Kukla's Korner

KK Members Blog

Kansas City Didn’t Fail The Islanders

Last night the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Islanders met for a preseason game in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.  As reported on the main page, Jim Baumbach seems to think that, with attendance just below 10,000 (around 9,700) in an 18,000 seat arena, Kansas City hockey fans missed a large opportunity to show the Islanders and the Town of Hempstead that they were serious about wanting a hockey team.  Sorry, Mr. Baumbach, but our poor showing is your team’s fault, not our city’s.

First off, this isn’t our first dance with a team that wants to take us to the prom to make his girlfriend at home jealous.  We fell for it hook, line, and sinker when Mario Lemieux and the Penguins used similar tactics to get the hometown crowd motivated to build a new arena for their team.  So we went out and bought a sexy $275 Million dress and tarted ourselves up for a team that likely would have never been allowed to move out of Pittsburgh in the first place.  Don’t blame us for being a little more demure and blocking off sections of seats when we hear the exact same words out of another team’s mouth.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

I’m very happy with the attendance numbers from last night’s game.  It shows that there’s enough hockey-starved fans in Kansas City that we may just be able to support a team after all (something of which I’m still not wholly convinced), but not so excited as to horribly frighten the Town of Hempstead back home that we’re a threat.  Tell me, what happens if 17,000 people show up to that game?  Does Kansas City get any closer to having the Islanders move here?  I don’t think they do.  I believe that a very large turnout would only serve to scare people into getting the Lighthouse Project passed.  The best thing those thousands of other Kansas City hockey fans could have done is to have either stayed home or gone out and enjoyed another wonderful pitching performance by Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke. 

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: charles+wang, islanders, jim+baumbach, kansas+city, lighthouse+project

Drawing a Line in the Sand

Hello fellow readers,

Like many of you, I am a DirecTV customer.  I have been for years.  Most of you are probably aware of DirecTV’s recent removal of Versus from their programming lineup due to a contract dispute.

While I hate to do so, it has become apparent to me that I now have to hold off on my auto-renewal of NHL Center Ice and plan on changing services to another provider such as Comcast (which owns Versus, btw).  I’m not happy about it and I’d rather not do it.  So, what I propose here is a good old-fasioned letter-writing campaign.

You can contact DirecTV through their email form here.

After navigating to the page, enter your account information and select Programming/Sports as your topic and Customer Service/Complaints as your category.

I have provided a form letter below that you can use to encourage DirecTV to have a change of heart.  Hopefully if enough of us write, we won’t have to take any further action.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have been a loyal DirecTV customer for years, and had been planning on being one for many years to come.  However your recent decision to remove the sports network Versus from your service will soon force me to switch to another provider so I may continue to receive their NHL programming.  I strongly encourage you to reconsider your position regarding renewing Versus’ contract and hope that you begin to understand just how many customers you are about to lose by not doing so.  I hope to remain a customer going forward but will cancel my service at the beginning of the NHL season if this situation is not rectified.

Sincerely,
-

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: versus+directv+contract+dispute+letter+writing+campaign

Rock Solid Renegades Win Youth World Championships (Under 12 Division)

A group of Barrie’s best young ball hockey players captured the first ever Youth World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship.

The Rock Solid Renegades, comprised of players from the Barrie Ball Hockey Club’s Progressive 9-11 and PeeWee divisions, traveled to Brampton during the weekend of August 28th to 30th in their quest to claim the Under-12 division title.  Barrie teams also competed in the Under-15 and Under-18 divisions.

The youth tournament weekend was the first of three event weekends over the next six weeks as part of the “ballhockey.com” 14th Annual World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships.  Over the past 14 years, the Worlds have expanded to include Men’s A, B, and Over 35 divisions along with Women’s A and B tournaments.  Teams travel to the tournament from all over North America, including far flung locations such as San Diego, Vancouver, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Montreal.  In addition to the new youth divisions, 2009 will mark the first ever Co-ed World Outdoor Championships.  This is the first year as that the “Worlds” have expanded over three themed weekends: Youth – August 28-30 at the Brampton Ball Hockey Club; Women’s & Co-ed – September 25-27 at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club; and Men’s – October 2-4 at the Barrie Ball Hockey Club.  By the time the Men’s tournament wraps up, more than 100 teams from all over North America (which translates into more than 1500 participants) will have competed for more than $30,000 in prizes.

