Kukla's Korner

How Are We Doing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

Seven players are on pace to record 50 goals this season, the most in a decade (eight players reached the 50-goal mark in 1995-96). Players on a 50-goal pace this season are Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and Philadelphia's Simon Gagne (both 62), Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson (57), Ottawa's Dany Heatley (54), Washington's Alexander Ovechkin (52), Carolina's Eric Staal (51) and New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr (51)
many more stats... Back in early October, some of you gave your goal scoring predictions. Some are close, some are way off and why in the world did I think Iginla would reach 60 goals!

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Olympic Snub Still Bothers J.R.

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from a Q. & A. with Roenick at ESPN,

Q: Now that you've had a few weeks to reflect, how do you react to being left off the U.S. Olympic team? A: I'm pissed. I feel extremely disrespected. I am right up there with any American to ever play the game. Look at Shane Doan. He has struggled all this year, but he has been in the Canadian system for years, and Canada has respect for the guys that have won medals for them, so they selected him. That wasn't the case with the U.S. I think it was totally disrespectful. I have no love for USA Hockey at this point. If they ask me to do anything for USA Hockey again, it will not be done.
much more

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I Play Hockey To Score Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com transcript of tele-conference with Ilya Kolvalchuk,

Q. Have you always been -- you've been criticized in the past for being too flamboyant about your goal celebrations, have you always since you were a kid been doing crazy stuff? ILYA KOVALCHUK: No, I'm just an excited guy, I'm always excited about my goals, and I don't care how many, if it's one for it's 41st, it's always exciting. That's why I'm playing hockey, to score goals to win the games.
more

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Value Of NHL Teams Increase

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bloomberg,

In the midst of professional hockey's 310-day lockout and labor negotiation, Walt Disney Co. sold the Mighty Ducks for $75 million last year, half the original asking price for the Anaheim, California, team. Today, Samueli's team is worth only slightly less than the $130 million-to-$150 million value on the one NHL franchise up for sale, the St. Louis Blues, says Randy Campbell, a Societe Generale managing director. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says he turned down a $250 million offer for an expansion team soon after the labor agreement was signed in July.
read on...very interesting from the business side...

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NBC Plans For The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I just participated in a tele-conference NBC had regarding their plans for the NHL. Participating on the call were Mike "Doc" Emrick (lead play-by-play); John Davidson (lead analyst); Pierre McGuire (lead inside-the-glass reporter); Bill Clement (studio); Ray Ferraro (studio); Cammi Granato (inside-the-glass reporter) and Sam Flood, NBC Sports Coordinating Producer and the producer of the NHL on NBC. The goalie cam will be used Saturday, the Ranger goalie will have it attached to his helmet for a uniqure view of the game. The studio will be at 30 Rock in NYC, and the ice rink outside the studio will be used during intermission to show and describe some of the play. Messier will be a guest this week in studio and Ed Olczyk will be the special guest in studio the 2nd week. The "Inside the glass" reporters; Pierre McGuire, Joe Micheletti and Cammi Granato will bring the fans closer to the action. They will be cutting in with comments like who is trash talking on the ice, why isn't a certain player get the ice time expected, etc. McGuire mentioned they do not plan on "dumbing down" the game for the viewers. John Davidson stated hockey is a very difficult game to broadcast, but they will be bringing the game to you and this is your chance to see the game in the best way possible. JD was asked if the NHL will ever get bigger on the national level. He mentioned Shanahan, on his own dime, got together a bunch of people to make the game better. Many people were startled by this, but the next thing you know, the game is being played a whole different way. The game was not doing well, and now is our chance to show people how great the game really is. McGuire stated this is our chance to show the people in non-traditional markets how cool this game is. Sam Flood was asked about the HD broadcasts. The primary game will be in HD and when the playoffs start, they may do more than one game in HD. Doc mentioned the NBC crew will be doing a test game during the Philly-Detroit game tomorrow. We will not see it, but it will help fine tune the broadcasts. Sam Flood mentioned it will take some time to get the game broadcast they way they want it, but they will keep trying things in the future like the dasher cam. Question was asked about the Olympic break, Bill Clement spoke up and said it will be a break for some players but will be a torture test for the players going to Torino. It will be a true test of their endurance. A question was asked if Sidney Crosby had an influence on NBC scheduling some of the Pens games. Duh!!! (my comment) Conference is still going on, will update if any pertinent information is released. This is also a raw post, please excuse and gramatical errors. update 1:07pm, One last question was asked about the playoffs- Do you think the game will be called differently? Ferraro responded that the defense will pick up, the game will get even quicker than it is now and he hopes the game is called the way it is right now.

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Aaron Ward Out 3-6 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward will miss three to six weeks after surgery Wednesday to repair a hernia. Ward left the Hurricanes' 3-2 win against Detroit in the second period Tuesday with the injury.

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Old School- Roger Crozier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHl.com,

It has been 10 years (Jan. 11, 1996) since Crozier passed away at the age of 54. Just four years following his untimely death, the NHL honored Crozier's memory by creating the MBNA/Master Card Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award. The award is presented to the goaltender having played a minimum of 25 games with the NHL's best save percentage during the regular season. "Roger was the foundation of the Buffalo Sabres franchise. That was why Punch Imlach traded for him. The minute Punch got Roger from the Red Wings, it gave the Sabres instant credibility. And that said a lot about the Sabres, which was just an expansion team at the time".
read on image

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Blues Still Looking For Buyer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues owners Bill and Nancy Laurie have decided to end their exclusive negotiations with General Sports and Entertainment CEO Andy Appleby, a source has told the Post-Dispatch. The Post-Dispatch has learned that Appleby signed his agreement with the Blues on Dec. 20 and that the deal expired Tuesday. It is believed that Appleby still has interest in purchasing the Blues and the Savvis Center lease, but when reached Tuesday, he declined to comment.
more

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Hawks Want To Make Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources say Senators GM John Muckler is one of several teams that has talked to the Hawks. The club is believed to be trying to move several veterans -- including Matthew Barnaby, Curtis Brown, Martin Lapointe, Jaroslav Spacek, Jassen Cullimore, Jim Vandemeer, Todd Simpson and Kyle Calder.
more

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Esche Not Rushing His Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

There is no confirmed date when Esche will play again. Or even practice with the Flyers. "It's day to day with me, and I have to get where I can practice for an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes to get to my fatigue point and see how I feel," he said. The Flyers are not pushing Esche to come back. That's because they are in better shape than anyone expected. Esche's injury has permitted the entire NHL a glimpse into what Antero Niittymaki is capable of as a starter.
read on

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