Kukla's Korner

More Scoring Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun via Slam,

You wanted more goals? You're going to get them. The revamped NHL rulebook seeks to reward offensive creativity and punish slower, sluggish teams. Whether it's the crackdown on obstruction or the elimination of the red line, fans are excited to see a faster, more skilled version of the game when the NHL finally returns to the ice.

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The History Of Hockey- Alberta Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slam,

Alberta's hockey history is older than the province itself. In fact, a dozen years older. The first recorded hockey game took place at Calgary's Star Skating Rink Jan. 4, 1893, where the Town Boys beat the Tailors 4-1 in a game that saw seven players -- a goalie, two defencemen, three forwards and a rover -- play per side. Long before the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers became the top two teams in the world through much of the 1980s, and long before the NHL came to Wild Rose Country, hockey was fully ingrained into the province.

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Trying To Sell Tickets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Herald-Sun,

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos was in Durham on Friday for the team's "NHL Re-Launch Party" at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the American Tobacco Complex, an event co-sponsored with the baseball club that had the Bulls play a game wearing not their usual royal blue and Texas orange but instead the Hurricanes' red, black and white. Karmanos said the new labor contract, which included salary caps and revenue-sharing for clubs that might temporarily struggle at the gate, should allow the Hurricanes a chance at success for a very long time. But he said everyone around the game has some hard work to do right away. "There's no magic formula" for filling the RBC Center and other buildings around the league, Karmanos said. "We've got to keep working at it, keep talking about where the game's going."

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Wake Up Wirtz

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Northwest Hearald,

For Chicago-area Hawks fans, the excitement again will be limited. Team president Bill Wirtz refused to lift the local blackout of games at the United Center. During a July 25 news conference after the announcement that a labor deal had been reached, Wirtz became agitated when asked about the much-criticized team philosophy. "It's not our policy to give away our product for free," Wirtz said. "I'm sure newspapers don't give away their papers for free. Please don't make this whole press conference about that.

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Howard Considered #3 Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Of interest to Wing fans... from Maine Today,

Jimmy Howard's ascent through professional hockey will not be rushed, according to Jim Nill, the Detroit Red Wings' assistant general manager. Howard signed a three-year deal with Detroit last week, giving up his senior season at Maine, and is expected to head to Grand Rapids, Mich., to play for the Wings' top minor-league team.

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Rags Should Extend Offer Sheet To Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Joe Thornton won't be available next summer, and neither will Vincent Lecavalier. Martin St. Louis and Marian Hossa are locked up, too. In other words, all that cap space the Rangers will have available for a franchise player in 2006 is looking more and more as if it will be nothing more than vast, empty air. Moreover, it is likely to remain that way in 2007 and 2008. Liberalized freedom in the NHL has essentially erased the distinction between restricted and unrestricted free agents. If a new paradigm has been established in this first capped off-season in league history, it's that teams will pay whatever is required to keep young, marquee talent off the open market. Which, among other reasons, is why the Rangers should immediately extend a six-year, maximum-contract offer sheet of $7.8 million per year to Atlanta's unsigned Ilya Kovalchuk, the 22-year-old left winger who, three seasons into his career, has emerged as the NHL's most dynamic goal scorer.

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Bad Move By Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

The Sam Pollock theory of trading -- established long before the days of salary caps points the winner of any trade as the team that comes away with the best player. By that definition, the Ottawa Senators lost out by dealing Marian Hossa to the Atlanta Thrashers for Dany Heatley.

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Tarnstrom Awarded $1.6 Million

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Defenseman Dick Tarnstrom was awarded a one-year, $1.6 million contract by an arbitrator on Sunday, and now Penguins general manager Craig Patrick is on the clock. He has until Monday morning to decide whether to accept the ruling and keep the 30-year-old on the roster, turn it down and let him walk as an unrestricted free agent or trade him. If Patrick rejects the offer, he could still negotiate with Tarnstrom as an unrestricted free agent.

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No More Trap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press,

Lemaire has to reprogram his players and defense-first game plan to function in a new NHL hardwired for more offense. Scores of players have changed uniforms via trades or free agency since the lockout ended last month, recalibrating the power structure of both conferences. But the key to success this season could come down to how quickly teams adjust their style to another obstruction crackdown and rink alterations designed to create more room for playmakers. Trapping teams like the Wild, who rely lesson the defensive scheme than when they entered the NHL in 2000, could be caught chasing air if they simply extend their flypaper across the neutral zone and try to pounce on opponents' turnovers. Not with two-line passes providing an escape route for attacking teams and four less feet of center ice for defenders to trap.

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Ambassador Gretzky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Airizona Republic,

The co-owner, managing partner and coach of the Phoenix Coyotes also will briefly serve as a diplomat when the Canada Arizona Business Council gathers for a pre-season game at the Glendale Arena on Sept. 16. The Canadian icon, who was named coach earlier this month, will address the group of 50 or more business leaders whose goal is to improve trade between Arizona and Canada. The Gretzky effect already has led to the Coyotes selling 1,000 new season tickets in the past three weeks, Moss said. "I think there will be an increase in visibility," Moss said. "There will be more TV games here and more TV games in Canada."

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