Kukla's Korner

Oiler Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the modern National Hockey League world, it isn't often that a coach will resort to a tactic from a previous era to motivate his team, but the Edmonton Oilers' Craig MacTavish did that this past week. Following a third-period implosion which led to Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers' seventh straight, MacTavish put the team through a "bag skate" the next morning in Dallas. For 50 minutes, the Oilers skated hard — without water breaks, without a chance to think — until they were ready to drop.

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Hockey In Tennessee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA Hockey,

It wasn’t long ago that hockey in Tennessee wasn't taken very seriously. Sure, there were a few leagues, a lot of good coaching, and even a local legend in Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer "Boom Boom" Geoffrion. Then the Nashville Predators were awarded an NHL franchise, and the game immediately exploded in what is generally considered football country. This part of the South may not be a traditional hockey hotbed, but the sport has taken off in Nashville. In fact, the city is scrambling to find room for more sheets of ice to meet the growing demand of players, from the youth to adult levels.

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Cablevision Adding OLN To iO Digital Service

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

BETHPAGE, NY and STAMFORD, CT (October 28, 2005) -- Cablevision Systems Corp. and OLN today announced that they had reached an agreement under which Cablevision will include OLN, which has exclusive rights to carry 58 regular season NHL hockey games, numerous playoff games and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, as part of its iO digital service. These New York area hockey fans will be able to watch Monday's Rangers game on OLN "We are pleased that we were able to reach agreement with Comcast in a number of areas, including making OLN and its exclusive telecasts of NHL hockey games available to many more Cablevision customers," said Mac Budill, Cablevision's senior vice president of programming. "Beginning with Monday night's game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, OLN's exclusive national hockey telecasts will be available to the majority of our cable customers through our iO digital service."
more update 1:57pm, via Media Week, The deal includes other Comcast properties, although neither side would elaborate on specifics.

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Wings Continue Winning Ways

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It's a good thing Mike Babcock doesn't have commitment issues. Having two former head coaches still in the mix, less financial freedom and a new league to contend with, it might not be the dynamic every new coach would want. But Babcock has embraced the situation as new coach of the Detroit Red Wings. And while many prognosticators figured the Wings would be one of those formerly big-spending NHL teams to become a casualty of the new economic system, the team and Babcock haven't missed a beat.

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Nashville Is Not That Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sports Illustrated,

The Nashville Predators aren't all that good. Don't get sucked in by that eight-game winning streak to start the season. This is not a powerhouse in the making. Outside of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, a player who just might be as underrated as Arrested Development, the Preds simply don't possess the mix of superstar power, experienced defense and veteran savvy that true contenders such as Detroit and Ottawa have in spades.

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Russian Takeover- Fetisov Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hockey Rants blogger Jes has discovered that a new Russian League may be on the horizon.

Apparently, Russian sports minister Vyacheslav (Slava) Fetisov is very close to the launching an ambitious new hockey league and it could get bloody. Not only will Fetisov have to fight the 'old guard', but he'll be up against the IIHF which will want to control the league under its umbrella.

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Could Stevens Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

Scott Stevens is not pushing for a comeback. The former Devils defenseman says he is happy in retirement. But as the Devils continue to struggle this season, especially defensively, it wouldn't be shocking if general manager Lou Lamoriello at some point placed a call to the team's former captain. So, would Stevens tell Lamoriello he won't come back? "I think so, but you never know what's going to happen," Stevens told The Star-Ledger yesterday.

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Tkachuk Out With Cracked Ribs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues left winger Keith Tkachuk will be out for an undetermined amount of time after an MRI test revealed Thursday that he had three non-displaced cracked ribs. Tkachuk suffered the rib injury Oct. 15 when he jabbed himself in the midsection with the butt-end of his stick after he got the blade caught in the pads of Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

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Canadian TV Ratings- TSN Up 156%

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Everyone knew this was going to be big. But nobody imagined it being this good. "I told everybody the ratings would be up," said TSN president Phil King about the astounding TV audience levels in the first month of the NHL's new era. "I just didn't think they'd be up this much." King was referring specifically to the figures for his own network, which have been off the charts. But he might as well have been speaking for every NHL television broadcaster in the country. There's good news absolutely everywhere

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Trade Talk Down Around The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun

, A month into the NHL season and GMs aren't burning up the phone lines trying to foist their underachievers and malcontents upon their brethren. "There's no (trade) talk at all," Muckler said prior to last night's visit by the Canadiens to the Corel Centre. "I've had very few discussions with other GMs. Certainly, a lot less than I did in the past." Now, it should be noted Muckler isn't shopping for anything. However, the reality is the NHL's new $39-million (all terms US) salary cap is going to limit movement -- possibly until the March 9 trade deadline.

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