Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Dallas Morning News,
The D-FW market has averaged a 1.8 rating for the Red Wings series in the wake of the Stars’ march through Anaheim and San Jose. That translates to 43,841 homes. That’s worse than awful….
Now let’s compare. In Detroit, where some homes have access to the Canadian broadcasts, the series has averaged a relatively healthy 9.6 rating (184,848 homes) on Versus.
And in the Eastern Conference home markets, Philadelphia is averaging an 8.3 (244,020 homes). In Pittsburgh, which should be known as Hockeytown USA, the Penguins-Flyers series is averaging a 20.2 rating (233,956 homes) on Versus.
read on and some additional information regarding the OT plans of NBC for the Stars/Wings game on Saturday. Do remember the times listed are CT.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
These Sunbelt kids are part of a new wave, rising up from the bottom left corner of the continental United States, and infiltrating major junior hockey west of Ontario. They are taking a traditionally Canadian route to the NHL, skating beside tractor-strong Prairie boys and riding buses through the B.C. Interior.
The number of U.S. players in the WHL has doubled over the past five years, and the Sunbelt kids are behind that spike. They cut their teeth in Wayne Gretzky’s haunts, amid retired hockey professionals, with elite travelling clubs modelled after the Detroit-area youth programs founded by NHL owners such as Mike Ilitch of the Detroit Red Wings and Peter Karmanos of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Q. I know you’ve already answered this before, but can you get a little more into the line situation with Modano moving to the wing. You banter that around during the playoff series trying to make adjustments. When did you come to that conclusion, Let’s try this?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: When we came to the conclusion that Lehtinen wasn’t going to be a player in the series, Barnes wasn’t coming back, our injuries are dictating that. Our right side is pretty banged up right now. So we tried Chris Conner for a game. Decided we just were going to load up a couple lines, see if we could find a line that could play with some pace, then a banging line.
It’s a little bit of trying to find things that are creative, that will help us win, and a little bit of filling injury holes.
National Hockey League players have the option to reopen the current labor deal with owners a year early, but likely will not make a final decision until the middle of next season, the players’ union chief said on Friday.
Three years since NHL teams imposed a salary cap after a bitter labor dispute wiped out the entire 2004-2005 season, the National Hockey League Players Association is weighing the merits and challenges of reopening the deal at the end of next season, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly told Reuters.
“We’re just beginning to have that dialogue with the players,” he said at the Sports Lawyers Association’s annual conference in San Francisco. “I don’t think anyone has a tremendous appetite for serious labor negotiations unless there’s a good, solid business reason for it.”
From PJ Swenson at Sharkspage,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said in a short telephone interview today that he is still interested in a head coaching position. “Once you are a head coach, you are always a coach” Melrose said. He believes the position in San Jose is the most desirable opportunity on the market because in his opinion the Sharks could compete for a Stanley Cup next season.
Asked about the feelings of disappointment by players and staff after a second round exit to Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, Melrose said, “They should feel disappointed, they should still be playing”.
General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday that the team would retain the coach who in 2006 led the Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup. Speculation swirled for the past month about Laviolette’s future after Carolina missed the playoffs in both seasons after its championship run.
From Michael Russo, Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Funny, last year when I wrote at the Draft that the Wild was going to pursue Alexei Yashin, people didn’t believe me even though it was true. Now it’s being reported the Wild has interest in Yashin and people believe it when it’s not true.
I’ve been told as of now Yashin’s name has not come up within Wild offices and it has not had conversations with Yashin’s agent, Mark Gandler, as has been reported.
Here’s the deal: the Wild had genuine interest in Yashin last summer when it was reported he’d be willing to sign for little money. The Wild made an offer, and Yashin responded by asking for multiple millions of dollars, according to people in the know.
That left a sour taste in the Wild’s mouth, and as of now, it has no interest in revisiting him despite the strong season he had in Russia. That could change, of course, but this is what I’m being led to believe now.
more on the off-season in Minnesota
More talk from the coaches today, this time from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Michel Therrien. Here’s the transcript.
Q. I was wondering if you could assess Evgeni Malkin’s play the last three games of this series? What have you seen in him the last three games?
COACH THERRIEN: Yeah, you know what, he hasn’t been productive like he was in the past. But he’s going to have to find a win next game to make sure he’s going to be productive like he used to be as soon as the playoffs start.
Some questions for Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens today.
Q. Can you talk about what Kimmo will mean not just on the ice, but off the ice in the room if he does come back and play on Sunday?
COACH STEVENS: Well, he’s a huge part of our team. I mean, through this year he’s progressed and in the playoffs he’s really taken his game to another level. I think just his presence around our team all year, he’s got deep respect by all his teammates. He just has composure all the time. I think that’s infectious on our team.
A downtown bar popular with Detroit Red Wings fans is installing bulletproof glass after vandals attacked the establishment Thursday night along with two other hot spots.
“It’s no longer random acts, now it’s senseless acts of violence,” said Gary Kohsman, manager of Cobo Joes. Its front windows were shattered Thursday night after closing time. Kohsman said a bulletproof door was recently installed because the bar has been vandalized so many times in the past two months.
The vandalism spree on Thursday also included Bookies Tavern and Cheli’s Chili, owned by Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios.
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.
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