Kukla's Korner

Keep The ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

This midwinter classic should continue. It should be fun, joyful, intimate and creative. And it should always be viewed by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association as a vital vehicle that is important to the game. This takes energy and vision, and anyone who doesn’t have that in the NHL offices should get out.

The NHL does a professional, classy job in the overall staging of its big events. It’s the one area the current regime does not get enough credit for. The league has elevated the game in that regard. Now, just relax and incorporate some love and fun into the festivities on Saturday and a little incentive on Sunday, and this hockey weekend will return to what it should be—a fun, joyful get-together that celebrates the most joyous game in the world and the players who play it.

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

The Bruise Brothers Rule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

The incident occurred late last season and though Nieminen was ejected from the game and later suspended, in old-school fashion, he wasn’t forced to answer for his crime within the arena.
In the press box, former Blues tough guy and current team radio analyst Kelly Chase scowled.
“When I played, I didn’t have to call (National Hockey League commissioner) Gary Bettman to find out what the punishment was for running a guy from behind in Detroit,” Chase said. “The punishment was (Bob) Probert and (Joe) Kocur.”

According to popular logic, the reason why this form of capital punishment is no longer delivered is the instigator rule.  That’s Rule 56 (a) in the NHL rule book, if you are inclined to look it up.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, | KK Hockey | Permalink

State of the AHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

American Hockey League President Dave Andrews gave his annual address yesterday on the state of the AHL. He covered numerous topics, including:

  • The league’s interest in doing an annual outdoor game to showcase the sport, given the success of the NHL’s game in Buffalo
  • The possibility of shortening the AHL season schedule to 72 games, and soliciting “cost share” help from the NHL in order to make up lost revenues
  • The fact that the AHL is “closer than ever before to having 30 teams, each one paired with an NHL affiliate. The league currently has 29 teams, and a new team in Austin, Texas, is a very real possibility.”

More details here, primarily on the potential of the outdoor game.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl

Versus Ratings Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

NHL’s television partner has released some of their ratings today, showing growth in viewership over last season.  As of January 22, 2008:

  • national household ratings up 50%
  • total viewership up 36%

Additionally, the NHL All Star Game was the #1 rated NHL telecast for Versus ever, aside from post-season play. 

Full content of the press release is below, all figures provided by Neilsen Media and Versus research.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game+2998, demographics, media, neilsen+ratings, versus, vs

The Future Of The Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP,

When the Washington Capitals come to town, a crowd forms quickly around 22-year-old scoring star Alexander Ovechkin.

Not far away, left in relative peace, sits Nicklas Backstrom, the 20-year-old rookie who picks up many of the assists on Ovechkin’s often spectacular goals.

As a duo, they promise to bring misery to NHL goaltenders for many years to come. But for now, Ovechkin is happy to absorb the pressure of expectation and endless media interviews.

“Backie’s a great guy,” Ovechkin said Tuesday as the Capitals prepared to the play the first of back-to-back games against the Montreal Canadiens. “He’s a little shy with you guys, but not us.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, nicklas+backstrom

The New Cam Neely

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lew Serviss at Slap Shot (NYT hockey blog),

Lucic reported to Boston and banged and crashed through training camp and pre-season, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound bunker buster. He wound up cracking the Bruins’ opening night roster.

His introduction to the Boston faithful came 2:17 into the Bruins’ first home game. Lucic squared off with Tampa Bay’s Nick Tarnasky and rained about a dozen heavy rights on the unsuspecting Lightning tough guy.

The hit (and fight) parade continued. Lucic, 19, also looked at home offensively,setting up plays and firing a hard shot, on a line with the dangerous Phil Kessel and another skilled rookie, David Krejci. In the fourth game of the season, Lucic scored a Gordie Howe hat trick in Los Angeles, where he held his own with the Kings’ 260-pound enforcer Raitis Ivanans.

In Boston, the combination of physical play, heavyweight toughness and offensive ability in a Bruins jersey adds up to just one thing: Cam Neely.

more… profiling the development of Milan Lucic in Boston this year

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+neely, milan+lucic

Rookies Around the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Sam McCaig at The Hockey News,

Here’s a team-by-team look at NHL rookies who are making some noise this season:

There isn’t a Calder candidate in Anaheim; left winger Drew Miller was leading the Ducks rookies with two goals and five points in 26 NHL games played through Jan. 28. Bobby Ryan, the second overall pick behind Sidney Crosby in 2005, made his big-league debut this season and had three goals and five points in 13 games.

The Thrashers feature one of the most surprising rookies of 2007-08 in Swedish defenseman Tobias Enstrom. He’s among the freshmen leaders in assists and ice time, and may make it onto the Calder ballot.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: prospects, rookies

Players on the Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Burnside at ESPN,

General managers ... recharge your BlackBerrys, update your Rolodexes and confirm your speed-dial lists. It’s trade-deadline season.

With the All-Star break beyond us, the Feb. 26 trade deadline looms large, and serious wheeling and dealing will begin in earnest as teams try to restock for the future, a charge to the playoffs or a run at the Stanley Cup.

Here’s a look at 25 players who could be on the move in the coming weeks, what impact they might have and their contract status after this season.

continued… Olaf Kolzig, Michael Ryder, Sergei Fedorov, and more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rumors, trade+deadline

Your Questions And Comments Are Encouraged

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Have a question or comment regarding anything NHL?  Well, here is your chance to get the correct answer.

Read my NHL.com blog today to find out more. I normally don’t ask KK readers to get involved, but today I ask you for your participation to make this post one for the ages!

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Emery Needs Some Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

The simple fact is the kid has become toxic and not just because he was a few minutes late for practice Monday.

Emery has passed the stage of being “free-spirited” and of “moving to a different tune”. He’s now morphed into the worst possible world for an elite athlete; he has become a talent that is too much trouble for his team.

You really expect someone to make a trade for a guy like that?

I understand players go off course from time to time, but Emery has given every indication that he’s a player who has gone off the tracks.


Update 1:49pm ET: From Ken Warren at the Ottawa Citizen,

Ray Emery will be fined as much as the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement will allow, according to Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray.

Murray says Emery, who was late for Monday’s practice on Long Island, will be fined a “substantial” amount.

The Senators general manager says he has talked to other general managers about trading for a new goaltender - the first time he has openly discussed the possibility of dealing Emery.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

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