 

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: ball+hockey, rock+solid+renegades, world+championships

Shameless Plug

Hi all. While not trying to take people’s attention away from KuklasKorner (which is probably my favourite site on the internet), I just wanted to let you know that I am a contributor at SportsAgentBlog.com. I write hockey related articles, although I have strayed into other areas from time to time. My latest article was posted today and deals with the insurance issues at Olympic orientation camps.

The link to the website is http://www.sportsagentblog.com and my archive of stories is located here http://www.sportsagentblog.com/author/dfurey/

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I work in the legal world in Newfoundland and it is my dream to some day, some how, work for an NHL team. I’m just trying to make connections any way I can. Enjoy the articles and I appreciate any feedback. Thanks very much!

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Random Offseason Musings from a Hippy on Beer Fumes, August 19th, 2009

So I just finished brewing my first batch of beer, and let me tell you, I think it’ll be a good one.  A pale ale.  Also let me tell you, don’t keep your head above the kettle for most of the boil, I think there are some intoxicating fumes in there.  I wanted to keep these offseason musings for next month but after huffing wort for a couple hours they just wouldn’t wait:

- I believe one of the most under-reported events of this offseason was the retirement of Jeremy Roenik.  It’s really too bad JR never won a cup.  Say what you will, but I think this guy was a dynamo of personality that this league sorely will miss, and certainly needs more of.  Now if only Sean Avery could class up like he did, the league would have a new spokesman.  Maybe if he can’t do it Ray Emery can.

- The other unsung quiet retirement of the year, I can’t freaking believe nobody’s covered this: Darren McCarty.  Sure, it’s not “announced,” but, c’mon, am I the only one who’s really sad about Mac sliding darkly into that quiet night?  We love you, Mac.  The Wings need another Darren McCarty, but they’ll never have one again.

- Speaking of fighters, I was pouring through one of my favorite sites and came upon this thread: Who are the top 10 fighters of all time?  I’m sure you all have your opinions.

- Also speaking of “fighters”: Patrick Kane and his brother deserve some jailtime.  I’m sorry, but if any of us regular readers violently assaulted a person, we’d get it.  I’m freaking tired of celebrities getting special treatment and he’s no exception.  Screw being young, the law shouldn’t descriminate based on age in adulthood.  Besides, he’s about to make a bunch of money off the endeavor based on the new NHL ‘09/Grand Theft Auto bundle pack:




- Ok, the Sabres signed Grier.  If you had to choose between Maltby, Williams, Bertuzzi, or him, which would you choose?  *cough*

- Lidstrom’s in the last year of his contract.  At 39, how many years do you think he’s got left?  I’m guessing quite a few.  At least 4.  He’ll give Cheli a run for his money.

- For Corsi’s Sake, we get it already.  I’ll leave it at that.

- Summer, what summer?  IIHF Style.

- And finally, the top 10 most bizarre hockey incedents of all time.

I’m beginning to think drinking beer is so old-school, from here on out I’m munching the barley and hops directly, and chasing it with the yeast and boiling water and letting it all ferment in my liver.

Mahalo,
- The Hippy

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Youth World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships coming to Brampton, Ontario

On the weekend of August 28-30, 2009, youth teams will assemble to compete in the first ever Youth World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships! Teams can enter one of three divisions Under 18; Under 15; and Under 12. The entry fee is $450 per team with a minimum deposit of $200 to secure your teams spot. Deposits can be submitted at any Ball Hockey Ontario location (cash, debit, Visa and MasterCard accepted), or you can call in with your Visa or MasterCard number to confirm your entry. All teams are guaranteed a minimum of three games and there will be prizes for the top four teams in each division, including the coveted Champions jackets!

The World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship, now in its 14th year, is the signature event in the Ball Hockey Ontario calendar. In recent years, the event has expanded from its initial Men’s “A” and “B” divisions to include Over 35, Women’s, and Co-Ed tournaments. Details on all divisions can be found at http://www.ballhockey.com

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Under 18 (U18) this division is open to participants born prior to 1991, and those born after August 30th in 1991. No players will be 18 years of age or older in this event.

Under 15 (U15) this division is open to participants born prior to 1994, and those born after August 30th in 1994. No players will be 15 years of age or older in this event.

Under 12 (U12) this division is open to participants born prior to 1997, and those born after August 30th in 1997. No players will be 12 years of age in this event.

For more details on entering your team, contact Tom Roberts at 905-455-6246 or via email at tomr@ballhockey.com

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: ball+hockey, dek+hockey, kids, street+hockey, tournaments, youth+hockey

Random Offseason Musings on a Calm Summer Night, August 3rd.

