Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hurricane Surprise

Eric Cole in the lineup and to quote Don Cherry, "Absolute Insane" to have him in the lineup. I am sure the Hurricanes received 100% clearance from the medical staff before making the decision.

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Hitchcock Not Planning Any Move

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Mercury News,

You may have noticed that the Vancouver Canucks still haven't announced who their coach is for next season. Rumors swirling around the Stanley Cup Finals had Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock as their top choice, if they could get him out of his contract. One NHL source close to the situation confirms that Hitchcock was on their list but not interested. Hitchcock is in the final year of his deal with Philadelphia. The Flyers have been s-l-o-w to re-up him, leading to speculation that Hitchcock would have been agreeable to voiding his last year with the Flyers and accepting a new job in British Columbia with long-term security. But Hitchcock is intensely loyal to the Flyers just as he was to Dallas. So despite the overtures, he didn't bite.
continued

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Recent History Points To Carolina

from the STATS blog at NHL.com,
Recent Game 6’s of the Stanley Cup Finals have generally ended with the visiting team winning—with a few finishing off in multiple overtimes.
more

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Saturday Morning Skate

from ESPN,

Ah, the morning skate. Drills, no spills and, well, not much else. Until now. Live (sort of) from the Stanley Cup finals, NHL writer Scott Burnside and NHL editor Joy Russo give you a rink-side play-by-play. Russo: MacTavish is talking with someone who appears to be a member of the Oilers equipment staff. The man is holding a drill. Hmm, are the Oilers planning on planting a loonie somewhere in Part II of Coingate? Of course, this is pure speculation on our part.
more...this link will be updated during the Carolina skate too... added 12:59pm, MacTavish after Saturday skate answered a few questions, read them in the comment section... added 2:00pm, Laviolette comments added to same area...

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Hockey Costs Japanese Couple

from the Edmonton Journal,

The Kijimas arrived in Edmonton on June 1 and will leave for home on Monday. "We decided to come after the Oilers beat Anaheim, when we knew they were going to the finals," he said. By their calculations, they have spent at least $15,200 this trip -- $10,000 on airfare and the hotel, and $5,200 for the tickets they bought from scalpers to the three home games. Their tickets to Saturday's game cost them $1,000 each. "And they aren't even good tickets," said Takako. "Now we have to drink only water," joked Nobuyuki.
more

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Western NY Watching SCF

from the Buffalo News,

Well, forget the idea that the star-studded NBA Finals on ABC affiliate Channel 7 will outdraw the Stanley Cup finals on the NBC affiliate locally. The Carolina-Edmonton series has just about doubled the ratings for the Dallas-Miami NBA matchup here. Channel 2's ratings are as much as four times the meager national ratings for the NHL. Channel 7 gets about half of the improving ratings that ABC has had for the NBA Finals.
continued

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It’s A Lock

Canes can't lose now! With a pre-game speech like that, they will come out flying. image

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Back To CBA School

via the Columbus Dispatch,

The NHL yesterday rejected a number of contracts signed by European free agents, including two who signed with the Blue Jackets. The prospective Blue Jackets are Per Ledin, an agitator who plays in Sweden, and Janne Hauhtonen, a forward who plays in Finland. Both were to get a look in training camp, but would have had long odds on making the big club. Blue Jackets executive vice president and assistant general manager Jim Clark said the hang-up was in the fine print of the new collective bargaining agreement. "We attempted to sign these players to two-way contracts and the attempts failed," Clark said. "We obviously misinterpreted the CBA. We’ll spend time with their agents and determine exactly what their status is, and whether we can sign them after July 1."

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Over The Boards

via the Toronto Sun,

Bettman has to get the NHL back on a network (preferably sports-friendly ESPN) even if the league has to pay to do it. Only then can it win back fans. Many Canadians say they don’t care if the sport isn’t appreciated in the U.S. Well, better start caring. Fact is, the league and its players, need the U.S. market. Without that, all you’ve got left is the CFL with pucks.
-Games 3-5 in St. Louis had a 3.4 rating, 47% above the national rating. -Q. What did Steve Staios say to you? (if you missed it, the two had a little bump as Ward was skating off the ice at the end of OT) CAM WARD: I don't even remember. That's long over with. Just had a remark after the game and that's it. It's over. from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
They are neophytes to the NHL and reside in the sun-splashed cities of the southeast United States, the kind of cities where water turns to ice on its own outdoors with about the same frequency as the Braves have failed to make the playoffs. So in the early and mid-90s, when the NHL sent its minions to set up camp in south Florida, Tampa, Raleigh and Atlanta, the traditional hockey hotbeds responded with mocking laughter. But who's laughing now?
more (reg. req.)
My CWPFs(close warm personal friends) tell me fans aren't the only ones who have given up on the NHL. So have sports editors all across these United States. Moles say only six American newspapers have sent hockey writers to cover the Stanley Cup Finals. That's almost unbelievable. No wonder women's softball and the National Spelling Bee did better in the TV ratings than the NHL.
Rob Parker, Detroit News

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More Pressure On Canes Players

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The other important consideration is that the Canes are well-armed to compensate for the absence of Weight, who has a goal and two assists in the series before being levelled by a sandwich hit from Chris Pronger and Raffi Torres in Game 5. In Brind'Amour and Eric Staal, they have two studs who can deal with whatever minutes coach Peter Laviolette throws their way. Staal, in fact, has responded brilliantly to increased attention earlier in the series by assisting on both of his team's goal in Game 4 and scoring twice in Game 5. Moreover, Josef Vasicek has two games under his belt after only playing five games earlier in the post-season coming off season-long knee problems. He's played left wing so far in the series, but is a natural centre. The problem for Carolina is if the Oilers can blanket Brind'Amour with the combined forces of Mike Peca and Pronger while utilizing home ice and last change, that will put even more of the load on the youthful Staal. But the sense that the Canes are somehow on the ropes is probably due more to the emotional ebb and flow that goes with every playoff series.
more

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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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