Kukla's Korner

Who’s Watching- Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The National Hockey League completed its matchup for the Stanley Cup Finals last night with a game intensely followed in Upstate New York and in those small pockets of North Carolina where folks are more interested in Eric Staal than Hermie Sadler. For NHL executives, who hoped to construct a brave new league in which small markets and cash-strapped franchises have a chance to excel, this is a good example of the need to be careful what you wish for. Since the subject is hockey, very few of you are still reading at this point and still fewer care that the last paragraph ended with a preposition. Like the NHL itself, we will press on and hope things turn out all right.
continued from the Toronto Star,
While CBC is barely able to contain its enthusiasm, the folks at NBC and the NHL have to be dreading the final match-up. Whether it's Buffalo or Carolina taking on the Oilers, there's a good chance this series could score the lowest prime-time ratings in U.S. television history. That dubious distinction belongs to the XFL, which once brought a 1.6 prime-time rating to NBC. Since the network is averaging but 1.1 for its Saturday afternoon playoff games this year, the possibility of a record certainly exists. NBC boss Dick Ebersol could top himself as the purveyor of America's least-watched show. The reasons for that possibility are legion.
more

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Feeling The Pinch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

This season in the NHL has been mostly about learning under the new salary cap system imposed as part of last summer's collective bargaining agreement. This summer, however, 30 teams will begin the more trying process of living under the cap. For some, it's not going to be much fun. Take the New Jersey Devils, for instance. The decisions GM Lou Lamoriello made last summer -- specifically, opting to sign veteran defenseman Vladimir Malakhov and forward Alexander Mogilny -- are going to put a pinch on the club this summer and next season...
continued Damien also tells us Bryan McCabe is not worthy of his new deal... from the Toronto Star,
For an athlete who loudly vowed never to play again in the NHL if a league-wide salary cap was instituted, Bryan McCabe appears set to make out very well despite his compromised principles. The Maple Leafs didn't get around to formally announcing the new five-year contract for the veteran defenceman yesterday, a deal that is expected to, on average, pay him about $5.5 million per season. This, you see, is not yet another case of the Leafs compensating a player for who he used to be and what he used to be able to accomplish on an NHL rink.
more

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J.D. On The Blues Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The NY Post talks to John Davidson...

Q: You have been in the news because, if the Dave Checketts ownership group is approved in St. Louis, you could be president of the Blues. Where does that stand? A: I don't have an answer there primarily because the NHL has not finished their process of ratifying the group to purchase the Blues. If they do - that would be sometime in June - that is when we would have some very relevant discussions and then make a decision at that time. Q: So what will it take? A: It would have to be the perfect opportunity for me to even think about leaving
read on (reg. req.)

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Canadian Love Fest

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Opinion 250 News,

Tradition is on Canada’s side. Since the inception of the NHL, the Stanley Cup has been awarded 112 times. A Canadian Captain has been the recipient of Lord Stanley on each occasion, except in 1999, when the Cup was presented to American Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars. Moreover, a Canadian has received the Conn Smythe playoff MVP trophy 38 out of 40 times. In addition, only one non-Canadian head coach, Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella (in 2004) has ever led his team to a Stanley Cup. This dominance is unparalleled in any multi-national sporting event. ...Yes, hockey has made huge strides on the international scene, but Canadians still make up the majority of world class players. In the NHL, there are more Canadian players than all the other countries combined.
more

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Another Kick At It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via NHL.com,

Now the second-seeded Hurricanes are moving on while the Sabres - the No. 4 seed in the East - head home with the empty feeling that a season's worth of hard work went unfulfilled. "The guys did a good job, we just didn't have enough in the tank, I guess," Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere said. ...Brind'Amour is headed to the finals for the third time in his 17 NHL seasons. He is still looking for his first championship ring. "They know what it's all about," said Brind'Amour, who made a locker room speech to his teammates on Wednesday. "I just said I'm an old guy, and I just want another kick at it."
more

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Playoff Challenge Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Congrats to the finalists in the Playoff Challenge. Results after the Conference Finals: Edmonton 34-25 Carolina 38-27 Edmonton: Ric S. 65-51, GR99 55-47, OilMan 49-41, Maurice 61-50, Jen B. 68-41, Carl T. 57-45, Timothy 64-50, Trent 49-40, Hank S. 64-52, CoffeyMan 64-48, RYS 47-40, Underdog 61-50, Dean 51-47, Joseph B. 65-47, Ritchie 60-50, ZooZoo 61-50, Peter G. 70-60, Vanity 65-55 Carolina: Ryan 67-52 CHAW 40-30, NJNO 64-40, Rob F. 55-44, Vic S. 66-57, Marty 55-49, Brandy 74-55, Mike S. 64-61, HF 49-40, LOAD 55-40, Pinky 49-39 The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from IceJerseys.com. Rumor has it another chance to win a gift certificate from IceJerseys.com will be announced on Friday. This one will not be as difficult and is really a thank you to all the readers of Kukla's Korner.

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Expect More Changes In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Neely at Boston Bruins.com,

I personally would not be surprised if we saw some additional management/personnel changes. It may be that simply changing the general manager is not enough of a new beginning to create the on-ice product that the Bruins fans want to see. Aside from signing more play-making talent, a shift in attitude will be necessary too, and it remains to be seen if Chiarelli has the ability to create a “winning atmosphere.
read on

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Stock The Fridge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

Thanks to hockey's participation in the Winter Olympics and the nudging back of the NHL schedule, the 2006 Stanley Cup finals and NBA Finals are going to overlap in virtually an every-other-night format. If you're a fan of both games, meaning you're not one of those who believe that true hockey passion means the exclusion of all other sporting interests, or a basketball fan who believes hockey should be frozen out, stock the refrigerator or have the local bartender save seats.
continued

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“Checking” The Officials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hockey Refs,

The discussion of vetting officials has been renewed by incidents of unethical and even illegal behavior by officials. While there have been cases in hockey and other sports of sexual predators taking to officiating, there are concerns over current officials. Recent examples include Michael Heichert of Minnesota, who continued at the collegiate and professional level despite a record of drug and gambling-related charges and convictions, and a Swedish linesman who tried working a game intoxicated.
continued

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Forget About Oxygen- How About Groin Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from US Newswire,

Cancellation of the 2004- 2005 National Hockey League (NHL) season may have cost dearly in terms of labor relations, fan support and dollars, but players came through it in fine physical shape. Study results presented today at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) showed athletes' physical condition showed no ill effects from the 310-day lockout. Researcher John Wygand led a study of 18 NHL players, conducting pre-season assessments of maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate and body composition in 2003 and again in 2005
continued

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