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Blogging the Combine

From TSN,

Over 100 of the top prospects available in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft are in Toronto to take part in the league’s Combine. The players will take part in physical testing and most have a series of interviews set up with representatives from NHL clubs.

TSN is at the combine, too, and will file reports on the various activities throughout the day in this Combine Blog.

9:39 - The NHL annual meat market is already well underway with one group having completed the physical testing portion. The prospects are all wearing heart monitors so their heartbeats can be tracked during the workouts.

updates being added throughout the day. 

P.S. TSN’s Draft 2008 page and the NHL’s Draft Guide can both provide more information on all the prospects.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Prospects, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+combine, prospects

Specialized GMs

Citing the apparent trend of NHL teams toward dividing GM duties amongst several executives, Adam Proteau at THN poses a question…

Naturally, the question is, ‘where will the specialization end?’

My answer: I hope it doesn’t end. I hope NHL bigwigs further compartmentalize GM responsibilities until you need a program, trail of breadcrumbs and DNA evidence to decipher who’s doing what in any one organization.

With that in mind, here are a handful of potential new GM roles.

Pre-Draft Fluff Artist: This is the guy who moseys on up to the podium, thanks the host town for its hospitality – and congratulates the Stanley Cup champion – before a team makes its first pick.

Capologist: This person hands a team’s baseball hat to each of its newly selected draft picks.

more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Yankee Stadium Still In The Winter Classic Picture

from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News,

With desperation setting in, the three parties who must work out the complex logistics associated with the event - the NHL, the Yankees and the Mayor’s Office - plan to sit down next week for a Stadium hockey summit.

“This is not dead yet,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Daily News yesterday.

Although reports yesterday stated that the NHL will play its 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field - with the Detroit Red Wings visiting the Blackhawks - the preferred option is to have the Rangers play host to the Boston Bruins in what would be the final sporting event at the current Yankee Stadium.

“The only two options at this point are Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field,” Daly said. “Wrigley Field is not done.”

more

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

Bourdon’s Mom Advised Him Not To Buy A Bike

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Sobbing uncontrollably just hours after losing her son, Luc Bourdon, in a tragic motorcycle accident, Suzanne Boucher said she had tried desperately to stop him from buying a bike.

Her plea worked last year when her fears changed his mind. That’s when Bourdon, the promising Canucks defenceman, first told his mom he dreamed of riding, and was spellbound by the “power and beauty” of motorcycles.

“I was scared when he told me that,” Boucher said yesterday through tears from her home in Shippagan, N.B. “I disagreed with it so much. I said, ‘You can’t do it.’ It was too risky, too dangerous. His girlfriend helped me reason with him. But this year was different. This year he wasn’t going to listen….”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luc+bourdon

Sid Wants To Be Like Stevie

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

As was the case for Yzerman during his 19 seasons as Red Wings captain, Crosby is focused only on that next hockey game.

That steely focus is one of Crosby’s many attributes Yzerman finds appealing.

“I’ve watched how he conducts himself, and I like the way he plays,” said Yzerman, who retired in 2006 as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history and a three-time Cup champion. “He’s an extremely talented kid, but he competes hard.

“I’ve been very impressed watching from afar.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

A Beard Is A Beard

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

I hear the snickers. I read your signs.

You pick on me and you pick on Sidney because I don’t live up to your lofty expectations.

You have this notion in your head that playoff beards have to be wild and unruly. Where does it say a “true” playoff beard has to look like the Cookie Monster’s back hair?

A “beard,” according to my Large-Type Whisker-Friendly Dictionary, is “hair growing on the chin or lower cheek of the face.” Nowhere does it have a thread count or a topographical map.

continued

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

Ratings Matter

from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Why all this attention on American TV ratings? For better or worse, it translates into how much money a major league makes. And that, in turn, determines so much else. Consider the NHL. If U.S. TV ratings had been higher, we would never have seen shootouts. We would probably still have the clutch-and-grab hockey of the ’90s. There might be fewer teams in the Sun Belt (or perhaps more — haven’t figured that one out yet). And so on. So however distasteful the concern with TV ratings may be, it pays to remember that those ratings have a big impact on the game — where it’s played, when it’s played, and how it’s played.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Depends On Canadian Teams

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

A secret NHL report detailing the ticket revenues of its 30 teams reveals what Canadian hockey fans have long suspected and offers a compelling case for putting more teams north of the border.

The six Canadian teams account for 31 per cent of the $1.1 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue, and have gone through league-leading double-digit increases over last season, according to the internal NHL report.

continued

Update 4:26pm ET: Rick Westhead talked about his article with Alex Seixeiro on Fan 590 earlier today.

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

Seeking Attention

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,

The NHL limited player access Thursday, providing only four Red Wings to answer questions at a news conference, even though Game 4 isn’t until Saturday. The Penguins’ four players, believe it or not, did not include Sidney Crosby. It was downtime, an extra day to rest, extra time to heal. Such conditions provided the ideal opportunity for the NHL to further build a mainstream fan base.

The Wings are entitled to an off day. It’s a long grind, physically and mentally, going this deep into the playoffs. But a sport’s championship series remains its greatest marketing tool, and when you’re blessed with an exceptional second-day talking point like Game 3, you must milk it for every ounce of publicity.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“Boots” Under Federal Investigation

From Scott Herhold and Pete Carey at the Mercury News,

Federal investigators are probing the business dealings of San Jose socialite and investor William “Boots” Del Biaggio III, the Mercury News has learned.

Del Biaggio announced his departure Monday from Sand Hill Capital, a firm he co-founded in 1997. Sand Hill, a boutique lender to startups, issued a terse press release saying he was leaving the company “for personal reasons.”

The 40-year-old financier, until recently a minority investor in the the San Jose Sharks hockey team, last year became a part-owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team.  Del Biaggio did not return phone calls seeking comment. His lawyer, Elliot Peters of the San Francisco law firm Keker & Van Nest, e-mailed a statement to the Mercury News:

“Boots Del Biaggio is a good and generous person. Boots will cooperate fully with any investigation.”

continued…

Del Biaggio is currently part of the investor group that recently acquired the Nashville Predators.

Update 12:17pm ET May 30th: John Glennon at The Tennessean notes a statement issued by the Predators.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: william+"boots"+del+biaggio+iii

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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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