Kukla's Korner

Surprising Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

One writer suggested in his season preview that "things are about to get ugly in Dallas." (Full disclosure, those words were penned by this writer. An investigation into the matter is under way.) Well, not so fast, pardners. Proving once again that he is one of the most underrated coaches in the business, Dave Tippett has managed to get his team to put aside the disappointments of last season and has them on track for another 100-point season.... Up front, Modano and Lindros are tied for the lead in team scoring with 12 points in 15 games and the Big E has found Big D to his liking. "I don't think I've been surprised. You're hoping. You're hoping he's got lots left in the tank, but you don't know until you see it on the ice," said Tippett, who moved Lindros, a natural center, to the wing.
read on, plus bits on other NHL topics...

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Always Last

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Russell at the Sporting News,

A lot of people believe, and undoubtedly a lot of you believe that it is not the "mass media's" job to help promote the NHL. Keep in mind however, it is the mass media's job to be fair and provide quality, balanced coverage. The NHL can only do so much to present their sport, and while they can always do more -- you need the medium of delivery to promote your product. Promotion and awareness equals familiarity. Familiarity equals interest. Interest equals a brand new world of opportunity. There is a reason why the NHL struggles to keep up with the other 'major' sports, and that is simply because when you out of sight, you are out of mind.
more... I can't agree more with Chris. Here in Detroit we have a columnist, Rob Parker, claiming hockey is dead. The radio flagship station of the Wings, won't talk hockey in mid-days, because one of the hosts, claims no one cares about the NHL. I am sure many of you in the States know what I am talking about, and it is time we call out these people and start getting a fair shake.

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Orr- Stop The Hits To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

"I don't want to see hitting taken out of the game, I love hitting in hockey," Orr told TSN, "but if someone puts his shoulder into a player's face, if he puts anything -- an arm, an elbow, a glove -- I think that player should get a penalty. Definitely, it should be a penalty. We are having players getting knocked unconscious before they even hit the ice and carried off on stretchers. How can that be legal? When did hitting someone in the head with your shoulder or any part of your body become part of the rules? Anything above the neck, it's wrong. "Hey, I got hit a lot when I played and I didn't get hit in the head with checks," said Orr, the legendary defenceman who is now the head of his own player representation firm.
read on

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NHL Fans, Meet Mr Potato Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the You Gotta Be Kidding Me files, there's a new promotion in the exciting world of sports marketing: image

Promotional Partners Worldwide (PPW), a leading provider of promotional and licensed items to global marketers, has secured the rights to produce licensed miniature Mr. Potato Heads emblazoned with the logos of MLB, NBA and NHL teams for retail sales. "We at PPW are very excited to be entrusted by Hasbro and MLB, NBA and NHL to be the guardians of their legacies with this very special collectible product line," said Brancaccio. "We foresee that the MR. POTATO HEAD SPORTS SPUDS will become a perennial bestseller..."
continued Take notice of the Minnesota Wild jersey on the image to the right. Any bets on the player? My first thought was actually Jacques Lemaire, but I'm open to alternatives.

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Working Well Together

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Linda Cohn of ESPN,

From the get-go, Zubrus took Ovechkin under his wing. Zubrus told me that when he picked up Ovechkin for his first day of camp, the rookie asked him to stop by a sporting goods store on the way. A little confused, Zubrus asked him why. Answered Alex: "Because I'm going to need a shield for my helmet." Zubrus smiled and assured Ovechkin that the Capitals would give him everything he needed. "All they ask of you is to work hard and play hard," Zubrus then told Ovechkin. "The days of supplying your own equipment and fending for yourself like you did in Russia are over."
more

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Does Mark Howe Belong In The Hall

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston from the Globe and Mail,

The Hockey Hall of Fame inductions are just a few days away, which means it’s time to debate and argue over those who should be in the Hall but are not. We’ll make a case for Mark Howe.... His career NHL statistics are 197 goals and 545 assists for 742 points in 929 games. His points-per-game average is better than the numbers for two of his contemporaries, Larry Murphy and Borje Salming, both of whom are in the Hall.
more

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High Hits Will Continue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Morrison at CBC Sports,

The issue of “legal” hits to the head, of course, has been fairly hot in recent weeks because of a handful of incidents that preceded the Williams hit. “We showed the hits and then asked the managers if we were still in the right area with how we are handling it,” said NHL vice-president of hockey operations Colin Campbell. “It’s tough because no one likes see guys get hurt. But this is a physical game. “We asked the question, too, are there more of these happening than years gone by, or because of television are we just seeing more? And we have to be careful because we’re not allowing low hits, if we eliminate all hits to the upper body, what’s left? Hits to the belly button? We can’t forget we are a physical game.”
read on

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Fans Not Showing Up In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The announced crowd of 14,835 at the TD Banknorth Garden for the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4 win was a bit generous on Thursday. I would bet the attendance was no more than 10,000. It’s sad to see one of the pre-expansion six teams not only struggling on the ice this season, but at the gate. Attendance is down approximately 12 per cent for the Bruins this season. They have averaged 14,385 this season, which is way down in 24th spot in the league.
continued

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Paying Tribute To Bruin Vets

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

The Boston Bruins have quite a history of participation in our nation's conflicts. Via the Boston Bruin Official Website,

Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, the famous "Kraut" line, so-named because they were boyhood friends who came from the German community of Kitchener, Ontario, had led the Black & Gold to the 1940-41 Stanley Cup final win over the Detroit Red Wings -- and were poised to do so again. They returned to Boston from Kitchener in the autumn of 1941 expecting to continue their dominance but the Japanese attack on December 7th, changed their world, and THE world, forever.
Continue reading

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The Life Of A Scout

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Prince Albert Herald,

So what exactly does a scout do? “Wanted: A person passionate about hockey, willing to put 80,000 kilometres on their car, watch 400-plus hockey games, be away from the family 110 nights a year, and must be organized,” O’Brien joked about how his job description might read. “80,000 kilometres is 800 hours of my life in a car, and 700 hockey games at two hours each is another chunk of hours,” he said.
More

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