Kukla's Korner

The Season Has Started

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The new NHL commercials are now available... Crosby in the shower and Turco in the back seat... image image

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Sabres Jersey Is #1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steinberg at his D.C Sports Bog,

Someone from the NHL, who knows of my love for merchandise sales figures, just e-mailed to tell me that the new Sabres jersey is the No. 1 selling jersey on NHL.com, and that since the new logo debuted in September, Sabres stuff has accounted for 10 percent of all sales on NHL.com. Also note that, from Sept. 23-Oct. 16, sales of Buffalo Sabres merchandise was up almost 900% compared to the same period a year ago.
read on

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On The Same Page

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hockey Refs,

The National Hockey League keeps the 30 NHL franchises under the new jurisdiction, while the IIHF enforces low-tolerance among the 64 member federations. This is also the first season that all top-7 European leagues will follow the same guidelines, which will make it so much easier for the 14 referees who take part in the IIHF Referee Exchange Program. Although we are happy with the new era, we are perfectly aware that we are far from perfect. This is still a learning phase for the national associations, the leagues, the players, officials and referees. Probably the most important message to get across is that this is not about zero-tolerance, as many reporters like to describe this because it happens to be a catchy phrase.
more

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The 286th Pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star Tribune,

In the history of the NHL, Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson is unarguably the most successful player taken last in the entry draft. The New York Rangers chose Johnsson with the 286th and final pick of the 1994 draft. It was probably more luck than ingenious scouting that got Johnsson to the Rangers. A few years ago, former Rangers General Manager Neil Smith said he almost literally scanned the list of available candidates, closed his eyes and pointed. "I never saw the kid play before," Smith said a few years ago. "I didn't know the name. I just pulled it out of a hat. "It was the last pick in the draft in Hartford and I only had a few thoughts. I was thinking, 'Are all our bags packed up? And what time's the party starting so I can get a beer?' "
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Arnott Stands Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

But considering the franchise has more than $8 million invested in the four newcomers, it's safe to assume that management and coaches are making evaluations in every minute of every game. "The fact that we're 2-3 after five games means it's not the kind of start we wanted," Predators General Manager David Poile said. "But it always takes some time for individuals to adjust positionally and team-wise. I'd say we're not yet hitting on all cylinders, but hopefully the best is yet to come.'' From a numbers standpoint, Arnott has been the most prominent of the new players, having posted five points in five games.
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Gagner Plays With Great Joy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the London Free Press,

A lot of people are trying to figure out what makes Sam Gagner tick. Here's a young kid who is standing the OHL on its ear. In his first year with the London Knights, the 17-year-old forward is well out in front in the league scoring race with seven goals and 24 assists in nine games. Last week, he had 14 points in four games. People talk about his vision, his soft hands, his passing, his ice-cool demeanour and his ability to read the play. He has all of that in abundant quantities.
continued

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They Remember Roger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

They call him the prophet of hockey. Former Ottawa Senators assistant coach Roger Neilson, who died of cancer in 2003, was remembered by the Israeli under-18 national hockey team yesterday in their visit to Roger's House, a home that offers pediatric palliative care. Although he was not Jewish, Neilson held Israel close in his heart. He established a hockey camp for kids there in 1997. The passion quickly caught on and the country boasts a national team at the youth and adult level.
continued

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All Eyes On Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Even in the early stages of the Avalanche's upcoming three-game road swing through Eastern Canada, which begins tonight at Toronto against the Maple Leafs, he will be The Story. "First thing is we have lost two games, and the last game I wasn't too happy with myself," Theodore said after the Avalanche practice Tuesday at Family Sports Center. "I'm anxious to get things going." When the Avs reach Montreal, where they face the Canadiens on Saturday night, the drama will have built. Theodore will be part of a return that probably won't be as emotional or notorious as Patrick Roy's first game in Montreal as a member of the Avalanche, but still will be emotional and much-watched - literally, on "Hockey Night in Canada."
read on

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“Lucky” Letowski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

With a stiff neck and a vertical slice marking the middle of his forehead, Trevor Letowski doesn't feel or look like anyone who escaped a severe injury. Yet the Carolina Hurricanes forward knows how much worse it could have been when he was the victim of a massive blind-side hit by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Colby Armstrong on Saturday. Unconscious before he hit the ice and taken off on a stretcher, bleeding profusely from the cut on his forehead at the point of impact as he fell, Letowski not only was released from a Pittsburgh hospital late Saturday night in time to fly to Tampa, Fla., with the team but also awoke Sunday morning feeling no worse than the average schlub on New Year's morning, a stiff neck the worst of his problems.
continued

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Morrison Misses Start After Choking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Backup goalie Mike Morrison spent nearly seven hours in a hospital late Monday/early Tuesday because a piece of steak he had eaten for dinner lodged in his esophagus. Morrison, who was supposed to have started Tuesday's game against the Blues but didn't, said he never was in serious danger. "It's just an unfortunate thing that kind of runs in my family a little bit, but this is the first time it ever reached emergency status," Morrison said. "I guess this was my time to finally go in and get it over with."
continued

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