Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

For The Good Of The Game

from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

It’s a bit disappointing,” said Edmonton Oilers chairman Cal Nichols, whose team has fought fiercely to have the schedule altered to allow more games outside the conference. “I think the best we can hope for is to go back to pre-lockout scheduling. The Western Canadians teams really made a strong case for going back to that. I think the Canadian hockey fans would sooner see us play the other Canadian teams than any U.S. teams.”
More interesting was Nichols’ suggestion that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should have stepped up and helped persuade owners to make a change.
Asked if Bettman should have shown more leadership, a surprisingly candid Nichols said, “I wish he would have.”
Nichols said he believed Bettman should have encouraged teams that were opposed to change “to do the right things for the game.”

read on... and on a sidenote, Detroit media have been slamming the NHL all day because of this decision…

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Pa. Gov. May Ask For Help From The NHL

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Gov. Ed Rendell said Tuesday that should arena negotiations with the Pittsburgh Penguins break down and the team decide to move, the state might ask the National Hockey League to intercede.
Rendell, responding to Penguins owner Mario Lemieux’s comments that last week’s arena talks had taken a step backward, said the latest proposal is so good that he can’t imagine that the NHL would allow the Penguins to leave.
“Is there a possibility that they will decide to leave? Yes, there is,” Rendell said. “But is there a possibility we would go to the NHL board of governors and say, `Hey, if you let them leave, no city is safe?’ Sure.”


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The Lack Of Freezing

from the Christian Science Monitor,

It used to be that sometime in November Canadians could flatten out the snow behind the house, let the water hose run for a few hours, and get a nice flat sheet of ice.
But warm weather is ruining that Canadian tradition: the backyard skating rink. It is also helping a company that sells artificial rinks that cost about the same as a swimming pool.
The outdoor rinks – which can be either portable or permanent – use plastic pipes and a refrigeration unit to make an ice rink, even when temperatures are well above freezing.


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NHL Streaming

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET - All-Star Entertainment (video)
7:30 p.m. ET - NHL YoungStars Game, presented by Upper Deck and Dodge/Nitro SuperSkills (audio)

Watch.... Right now, players are on the red carpet, entering the arena.

Tonight’s TV Schedule


Young Stars early, followed by Skills Competition

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The Maven At The Break

from Stan Fischler at MSG Network,

• Is a Darcy Tucker-to-Edmonton move possible? Perhaps, if the Oilers return with Raffi Torres and prospects.
• Glenn Healy is rapidly becoming the New Don Cherry for Canadian hockey broadcasts but he admits that he made one statement on the air that he would like to have recalled; Rat’s rectum. I used it on a couple of occasions and I was told not to use it.

more from the Maven…

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Boys Hit the Track

(L-R) NHL All-Stars Marian Hossa (Atlanta Thrashers), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose Sharks), Matt Carle (San Jose Sharks) and Brian Campbell (Buffalo Sabres) pose together at the Texas Motor Speedway as part of the 2007 Dallas All-Star Game on January 23, 2007 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Click the pic to enlarge and yes, some of them took a spin around the track.


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The Commish Speaks

added 7:07pm, You can now watch (link takes you to page with video) the interview if you wish…

Gary Bettman took part in a media Q & A today….

Q. Commissioner, concerning Pittsburgh, when is it going to be too late for them to reach any kind of an agreement on the building?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: I don’t think it would be constructive or wise for me to say, ‘This is the date,’ because deadlines, as we’ve seen in lots of negotiations, can come and go. The fact is, we’ve got to be talking about weeks. We’ve got a schedule to do. Arrangements have to be made. My hope is that a building on terms that make sense to the franchise will be achievable in Pittsburgh and this will become a non-issue. But at some point in the not too distant future, in a matter of weeks, we have to start focusing with some certainty on what the schedule is going to look like.
Time is of the essence, but I wouldn’t want to overly portray an urgency today. It’s urgent, but it’s not imminently urgent, if you know what I mean. It will be shortly.

Q. Commissioner, Bill Daly mentioned yesterday that you received a new proposal for the IIHF agreement that includes Russia. Would you comment on that to say how reasonable it looks to you?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Actually, I’ve been busy the last 18 hours since we got the proposal. So I haven’t seen it in its entirety.
Bill tells me it’s interesting. It probably needs some work. But we haven’t had a chance to discuss it. We’ve been waiting for a while. It can wait until tomorrow, until I get done doing what we’re doing here. But I do take it as a good sign that on some basis, even though I don’t know what it is, the Russians are indicating a willingness to participate.

Continue Reading »

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The BOG Had The Final Say

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Bettman, who usually says little about the internal workings of the board, acknowledged that he supported one of two alternatives, either retaining the status quo, or adopting the least dramatic change — which would have reduced the number of divisional games from eight to seven and replaced them with four out-of-conference games.
If Bettman had pushed harder for a change, could that have swung a couple of votes to the yes side?
He didn’t think so.
“Some of you think I throw lightning bolts,” said Bettman. “The fact is, I do report to a board and the board has the final say. “Unlike lots of other things we’ve done as a league, where everybody can focus on doing things from a league-wide basis, the schedule’s kind of personal. It’s market-specific. It’s rivalry specific. It gets emotional….”


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Answer The Door

from the Montreal Canadiens,

An unexpected knock on your front door early on Sunday morning is rarely met with much enthusiasm. That is unless it’s the Canadiens who are standing on your front porch.
As the winner of the “Grande Visite” contest, nine-year-old Maxime Dubé ran to the door that morning along with five of his friends to welcome Steve Bégin, Francis Bouillon and Guillaume Latendresse, who arrived bright and early at 8:30 am.


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Rafalski and Miller Welcome Vets Home

from KWTX:

Men and women in uniform returning from the Persian Gulf for rest and recovery got a special All-Star welcome Tuesday.
A pair of NHL All-Stars greeted the 120 service members arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and New Jersey Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski shook hands with arriving troops.



pic via Reuters

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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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