Kukla's Korner

Another Option

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

Balsillie could still try to move the team, of course, but would likely face a thicket of legal woes – the last thing any CEO would want, let alone one whose company is entangled in controversy over the alleged backdating of stock options.
Yet even if Balsillie was able to navigate the Predators out of Nashville, there are indications any move could be complicated. While the NHL board of governors would ultimately decide whether Balsillie could move a team to southwestern Ontario, one investment banker who specializes in sports transactions said the RIM executive is similarly interested in burgeoning Las Vegas.
That city is in the midst of trying to coax architects and builders to make proposals for a new downtown arena suitable for hockey and basketball. They were due back to a sports marketing firm representing Las Vegas yesterday.

read on

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thinking Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,

NEW SENS EXCUSES ON HOLD. The Ottawa fans were too loud, couldn’t concentrate. The Ducks are bigger than we are, it’s not fair. The Ducks have bigger, bushier beards than we have, they scare you with them. The Ducks get to stay in nice hotel rooms away from their nagging wives and girlfriends, not us.

much more on the SCF…

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Heatley Goes Social

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

iLiveSports.com is a social network for connecting athletes worldwide.
I was browsing it last night by sport, inserted hockey in the search and up pops Dany Heatley.

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blues Set Budget

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Owner Dave Checketts, who lowered ticket prices to entice fans back to the arena, has said the Blues’ payroll would be about $40 million for the 2007-08 season. That leaves Davidson and Co. with about $5 million to spend in free agency — probably not enough to land a player such as Briere. He made $5 million with the Sabres this season, and after posting 32 goals and 95 points, could net $8 million to $9.5 million per year in a new deal.
So, three years after salaries bordering on $10 million forced the NHL into a lockout, salaries are back in the same neighborhood. This time, it was planned.

more

Filed in: St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jackpot Ahead For Giggy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Giguere is finishing a contract that paid him $3.99 million this season. Winning the Cup, and perhaps a second Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, would make him a very popular person the second that the free-agency period opens July 1.
Even if he isn’t the playoff MVP, he is destined to become a very, very rich man. The question is whether his paychecks will have a Ducks logo on them.
The NHL’s salary cap is expected to rise from $44 million to about $48.5 million next season, but the Ducks have a lot of high-priced players to get in under that limit.
They’re obligated to pay Chris Pronger $6.25 million and Scott Niedermayer $6.75 million and they’ll surely want to bring Teemu Selanne back after his 48-goal season.

more (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Perfect Hybrid Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

But rather than reflecting the “old” NHL, where teams like New Jersey used to lie back in the neutral zone, grab onto opposing players as they tried to gain the offensive zone and thus limiting much offensive creativity, the Ducks seem to have found the perfect hybrid of the old and the new.
Under Anaheim GM Brian Burke’s tutelage—and making good use of prospects acquired by Murray when he was Ducks GM—Anaheim has achieved success by using a lethal blend of size and speed to shut down the Senators.
As Burke is fond of saying, he wants a team that can do it all—play with speed, punish opposing teams and, if push comes to shove, drop the gloves.

read on

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Why Hasn’t A Canadian Team Won The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Wall Street Journal,

Why has it been 14 years since the last Canadian Stanley Cup win? One easy place to point the finger is at salaries. Most of the Canadian franchises are in small markets, and the disparity between the Canadian and American dollars had made it increasingly difficult for teams like the Oilers to keep stars in the mold of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier when they become eligible for free agency or to lure other players to replace them….
The other trend was the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the influx of East European players. For reasons ranging from economic factors to the intense rivalry that stemmed from the hard-fought games the Canadian national team played against several Eastern European opponents in the Canada Cup series (now known as the World Cup of Hockey), Canadian teams didn’t add Eastern European stars to their rosters as quickly as American franchises did. For example, between 1994 and 2003, five winners of the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s most valuable player, were born outside North America, but none played for a Canadian team.

more

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 2 SCF Ratings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Yahoo,

CBC’s ratings for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final were up slightly from last year but the U.S. numbers continue to plunge.
An average of 2.378 million viewers tuned in to CBC on Wednesday as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game 2 of the 2006 final between Carolina and Edmonton attracted an average of 2.189 million viewers.
On Versus in the U.S., Game 2 got a 0.6 cable rating and was watched in just 446,000 homes. That was down 33 per cent from last year’s second game, which received a 0.9 cable rating (600,000 homes) on OLN, as the same network was known then. This year’s Game 1 was watched in just 523,000 households in the United States.

continued

 

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Randy Carlyle Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. I was just wondering, in last night’s game, one of the keys seems to be that Sammy Pahlsson, not only did he score the goal, but he was pretty dominant in the face-off circle. Tell me a little bit why you think when he’s on like he was last night, he’s such a good face-off man.
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think at times face-offs are a collective stat. It’s is not just the one guy. As you notice in a lot of the playoffs, certain center icemen, they have the tie-up mode going on and the wingers jump in and help recover all the loose pucks. I think that has a loot to do with the percentage also.
And the stats dictate. But it’s not just one individual that’s competing for the puck off the face-off, there’s a group of players. Sammy has his share of secrets and techniques that he likes to use. And every good face-off guy does.
And he hones those skills on a day-to-day basis in practice. He does lots of work on it after practice, and we think those little things pay off in the end. And surprisingly you would think he’s a small-bodied guy, but he’s over 210 pounds and six-one. So he’s a bigger, thicker-bodied individual than he appears on the ice.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bryan Murray Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Bryan, you and your players have talked a lot the last couple of days about how you feel the Ducks are holding you up and making it difficult to create a forecheck. According to the rules, it shouldn’t be happening that way. I wonder if, big picture, do you see this as a problem for the NHL?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: No, actually, I said after the game last night to the coaching staff, I thought the way they played and the way we played was better and different. I didn’t think there was much holdup last night. I thought both referees did a real good job, and I really did. I felt that the players decided the game last night. Anaheim over the course of the game played better than we did.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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