Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

An Invitation To Belinda

Belinda Luscombe (bio), a senior editor at Time, wrote today about the process she went through to become an American citizen. She also used this comparison...

In a way it's probably a shame if I'm the 300 millionth American, because I'm not nearly as excited about becoming one as most of the other folks here. They're mostly beaming and chatting in hushed tones with all the family members they brought to watch a three-and-a-half-hour ceremony with no music, costumes or red carpet. Basically it's three hours of sitting and 15 minutes of picking up paperwork. As spectator sports go, this is up there with a visit to the DMV or an ice hockey game. I figure they keep it dull to provide contrast with with the moment of 300 millionth American unveiling, just like how Jim Carrey movies are so stupid so he can look more funny in them.
You can read the full article but what I would like to do is invite Ms. Luscombe to attend an "ice hockey" game with me. I would hope I could change her opinion of the "ice hockey" game!

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Single Season Magnificence

KK member Joe Pelletier sent in another submission for the "KK Free Friday" last week. I was suffering with the flu so decided to hold off posting this until today. I have given Joe an open invitation for more of these type of themed articles and hope he takes me up on it. Also, make sure to check out his blogs- 1972summitseries.com & legendsofhockey.blogspot.com.

A look at the 10 greatest regular seasons in NHL history
Every season the NHL witnesses a few amazing year-long individual performances that resonate hockey greatness. Last season we watched the emergence of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Jonathan Cheechoo, Dion Phaneuf, and the re-emergence Jaromir Jagr. In a really magical season we are able to watch a player turn in a campaign that becomes legendary or, even better, transforming. The achievements of that season may garner iconic status because of historical significance, dramatic impact, defining nature, or statistical dominance. Without taking into account the Stanley Cup playoffs, it has been a while since we’ve seen a player’s regular season efforts reach a status of truly important in NHL history. We might have to go back to Dominik Hasek’s days in Buffalo for that. All of this got me thinking: Which individual season is truly the greatest? With over 90 seasons and countless great performances, I have narrowed my choices down to five key performances. In my estimation, the single most consequential NHL campaign was turned in by Bobby Orr in 1969-70. In his fourth NHL season, the 22 year old Orr captured the Hart, Norris and Art Ross trophies. Yes, the Art Ross. Bobby Orr became the first and only defenseman to win the league’s haloed scoring championship. It was a signature moment in a career that revolutionized the way the game is played.

Continue Reading »

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Faith In Gretzky

from the Arizona Republic,

Asked if what has transpired over the first few weeks of the season has made team ownership doubt Gretzky's coaching ability, CEO Jeff Shumway, who said he was speaking for himself and majority owner Jerry Moyes, said: "Absolutely not. In fact, I think it's exactly the opposite . . . The more I've gotten to know Wayne, the more I appreciate his great knowledge and his ability to handle the players and his ability to communicate with them." Gretzky, of course, also owns part of the team. ...A team source said the Coyotes are exploring signing an unsigned veteran center - presumably Jason Allison or Yanic Perrault - to fill in for Steven Reinprecht, who will miss the next seven weeks or so because of a broken clavicle.

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Tanguay Starting To Feel It

from the Calgary Sun,

"I'm starting to get my legs and see my spot on this team," Tanguay said after practice at the Saddledome. "I'm starting to feel this is my team. There was an adjustment seeing different jerseys and now I feel I fit in better." Tanguay's move to the Flames following an off-season trade from Colorado hasn't exactly started with a bang. While the team has struggled out of the gates en route to a 2-4-1 record, Tanguay has had middling success of his own, with two goals and two assists in seven games.
read on

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Wings Not In Synch

from the Detroit Free Press,

"The attack that we mustered in the last three games is very much unlike us," coach Mike Babcock said. "Even earlier in the year, we attacked better than we did. We played a good Buffalo team; we attacked. But for whatever reason, we're not fluid together. We have to attack together and move the puck."... Nowhere has Detroit's problems reared any uglier than on the power play. The Wings are 4-for-46 with the man advantage, and 37-for-54 on penalty kills. "You can't win in the league unless you have good special teams," Babcock said. "The power play has to work for you to win games. We don't believe we've changed that much or that the coaches suddenly got dumb, so we'd like to think our power play will be back."
more

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Carnival Of Hockey

NHL Digest is hosting the first Carnival of Hockey. All hockey bloggers are invited to send in their submissions.

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Finding The Right Balance

from the LA Times via the Journal Gazette,

For years sports leagues have insisted that their footage appear only on their Web sites or on licensed broadcast partners. Now they are struggling to understand the role of online video where fans can watch their copyrighted video clips – on someone else’s Web site. The NBA regularly asks YouTube and other Web sites to take down footage that violates copyright agreements. But the NHL, which needs to win back fans after a recent, yearlong lockout, is leery of coming down too hard on hockey fans. The NHL has asked YouTube to pull lengthy action videos of Russian-born star Alex Ovechkin, who plays for the Washington Capitals; now the site mostly offers short highlight reels. “We spend millions of dollars to stage the games, we created what’s a very valuable intellectual property,” said Doug Perlman, the NHL’s senior vide president of television and media ventures. “We have a young, tech-savvy fan base. We know they’re interacting with our sport very differently than in the past ... which makes it very important for us to strike the right balance.”
more on how pro sports leagues are dealing with YouTube, MySpace, etc...

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Shooters Thinking Luongo

from the Vancouver Province,

On Saturday night, it was also there for Canucks fans to see in spades. And if you were wondering about the X-factor that Luongo brings to the team, you now have a better idea. "I think he's got to play in the minds of other teams as much as [Martin] Brodeur and [Miikka] Kiprusoff," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said on Sunday, a day after Luongo stoned the Nashville Predators over the final half of the game, allowing the Canucks to sneak out of Music City with a 4-3 overtime win. "Any time you have a goalie of that calibre, the other team is talking about him: 'We need to do this. We need to do that.' Before the game starts, it's playing in their heads."
read on

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Rangers Near Cap

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The re-emergence of Sandis Ozo linsh may or may not help defense and power-play point issues, but it sure does create salary cap issues for the Rangers. Somehow, even while cap-charged only $4.94 million on Jaromir Jagr's $8.36M per and even with management's reasoned approach to the market, Ozolinsh's restoration to the lineup means the Blueshirts are at $42.878M on the $44M cap. The team could be granted proportionate relief if necessary on Jed Ortmeyer's $551,800, but only if the payroll were to climb to $44M without counting the incapacitated winger's contract.
continued

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Turn On The Red Light

In case you have missed it, Divealanche is now blogging....

Anyone who gazed across the sky last night could see a red glow eminating from the area of Montreal, where David "Candy" Aebischer and Jose Theodore did battle to determine who is the worst netminder. Unfortunately for Avsmonkey, Theodore emerged victorious, getting lit eight times and sending one goal official to a local hospital complaining of carpal tunnel in his button thumb.
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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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