Kukla's Korner

NHL “Clean”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, The Canadian Press has learned. Sources confirmed no violations were found after doping tests began in January under a program jointly run by the league and the NHL Players' Association. It's the first season the NHL has had an anti-doping program. A first-time offender under the league's policy faces a 20-game suspension. The ban is increased to 60 games for a second offence while a third offence means a permanent suspension.
continued

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Money Facts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sports Business Journal (paid sub),

Neither the Hurricanes nor the Oilers has a playoff presenting sponsor, but the Hurricanes have taken a different approach to their Stanley Cup sales strategy. The Oilers locked up playoff components as part of their regular-season deals, but the Hurricanes made playoff participation optional with an eye on driving additional revenue. As a result, the team is able to resell limited sponsorship inventory through the playoffs and around the Stanley Cup. “Most of our existing sponsors had the option to renew for the playoffs and finals and did so, but some did not, and it gave us some high-profile inventory,” said Michael Hurley, director of corporate sales for the Hurricanes, who refused to disclose the price increase for playoff sponsorship deals. For example, Rex Healthcare opted out of their on-ice placement but kept their dasherboard deals. The team then sold the on-ice Rex spot to Ford. NHL Stanley Cup Finals * Home team gives to the league up to 50 percent of a regular-season sellout gate for each home game, depending on market size of teams. This year, the Hurricanes and Oilers will contribute between 30 percent and 40 percent. * Each team pays up to $250,000 to the league for expenses and player awards. The league reimburses teams for any suites used. * The league takes between four and 12 of the 40 dasherboards and two of the team’s on-ice placements. * No local broadcasts, with OLN broadcasting Game 1 and Game 2 and NBC broadcasting the remaining games.

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SCF Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Waterloo Record,

Oilers centre Michael Peca, after Saturday's game three -- a 2-1 win for Edmonton after being shutout 5-0 by upstart rookie Cam Ward three nights earlier -- was quick to comment on Canes goalie Cam Ward. "We didn't score in Game 2, but he's not Patty Roy,'' said Peca. "We know we're going to get our chances to score goals and we'll capitalize as we go along.''
from the Edmonton Sun,
Following the opening game of the series, the Oilers suggested Brind'Amour was cheating in the circle. Head coach Craig MacTavish, however, denies the Oilers sent a tape into the NHL. "We didn't send a tape to the league," said MacTavish. "The league is here. They'd have to reroute it back here to actually see it."
Regarding Jim Rutherford's kidney stone ordeal, via the Boston Globe,
"The whole ordeal took a lot longer than he had hoped," said longtime radio broadcaster Chuck Kaiton. "Our doctor was explaining to the emergency room doctor in Des Moines that Jim was in a hurry and had to get to Edmonton for the Stanley Cup. But you know, unless it's very serious, they just tell you to take a number, wait your turn. And, hey, it's Iowa, they had no idea what the Stanley Cup is all about."

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Hrudey Shining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

The mask is off, the microphone is on and the audience is listening. And on our TV sets is Kelly Hrudey, the self-described introvert, looking cool as a cucumber on Hockey Night in Canada. "I love public speaking and that shouldn't be," admits Hrudey, the former goalie and lifelong introvert. So how can a bashful guy be so unaffected, so incredibly calm, on national TV? Don Cherry, we get. Cherry likely emerged from the womb with his thumbs up. But Hrudey was the kind of kid who hid at the back of the class. In groups, he took on a role adopted by introverts everywhere, as the good listener.
more

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Canes On Solid Foundation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Still, regardless of what happens tonight in Game 4 of the championship series in the Edmonton Oilers' Rexall Place -- or in what's left of the playoffs -- the Hurricanes already have won. They've won big. That's because -- yet again -- they have won the hearts, admiration and devotion of their market. That one fact isn't going to change for a long time. By doggedly weaving the sport of ice hockey into the regional culture, they've done what once seemed impossible. They have become a primary force in what much of the country still sees as a secondary market, and they've done it in the face of unremitting collegiate competition for the attention of sports fans. Not that there's any compelling reason to think it will happen, but the Hurricanes could finish last next season in the NHL's Southeast Division, and it wouldn't destroy the foundation they've built this season.
read on

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Preds Have Some Signing To Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nashville City Paper,

Center Greg Johnson is pursuing free agency by mutual agreement, leaving centers Mike Sillinger and Yanic Perreault, defensemen Brendan Witt, Mark Eaton and Danny Markov and goaltender Chris Mason still eligible to become unrestricted free agents. “We’ll be talking with Sillinger and Perreault next,” Poile said late last week. “We are going to let them know what we think, but maybe what we have to offer is not what they had in mind. We have also talked with Mason, but there is nothing to report.” Sillinger, Perreault and Johnson are all 35 years old. Johnson left because the Predators wanted to go in a different direction. Poile added there are a number of factors to consider with each player. “What do we have coming up?” Poile asked. “What does free agency look like? What is their potential to play better next season?”
more

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Carolina Needs To Rebound

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams of Fox Sports,

The Hurricanes HAD a two-goal lead in the best-of-seven series as the Stanley Cup Finals headed north. They HAD the momentum and everything going their way. And now the Hurricanes HAD better win Monday's Game 4 in Edmonton, or they could be HAD in six games, and with relative ease. Edmonton is in familiar territory. The Oilers fought back from a 2-0 playoff deficit in the Western Conference semifinals against the San Jose Sharks. They did it before, and the Hurricanes know the Oilers can do it again.
read on

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Anyone Seen Staal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

He is tied for the National Hockey League playoff scoring lead, so in the larger scheme of things, this post-season has been the coming-out party for the new face of the Carolina Hurricanes' franchise. But in the near term, the question on everyone's mind Sunday was: Why has Eric Staal-ed? Why has the only player currently active in the playoffs who finished in the top 30 of regular-season scoring suddenly gone cold? And if Staal can get it turned around – say as early as Monday's fourth game of the Stanley Cup final – does that mean doom for the back-from-the-dead Edmonton Oilers?
continued

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Canes Need To Play Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Coach Laviolette answers some questions today.

Q. Your team was pretty upset with the officiating last night, the goal and some other calls. After Game 1 Craig MacTavish was pretty upset about faceoffs, he says the squeaky wheel gets the grease, is all of this part of the gamesmanship of the Stanley Cup Final? COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: You guys asked me questions about the officiating, I just gave an answer. I wasn't up here to complain about it. You said, did the officials come over and tell you about the goal. I said no, there was no communication about the goal. Did you think it was goaltender interference? Yeah, I did. But you are asking the questions, we're not up here making a gripe, so sometimes it comes off the wrong way, we should clear that up a little bit. But regardless we put ourselves in position to take penalties maybe because we didn't skate as well as we needed to, and we got to do a better job at making sure that we don't take penalties and we stay disc iplined. So ultimately there could be disagreements with last night but we need to play a better game.
more in the comment section...

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Positive Attitude

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

"Yeah, I think the big thing is you don't want to get too anxious and lose that focus," Smyth said. "But right from the get-go I know (coach Craig MacTavish) has said 'Let's keep positive, whatever happens' and obviously our back's against the wall and we were up against the wall in San Jose and we pulled through. "I believe a positive attitude goes a long way," Smyth said. "I think this sort of atmosphere that we have gotten going right now, the positiveness, the relaxation, I guess, we want to rest up and get ready because we know it's going to be an exciting ride."
more...Also, NHL.com has been doing a great job of keeping hockey fans up-to-date with everything going on during the SCF. Remember, they just report, no "what ifs" or questioning ref calls so don't expect that, but do expect solid reporting and information we cannot get anywhere else.

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