Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

October Ratings Revisited

William Houston of the Globe and Mail goes into detail on the NHL ratings, both in the U.S. and Canada...

A demographic breakdown helps shed light on attitudes toward the revamped game. The male 25-to-54 demo is down 9 per cent. This group is made up of people accustomed to the old NHL. Clearly, not all of them are sold on the new. However, the 18-to-49 male audience is up 11 per cent and the 18-to-34 male audience shows a whopping increase of 40 per cent. If, as the numbers seem to show, young males like today's hockey, that's good news for the NHL.
more

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The Good & Bad Deals

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

It's too soon to know with any certainty whether offseason moves will pay in the long run, and yet there are early indications that some NHL teams are benefiting significantly from what they did this summer. Here are 10 offseason moves that are paying off: 6. The Petr Principle: The Anaheim Ducks cast off Petr Sykora last season, and the New York Rangers didn't seem very upset about letting him go. The Edmonton Oilers signed him for $2.9 million and he's tied for seventh in the NHL scoring race. He's another offensive weapon for a team that has enviable depth at forward.
read on for the rest... plus some deals that weren't so good...

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Luongo Getting Plenty of Work

Easiest job in hockey? How about backing up Roberto Luongo? Canuck second-stringer Dany Souborin has played in only one game this season, and it doesn't look like he'll be seeing action any time soon.

Luongo will start his seventh straight contest Thursday night when the Canucks take on the Wild in Minnesota. "Right now, with the way the schedule is and no [back-to-back games], Luongo is the guy," Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters Wednesday, adding that he has no plans to use Sabourin in the coming weeks.
More from the CBC Postscript: Another little item you might want to keep your eye on? The gambling habits of a certain Vancouver blogger. Rest assured she's keeping close track of Roberto's record.
Anyway, I hereby agree to get this tattoo IF Luongo can actually play over .500 hockey by mid-season. If he’s winning more than he’s losing after game #42 in January (Luongo, not the Canucks), I’ll do it. And if Luongo doesn’t pull it off? I get nothing but the satisfaction of not wearing this idiotic tattoo for the rest of my life. (Geezus… the things I do for hockey.)
Go here for a reminder of her wager and to see the alleged "art".

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Jump On The Pens Bandwagon

from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,

Get on the ride now. Get on before it is sold out. The Pittsburgh Penguins are rolling and after their overtime win in Los Angeles on Wednesday night they are officially the best early-season story in the league. With the Penguins you go into every game wondering what you are going to get, and you leave feeling as if you were really entertained. How has all this happened and will it last? The answers, in order, are: "hard work" and "yes.''
continued

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Playing The HD Game Again

As a KK member points out, if you depend on INHD to broadcast the Vs. HD game of the week, you're viewing time may be delayed. This tape-delay stuff has to stop!!! image

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Thrashers In The Mix

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

What, you expected the Carolina Hurricanes to just wither up and blow away like a dandelion in a, well, wind storm? "Yeah, we're bored being Cup champs. Here, you take over." Not quite. Although the Atlanta Thrashers have been anointed the next great thing from the Southeast Division, and may yet fulfill that destiny, the Hurricanes served notice Wednesday night with a 5-2 victory over the formerly red-hot Thrashers that they will not go quietly into that hockey night.
continued

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Another Schedule Fix

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

The league is scratching around for every additional penny it can toss into the coffers, so adding four games will thrill the bean counters. But how do you tack the four onto the schedule without overtaxing the players and beating down the paying public? Simply by re-distributing the current workload in a practical fashion. Take four preseason games out of the meaningless category and put them on the official slate.... The second step requires the abolition of the six divisions and going with two conferences of 15 teams apiece.
read on

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Google Video- Free Or Not

from Market Watch,

...In stepped Google with a way back to the mainstream. Starting Wednesday, every 2006-2007 regular-season NHL game can be watched, for free, on Google Video, the world's No. 4 most popular video-providing Web site. Google's corralled all the NHL material onto a single Web site, which comes across as a kind of NHL TV on the Internet, where thousands of NHL games are available to view through an Internet browser, or to download onto a personal computer to watch at a later time. The games are shown in their entirety and advertising-free. But that is likely to change, according to Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker. "We are hoping to make this content ad supported, enabling the NHL to earn revenue from online distribution of this content," he said.
more and notice the word free. until the NHL and Google come out with a statement, it is best to wait to see if there will be a charge...

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More Of The Same For Flames

from the Calgary Sun,

Maybe it'll take a sledgehammer between the eyes to get the message through. Lord knows the two warnings issued 24 hours earlier didn't do the job for the flickering Calgary Flames. Despite a tongue-lashing from GM Darryl Sutter and a pair of call-ups added to the mix to prove spots in the lineup are on the line, it was more of the same from the underachieving squad.
continued

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Hockey, Drug Testing and Dick Pound

Dick Pound continues his battle with the NHL and drug testing. From the Ottawa Sun:

The founder and chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency stirred up the hockey world last year when he said a third of NHLers are using some kind of performance-enhancing drugs. He wasn't skating away from that claim yesterday. "I'm more than happy to be known by the enemies I make in this fight," said Pound, a Montreal lawyer. "At least the NHL is doing some testing, but they still are in major league institutional denial about the problem. [...] ''The spin doctors tried to say when I made my statement I was talking about steroids, that 33% of NHLers were on steroids. I'm smart enough not to do that. Everybody knows the drugs of choice in hockey are the stimulants."
Continued...

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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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