Kukla's Korner

Balsillie Still Looking For An NHL Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

Billionaire Jim Balsillie contacted the owner of the Buffalo Sabres about buying the team earlier this season, a sign the Research in Motion co-founder is still seeking an NHL franchise after two previous high-profile flameouts.

Balsillie phoned Sabres owner Tom Golisano around Christmas, according to a source familiar with the matter. Golisano indicated he would be open to selling the club – but not if Balsillie intended to relocate it.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Changes Needed For Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carl Steward of Inside Bay Area,

Seriously, at this point is extraordinary effort enough from the Sharks if it doesn’t deliver victory and playoff advancement beyond the first round?

Blunt answer: No way, San Jose. This conference semifinal “Groundhog Day” elimination routine is getting old for fans, and it should be getting embarrassing for the Sharks, who are becoming the Atlanta Braves of hockey. Of course, the Braves won a World Series and got to a couple more, so maybe they’re not even on that level.

Something significant has to change with these guys, because mere minor tinkering to achieve the same sour result next year is foolhardy, and that’s precisely what will happen if the Sharks try to maintain the status quo. They’ll still get the sellouts, they’ll still win their share of games, but they’ll never get a sniff of the Stanley Cup.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avery Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

“I was writing my will that first night,” Avery told The Post by phone yesterday. “I was in bad shape. I was nervous. I was trying not to think about it.

“I thought I was done.”...

Avery said he was in “such bad shape the first couple of days,” that he had no idea that one publication reported that he’d suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in a Manhattan hotel room before being rushed to the hospital at 3:30 the morning following the game.

“Nobody said anything, but then it kind of funneled through,” said Avery. “To make up lies, it just shows the credibility of the people who would put that stuff out there and then try to stand by it even when it’s proven false.

“That anyone would print something that’s just false . . . I don’t know why people have the need to lie about me.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Rangers May Target Hossa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,

Hossa will be a question mark whenever Pittsburgh’s season ends. The Penguins have other unrestricted free agents to consider re-signing, including defenseman Brooks Orpik and forward Ryan Malone. They also have to ensure they have future cap room to keep their young players. Malkin will be due for a new contract — presumably a long and large one — after next season.

If the Penguins do not have enough money to offer Hossa, who is making $7 million this season, the Rangers may be in the bidding for him. He is a strong two-way player and seems to be the kind of finisher the Rangers could use on a line with center Scott Gomez.

If the Rangers keep him from returning to Pittsburgh, they would take a chunk out of the lineup of a division rival, one that looks as if it will be formidable for years to come.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Hockey Marathons

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Yasvinski at the National Post,

Sunday’s game was the longest since the Vancouver Canucks beat the Stars 5-4 at the 78:06 mark of overtime on April 12, 2007, but it was well short of the almost two hours of extra time Detroit needed to beat Montreal 1-0 on March 24, 1936.

A look at the 10 longest overtime games in NHL history:

more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: overtime

Burnside Breakdown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down both the East and the West Conference Finals…

The Flyers, who won five of eight matchups against Pittsburgh during the regular season, will try to establish a physical tone with the skilled Penguins, who have shown a surprising level of grit of their own. Both teams have displayed timely, balanced scoring, superb defensive play and stellar goaltending. Oh, and did we mention they can’t stand each other? Stay tuned.

read on

The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, struggled midway through their opening-round series against Nashville but took advantage of woeful netminding by Jose Theodore and cruised to a four-game sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in the West semis. The Stars, who have terrific depth down the middle, now have an identity they lacked the past three or four postseasons. Marty Turco, fresh off a 61-save effort, will represent a much sterner test than the Avs, or he should.

Still, the Red Wings seem to be firing on all cylinders and will be very difficult to knock out.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Making Money During The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

The first two rounds have attracted a total of 1,268,281 fans, compared to 1,195,387 through the first two rounds last spring and 1,205,415 through the first two rounds in 2006.

And when you take into account ticket prices for the playoffs have risen each year, that’s a tidy chunk of change for the partners to split up each season.

What’s even more encouraging for everyone involved is that through the first two rounds, league wide, there have been an average of 261 more fans per game than there were last season.

So what does it all mean? Well, there were 72,894 more fans through the turnstiles in the first two rounds this season than last. At an average price of about $150 a ticket in the post-season, that’s in excess of $10.9 million more in revenues without even taking into account the increase in ticket prices from last year, or all the extra concessions they sold at the American Airlines Center in Sunday night’s marathon.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

OT At ESPN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Geez, ESPN, why don’t you just come out and say you don’t like long overtimes.

But can there be such a thing as too much overtime, SportsNation? Sure, it’s amazing that the Stars and Sharks went to four overtimes before a winner emerged, but did you stick around to watch the end? And is it fair to have such critical games determined by sudden-death?

Looks like true hockey fans are responding too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

2008 Conference Finals Schedule—Times & Dates Finalized

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Here are the final confirmed times and dates of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.

image

Below, a couple updated brackets people might find useful.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+schedule, playoffs

Detroit’s Playoff MVP Wears a Suit

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jamie Samuelsen at the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings are halfway to a Stanley Cup. While there are many candidates, who’s your Red Wings playoff MVP?

Ken Holland. Seriously, before we get to the question, let’s give the Wings GM a little round of applause here. Talk about Mission: Impossible.

Ken, here’s your job. Take a team full of veterans and full of huge salaries and pare it down to fit in the new financial limitations of the NHL. And while you’re doing this, we’d really appreciate it if you could still contend for Stanley Cups and develop world class stars that the fans can root for. No pressure or anything. Thanks Kenny. Good luck. I’m sure all championships are satisfying and if the Wings win, Holland would say that this ranks right up there with the other rings. But down deep, I’ll bet you that this one will be a little more special. 1997 was great and 1998 was emotional because of the limousine accident. But Holland would have to, in an honest moment, tell himself that this was his best work.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland

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