Man what a time to have a crippling, monster cold.  It’s the middle of summer, the weather’s beautiful, the beer is cold, and there are all sorts of reasons to be outside having the time of your life and not thinking about hockey.  For those of us without that luxury, the offseason makes for a very…. very, slow day at the house.

So here’s my attempt at injecting a little life into the blogosphere for those of us who are just bored enough to have the time to be checking these sorts of things:

- I’m appalled at the hooplah over the whole Spezza wedding thing.  Ok, the Elisha Cuthbert thing was funny.  This is not.  For the last time, when it comes to the private lives of athletes, nobody gives a damn!  And if they do, they’re rank amateurs as hockey fans go.  These guys spend 3/4 of the year in the spotlight, give them a few days off for chrissakes.

- My big fat guess as to where Heatley will end up next: New Jersey; the only real contender with money to spend.  My big fat guess as to when:  If he doesn’t show up at the Senators training camp: October.  If he does: March 2010.  Disclaimer: If he ends up in Anaheim at a discount, god help us all.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: offseason+musings+rant+spezza+heatley+olympics+international+wings+fantasy+hockey

Random Offseason Musings on the Eve of July 1st…

What can I say, I go away for four days to spend my time floating down a river on an innertube drinking as many Modelos as the clock has hours on it and I come back and all hell has broken loose.

Oh right, it’s the draft…


Pronger To Philly
I have to say, happy to see Pronger leave Anaheim; they almost went all the way last postseason and anything that weakens them makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  Also happy to see the Penguins have one more thorn in their side.  Enoy him, you bastards, we’ve dealt with him long enough.

And then I check the calendar this morning, sipping my PBR at 2am PST because I’ve gotten sucked into watching a TiVo’ed goddamn 3 hour draft, and realize that July 1st is a Day Away.

Jesus, and I thought I was going to get a break from all this.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

How Do You View the Minor Hockey League Hierarchy?

An interesting debate has been brewing in minor hockey forums lately about minor hockey’s place in the world, and in terms of how the leagues are viewed stacked against each other.  Hockey doesn’t have an extremely-clear minor hierarchy like baseball does, and now franchise movement form league to league has brought about questions as to whether they are parallel moves, or moves upward.

Where does “AAA” fit in, and is the KHL included?  I’m including the KHL in the discussion because it’s an interesting twist, in a way…

Or what about the “AA”?  ECHL has been considered traditionally as “AA”, but both CHL and IHL have made claims to being “AA” as well.

So it got me to wondering:  how do NHL fans see the minor hockey leagues stack up against each other?

So… I’m turning to you guys, the readers of KK.  How do *you* guys (primarily NHL fans) think the following minor leagues stack up (I’ve listed them in nor particular order), in terms of level and hierarchy?  Please take the list below and respond in the comments with your listing, highest to lowest.

NHL… ECHL… KHL… IHL… AHL… CHL…

If you could, please also include some explanations as to why you feel that way.


Thanks.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Where were you?

So I got curious and started clicking around the various user names online from day to day.  I found some interesting things out about you people.  What struck me as most fun to observe was how recently people have joined as a regular, non-lurking member of Kukla’s Korner.  I know we all go through a phase of “experimentation” before we sign up, but the little dates on our profiles are the only concrete record of when we started to really pay attention.  Moreover if marks a moment in time we decided to start participating in this great blog.

I noticed some really interesting patterns off the bat…

- Paul of course was the first signee, on at 5/23/2005.  I believe the Red Wings were still involved in the playoffs at that point.

- Interesting names, cool to see George Malik was one of the firsts.

- Weird it shows Older Than Chelios has 0 posts, yet I know this not to be true.

- Puckhound gets #3 best first-ish poster award, Baroque, Steve, and RWBill not far behind.

- Spector took a whole year to join up.

- I joined on 7/31/2006, a WHOLE DAY before IwoCPO joined up.  Great minds think alike.  Or are at least motivated by the same things. 

- Also before the days of Alanah…

What I would like to know from you is when you joined, that day, what were you thinking?  What made you want to participate?  What was going on and why did you join?  There have got to be some good stories here.  This isn’t a pissing contest, most of us would get out-pissed before we could say “cheddar.”  I’m just really interested in the culture of this thing and knowing the “where were you” of when you joined.  Indulge Me.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: kuklas+korner+why+did+you+join+history

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