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Worn Out

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But this much is certain. It would have been easier to win on Wednesday than it will be to win tomorrow. For one thing, the Hurricanes are getting worn down. Injury reports are notoriously duplicitous at this time of the year, but defencemen Aaron Ward, one of the Hurricanes' true stalwarts, missed about half the game. If Ward is gone for that long, it has to be fairly serious. The report was the usual "upper body injury." The suspicion was "separated shoulder." In the case of forward Doug Weight, the suspicion was even stronger. He left in the first shift of the third period after being sandwiched between Edmonton's Raffi Torres and Chris Pronger. He bent over, dropped his stick and headed right for the training room.
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Here We Go Again

from the Press Telegram,

The league is setting unseen standards for low sports viewership that makes one wonder how far a major sport can fall and still be called major. The NHL's regular season and Stanley Cup playoff ratings have reached such a low ebb that they're now trailing those of the Arena Football League, WNBA, poker tournaments and, gasp, soccer. The three Stanley Cup finals telecasts on NBC have earned Nielsen ratings of 1.6, 2.5 and 3.0, respectively, and while it's nice to see them rising, those numbers are about as low as you'll ever see for a prime-time network telecast. The 1.6 rating for Game 3 of the Edmonton-Carolina series was the second-lowest all-time in NBC prime-time history, and the Game 5 rating was down 9.4 percent from the comparable telecast two seasons ago.
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Cover Boys

via the News & Observer,

Roughly 60,000 issues of Beckett Hockey magazine -- with a cover featuring Cam Ward, Eric Staal and the words "Canes Capture the Cup!" -- will hit U.S. and Canadian newsstands next week, whether or not the Canes hoist the trophy. The monthly magazine, billed as the "preferred collectibles publication of the NHL," went to press with the Hurricanes leading the Edmonton Oilers 2 games to 0. Carolina now leads the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 on Saturday. "At first I was working under the belief that they were going to wrap this up pretty quickly. ... It had all the makings of a short series,'' said hockey editor Al Muir, whose Texas-based magazine has been in publication since 1990. Oops.

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Place Your Bids

from KDKA,

It appears the Pittsburgh Penguins are becoming a hot commodity. KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan reports that as many as seven potential buyers are making bids on the team as the deadline on a decision is drawing near. Young stars like Sidney Crosby are just some of the reasons why the Penguins are drawing quite a few potential buyers. A new hockey labor contract and prospects for a new arena are some of the others. Another factor could be that the Pens may be portable -- able to be moved to another town. Sources say there are as many as seven potential bidders.
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Quick! Hide The Women & Children

from the CP via 680 News,

Even though boozed-up fans may vandalize Art Sunderland's car lot during Saturday's crucial NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes, he's still rooting for the home team to take game six of the Stanley Cup final. Sunderland, general manager of Sun Toyota on Edmonton's Whyte Avenue, moved his expensive vehicles off the lot to a safer place during the playoff series last month between the Oilers and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He's doing the same for the Stanley Cup run with the Hurricanes. "We're moving as many indoors as we can into the service department, everything at night," Sunderland said. Sunderland will move about 25 vehicles inside to protect them from would-be vandals before Saturday's game.
continued

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It Is All About The Ring

from the Toronto Star,

When the siren sounds on the Stanley Cup final, another less publicized annual hockey skirmish will be picking up steam: the fight between jewellery companies to make championship rings for the winners. Making rings for pro sports teams is a long-standing ritual that has become big business.... Nowadays, pro sports teams are buying championship rings that are sometimes appraised for as much as $30,000, which means orders can run well into the millions of dollars.
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Bruins Make Draft Selection

from the Boston Bruins,

The Boston Bruins held their first ever Ice Girls Draft at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday evening. Over 90 girls from all over the area came to the tryout for a chance to make the team. Only 20 will be kept. Lyndon Byers (former Bruin and current WAAF radio voice), Kelly Malone (Mix 98.5), Kim Jacobs (wife of Charlie Jacobs), Mike Adams (WEEI 850), and John Whitesides (Strength Coach) were on hand to help interview the candidates and offer their insight on certain girls that caught their eye. Kim Jacobs was looking for one characteristic above all when interviewing the girls. “Enthusiasm,” said Jacobs. “Absolutely. It’s funny though because that’s the one word they use to describe themselves when asked. You hear them say they are bubbly, enthusiastic, and sparkling. I think those are the attributes we’re looking for the most. “I’m impressed with how personable and excited the candidates are,” she added
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More Creative And Less Loyal

Detroit Red Wing GM Ken Holland conducted an interview with Chuck Swirsky on The Fan 590 in Toronto. This interview was done before game 4 of the SCF. Holland mentioned the Wings are willing to trade a few skaters and they need to get more creative and less loyal The league has changed and it would be good for the fans to see some change. On Yzerman, he has told Steve if it takes all summer to make a decision, that is fine with him. Talking goalies, right now Holland is working on Lidstrom and Shanahan contracts. He needs to see what direction those go, but is searching for a new goaile. To listen to the 8 minute interview, click on Ken Holland With Chuck Swirsky under Hot Audio.

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3.0 For Game 5

Primtime ratings for Wednesday night. via Media Week, Household Rating/Share Fox 7.5/12 CBS 6.3/10 ABC 3.5/ 6 NBC 3.0/ 5 UPN 2.2/ 4 WB 1.5/ 3 thanks to a KK reader for passing this on... In case you missed it, game 4 on NBC received a 2.5/4 rating/share update 12:19pm, Now this from Media Life,

Elsewhere last night, the Stanley Cup finals on NBC continued to be a small draw, though they are building. Edmonton’s exciting win over Carolina averaged an anemic 1.7 from 8 to 11 p.m., but that was 54 percent better than Saturday’s Game 3 averaged on the network.
So who the heck knows what is going on... added 12:29pm, More breakdown of last night's ratings...

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More On The Coin

from the News and Observer,

"I guess he needed it to buy dinner," RBC Center superintendent Donnie MacMillan said. The superstition of placing objects within the ice gained popular currency when Canada won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics in Utah. One of the NHL's ice technicians buried a Canadian dollar coin at center ice. The coin later ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Tampa Bay Lightning embedded a small Zamboni charm in the ice during their Stanley Cup run in 2004. MacMillan said he complained to the league about the damage to the ice, to no avail. "They didn't want to know anything about that," he said.
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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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