Kukla's Korner

Big Plans For Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

You have to have really good eyesight to see the future of the Phoenix Coyotes. You have to be able to see beyond the expanse of scrabbly desert floor that stretches out in all directions from the Coyotes' home at Glendale Arena. You have to see beyond the scaffolding and cement pads that have just now begun to dot the area outside the arena's main entrance. It's the kind of eyesight majority owner Steve Ellman hopes fans, businessmen and investors have.
more

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Dreams Do Come True

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Milbury of the New York Islanders,

After months of planning and stressing over passports and visas and travel arrangements, it is a pleasure to inform you that everything is a "GO" for the arrival of two youth hockey teams from the Chinese cities of Harbin and QiQihar in late December. We intend to make this a visit that they will never forget. The teams will first stop in Ottawa to attend the Bell Atlantic Atom Tournament, the largest of its kind in the world. After a welcome reception and press conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa at which they will be presented with a complete set of equipment courtesy of Nike-Bauer, the kids will join a host family from the region.
continued

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Playing The Game Down South

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Greenville News (South Carolina),

With its steamy summers and often snowless winters, Greenville seems an unlikely place for hockey. But tell that to the more than 100 kids who play the fast-paced sport at the Pavilion. A recent practice session for young players was like 'most any sports practice. Younger siblings frolicked on the sidelines while parents watched, critiqued and chatted with each other. On the ice, kids zipped past taking instructions from coaches. The difference, of course, was that despite being indoors, everyone was still bundled up in sweatshirts, scarves and jackets.
continued

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He’s Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Inside Bay Area,

I said I would give the NHL two months. I figured the first month everyone was going to be on their best behavior no matter what, like the beginning of class with a substitute teacher. After that, though, it's game on. The NHL could have evolved into glorified pick-up hockey in that second month, with absolutely no contact. It could have turned into the Federal League, with bench-clearing brawls. Or worse yet, it could have reverted to its pre-lockout yawn-a-thon, in which case I would have been out like The White Stripes at a Bay Area concert. Anybody's guess really. That being said, I'm pleased to report the NHL has won me back. Well, sort of.
continued

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Firing Sullivan Is The Next Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald, Like it or not,

Mike Sullivan is a goner. His ouster has to be the next move aimed at righting the disaster known as the Bruins. That’s not to say he is the reason why the B’s are mired in last place or the cause of so many angry and discouraged fans, not to mention the ones that are so fed up they don’t care anymore. He’s simply the only major card Mike O’Connell has left to play in an attempt to get the team winning and make the Black ’n’ Gold somewhat relevant again on the Boston sports landscape.
continued

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Find Those Old Cards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

A mystery Canadian has struck it rich after discovering a small collection of vintage hockey and baseball cards that fetched almost $150,000 Cdn at a sports memorabilia auction in New York. A complete 1954-55 set of Topps hockey cards, including Gordie Howe at the height of his NHL career, sold for more than $20,000. The seller has insisted on anonymity, but the California-based auction house that handled the sale said the cards' owner, a man from Western Canada, "didn't have a great sense of their value."
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Shanahan Has Clout In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Some saw it as grandstanding. Others thought he was playing politics. Even Brendan Shanahan was uneasy about his decision to organize a meeting to assess the state of the National Hockey League game. But the two-day summit in Toronto turned out to be a success and much more. It became a benchmark from which evolved the sweeping reforms that opened up hockey and produced the new NHL. Of all the stories this year, the Shanahan summit will have the longest and most profound impact on the way a Canadian sport is played. For that reason, the Detroit Red Wings' veteran from Toronto is The Globe and Mail's choice as Canada's most influential sports figure of 2005.
read on

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Van Massenhoven Bouncing Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the London Free Press,

Don Van Massenhoven expects to be back refereeing National Hockey League games Jan. 11. In February, he expects to be in Turin, Italy, refereeing Olympic games. And yet, less than three weeks ago he was lying on an operating table, the septum of his nose driven through his forehead resting on his brain. Another millimetre or so and Van Massenhoven would have been fighting for his life rather than prepping for a high-profile gig at the Olympics.
continued

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Gretzky Upset With Olympic Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star, He blamed the NHL and the NHL Players' Association for insisting that Team Canada be identified by Dec. 22 when official International Olympic Committee deadlines are weeks away. "There's no reason to name this team (on Dec. 21)," Gretzky said. "I think they're wrong. I voiced my displeasure a month ago and was told this was the way it's going to be and said, `Okay, we'll accept it.' I just hope all the players understand the consequences. read on

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Around The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Forward Jason Blake of the New York Islanders had complete feeling in all of his extremities and didn't sustain any serious back or neck injuries when he crashed headfirst into the boards last night in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Blake was still undergoing tests a few hours after the game and was expected to remain in hospital overnight as a precautionary measure. "Our thoughts are with Jason tonight," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said late yesterday. "We look forward to getting him back, but that's for another day. The good news is that he's going to be OK." - via the AP -During the Wings/Thrashers game last night, 5, 5 on 3 goals were scored. -No one that I've seen before, during or since could score goals like Brett Hull. He's exemplified playing the game the way it should be played within the rules, he is a winner, he's been a class individual. There's no kid who has ever played who could make a father prouder than Brett Hull did, as far as I was concerned. - Bobby Hull on son Brett, via the Chicgo Tribune, check out more from the Senior Hull...

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