Kukla's Korner

Will Hockey In Phoenix Ever Succeed?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Harris and Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

Ray Artigue, executive director of the MBA sports-business program at Arizona State University, said being a non-playoff team and playing in Glendale makes it difficult to regularly attract fans throughout metro Phoenix, especially those on the other side of the Valley.

Moyes, through a spokesman, declined to comment. But Jeff Shumway, the team’s former chief executive, said the Coyotes mounted numerous efforts to stimulate interest, were competitive much of last season, but still couldn’t attract fans and lost millions.“At this point in time, hockey isn’t financially viable here,” said Shumway, who ran the team from April 2006 to January 2009.

He said an NHL official told him a team needs to make the playoffs four out of five years to generate a loyal following….

Unable to meet minimum paid attendance and revenue-growth figures in 2007-08, the NHL docked the team at least $3.6 million, or 25 percent of a full revenue share. This past season, the Coyotes again failed to meet those standards and received a 40 percent cut, or more than a $6 million reduction, according to Shumway.

The NHL last year told the Coyotes to “do whatever they needed to do” to hit the minimum requirements and receive a full share, Shumway said. The team, through an accounting move, then sold Moyes about 1,000 tickets a game and deducted the cost from the millions of dollars in loans he provided the team.

Daly said the NHL, which has contended it has been in control of the team since November, became aware of the situation in January and told the Coyotes to stop.



Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Gold Or Bust

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail at CTV Olympics,

Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting concluded in Vancouver yesterday with two recommendations for the game’s future.

For starters, delegates from across the country decided to hold a second hockey summit that will focus on “the player” and will take place next summer at a location to be determined.

More immediately, however, the membership told Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson to ensure three gold medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver-Whistler next winter. Concerned by a string of recent international results, the message from Hockey Canada’s board was simple, according to Nicholson.

“Silver isn’t good enough,” he said. “We shouldn’t be satisfied with silver. I was given an endorsement to do everything in my power to win three gold medals.”


While on the subject of Canada, Happy Victoria Day to all of the great folks in Canada!

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Cam Ward Could Be The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

So no matter how well the Hurricanes play defensively, they’re still going to need Ward in this series. The Penguins are going to get their chances. Ward is going to have to stop them.

Those are difficult circumstances for a goaltender, but they are the kinds of circumstances in which Ward really thrives. He’s a big-game goalie, and he showed that in the regular season when he denied Crosby on a breakaway and Malkin on a penalty shot in a 3-2 Carolina overtime win on April 4.

At 25, he has never lost a playoff series, and watching him shine in the playoffs after a two-year absence drives home what a missed opportunity those two seasons really were for the Hurricanes.

Because with Ward in net, there’s always a chance. Had the Hurricanes made it in 2007 or 2008, they might have gone as far as this team has. But they didn’t, and if anything, that has sharpened Ward’s resolve.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Will Be Tough To Beat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Because it’s Chicago and Detroit, it’s hard not to think about a young Bulls team led by Michael Jordan needing to conquer Isiah Thomas and the NBA champion Pistons before winning championships. Those Bulls had to be frustrated by Detroit before maturing into winners, and these Hawks probably need more time, too.

The problem is, now that they have handled Calgary and Vancouver, it’s only natural to want more. It’s easy for hungry fans to rip into Kane, who followed up his hat trick against the Canucks on Monday with a dud at Joe Louis Arena. Nobody could make Kane feel any worse than he already felt, though.

‘‘We tried to make a statement,’’ the boyish Kane said glumly. ‘‘This was a big game for us. We had the start we wanted. We got off to a 1-0 lead. But they took it to us the second half of the game.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Maven Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

• The Red Wings are not unbeatable; it’s just that it’s hard to catch them.

• I’d like to see what would happen if Chris Osgood REALLY was tested in the Detroit goal.

• If Nik Lidstrom got any better he’d be Zdeno Chara.

• I’m very interested in seeing how Sid (Days Of Whine and Roses) Crosby plays against team that can spell D-E-F-E-N-S-E; otherwise known as Carolina.

more bullet points…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hall Of Fame Class Of 2009

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Since the Hall of Fame inductees for the year are announced quickly following the Stanley Cup playoffs, I like to discuss the probable inductees at some point during the playoffs.  Today is as good a day as any.

There are five players who are first time Hall of Fame eligible who I think should one day be inducted.  In order of the strength of their Hall of Fame credentials they are: Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Dave Andreychuk.  Since a maximum of four players can be inducted in any given season, it is clear that at least one of those five will get overlooked this year.  Dave Andreychuk is the likely candidate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Power Of Radio

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

It’s a bully pulpit his fellow sports commissioners wish they had. Every Thursday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hosts his own private klatch on The NHL Hour on Sirius XM Radio. For the most part, Bettman has played harmless interlocutor on his program, hockey’s version of Art Linkletter asking, “Don’t players say the darnedest things?”

But with Jim Balsillie at the door, Bettman has used the unfettered radio access to talk over the heads of conventional media to fans. Bettman plays the reasonable fixer, the man who only wants solutions, not conflict in Phoenix….

While Bettman has told listeners in the fireside chats why Balsillie is a queue-jumping opportunist, he hasn’t said how Jerry Reinsdorf — his white knight in the desert — will succeed in Phoenix where others have failed miserably.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

They Kept Coming & Kept Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,

Still searching for an explanation for the Game 1 disappointment? Maybe the Hawks were simply overmatched.

“I don’t think we looked overmatched at all,” Seabrook said. “I think they’re a great team, and they come with a lot of speed. We had our chances too.”

Speed is supposed to be the Hawks’ advantage, and we’ll take it on faith that it eventually will show itself in this series. But speed doesn’t mean anything if you cough up the puck.

The Red Wings looked tired in Game 7 of their conference semifinal against Anaheim. But on Sunday, as Seabrook put it, “they kept coming, they kept coming and kept coming.”

They did indeed, and let it be a lesson to these baby-faced Hawks that the great teams know how and when to turn it on.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Jim’s great strength is his consistency, and because of that you see that kind of calm, evenness throughout the whole organization,.  He doesn’t get overly excited and at the same time when we’ve had our tough stretches this year he has been the calming influence, he’s been the guy that settles things down when they need settled down. He’s got a great feel for the team, which is a talent because he’s not in the locker room every day. He’s not one of these guys who are down there micro-managing everything. He allows people to do their jobs. So, when he does come down with a concern or suggestion you know it’s going to be well thought out and there is quite a bit of merit to it.”

-Carolina Coach Paul Maurice on GM Jim Rutherford.  Much more on Rutherford from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+rutherford

Penguins Have Learned From Past Failures

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

The lessons learned from last spring’s grueling climb to the hockey mountain—one that ended just two wins short of reaching the desired peak—were the foundation, they say, of the comeback the Penguins fashioned against the favored Washington Capitals in the second round.

“We’ve had some challenges and gone through different things,” Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby said after Sunday’s practice. “I look back to last year, and pretty much every game we really played well in the playoffs. We found a way to win.

“There have been times in these playoffs where we’ve played some good hockey and haven’t gotten breaks. That can be frustrating and that can force you to change things. But I think we’ve really stuck by what we need to do to play well and to be successful. And going through those things builds confidence for sure.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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