Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Doug Miller on 09/09/11 at 02:00 PM ET
The official release of NHL 12 in North America is just around the corner, next Tuesday, and the early access download to be released later today, at 6PM EST for EA Sports Season Ticket subscribers.
So I figured today would be the perfect time to announce that Kukla’s Korner will have their own official EASHL Club in NHL 12 on Xbox 360. Well, not just one mere Club, but an entire “Club System” actually. Continue reading on for all of the details regarding this special announcement.
Back when I was playing Goalie for an Elite Level Club in NHL 11, I ended up getting into several heated arguments with my Club’s Main General Manager, over several issues. Mostly because he kept deleting our Club and starting a new one anytime we would go on a small losing streak, as he always wanted to keep our record looking good. That, and he was insistent on doing online searches of every Club that we were about to play against, and if they had any kind of good record or rank, he usually refused to play them, as he wanted to pick on weak Clubs to rack up easy wins in an attempt to get a higher overall Elite Division Ranking. Not to mention he had issues of getting mad very easily and simply quitting out of Club matches due to pure anger… a “rage quit” as me and some friends like to refer to it.
I had issues with all of these things, but perhaps none more so than the constant deleting of our Club, and thus, losing all of our Club’s record books and accomplishments, which is one of my favorite little features of Clubs in the EASHL. So it wasn’t long before I constantly kept reminding everyone in the Club, which included two personal friends I know in real life, that when NHL 12 came around, I was making a Club on Day 1 and never leaving it. This was all long before I had any idea that I would end up here at Kukla’s Korner.
As I began to cover NHL 12 announcements as they related to my EASHL coverage, I became very surprised at the amount of attention and conversation that my coverage was getting. I honestly was not expecting this when I joined the team here at KK. Then, at some point the idea hit me, to continue along with my idea of starting my own EASHL Club, and use my position here at KK to make it into something even bigger and greater than I could ever have originally imagined.
So with the back-story now out of the way, I can get into the details of this “KK EASHL Club System” announcement.
I’m sure the first thing several of you might be asking yourselves is “What is the difference between a regular Club and a Club System?”. Well, it’s quite simple, a Club System is simply a Club that actually consists of more than one EASHL Club. There will be a “Main Club” which will consist of the System’s top players at each position, and it will be my goal to have the Main Club be playing at a high level in the Elite Division. Elite Playoff Trophies are nice, but it’s my goal to have the Main Club eventually become contenders for the highest of honors, an EASHL Championship. There are still even greater aspirations than that, but I’ll touch on that stuff later.
I do want the Main Club to be competitive at a high level, but I plan to run things in a rather light and fun atmosphere, because after all, it is just a game, and it should be fun, which is how I plan on treating things. I’m not going to freak-out if we have a losing season or a short playoff run one month. The newer entries in the NHL-series require a ton of practice and experience to get better, as there is definitely a big learning curve, as it took me years, and hundreds of games to get to where I am at now, and I know I still have plenty of room for improvement myself. We shall all grow together as a TEAM though. Because hockey is a team sport, and requires a tremendous amount of teamwork and good communication to achieve success.
Anyway, the Main Club has already been created in NHL 12, complete with custom uniforms that match KK’s Red/Black/White color scheme. Of course, it’s named “Cluster Pucks” as that name even pre-dates this blog’s existence, as I’ve used it for other things in the past. Ideally I would have liked to have the Main Club incorporate the KK name somehow, but apparently according to Microsoft/EA’s word filter “Kukla” is an inappropriate word or somehow part of one. As a quick side note, the NHL 12 devs claim it’s Microsoft’s word filter, not theirs… yet I had no problem making a “Kukla’s Korner” Community in my early access download of Madden 12 this year.
