Kukla's Korner

Columbus Signs Vyborny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed forward David Vyborny, the club's all-time leading scorer, to a two-year contract, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

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Thornton Still Must Prove It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Thornton needs to show that he can be the same player in May and June that he was in March and April. Despite the Sharks' five-game dismissal of Nashville, he's not off to a good start. Although he posted four assists in the series, he was far from Hart-like, checked into virtual submission by a banged up Preds defense. And it's only going to get tougher. He won't be contending with Kimmo Timonen, Brendan Witt and Dan Hamhuis when the Oilers come a-knockin'. He'll have to find a way to fight through Chris Pronger, the guy who was the most dominating skater in the first round.
more

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McKee Thriving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Jay McKee was telling a story about the serendipity of finding some old sticks and how it relates to this magical season. But he might just as well have been telling a story about finding himself again. In a season that saw many veteran players, especially defensemen, lose their way, become irrelevant or worse liabilities, McKee has become a shining example of a player that has emerged as not just capable, but crucial. Former NHL coach and one of the game's top analysts, Pierre McGuire, lights up when McKee's name is brought up. "He's my favorite player," McGuire told ESPN.com. McKee has been able to adjust and thrive in the new NHL because he can skate, McGuire said.
read on

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Changes To Round 2 Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League announced the following updates to the Conference Semifinal schedule for the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: * Th(e dates for Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal Series 'L' (Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs. Colorado Avalanche, if necessary) have moved to Tuesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 18, respectively. * The start time for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series 'J' (Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils, if necessary, Tuesday, May 16) has moved to 7 p.m., ET * The start time for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal Series 'K' (San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, if necessary, Wednesday, May 17) is 9 p.m., ET

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NHL ON NBC- May 6th & May 7th

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The New Jersey Devils, winners of three Stanley Cup Championships since 1995, face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated the Devils en route to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final, Saturday on NBC at 2 p.m. ET, presented in high definition. The Devils enter this Eastern Conference Semifinal series having won 15 straight games (11 regular season, 4 postseason). On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, the Colorado Avalanche will visit the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Game 2 of their Western Conference Seminal matchup. Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play), Peter McNab (analyst) and Cammi Granato (inside-the-glass reporter) will call New Jersey at Carolina; Mike Emrick (play-by-play), John Davidson (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) will call Colorado at Anaheim.

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Watching From The Road

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

People who are on the road through the playoffs have emailed me to ask if I knew of any way they could watch their team in the playoffs. My suggestion was always you have to find a sports bar with CI, OLN, etc. I have also suggested using a fairly new product called Slingbox. I have set up an affiliation with Best Buy for this product, so if you have an interest, take a look at it and see if it fits your needs. Sling Media The Slingbox SB100-100
Sling Media The Slingbox SB100-100

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Numbers Better In Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sports Business Daily (paid reg.),

OLN averaged a 0.3/ (212,000 HHs) cable Nielsen rating through the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, down from averages of 482,000 HHs on ESPN and 370,000 HHs on ESPN2 for the first round in ’03-04. OLN’s average of 289,669 viewers is up 78.6% from 162,163 for regular-season coverage, and is up 93.8% from its year-ago time-period average of 149,486.

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Good News For Koivu

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu still doesn't know the full extent of an eye injury he suffered during the first round of the NHL playoffs but he says all signs point to him making a full recovery. "It looks like the vision will be back 100 per cent," Koivu said Friday. "But we have to wait until all the blood is gone before we know for sure."
more image photo via the AP

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Talking Offer Sheets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

The new NHL includes shootouts, but what about offer sheets? It’s a question agents and GMs are asking themselves heading into the first summer of free agency under the new collective bargaining agreement. And the likely answer is…not yet, if ever. With the salary cap projected at up to $46-million for 2006-07, there has been talk that high-profile restricted free agents such as Tampa center Brad Richards ($3.4 million this season) or Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne ($2 million) might attract offer-sheet interest.
continued

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My How The Game Has Changed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Meridian Booster,

No one thought the officiating in the NHL would be figured out completely in one season, but they still have a ways to go. Buoyed by the declaration from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that officials would be forced to call the game as they had in the regular season, the men in stripes have not only kept up that pace but may have actually increased the tightness of the calls. To the long-time NHL observer this flies in the face of everything that should be playoff hockey – a war decided by the players on the ice not the referee. For better or worse it is safe to say that brand of hockey is dead. It is quite ironic actually, that with the NHL’s advertising campaign building up the game as war on ice – pulling every cheesy Hollywood trick they can – they don’t want the game to be anything like that. It’s quite sad really.
more

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