Kukla's Korner

Colorado’s Attendance Woes

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

James Mirtle at From the Rink,

Colorado has been one of the league leaders in attendance ever since moving to Denver back in 1995-96, but with the team going through a bit of a rebuilding phase and the problems with the economy, the Avs are experiencing some issues at the gate.

Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater said yesterday that many believed last night’s game against Edmonton could “be their lowest crowd of all time” and looking at the finally tally that very well may be the case.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arenas, hockey+fans

IIHF Investigates

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the IIHF:

The IIHF Disciplinary Committee is reviewing a report that was received on 21st October 2008, which outlines that player Matt Murley, 28, (home IIHF member national association USA Hockey) has played without a valid IIHF International Transfer Card (ITC) for the Russian club Amur Khabarovsk.

The IIHF Disciplinary Committee has informed the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, the Hockey Club Amur Khabarovsk and the player, Matt Murley, that the committee has opened an investigation with regards to this matter.

Amur Khabarovsk is participating in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) of Russia, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR).

continued…

As Stu Hackel at the NY Times Slap Shot blog notes, Murley is still under contract to the Carolina Hurricanes, and as recently as October 15th the KHL’s President Alexander Medvedev stated that Murley was not yet cleared to play in their league. Nonetheless, Hackel points to a Russian stats site that indicates Murley has played in four games thus far.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+murley

Quick Recovery

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Bruce MacLeod at Red Wings Corner notes that…

Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily reports that defenseman Andreas Lilja (appendectomy) skate this morning and thinks he has a shot at being back in the lineup in Chicago, Saturday.

Wow.  The guy just had his appendectomy on Tuesday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andreas+lilja

Talking to Phil Esposito

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

‘Minor Memories’ at CBC.ca:

CBCSports.ca: Where was the most memorable tournament you ever played, and why?

Esposito: Team Canada ‘72, without a doubt, because it was the unknown. We had no idea that these guys could play like they did, no idea. In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs scouts scouted them, and they told us they couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that. I made a statement saying no wonder the Leafs are in last place, their scouts are stupid. They couldn’t pick anybody, ‘cause this was a good hockey team. I think that was the most memorable tournament for me.

and lots more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito, russia, summit+series

Hockey Punditry

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside at ESPN:

Pierre LeBrun: Scott, we get together again just in time to digest yet another update on Mats Sundin. As one GM told me the other day, “Tell the big Swede to make up his damn mind!” Well, Sundin is one step closer. He’ll start seriously skating and training in the Los Angeles area early next week, and then who knows after that. It might take three to four weeks before he’s ready to play.

Scott Burnside: Pierre, I never get tired of wondering about where the Ponderous One will end up. It’s like watching paint dry, only more pedestrian.

much more chat about Sundin, plus some goalie controversies to debate

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

High Risk, High Reward Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

With the two Alexes – Ovechkin and Semin – leading the charge, the Washington Capitals might be the greatest show on the ice right now, the heir apparent to the swashbuckling Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s. If that’s the case, then defenceman Mike Green is the 21st-century equivalent of Paul Coffey in style and approach – one of half-a-dozen promising young rearguards who will get a long look from the management staff of Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. Green plays a high-risk, high-reward style. Most nights, he is a defenceman in name only and plays almost as a fourth forward.

This is done with the permission of his coach Bruce Boudreau who, since taking over the reins of the Capitals last December, loosened them considerably on all of his young players. Now, instead of making a defensive choice on a 50-50 puck battle, they have permission to err on the offensive side. Some nights, it backfires, but on balance, it generally works.

and more on the Capitals plus other hockey topics, from Marian Gaborik to Sarah Palin

Update 1:55pm ET: Ken Campbell at The Hockey News has more thoughts on the Capitals today, specifically on Alex Ovechkin’s season thus far.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, mike+green, sarah+palin

Early Season Best Defenceman

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I like to track the leading candidates for the various NHL awards as the season progresses.  I am still in the process of picking the first round of award leaders.  So far, I have picked Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals as an early season MVP and Mike Smith of the Tampa Bay Lightning as an early season Vezina leader.  Today, I am picking the best defenceman so far in the season.

My pick is Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Everyone’s a Winner in Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Chris Sprow at ESPN The Magazine,

Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a fairly dreadful team by most standards. They were last place in their division, had the fourth worst record in the East, were outscored by 29 goals and were an atrocious 78.2% on the penalty kill. Their record, however, was a competitive-looking 36-35-11. They were over .500!

But in the current NHL, who isn’t?

Last year, in a 30-team league, just 6 teams were under .500. In the West, discounting the NHL’s worst team—the Los Angeles Kings who were all of 9 games under .500— the other two “losers” combined to go a whopping 5 games under .500. Yikes! That’s because the NHL has devised a clever marketing ploy where at least based on a traditional look at the standings, your team is never really out of it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marketing

Super Saturday at the Kukla House

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:

So far, 40 people are expected and I am sure more will just pop in. Over the summer months, I added 2 HDTVs, making a grand total of 4. Two LCDs, a 42-inch model along with a 55-inch model.  The two added during the summer are plasma models, one 50-inch and another 32-inches. I am set and can be in almost any room and be tuned into a game.

This time though, three HDTVs will be side-by-side-by-side and the room these televisions will be in will look more like a hockey production studio than a home theater room.  Wires are coming out of the ceiling, the baseboards and running along the floor.  I have attached numerous headphone sets to the audio receivers that are hooked up to the televisions, allowing some sort of privacy if guests wish to listen to the games in an individual manner. 

I am not sure, but the room may be in some sort of FCC violation.

continued…

Geez, I’m seriously jealous of Paul’s home theatre setup. I can’t even get my DVR to work properly.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hdtv, hockey+fans

Talking Economic Crisis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

During a recent lecture at UCLA, Patrick Rishe showed his “Economics of Sports” class how the professional sports industry, shielded in the past in many ways from a fickle or distressed economy, won’t be unscathed by the current economic crisis….

Two supports could keep the major sports from suffering as much as other industries: long-term TV contracts and collective bargaining contracts that tether player salaries to revenues.

“Salaries in all sports — salary caps or revenue sharing or luxury tax sports — whatever their salaries are have fallen with revenues,” Zimbalist said. “It’s not lockstep, but as one goes up the other goes up. If revenues flatten out, which is likely, we’ll see a similar (event) with salaries, and it could be for a few years. ...

Much of that will be because television contracts, the centerpiece of professional sports’ big revenues, are locked in. MLB’s broadcast deal is worth $5.4 billion and lasts until 2013. The NFL receives an estimated $3.7 billion a year from its partner networks, the NBA’s broadcast deals are fixed to 2016 and the NHL’s contract with the Versus network goes through 2011.

more with a look at St. Louis teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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