Kukla's Korner

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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.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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

A Guide to Playoff Prognostication: A Look at How the Experts Make Their Picks

The prognostication game is a very difficult business. There is a reason why it’s reserved only for the best and brightest of pundits—because it requires an almost preternatural ability to understand the game of hockey in a way most regular fans simply cannot. The casual fan may think he or she has what it takes but—make no mistake—their hockey acumen is no match for someone with a Communications degree and a close relative and/or fraternity brother in the business. 

Members of the mainstream North American hockey media spend countless hours watching games, considering strengths and weaknesses of respective teams, breaking down statistics…and then go on to pick the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup for no other reason than they’re from New York.

It’s this unbiased, diligent consideration of the facts that separates professionals from those who are simply fans. If Linda Cohn thinks the Rangers can beat everyone in the Eastern Conference (plus the Red Wings), rest assured it’s because of their stunning regular and post-season success over the past four years and not because the cover of her autobiography is a picture of her wearing a Mark Messier jersey. This willingness to think outside the box is what differentiates someone like her from an amateur who would take the easy route and make evidence-based predictions.

Her colleague, respected hockey journalist and fellow Communications scholar John Buccigross, is just as assiduous in his sizing up of the season to come. By rigorously uncovering clues and hidden symbols in various song lyrics from whatever adult-contemporary-posing-as-rock-bands happened to be shuffling through his iPod at the time, Bucci very astutely predicts Montreal as your 2008-2009 Stanley Cup champion. Based on sheer blood instinct—and the positive vibes of the Little River Band’s wimp-rock stylings—Bucci likes the Habs because, hey, it’s their 100th anniversary and they are “balanced, well-managed and have a positive energy.” 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: media

Red Wings fans need to Return the Hate

It was a cold, cloudy morning on January 1st, 2009.  The old man and I were driving through the wind-swept streets of Chicago, trying to find the nice, young lady who had offered up her garage as a place to park.  We called her on her cell-phone and she graciously came down to the street to meet us and show us where to go.  We jumped out of the car and started throwing on our Red Wings gear over long underwear, sweatpants, etc.  I put on my Zetterberg jersey that I’ve had since his rookie season.  The old man had a bright red Winter Classic Red Wing hooded-sweatshirt.

A few more cars pulled into the small in the adjacent alley as we got out our small grill and opened up a few pre-packed beverages.  Not surprisingly, the cars parking nearby were filled with Blackhawks fans.  One of them wandered over towards us and initiated some fairly friendly small talk.  We exchanged forced compliments of each other’s teams and discussed the current weather and our long drive from Michigan in the early hours of the morning.

It was at this time that the gentleman’s friend came over with his small child.  The little boy was wearing nothing hockey-related…just a blue winter coat and a non-denominational wool hat.  “What team do you root for?”  I asked in a friendly tone…the boy said nothing.  With a stone-cold look on his face, the boy’s father replied with “The Blackhawks…we don’t come from a trailer park.”  There was no jest in his voice; this was not meant to be taken lightly.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: chicago, detroit, red+wings

Wings vs Hawks: Can it be done?

I was ready for the loss.  I was ready to even come up with a phrase that the Chief might find useful for the next few years describing our defeat:  “The Bullshit.”  It made sense at the time; a team that played really, really hard.  That arguably bent the rules as far as a team can in order to win.  A team that backed that up with equally solid play.  A team that played that strong forecheck and aggressive play that makes us chip and chase, which is so foreign to our system, along with the strong goalie; the formula that beats the wings every damn year that we lose a series.

However it is not so, for our man who bleeds Wings Red came through along with the rest of the team when it counted.

Props to Anaheim.  Damn, you played so well I wouldn’t have felt THAT bad that we lost to you.  Well played.  Handshakes all around.  I believe neither side would have had a pimply faced preteen crying in their pillows on YouTube.

Now comes the challenge, Chicago.  Wrigley field ain’t got nothing on this.

