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The Gearhead, Episode One: Warrior Hockey

By George Malik Welcome to "The Gearhead!" As your resident rink rat and equipment nut, my goal is to give you an inside look at the tools hockey players use by talking to the ladies and gents who make hockey gear. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Warrior Hockey's marketing director, Neil Wensley, about the Warren-based manufacturer's expansion from making lacrosse equipment to producing hockey sticks as well. He and I spoke for over an hour about Warrior's stick-making processes, and I think he had as much fun as I did--there's nothing like two equipment geeks talking shop!

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Vote For Your Favourite All-Stars!

The NHL's opened up its All-Star voting to the public:

COLD-fX/NHL ALL-STAR FAN BALLOTING, presented by 2K SPORTS GOES COMPLETELY DIGITAL FOR THE FIRST TIME. Now, through 8:59 PM (PT), January 2, 2007, fans worldwide can CLICK TO VOTE any time for their Eastern and Western Conference NHL All-Star starters for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game.
US Ballot * Canadian Ballot * En Francais * International Brought to you by the Robert Lang for ASG campaign...

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Ovechkin, Meehan Part Ways

from the Canadian Press:

Veteran hockey agent Don Meehan and star Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin have parted ways after five years together. The Russian player fired the head of Newport Sports Management during a meeting last week, Meehan told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. ''I'm disappointed but I wish him well,'' said Meehan. Ovechkin was not immediately available for comment. It's believed Ovechkin's mother will be taking over her son's affairs. The 21-year-old is signed to his entry-level contract through next season.

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Brace For Impact

from the Delaware County Times:

According to trainer Jim McCrossin, Forsberg had been dealing with a sprained ligament in the ankle, prompting the visit to the Cleveland Clinic in search of an orthotic device which will help stabilize the ankle inside the boot of a hockey skate. "I spoke with Peter (Tuesday), and (Monday) he was fitted with an orthotic brace," said McCrossin. "Peter skated and he said it actually felt very good. Some minor adjustments had to be made and they were made overnight. Peter was going back out to skate again and we decided we are going to touch base (in) Anaheim. "I did speak with Dr. Brian Donley from the Cleveland Clinic a few times (Monday) after our game and Dr. Donley was very pleased on how the orthotic brace angulated Peter’s ankle. Peter is happy, Dr. Donley is happy and I’m happy."
It took the Flyers' medical staff how long to finally recommend an orthotic? Over a year and a surgery later, they finally get down to business? That's scary, and their inability to make the most basic observation--if the boot doesn't fit the ankle, help the ankle fit the boot--borders on incompetence. continued

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Hitchcock Brings His Own Ways With Him

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Hitchcock is supposed to be the top choice for the vacancy and the Philadelphia Flyers have already granted permission for MacLean to talk to him. But if he agrees to go to Columbus, Hitchcock will never agree to clear almost every decision with the boss. As anyone who knows him knows, Hitchcock runs his teams his way and his way only. So if MacLean hires him, then he is well aware that only a playoff berth will save his own job at the end of the season. Then again, MacLean said as much the other day when he was asked if McConnell said he was on notice.

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We Need Action

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

Still, there's hope that stories of substance and controversy could yet emerge. Both Philly and Columbus have contributed a little by canning their coaches, and if the Phoenix Coyotes don't find first gear, let alone third, any time soon, the future of The Great One as coach has enormous potential. Trades involving marquee players are possible with names like Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Forsberg, Ed Jovanovski and Evgeni Nabokov bouncing around. And there's enough meatheads still adorning NHL rosters that one of them may soon do something terrible to a fellow union member, thus sparking another violence-in-the-game debate. Right now, however, it's mostly just about the games and the scores and the stats, which is probably just the way Bettman wants it.
read on...basically Cox is stating we are waiting for some off-ice action, just to spice it up a little...

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Gridlock Beats Ferrari Every Time

An auto writer at the Detroit Free Press dares to dream in discussing a 20,000-mile PR tour staged by Ferrari to promote its new flagship, the "599":

[T]he pristine but road-weary 599s made it to Detroit as part of the company's 20,000-mile public relations tour, which the Prancing Horse dubbed the Panamerican 20,000. An 84-day marathon designed to abuse two extreme super cars with slow speeds, horrendous road conditions and journalists in the drivers' seats. The tour, which began in Brazil, will end Friday when the pair of 599s and their entourage of support vehicles arrive in New York City. The group left Cauley Ferrari in West Bloomfield Monday for Toronto. Had the 599s a chance to travel at their top speed, the 599s could make the trip from the Red Wings' Joe Louis Arena to the Maple Leafs Air Canada Centre in roughly 68 minutes.
On the 401? Only if it can bend time and space while it sits in gridlock in the middle of Mississauga. I see a video game in the offing, though..."GTA GTA (Greater Toronto Area): the mighty 401! It only seems like forever..."

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Official YouTube/NHL Release

SAN BRUNO, Calif. and NEW YORK– (Nov. 15, 2006) – YouTube, Inc., a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience, and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced they have formed a strategic content and advertising partnership in which the NHL will provide daily short-form video content to YouTube for the 2006-2007 season beginning this month. The partnership marks the first time that a professional U.S. sports league has entered into a content agreement with YouTube. The agreement will enable users to access video highlights of NHL regular season games, which will be available within 24 hours of the original broadcast, in addition to other on and off ice footage. “The partnership will enable the NHL to expose YouTube’s vast audience to all of the excitement and drama of the new NHL,” said Doug Perlman, NHL Executive Vice President, Media. “What a great way to showcase the talent of our athletes.” “By delivering a wide array of daily programming to YouTube, the NHL will be able to connect with its existing fan base and reach a vast new audience that is passionate about hockey,” said Kevin Donahue, vice president of content for YouTube. “Today’s agreement demonstrates how major sports leagues are realizing the powerful benefits YouTube offers in terms of growing their audience and creating a new channel for generating revenue.” Through its partnership with YouTube, the NHL will be able to take advantage of YouTube’s “Claim Your Content” program, which features an advanced content identification architecture and reporting system allowing the league to identify and protect its copyrighted content. The league will have the option to remove the content from YouTube or allow it to remain and share the revenue from the advertising placed adjacent to the content. NHL will provide the YouTube community and hockey fans in general, a wide range of free, short-form entertaining clips. The NHL also will have its own Brand Channel on YouTube that will allow fans to easily access content in one centralized place. Additionally, the NHL will have Branded Watch Pages, which allows YouTube content partners to brand the pages on which their videos play.

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To Be Like Harley

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Man, I’d love to be Harley Hotchkiss. Aside from that whole chick-magnet thing and having unlimited access to Flames’ tickets, the man is entering The Promised Land of the Hockey World. He is going from simply being an influential member of the puck fraternity to a made man with a really cool jacket. Harley is being inducting into the Hockey Hall of Fame and he’s bringing three friends with him.

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NHL Made The Right Call On Smyth Hit

from Robin Brownlee of the Edmonton Sun,

Scream like hell if you must, but those are the factors NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell took into account yesterday in deciding not to suspend John-Michael Liles of the Colorado Avalanche for sticking his knee out on Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers Monday. It goes without saying fans waiting to hear what supplemental discipline Campbell would issue after Liles felled Smyth with 29 seconds to play in the Oilers 2-1 win won’t be the least bit satisfied there is none whatsoever – no matter what his reasoning. Fair enough. That said, Campbell made the right call.

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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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