Kukla's Korner

Looking At The Average Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

This season, all but five of NHL's 30 teams raised ticket prices, and while the biggest increases have generally been for the premium seats that usually belong to corporate interests, it suggest that the NHL is moving closer to becoming inaccessible to the core base it has relied on. "Teams are run on luxury boxes and club suites," said John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt economics professor who focuses on sports economics. "The marginal fan is becoming less and less important because the arena structure has turned hockey demand upside down. "It used to be the regular fan was important. Now the corporate fan is what counts. The marginal fan in upper deck, the one you see on the videotron, doesn't really matter."
more

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“Sugar” Has Had Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CBS-5 News,

Brandon Sugden announced his retirement on Thursday before the team's morning practice. Sugden told CBS-5 that he's leaving the team and the AHL because new rules in the NHL is taking fighting out of the game. Sugden has only played in a few games this season. He said he's happy with his decision and he may remain in Syracuse to raise his family

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Bell Facing More Than 3 Years Of Jail Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office charged Shark's left winger Mark Bell for an alleged hit-and-run drunk-driving incident from earlier this year, officials said today. He faces up to 3 years and 8 months in prison if convicted of driving under the influence and felony hit and run.
continued

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Joe Meets With The Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Joe Nieuwendyk took part in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. Thanks for taking this call. I just want to say you're a helluva player in all those battles of Alberta. I just wanted to say what do you remember about those battles and what do you remember about playing against Jeff Beukeboom? JOE NIEUWENDYK: Well, that was obviously early in my career, and I think the thing I remember the most is just how the two cities got involved. It was a rivalry like no other, especially in the sport of hockey, but I think it rivaled other sports, as well. Just the mayors got into it. I remember the mayors talking about who would wear the opposing city's jersey, and you couldn't get a ticket for those types of games back in the day around Christmastime, and it was just a thrill with the team they had, with Messier and Gretzky and Kurri, and we were trying to get past that group. It was a great thrill. To play against my cousin and have some of the battles we had, we grew up being very close together, and there was no love when it came to playing in those types of battles, though, and we got into it a few times. It was good, great memory, great times early in my career.

Continue Reading »

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Stillman Preparing For Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschhek of the Globe and Mail,

"It's tough watching," said Stillman. "It was tough early and it's getting tougher now, when you get close to the end of rehab. It's almost four months and almost 30 games into the season, but I'm getting closer. I'm hoping to play on this trip." It's a trip that takes the Hurricanes into Vancouver for a Friday match with the Canucks and then finishes with a Monday game against the Colorado Avalanche, the most likely date for Stillman's return.
more

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Anaheim’s Chris Kunitz is Thriving

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Pierre Lebrun, Canadian Press:

Chris Kunitz's 15 goals have him tied with linemate Teemu Selanne for tops on the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks. But just last season, Kunitz found himself on the waiver wire - twice. "It tested my thoughts about whether I would ever make it," Kunitz said of being waived. "But good things happen sometimes when you get a second chance." The Ducks first waived the 27-year-old Regina native last fall and he was picked up by Atlanta on Oct. 4. After two games with the Thrashers, they also waived him. He was then re-claimed by Anaheim on Oct. 18.
Continued... Note: Evaluating players on a dollar-per-goal basis, James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail has Kunitz down as one of the top buys in hockey.

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Consequences Of A Schedule Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The heavily unbalanced schedule, with its emphasis on intra-divisional games and the once-in-every-three-seasons appearances in the other conference's arenas, has another downside. Well, maybe it's not a downside. If one of the more influential franchises in the league, or one with the highest-decibel fan and media bases, again gets skewered by it, as Toronto did last season, that will increase the chances of the system being scuttled, at least at the end of the first three-season cycle.
continued

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Turgeon Activated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has activated forward Pierre Turgeon from the injury reserve list.

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On the Hockey Blogs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

By Alanah Sorry this is a couple days late. Here are this week's selected moments in hockey blogging brought to you from around the 'net. Sidearm Delivery put together a soul-destroying post on the worst hockey jerseys you never dreamed of -- those one-game wonders created for games on special occasions, like Christmas and Valentine's Day. There are many fine choices, but I've just chosen one to give you an idea what you're in for: The Richmond Renegades "Spring" edition.

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Goalie Contact During Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Dedger,

Martin Brodeur, who complained to the league about Alexander Ovechkin's mirrored visor because it prevented goalies from seeing the eyes of the Capitals forward, is at it again. Now Brodeur is unhappy about contact being made with goaltenders during shootouts. As Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the winning goal against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild winger made a spinning move and then kicked Khabibulin's right skate before scoring on his backhand. The goal was allowed to stand, prompting Brodeur to send an e-mail to Mike Gartner, who is director of hockey affairs for the NHL Players' Association.
continued

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