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6 - 5 SO Win Wings
Sat Dec 6, 2008 4 - 5 SO Win Wings
Tue Dec 30, 2008 0 - 4   Win Wings
Thu Jan 1, 2009 6 - 4 Win Wings
Sat Apr 11, 2009 4 - 2 Loss to the Blackhawks
Sun Apr 12, 2009 0 - 3   Loss to the Blackhawks

This record may look like a winning one.  But we eeked out those first two games.  Rack the middle to up to hangover.  The latter two were downright scary.  I watched all those games, but the last two rattled me.

All season I knew, in my gut, or maybe lower, than it would come to this.  And let me tell you, if I were a betting man (which I am outside of hockey, insomuch as my heart gets in the way), I’d put money on the Hawks.  I hate to say it.  But they’re going to work us over harder than Anaheim.  Can we do it?  I hope so.  Can they do it?  I hope not.  The truth is, we both can.  And that scares the sh*t out of me.  These scrappy little youngsters care more about winning than we do right now, and we have to wake up and smell the…. well.. whatever the hell Chicago smells like.

Your thoughts?

Maholo,
The Hippy

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Anti-European Sentiment in the Canadian Hockey Media Is Getting Out of Hand

Every major sport in North America has stubborn traditionalists in its media ranks. ESPN’s Joe Morgan seems to honestly believe that the Golden Age of Baseball ended the day he retired, and much of what has come since is an insult to the game or “not the way the game is supposed to be played.” In both his MLB and NFL coverage, Joe Buck often engages in embarrassing, maudlin displays of orthodoxy, most famously his ridiculous overreaction to the Randy Moss touchdown celebration against the Green Bay Packers in the 2005 playoffs.

While these traditionalists can be infuriating, you never get the sense that they are indicting a specific group of people, but rather the natural (or, in their eyes, unnatural) progression of the sport. In other words, Joe Morgan doesn’t think baseball has become tarnished due to, say, the influx of Latin and Asian players; he’s just an egotistical jerk who thinks his generation was the greatest and will not accept otherwise. Joe Buck’s issue with the Randy Moss touchdown dance wasn’t that Moss represents the black, urban “gansterization” of football; he’s just an easily offended prude who probably gets uncomfortable around nude sculptures in art museums.

But much of the traditionalism, if you can call it that, emanating from the Canadian hockey media lately carries with it a not-so-subtle implication—that Europeans are not only what’s wrong with the sport, but they are, by nature of their place of birth, inferior to Canadians.

What’s truly shocking is not so much that this undercurrent of xenophobia exists in the Canadian media—because it has for a long time now—but that so many people seem to think it’s a legitimate, defensible position or, at the very least, chalk it up to simply being a lovable quirk of Canadian culture or a byproduct of their passion for the game.

I suppose it would be even more troubling if it wasn’t so pathetically transparent. One need only look at the top five scoring leaders or the three Hart finalists this year to understand the root of this growing anti-European sentiment. Since gaining a foothold in the league, there’s a reason the treatment of European players in Canada has gone from leery non-acceptance to near outright hostility. And it doesn’t have anything to do with “heart” or “toughness” or whatever easily leveled, stereotypical charge you can throw at them. Anyone who understands the psychology of fear can see those charges for the red herrings they are.

The real reason behind this growing hostility, of course, is that Canadians can see their death grip on worldwide hockey dominance slipping away. In truth, it might be already gone. If you look at the probable rosters for Vancouver in 2010…well…let’s just say Canada likely won’t be the favorite on paper.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: media

Hippy Challenge: Name your favorite next Wings player theme song

So remember how good the Wings’ hockey DJ used to be with player name tunes?  Shanahan’s Jig.  Wooley’s Wooley Bully tune; Now all I know is Cleary’s ‘I can see clearly now,’ Sunshiny Day tune, nice try but having lost a few players we need more.

Sure we have the “Hold Me” song for holding, “Get over it” when we’re trying to get over a bad goal, but I’m talking player-specific tunes.

I’m calling out the Kuklas Korner readership, soliciting clever ideas for future theme songs our trusty Wings DJ (Paul: Got his name?) should play for whenever a certain active player on our roster is worth noting for a goal, fight, over otherwise.

I’ll open the bidding:

Why aren’t they playing the Hossa Hossa Hossa Hossa! song?

Another,
Chris Chelios: “Old Man” by Neal Young : http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/neilyoung/oldman.html

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

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