Kukla's Korner

Who’s Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

But hockey has its problems. The NHL is cursed with a disturbing lack of continuity. The simplest question — "Who's good?" — is tough to answer. The once-venerable big-market teams have been vulnerable (witness the first-round flameouts of favoured Detroit and Dallas). Two out of three Hart Trophy nominees, New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr and Calgary's Mikka Kiprusoff, went out in the first round while the third, San Jose's Joe Thornton, is a game away from being bounced by the Edmonton Oilers. There are no Stars, and no transcendent stars. The NBA has seen James emerge as the greatest athlete of his generation and Dwyane Wade produce majesty and Bryant and Nash lead amazing charges. The NHL has the usual goaltenders of the moment.
more

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A Great Fit In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues fans are buzzing about the possibility that John Davidson will become the next president of the Blues. He fits so many criteria. He is a former Blues goaltender and he knows most of this franchise’s great alumni. As the sport’s top color analyst, he is a terrific spokesperson for the game. He would help rekindle St. Louis’ love affair with the sport.
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Conference Final Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #2 Carolina vs. #4 Buffalo Saturday, May 20 2:00 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Monday, May 22 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Wednesday, May 24 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Friday, May 26 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Sunday, May 28 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Tuesday, May 30 * 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Thursday, June 1 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL DATES (if Edmonton-San Jose Conference Semifinal is decided in six games) Friday, May 19; Sunday, May 21; Tuesday, May 23; Thursday, May 25; Saturday, May 27 *; Monday, May 29 *; Wednesday, May 31 * WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL DATES (if Edmonton-San Jose Conference Semifinal is decided in seven games) Sunday, May 21; Tuesday, May 23; Thursday, May 25; Saturday, May 27; Monday, May 29 *; Wednesday, May 31 *; Friday, June 2 * * if necessary

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San Jose Mayor Responds To Booing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from cbs5,

Mayor Gonzales Expresses Disappointment in Sharks Fans' Disrespect to Canada Anthem- One of the great benefits of sports is when a community comes together in a common purpose and cheers their team in a spirit of good sportsmanship. I'm delighted that the San José Sharks have given the people of our community another reason to cheer this year with a successful season and their pursuit of the Stanley Cup in the NHL playoffs. This is why I must express my deep disappointment in the actions of some fans at yesterday's game in San José between the Sharks and the Edmonton Oilers when they booed during the playing of Canada's National Anthem.
continued added 7:02pm, from the San Jose Sharks,
The San Jose Sharks organization does not condone the booing of any nation’s National Anthem under any circumstances. We were very surprised by the actions of a few fans prior to Game 5 on Sunday. Sharks fans have always been very respectful and there is no history of this type of behavior. A series of events unfolded during Game 4 in Edmonton that undoubtedly helped lead to the reaction in San Jose Sunday night. During the performance of The Star Spangled Banner prior to Game 4 in Edmonton (aired live and in its entirety by FSN Bay Area), the in-house video board showed a picture of San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, to which some Edmonton fans began to boo.
continued

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Status On Sabres Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Sabres centre Tim Connolly and defenceman Dmitri Kalinin could both miss the start of Buffalo's Eastern Conference finals series against Carolina because of injuries. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Monday ruled out any possibility of Kalinin playing when the best-of-seven series is expected to open at Carolina this weekend. Ruff said Kalinin is still listed week to week after reportedly breaking his ankle May 8 while blocking a shot in Game 2 of Buffalo's conference semifinal series against Ottawa. Connolly's status is uncertain after the play-making centre was also hurt in Game 2 after sustaining what is believed to be a concussion.
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Bad Ratings Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sports Network,

Now, don't get me wrong. The influx of fresh contenders is something that the league needs. It means there is a very good chance we will have a brand new Stanley Cup champion for the second straight season. No more dominance by Jersey, Detroit or Colorado. The people in Orange County or Raleigh deserve to celebrate just as much as the folks in Motown or Denver. That's my opinion, but I doubt I'm in the majority. Some hardcore hockey fans might agree, but it's the grand scope that concerns me here. The NHL came back from the lockout trying to push its way past the die-hards and reach those of the casual realm. A final four packed with teams that no one really cares about is a disaster in terms of achieving that goal. It's going to be hard for NBC and OLN to post any kind of respectable ratings without legitimate starpower.
more

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Flat Ratings Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Overnight ratings for the Hurricanes/Devils game from Saturday on NBC comes in at 1.0 rating and a 3 share. But the NHL did beat out the Mavericks Surf contest and the American LeMans Lone Star Grand Prix.

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U.S HHOF Closes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via ESPN,

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, a shrine for stars from all levels of American hockey and a mainstay in this Iron Range town for three decades, has closed its doors. Officials have said the hall could be moved to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul or the Mall of America in Bloomington, though no decision has been made. The hall's closure was announced Friday. "I think it's really sad," said Eveleth resident Laurie Cundy, whose sons, Michael and Brodie, played hockey for Eveleth High School. "I think Minneapolis-St. Paul has always wanted it, and it belongs here. This is the heart of hockey."
continued

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Check It Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star Tribune,

Mark Stephan started purchasing four club seats to the Wild before the 2002-03 season. In June 2003, he renewed the tickets at $80 apiece per game. He also committed to purchasing the tickets for three years, with a guarantee the price of tickets would not be raised in that time. Stephan was puzzled and then some when he received his ticket renewal order last month and it called for an increase to $85 per ticket. His financial advice to himself was to send an e-mail to the Wild sales people handling his account, to remind them that he had been given the no-increase guarantee. ...It was at this point when Stephan received notice that it was a guarantee for three years, not three seasons. Here's a business that didn't offer its product in 2004-05 -- did not pay its talent and laid off much of its workforce -- but it figured its ticket customers should count it as a contract year for them?
more

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Goulet A Favorite For Avs GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

In the first nine seasons the Avalanche played in Denver, Michel Goulet wore various hats. He was a director of player personnel, a director of player development and, for the first time this past season, the special assistant to the president. That president was, and is still is, Pierre Lacroix. On Friday, Lacroix gave up his other title, as Avalanche general manager. Goulet, the Hall of Fame forward whose No. 16 remains retired in the rafters of Le Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City after a great career with the Quebec Nordiques, appears to be a favorite to replace Lacroix as the general manager. Former Avs goalie Patrick Roy told Denver Post sports columnist Mark Kiszla on Saturday he believes Goulet will be named to succeed Lacroix.
continued

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