Kukla's Korner

The NHL “Made” ESPN2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the OC Register,

Action: Hockey fans complain they can't see Games1-2 of the Stanley Cup Finals because they can't get OLN. Reaction: Brian Burke, Mighty Ducks general manager, doesn't have it on his regular cable package in Yorba Linda and pays for an upgrade. "But I'm with the commissioner (Gary Bettman) on this," Burke said. "When the NHL signed up with The Deuce (ESPN2) everyone wanted to know why we were on this dinky network. The NHL wound up making The Deuce what it is. This is a good partner for us." A: Burke will meet with goalies Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Ilya Bryzgalov before he decides whether to trade one. R: If the Ducks' Stanley Cup hopes are real, it's hard to see them giving the keys to Bryzgalov. The complication is Giguere's contract. It expires after 2007.

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Now What

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

A tentative team waiting for bad things to happen to them. That's what the Edmonton Oilers were all season until the arrival of Dwayne Roloson. That's what they were again last night with injured Roloson looking on. And bad things did happen. Oh, how they happened. Again. And again. And again. And again. And again. In the end it was a sorry story as the Carolina Hurricanes humiliated the Oilers 5-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final after Edmonton gassed a 3-0 lead in Game 1.
continued

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Thanks To People Like This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

John C. Clark lives in Spring Hope, N.C., about 35 miles from Raleigh. "I'm not doing bad for an old guy," he said with a laugh this week. Spry and spunky at 85 years old, the retired farmer is one of those North Carolina residents who are getting caught up in the Stanley Cup finals without pretending to know the ins and outs of the sport. "I've been following the Hurricanes this year," Clark said. "It's been surprising how they've come up. They've got their heart in it!" Over the phone from Edmonton, Wally Strang, 80, admitted: "I don't want to say this, but I will. I think the Oilers have their hands full." So why John C. Clark, the ex-farmer, and Wally Strang, a one-time Vancouver police officer who went on to have a long career in newspapers, radio and advertising in western Canada? On the day this is being written, the June 6 off day between Games 1 and 2 of the Edmonton-Carolina series, the two men are symbols, representative of a generation's contributions.
continued

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Time Running Out For Bob Cole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Darling calls Cole a legend. "He brings people to the edge of their seats unlike any other broadcaster in the country," Darling says. ``When you go to the arenas, you realize that he's so respected. He is a legend." I agree. But a real legend knows when it's time to step aside, or at least slow down. There are few things more painful than watching a great athlete, or great broadcaster, stumble around because there are too many miles on the odometer. For a man in his 70s, who has had health problems, Cole is calling too many games. With a reduced workload, he might even find a new life. If not, he can at least step aside before his status as a legend is forever tarnished.
more

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Canes Dominate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Ron Francis,

That's more like it! With all the talk surrounding the Oiler goalie situation, it was important that the Canes not give them any life in this game. From the Canes standpoint, their game was much better than in game 1 in all areas. They skated better tonight and as a result were able to put a lot more pressure on Edmonton and as the game progressed that showed, as Edmonton became more and more frustrated, taking bad penalties and giving up odd man rushes.
continued

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Talking About Being Old…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Ed Belfour is the goaltending version of Chris Chelios. The Eagle doesn’t know when enough is enough. EB wants to play another year in the NHL but we wonder which team would want The Cranky One at his age? Certainly not The Leafs! -Funny how some critics – among them Lindy Ruff – call the Canes “arrogant.” Which begs the question, what’s wrong with being arrogant in the playoffs? -If we’re deciding between Wade Redden and Chara, the first thing that comes to mind is the former’s failure against the Devils in the 2003 Senators-New Jersey series and Redden’s less-than-spectacular performance against Buffalo this year. We’d take Z without a second thought.
more

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“Lucky” Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Hodge at TSN,

Now, Carolina is up against Edmonton, and the story is already written if the Hurricanes win two more games. That story is all about the team that didn't win. It'll be said that Dwayne Roloson's injury cost the Oilers the first game of the series, and that the Oilers could not find the goaltending, or the confidence, to recover. Carolina will be described as "fortunate" and "opportunistic".
read on

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It Looked Like A Great Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sporting News,

A series that looked so promising, so even when it began, now looks like a blowout. Dispassionate fans, those who prayed for a great final series in what had been an outstanding playoff year, now find themselves staring at a potential sweep. If that happens, those fans should be in mourning. Caniacs are doing handstands. Their team overcame a monumental 3-0 deficit in Game 1 to win. Oilers fans are crying in their Molsons. A team that was hockey's version of a Cinderella story, the eighth seed that defied all expectations, now seems doomed to failure in the finals.
more

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I’ve Seen Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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Report- Smith New GM For NYI

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The New York Islanders have scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon when they are expected to announce Neil Smith as their new general manager, TSN has learned. The Islanders shook up their front office back in January when assistant coach Brad Shaw replaced fired head coach Steve Stirling, and GM Mike Milbury said he would step aside after helping owner Charles Wang pick a successor. Milbury will leave the hockey operations side, and will move into a role as a vice president in charge of Wang's sports properties.
update 9:48pm, Ted Nolan will be named coach of the NYI too. Follow the above link. added 10:00pm, from Alan Hahn of Newsday,
The Islanders have announced a "major Hockey Operations announcement" for Thursday afternoon, where it is expected, according to persons with knowledge of the situation, that former Rangers general manager Neil Smith will be named the team's next GM. On top of this, it is possible owner Charles Wang will also announce a decision in the coaching situation. Several sources within the NHL Wednesday night said former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan's name has come up prominently as a candidate for the Islanders.
more

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