Now, to get down to some more announcements about KK’s new Club System in the EASHL. Cluster Pucks will be the Main Club, but at the moment I’m also planning on having at least two “Farm Clubs”. Much like other professional hockey leagues, these Farm Clubs are associated with the Main Club, and exist to help players at different skill levels develop, as on occasion players might be called up or sent down, depending on what management and other highly respected players agree is best for the Club System.
So what makes this Club so special and not just “my” Club, but KK’s Club?
One basic rule that I decided on as a primary reason for creating this Club System in the first place. That rule is simple. KK’s Cluster Pucks Club System will be automatically open to all KK Staff and registered KK members. As all KK Staff and website members will be guaranteed a roster spot and ice time, no matter what. I made this decision and rule for the Club System for all of you out there who enjoy playing in the EASHL, but have trouble finding a well managed, and decent EASHL Club to join up with. Yet another reason why I decided to make a full-blow Club System rather than just a single Club, as I know there are all types of players of various skill levels out there. As well as people that play more casually, and not as competitively. The multiple Farm Clubs will assure everyone that they can find the right Club for them within KK’s EASHL Club System.
However, this Club System will not just be limited only to KK Staff and website members, they just get the special benefit of a guaranteed roster spot. I’ve actually already had a few outside people contact me over Xbox Live in regards to joining an EASHL Club, although regular people will have to go through a small and informal “try-out” process, but this is mostly just a formality, as I’m open to accepting players of all variety of skill levels, and giving them a Club to be a part of.
As far as Club System Management goes, there is myself, who will operate as the Main General Manager, overseeing not only “Cluster Pucks” but all of the associated Farm Clubs as well. There is also my close personal friend Mike, who will be serving as my Assistant GM, in addition to being in charge of Player Scouting, as he has a very good eye for potential EASHL talent. Obviously additional GMs for the Farm Clubs will be needed overtime, but it’s been my experience that these people generally tend to step up into that leadership role naturally, depending on their character. Although at the moment, both myself and Mike are planning to have multiple Xbox Live accounts going soon, mine for management reasons, and his for scouting reasons.
At the moment, the Farm Clubs have yet to be created or named, but they will be in due time. As I said, I am only planning to have two of these Farm Clubs at the moment, but that may be expanded in the future if there is a need for it.
I know several of you will be downloading and enjoying the early access release of NHL 12 later tonight and over the weekend. However, due to compatibility issues between the retail version and early access versions of the game, in addition to my rather busy schedule covering HockeyFest tomorrow, followed by writing up my in-depth NHL 12 review, which will be posted Tuesday, none of the Clubs in KK’s Cluster Pucks system will begin play until at least September 13th.
So in addition to my general EASHL coverage on this blog, among other Leagues, I’ll also have some occasional special coverage of what our own Club is up to, including roster moves and other news involving the Farm Clubs, and their progress and standings as well.
Also, for those of you interested in joining up with KK’s Official EASHL Club, but also have an interest in competition beyond just the EASHL, I’ve already gone ahead and registered the “Cluster Pucks” team with GameBattles, which is MLG’s affiliate for other games not in regular rotation on their Pro Circuit. I’m not even quite sure exactly how their “teams” work, but for any of you who might be interested in joining up with that, you can check out the team’s profile page over on the GB/MLG website.
Those of who have who are qualified for a “walk-on” spot in the Club System, i.e. all KK Staff and registered members, feel free to contact me directly on Xbox Live. My Gamertag is “Doug IVI” and that’s “eye vee eye” at the end for those of you who might be reading in a font that makes it hard to tell what exactly certain letters are.
That same invitation goes out to any and all of you who are interested in joining the Club System, just be sure to include “KK” in the beginning of your message or in your friend request, so I can help sort through some of the junk I’m sure I’ll get by publicly putting my Gamertag out there like I just did.
I suppose that covers just about everything, but as usual, I’m writing this post at 5AM, so I might be forgetting something. So if you have any questions or comments, just post them below, and I’ll address them as I can, as my schedule is quite full for the next few days.
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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.
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