Kukla's Korner

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All Ron Francis

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

NHL.com: What do you think is the greatest challenge for the NHL today?

RF: “Oh, well, I think the on-ice portion has made some great strides in opening up the game since the lockout season. I have always felt going way back that our League has the best players not only from North America, but from the world. To allow these guys to show off their talents and display what they can do on thin blades with the puck, and force other players in the League to emulate them and elevate their level will make our game better. I have never been a fan of allowing the other players to pull down the more skilled guys, and in the last few years the game has gotten faster and there are plays that people are just shaking their heads at.

On the other side, the challenge will always be keeping that financial balance. The players deserve to make a good living at what they do and the franchises and owners deserve to make money for their investment and risk.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+francis

Gretzky, Pocklington and a Game of Backgammon

From Evan Weiner at NHL.com,

imageThe NHL was allegedly interested in moving one of its financially failing teams there in the mid 1970s, and Edmonton was very receptive to either getting a failed team or being part of an NHL-WHA merger.

Skalbania gave Oilers owner Peter Pocklington a chance to add a Canadian icon, Gretzky, which figured to bolster the Oilers’ chances of getting into the NHL. There were two catches. Skalbania offered Gretzky’s services to both Pocklington’s Oilers and to the Winnipeg ownership group and “the Gretzky sweepstakes” would involve a game of backgammon. [...]

Over the years, some people have said that Skalbania really did set down those parameters and others have said the “bet” was just a fable. But there is one man who said the trade really happened over a backgammon board.

read on…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: indianapolis+racers, peter+pocklington, wayne+gretzky, wha

Afternoon Line

Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau talks about his first day with the team:

“I had to get their respect right off the bat, so I gave Alex [Ovechkin] crap.  It was on the first shift of the first practice and he missed a drill.  I pulled him aside in front of the guys and told him he couldn’t do that.

“I knew I had to give it to him before anyone.  If all I did was give crap to the nine guys I coached in the minors before, then it would be I was just giving crap to the AHL boys.”

—sourced in The St. Catharine’s Standard

*thanks to Capitals Insider for the pointer

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, bruce+boudreau, coaching

Wings Love Their Models

First Zetterberg, now Hudler… Maybe the Wings should do a season ticket push using the significant others!

thanks to SnapShots for the heads-up.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+hudler, simona+krainová

Hitting The Ice

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

The “official” unofficial practices don’t start for another two weeks. The “unofficial” unofficial practices have been going steady since April, when Brind’Amour started skating by himself a few times a week to rehab the knee injury that ended his season on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s time to pick up the pace a little bit,” Brind’Amour said. “When you’re by yourself, that’s one thing. Passing and going a little harder is the next step.”

Other players started joining him last month, and the ex-Hurricanes still outnumber the Hurricanes, with Brind’Amour and Chad LaRose representing the home team in a group that Thursday included Aaron Ward, Craig Adams, Bates Battaglia (and his younger brother Anthony), Jesse Boulerice and Shane Willis, all of whom live in the Triangle.

read on

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

“I don’t have any personal goal,” he said. “I think if I bring my best every night, do my best, the numbers are gonna be there. The bottom line is to win and help this team to win hockey games.

“It takes 100-plus points to be in position for the playoffs, so it means 50 wins and it’s got to start the first day of training camp.”

-more from Olli Jokinen at the Arizona Republic…

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: olli+jokinen

Looking At The Goalie Tweaks

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

The subtle changes the NHL has made to goalie equipment this season won’t be obvious to most fans, but they will have an impact on several netminders, including Roberto Luongo.

The new specifications, which have already been sent to NHL goalies and equipment manufacturers, won’t result in significant shrinkage. In fact, the NHL, on recommendation from the league’s goalie equipment working group, hasn’t cut back any size limits this year. But some tweaks in the wording of the rules will mean equipment will be more contoured around the calves, knees and shoulders.

One of the key targets for change has been the padding around goalie’s knees, which can be used to close off the five-hole, an issue Marty Turco awkwardly put on the front burner during last season’s widely misunderstood “pad flap” with Luongo.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blame Wayne

from Mick Kern of Home Ice XM204,

A few bullet points:

- Biggest Star in League History is traded to Los Angeles

- L.A. media, thus much of the U.S. national media, suddenly awake to the fact they`ve had an NHL team for the past 21 years

- NHL benefits from the marketing of Gretzky

- speculators want to get in on the action, some with money (Disney), some without (McNall, Boots, etc…)

- NHL takes the easy expansion money, and suddenly grows from 21 teams to 30 teams in less than a decade

- former NBA executive Gary Bettman is hired as NHL Commissioner to oversee the new NHL, chiefly to land that ever-elusive big U.S. TV contract

- that contract never comes-to-pass, and the NHL is no longer the fourth sport in the U.S., as a split in the open-wheel racing community in the U.S. and Canada allows NASCAR to move up in popularity at an astonishing rate, becoming a marketing and television behemoth

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

QMJHL May Stop Import Draft

from Don Campbell of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,

With the Ontario Hockey League set to address the import draft on Friday at annual meetings in Collingwood, Ont., the QMJHL won’t be far behind with its own annual meetings scheduled for Aug. 20-24 in Victoriaville, Que.

There’s a growing sentiment in the QMJHL that the practice of importing players may have run its course.

“It will be either to reduce or completely eliminate import players,” QMJHL president Gilles Courteau said Thursday. “But before we do something, we want to get a position and take it to our Canadian Hockey League partners.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gilmour Takes Asst. Coaching Job With Marlies

from the Toronto Maple Leafs,

Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that Doug Gilmour has been appointed assistant coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

“We are thrilled to have Doug join the coaching staff of the Marlies,” said Fletcher.  “Doug has done so much for the Leafs organization and he brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience to Greg Gilbert’s staff.”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl, cliff+fletcher, doug+gilmour, toronto+marlies

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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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