Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Heads Up

-Gary Bettman is scheduled to apper today on "Quite Frankly" with Stephen A. Smith. Ths show runs on ESPN2 at 6:30pm EDT. -Mike Ricci of Phoenix will sit out against the Stars tonight after breaking his nose in the third period of Saturday’s contest against Minnesota. -The Corel Centre in Ottawa was about 1000 seats short of capacity for the Leafs/Sens game last night. Also, about 1000 empty seats were spotted at the JLA although the game was announced as a sell-out.

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OLN Forum Cleaned Up

Last night the OLN forum was being hit hard with NHL fans voicing their displeasure over the problems they experienced trying to get the OLN game. This morning, the mods made a clean sweap of many of the topics, but fans are very vocal although the language needs to be cleaned up. Hopefully, we will get an explanation today from OLN and Comcast.

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Wild Doing Just Fine

from the Twin Cities Business Journal,

The Minnesota Wild hockey team has positioned itself to be wildly profitable compared to its NHL counterparts following a yearlong lockout. The team is one of the few in the National Hockey League to win back its season-ticket base without cutting prices. It's also brought back most of its corporate sponsors while some teams have not. The NHL's 30 clubs have reported a combined season-ticket renewal rate of 87.7 percent this season, nearly three percentage points higher than before the lockout. The Wild reported a 95 percent season-ticket retention rate. Another 6,500 people remain on a season-ticket waiting list, and single-games seats for Wednesday's opener sold out in just 15 minutes.

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Hockey’s Best Kept Secret

from the NY Times,

After Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is the most highly regarded rookie in the National Hockey League. Ovechkin, 20, scored the winning goal Monday in the Capitals' 3-2 victory over the Rangers, his third goal in four games this season. "Crosby's a star," the Russian-born Ovechkin said with a laugh after he was named the game's first star Monday. "Me, not." But most fans in the nation's capital do not seem to have noticed him. "What fans?" the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr said. "Somebody forgot to tell them it was a 1 o'clock game." The announced attendance for the Columbus Day afternoon game was generously reported at 10,760, at an arena that holds 18,277 for hockey. That included tickets distributed for the game; the actual attendance appeared to be closer to 5,000.

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OLN Broadcast

AS many of you know, OLN, Comcast and the NHL monitor Kukla's Korner so let me know if you received the game tonight. Make sure you state what cable or satellite system you are on and if OLN is available to you on the basic tier, digital tier and/or if you have to pay extra for the OLN channel. My understanding is if OLN is part of your basic tier or at least 40% of the subscribers receive OLN, you should have received the game tonight. I am surprised to read in various forums that many Comcast subscribers did not get the game. Also, for Comcast subscribers, all of the HD broadcasts will now be on INHD2. Last week the game was on INHD, but they are now scheduled for INHD2 until further notice.

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Thrashers Faced Challenges When Signing Kovalchuk

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

On Monday, more became clear about some of the challenges the Thrashers faced in signing Kovalchuk under the league's new collective bargaining agreement. One of the biggest hurdles was a CBA provision that states if a player signs after the season has started, the first year of the contract must pay him more than the average of his salary. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that rule was partly created to prevent teams from sneaking marquee players under the cap once the season started, but also to create pressure on both parties to strike a deal before the season started. "Those two aspects stand out," said Daly, who said he met with Waddell for 20 minutes Friday at league offices in New York and discussed scenarios under which the contract could receive approval. "We were concerned, as a league, with a situation where a team would be able to fit a more significant player into the smaller cap hole by being able to sign him partway through the season. That was something we were concerned about in the context of a multi-year contract. We also put into the CBA as many provisions as we could to incentivize the player and the club to deal sooner than later."

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OLN Issues Tonight

It appears hockey fans across North America are having some issues with the OLN broadcast tonight. I can say everything is fine here in the Detroit area with Comcast. The Pens/sabres game is on basic cable and the HD feed is on INHD2. But many viewers are having trouble receiving the game.

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The Maven Checks In

The weekly update from The Maven, aka Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

Mike Gartner, who many believe would have been the ideal successor to Bob Goodenow, is not a candidate just in case the Dump Ted Saskin movement gains any more speed. And it might! A couple of big-time agents are circling Saskin like vultures. They sense that Ted’s hold as Executive Director is not nearly as firm as TS would like, although Saskin is conducting business as usual.
I do have one question though, Stan appears on CI on the MSG Network and has all of these stuffed animals. What is up with that?

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NHL Signs On With European Network

from ABC via Reuters,

The National Hockey League, fighting to attract fans and find new revenue after a season-long hiatus, has cast its eye overseas by signing a four-year broadcast deal with a fledgling European network devoted to North American sports. The NHL's agreement with the North American Sports Network (NASN), which also recently landed rights to show National Football League games in 21 European countries, is to show more than 200 games each season including over high-definition TV, broadband and wireless formats. The exclusive deal across Europe is effective immediately. NASN has an option to extend it by two years and an option for Asia-Pacific rights, although the channel has no presence there.

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DVR In Overdrive Tonight

Wings/Canucks, Penguins/Sabres, Leafs/Sens, Bruins/Bolts, Flames/Avs and Oliers/Ducks. Plus Yankees/Angels and MNF Steelers/Chargers. Looks like a long night and early morning. Hope the DVR doesn't run out of hard drive space.

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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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