Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Applause & Improvement

from Bob Dicesare at the Buffalo News,

There are drastic differences between today's NHL and the one that hobbled into the new millennium. A league that had been resistant to change, mired in a misguided sense of traditionalism, has broken free of its shackles and upped its entertainment value. Here are five reasons why it happened, and five things the league could do to fine-tune its improved product. -Referees deserve a tip of the cap for adhering to a league directive mandating strict enforcement of the rules, particularly when it comes to interference and obstruction -Move up the trade deadline by at least a month, maybe to Jan. 31. Force teams to identify their strengths and weaknesses before the stretch run.
read on

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82 Reasons To Enjoy The Season

from Shawn P. Roarke at NHL.com,

...as the League's players, coaches and front offices finish the final preparations before embarking on what promises to be a long and wild ride through the fall and winter months before culminating in the warmth of the spring, I figured it would be a good time to take a look at some of the things I am looking forward to seeing during the regular season as I embark on my 14th season of chronicling this wonderful sport. The list, in no particular order, features 82 things -- one for each regular-season game on the schedule of each team -- that I plan to savor as we wind our way through the 2006-07 season. 67. Quality goalie Manny Legace finding peace in the crease of the St. Louis Blues, a quest that eluded him in Detroit despite his best efforts. 37. Watching the Boston Bruins return to their hard-working ways under the influence of new coach Dave Lewis and new defenseman Zdeno Chara.
read on

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A Long Drought

from Greg Cote at the Miami Herald,

Why Luongo is across the continent in Vancouver today, in a strange jersey and facemask, is the latest in a long parade of decisions that together have left Florida among the league's most barren franchises. The national hockey spotlight last paid real respect and attention to this end of the peninsula in 1996, the year of rubber rats and Cinderella Cats, when a third-year franchise somehow reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Since then? A near flatline. The team has missed the playoffs altogether seven of the past eight seasons (except in 2000), and last won a playoff game on April 17, 1997 -- an extraordinary drought among the worst in all of pro sports.
read on

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Strachan Hits

from Al Strachan at the Toronto Sun,

A quick look at the coming season in the National Hockey league: Colorado Avalanche: This edition will establish another important milestone in NHL history -- the first great team to be decimated by the salary cap. Minnesota Wild: For the first time in franchise history, they're stacked with talent. But will they use that talent to score, or will they continue to be insomnia's worst enemy?
read on...every NHL team mentioned...

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The Oldest Rookie

from the Columbus Dispatch,

In a back corner of the Blue Jackets’ dressing room sits goaltender Fredrik Norrena, slumped into his locker and in no hurry to shed his heavy pads or sweatsoaked sweater. Norrena has waited a long time for these days. What’s the rush? "Playing in the NHL … it’s all I ever wanted to do," Norrena said. "It’s new territory, a new world. And that’s exciting to me. I’ve waited a long time for this. Now I just want to cherish it." Norrena will turn 33 next month, making him the NHL’s oldest rookie this season...

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Quinn Sits & Waits

from the Vancouver Province,

He's been doing this as long as he can remember and while he knew he was going to miss it, he didn't bargain on how much he'd miss the sense of excitement shared by every NHL team this time of the season. "I've got this knot in my stomach because there's nothing to get up for," he says. So he sits and waits. At 63, he should probably be looking for a soft front-office job to begin his hockey dotage but he still finds the lure of coaching to be irresistible. He might get another chance. He might not. But whatever happens in the near future, it appears the game will have to quit him before he quits the game.

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Top & Hot

Bob McKenzie of TSN lists his top 10 rookies and who in the NHL is on the hot seat...

• Colorado's Wojtek Wolski. Polish-born and Canadian-trained, Wolski will get top-six forward minutes with the Avs. • Sean Avery. The Los Angeles Kings bad boy is, as GM Dean Lombardi puts it, on double-secret probation. This useful agitator needs to show respect for his teammates and the game.

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The New Wings

from the Grand Rapids Press,

They sit side-by-side in the Detroit Red Wings' dressing room, two friends who've made the climb to the NHL together. Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky are enjoying the moment, but each knows life at the top can be tenuous. They're third and fourth, respectively, in career goals for the AHL affiliate Griffins, but it's a fresh slate now.

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Open Topic

The puck hits the ice tonight!!! This post is yours, comments, suggestions, rants, etc. Want to make a prediction go for it, want to suggest a few changes to the NHL, this is the place to do it. Keep it hockey related and let your voice be heard. Also, I have added a few more bloggers to the hockey blogroll on the left sidebar on the hockey section of KK. This list is not yet complete and if you are a blogger and want your site added, please drop me an .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Hockey Advertisers Pay Attention

As Gary Bettman said yesterday, "Our fans tend to be extremely tech-savvy. They're availing themselves of this new digital world." I have banged this drum before and will continue to do so- Those that control the advertising budget for hockey placement need to begin considering the hockey blogs as an excellent and very cost efficient way of getting your word and branding effort out- after all, aren't you trying to reach the type of person that visits the blogs on a daily basis?. Doesn't it make sense to become involved with the blogging community! Sure, it may take a little more effort on your part, but someone needs to rise above the rest of the crowd and start to make it happen. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

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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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