 26 million fewer homes, and its collective bargaining agreement forced one of four players to change teams.

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Your Plans For Tonight

Are you going to a game tonight? Will you watch your favorite team on TV. Will you surf Center Ice games (remember free preview begins tonight). Instead of going to the Wings home opener, I have decided to watch them on TV and get the DVR warmed up with the OLN game. Will also be checking out the quality of the streamed games from Comcast and all of the Center Ice broadcasts.

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Comcast Streaming Begins Tonight

Clean up your cache, NHL streaming of games begins tonight with two games: 7:30 PM Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey and at 10 PM Colorado vs. Edmonton. The scheduled October games are here.

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The Puck Drops Tonight

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Storylines abound as the new season takes shape. League-wide, there are the new rules that figure to open up the game and create more scoring and shootouts will be used to eliminate ties and the size of goaltenders' equipment has been reduced 11 percent. There will be much attention paid to the standard of enforcement of the rules that has seen the referees whistle down hooking, holding and slashing, thus giving the players the opportunity to move the puck and create more offense. It has been an ongoing process throughout the preseason to change the mindset of players, coaches and even officials about the need to see the game accelerate.

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Fans Coming Back

from Bob McKenzie (welcome back) of TSN,

The number one story line heading into the 2005-06 season is fan response. When Major League Baseball cancelled the World Series in 1994, the league suffered a 20 percent drop in fan response the following year. When the NBA lost a significant chunk of its season to a lockout, it took seven years to get back to the league's pre-lockout attendance figures. The NHL seems to be backed great enthusiasm from coast to coast across Canada. Florida is sold out for their home opener, Buffalo is expecting 16-17,000 fans, Nashville is sold out. Places like Washington and Chicago, however, will continue to be soft spots.

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On The Road To Recovery

from the Globe and Mail,

National Hockey League officials are convinced their business is well on the road to a quicker-than-expected recovery after a devastating work stoppage that wiped out an entire season, embittered long-time fans and alienated advertisers and broadcasters. And there is some evidence to support their optimism, in the form of strong early ticket sales, renewed interest from sponsors and a new U.S. TV deal that could raise the sport's profile south of the border. Coming out of the lockout, both the league and the NHL Players' Association forecast that revenue would likely fall to about $1.75-billion (all figures U.S.) from $2.1-billion in 2003-04. Now they may be revising their estimates. "It looks like we've had a tremendous bounceback frankly, far better than anyone really was anticipating," said Ted Saskin, executive director of the NHLPA. "My expectation is that the decline is not going to be as significant as many were projecting. And we might actually see some upside off the conservative projections that we all put in place."

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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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