Kukla's Korner

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Hockey Punditry

From Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside at ESPN:

Pierre LeBrun: Scott, we get together again just in time to digest yet another update on Mats Sundin. As one GM told me the other day, “Tell the big Swede to make up his damn mind!” Well, Sundin is one step closer. He’ll start seriously skating and training in the Los Angeles area early next week, and then who knows after that. It might take three to four weeks before he’s ready to play.

Scott Burnside: Pierre, I never get tired of wondering about where the Ponderous One will end up. It’s like watching paint dry, only more pedestrian.

much more chat about Sundin, plus some goalie controversies to debate

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

High Risk, High Reward Hockey

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

With the two Alexes – Ovechkin and Semin – leading the charge, the Washington Capitals might be the greatest show on the ice right now, the heir apparent to the swashbuckling Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s. If that’s the case, then defenceman Mike Green is the 21st-century equivalent of Paul Coffey in style and approach – one of half-a-dozen promising young rearguards who will get a long look from the management staff of Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. Green plays a high-risk, high-reward style. Most nights, he is a defenceman in name only and plays almost as a fourth forward.

This is done with the permission of his coach Bruce Boudreau who, since taking over the reins of the Capitals last December, loosened them considerably on all of his young players. Now, instead of making a defensive choice on a 50-50 puck battle, they have permission to err on the offensive side. Some nights, it backfires, but on balance, it generally works.

and more on the Capitals plus other hockey topics, from Marian Gaborik to Sarah Palin

Update 1:55pm ET: Ken Campbell at The Hockey News has more thoughts on the Capitals today, specifically on Alex Ovechkin’s season thus far.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, mike+green, sarah+palin

Everyone’s a Winner in Hockey

From Chris Sprow at ESPN The Magazine,

Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a fairly dreadful team by most standards. They were last place in their division, had the fourth worst record in the East, were outscored by 29 goals and were an atrocious 78.2% on the penalty kill. Their record, however, was a competitive-looking 36-35-11. They were over .500!

But in the current NHL, who isn’t?

Last year, in a 30-team league, just 6 teams were under .500. In the West, discounting the NHL’s worst team—the Los Angeles Kings who were all of 9 games under .500— the other two “losers” combined to go a whopping 5 games under .500. Yikes! That’s because the NHL has devised a clever marketing ploy where at least based on a traditional look at the standings, your team is never really out of it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marketing

Super Saturday at the Kukla House

From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:

So far, 40 people are expected and I am sure more will just pop in. Over the summer months, I added 2 HDTVs, making a grand total of 4. Two LCDs, a 42-inch model along with a 55-inch model.  The two added during the summer are plasma models, one 50-inch and another 32-inches. I am set and can be in almost any room and be tuned into a game.

This time though, three HDTVs will be side-by-side-by-side and the room these televisions will be in will look more like a hockey production studio than a home theater room.  Wires are coming out of the ceiling, the baseboards and running along the floor.  I have attached numerous headphone sets to the audio receivers that are hooked up to the televisions, allowing some sort of privacy if guests wish to listen to the games in an individual manner. 

I am not sure, but the room may be in some sort of FCC violation.

continued…

Geez, I’m seriously jealous of Paul’s home theatre setup. I can’t even get my DVR to work properly.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hdtv, hockey+fans

Talking Economic Crisis

from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

During a recent lecture at UCLA, Patrick Rishe showed his “Economics of Sports” class how the professional sports industry, shielded in the past in many ways from a fickle or distressed economy, won’t be unscathed by the current economic crisis….

Two supports could keep the major sports from suffering as much as other industries: long-term TV contracts and collective bargaining contracts that tether player salaries to revenues.

“Salaries in all sports — salary caps or revenue sharing or luxury tax sports — whatever their salaries are have fallen with revenues,” Zimbalist said. “It’s not lockstep, but as one goes up the other goes up. If revenues flatten out, which is likely, we’ll see a similar (event) with salaries, and it could be for a few years. ...

Much of that will be because television contracts, the centerpiece of professional sports’ big revenues, are locked in. MLB’s broadcast deal is worth $5.4 billion and lasts until 2013. The NFL receives an estimated $3.7 billion a year from its partner networks, the NBA’s broadcast deals are fixed to 2016 and the NHL’s contract with the Versus network goes through 2011.

more with a look at St. Louis teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chicago & Detroit Will Unveil Winter Classic Sweaters

NEW YORK (October 24, 2008) –  The NHL Winter Classic 2009 jerseys will be unveiled during the broadcast of the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, Oct. 25.  WGN-TV and FSN Detroit will broadcast the game, which begins at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30pm ET) and marks the first time the two clubs will meet this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings each will wear a unique, one-time-only jersey while playing in the NHL Winter Classic 2009 at Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Zherdev Returns To Columbus

from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,

Tonight Zherdev returns to Columbus, the scene of his first four NHL years of underachievement, with two goals and three assists in his first nine games as a Ranger.

“To me, he’s a 40-plus goal scorer,” Blue Jackets Coach Ken Hitchcock said about the 2003 fourth-overall pick. “When I took over in November [2006], he was moody and very unhappy but he made big changes.”...

“He’s a good guy, really coachable,” said Renney. “His dangle instincts are a little different than a North American guy and I don’t want to take that away from him. He’s a great passer….

Asked about his game and expectations of a breakout, the English-shy Zherdev smiled and said: “Next level.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+zherdev

Those Classy Devils

from Empty Netters,

...a Penguins fan who was hit by a puck during the team’s home opener wrote in to give us an update on his health.

I was the guy that was hit with the puck in A 27 Row B at the 3:28 mark of the first period. Just to be clear, I WAS paying attention. Have you ever sat down that low? You can’t see a damn thing…

After receiving medical attention for my bleeding head, I returned to the game for the second period. In a very classy move by the Devils, one of their trainers handed me a Reebok Devils hat, signed by all of the scratched players that evening.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Bad Start Not A Coaching Problem

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,

This is Philadelphia, so there’s already a buzz that Flyers coach John Stevens’ job security could be in trouble if the club’s losing streak reaches eight games after weekend games with the New Jersey Devils.

Puh-leeeeeeze.

Stevens should NOT be on the hot seat. Last year’s strong regular-season finish and the team’s drive to the Eastern Conference finals has to count for something, right?

The Flyers are 0-3-3 because their goaltending and defense have been lousy, their power play has been inconsistent, and they miss some of last year’s players (R.J. Umberger, Jason Smith, Sami Kapanen, the injured Derian Hatcher and Jim Dowd) more than they expected.

continued

added 7:32am, via Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Over the years, the Philadelphia Flyers have become known as the most cutthroat organization in the league when it comes to coaches. This is a franchise that once fired a coach because he contracted cancer.

So don’t expect John Stevens to enjoy a long and leisurely tenure if the Flyers continue to struggle. The Flyers were on the brink in the late stages of last season and back then, the word was out that Stevens was in a precarious position. As it happened, the Flyers rallied down the stretch and had a commendable playoff run.

Even so, the honeymoon is over.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Milan Lucic Checks Mike Van Ryn;  The Glass is Not Happy

From HockeyFights.com:

Milan Lucic threw a big hit on Mike Van Ryn, shattering the glass, and cementing the two of them on this season’s highlight reel.

Update 1:18am ET— In the Metro West Daily News, a quote from Lucic:

“It felt kind of weird because you usually just bounce off the boards and this time you went through.”

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+van+ryn, milan+lucic

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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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