Kukla's Korner

Looking At The Lockout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Spector gets on his soapbox and leaves you with this…

The unintended consequence of the lockout, however, is that it killed what little interest there was in the National Hockey League in the minds of American sports fans.

read on

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Pair Leading Chicago Resurgence

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

Nikolai Khabibulin and Tuomo Ruutu, two of the players counted on to lead the Hawks out of the doldrums last season after the NHL lockout, finally appear to be up to the task. Their individual improvements make the Hawks’ climb into playoff contention during the last three weeks pale in comparison.
Ruutu (sprained knee) was on the shelf for 10 games this season and Khabibulin (broken finger) for eight, but both are going full-throttle heading into the Hawks’ home game tonight against the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators. The Hawks have earned 14 of a possible 18 points in the last nine games that Khabibulin has played. Ruutu has goals in the last three games and in four in the last five.

more

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Burke Not A Fan Of The Lady Byng

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

“I don’t want Lady Byng,” Selanne said after Monday night’s game, smiling. Seriously?
“Burkie (General Manager Brian Burke) would probably trade me if I won Lady Byng,” he said, laughing loudly.
I assumed Selanne was joking, too - until calling Burke and repeated my conversation with the Ducks star.
“Teemu’s not very far from the truth,” Burke said bluntly. He wasn’t laughing.
Burke went on to say the Lady Byng is the only NHL postseason award he “won’t give a bonus for” when negotiating incentive clauses in contracts.
“It’s something I don’t particularly want to see on my team,” he said of the Lady Byng.

read on

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Flyers Need To Work Harder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

The Flyers made club history Tuesday night with their record-setting seventh straight loss, but didn’t play like a team trying to avoid an ignominious place in franchise lore….
“In my opinion, there were young players, veteran players in the second period who didn’t play hard enough,” he said. “We need to dig in for 60 minutes, not just first effort, but second and third. Working is one thing, competing is another. Working is working with a will, and that’s what we need from our team.”

more

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Will Lawsuit Follow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Whoever winds up owning the Pittsburgh Penguins may inherit an unpleasant chore: defending a multi-million-dollar lawsuit from a disgruntled Canadian billionaire.
Investment bankers who specialize in the sports industry say it’s likely that Jim Balsillie, chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, will sue the Penguins to recoup the reported $10 million (all figures U.S.) deposit he gave the team to look at the team’s finances as he considered making an offer to buy the 39-year-old franchise.

continued

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Take It Back Mike

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

This edition of Wednesday with the Deep Diggers is brought to you by Goldmill's Gym in South Philly, home to the greatest heavyweight in history: Rocky Balboa. I spent 11 minutes of quality time on Monday defending our game to a co-worker. You've been there. You've used the standard lines, "you have to see it in person," "it was a lockout, not a strike," "the CBA doesn't guarantee defense attorneys for every player like the NBA's". I was winning. I pointed to Kulfan's article on blood and stitches and got the reaction I wanted. Awe. The discussion ended as I'd hoped, with a convincing victory for hockey and hockey fans. No one's tougher. No sport requires more character or fortitude. Real men playing a hard game

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What Happened

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Balsillie walked away and left the team without an owner as the hours slipped away before the state’s all-important decision on the gaming license.
Sources tell ESPN.com that had those same restrictions been in place for other owners who have purchased teams in recent years, those owners would have walked away from the league in a heartbeat….
But the team source said Lemieux might be equally chagrined at the league for pushing away a man whose personal wealth would have allowed him to purchase the team without financing.
“I can’t imagine the current ownership group in Pittsburgh is very happy with Gary,” the source told ESPN.com.
Unless Bettman is already in the process of negotiating a backroom deal with the state and/or city to ensure a palatable Plan B is already in place if Isle of Capri is dealt a losing hand.

more

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Fact Versus Fiction

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik:

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock raised an interesting point on Monday:

Babcock said, “Who sells hockey? To me, I don’t know. I don’t know for sure.”
After mentioning baseball, Babcock jumped to football and said the NFL markets its product well. He said he thought NFL games were much better to watch on television than in person.
“Our game’s just exactly the opposite,” Babcock said. “We gotta do a better job of the guy at home knowing how good the game actually is. How fast-paced, how physical, how great the athletes are, how hard they work.
“To me, we got a way better game than we sell. Somehow, we gotta figure that out and sell it.”

That’s an understatement.

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Brookbank Property Of The Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Wade Brookbank from the Boston Bruins for future considerations, it was announced Tuesday by general manager Ray Shero.
Brookbank has been assigned to the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

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NHL May Get Bigger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via 680 News,

Scoring is down from last season, which has the NHL’s rules guru contemplating a change he never thought he’d consider.
“I know this is going to rock some traditionalists, and I can say this because I’m one of those, but I really think we’ve got to look long and hard at bigger nets,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations, said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

continued

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