Kukla's Korner

Heika Talks Hockey With Chairman Gary

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Dallas Morning News:

The lockout and the canceling of a season – would you do it again in the same circumstances?
Well, you’re asking me the question which I get asked all the time, and I never answer. Which is, was it worth it? And the answer to your question is we had no choice. We had profound problems, and if we did not fix them, we could not move forward.

Financially speaking, do you like where the league is right now, and what is your target for going forward?
Vastly improved. Most of our teams are either making money or breaking even. The teams that are losing money are losing less. My goal is to have all of our clubs at least breaking even or making money, and at the same time. And this is as much about what the new system was about as anything else, all of our clubs have the opportunity to be competitive.

Obviously, making the uniforms better for the players is a huge advantage. What if the fans don’t respond well?
What we’ve done with the uniforms, this wasn’t done for fashion, this was done for performance and safety. Using new fabrics and new materials and the design, you know, we really haven’t had a design change in our uniform in 40 years. This was really an attempt to modernize our uniform to enable the players to do what they do even better. They’ll have more freedom of motion, they’ll be wearing fabrics that enable them to breathe and not retain as much sweat in their uniforms so that they’ll be lighter, I think this is going to enhance performance.

continued

 

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Rangers Looking For “It”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

“You’d like to think it’s in your lineup,” Renney said after the Rangers fell to 10-10-3 at home and 23-21-4 (50 points) overall. “But certainly it’s possible that it’s not. You can only sort of guess your way through that need for so long. The bottom line is we have to have results from that position, not for just that line but from every line from an offensive perspective.
“We have to play the game a certain way if we’re going to have success, and certain people have to step up and help us as we determine that. With that in mind, you do start to look at your roster and say, ‘Is this guy in the right spot? Can he be somewhere else? Do we need something else? How do we correct ourselves?’ Because we are in the playoff hunt, at least, and we don’t want to lose grasp of that.”

more

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Sabres Talk Ticket Prices & Finances

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Buffalo Sabres fans are going to pay more for the hottest tickets in town - a moderate increase in season-ticket prices next year and a lot more for playoff tickets this spring.
The team that is selling out HSBC Arena for all 41 home games this season will raise season-ticket prices an average of 8 percent next year, a lower figure than some observers had speculated. But for the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs, season-ticket holders will pay an average of about one-third more than their season-ticket rate.

continued

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A Different Kind Of Celebration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,

No Iginla. No Pronger. No Jagr. No Niedermayer (Scott). No Zetterberg. No Modano. No Forsberg. No Spezza. No Havlat. Not even frickin’ Rory Fitzpatrick, the People’s Choice. Oh, but Andy McDonald, God bless him, will be there.
We refer, of course, to the all-star game on Wednesday in Dallas. And why, outside of Sidney Crosby, would anyone want to watch this tired format slink though another episode of mailed-in performances and corporate schmooze?

continued

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Can They Fight More In Those Jerseys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Cincinnati Enquirer,

According to USA Today, the NHL is launching its biggest uniform makeover in decades. The league soon will unveil sleeker, lighter, more durable hockey uniforms that will enable players to skate faster with greater range of motion, while staying drier and cooler on the ice.
ADVERTISEMENT
And unless the uniforms make the players fight more, most of the country doesn’t care.

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Five Changes For A Better NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The NHL is introducing revamped uniforms at the All-Star Game. Here are changes that would be better than tinkering with sweater design.
4. After a video review, the referee must explain the decision to the crowd just like in the NFL: Simply saying goal or no goal is insufficient and insulting.
5. Every arena must have an HD video screen on the center-ice scoreboard: Immediately, if not sooner.

read on for the other three…

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Blame Snider

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

srom Stephen A. Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Considering the fact that the Flyers are horrible, the 76ers are embarrassing, and everyone associated with them is not much better, we’ve gone far past the time to call for the proverbial heads of general managers or coaches.
It’s time to address the chairman of this mess, Mr. Ed Snider.
Is Snider even equipped to preside over these franchises any longer? Would it be better if he just walked away? Since Bob Clarke and Larry Brown were allowed back with these teams - after quitting on the chairman - is it fair to question whether Snider already has walked away and just forgotten to tell anybody?

continued

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Crosby- Mature Beyond His Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Mature for his age—maybe for someone twice his age—and in his second season in the NHL, Sidney Crosby has every reason to be living in a plush condo, enjoying life on his own.
That’s not how Crosby is built.
The 19-year-old Penguins All-Star center is happily spending another winter living with the family of retired Hall of Fame player and team owner Mario Lemieux.
“I know I heard him talking, something about locking into a long-term contract over at Mario’s,” Penguins winger Colby Armstrong deadpanned last week.

continued

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Ultimate Checkers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News Journal,

John Madden and Jay Pandolfo aren’t All-Stars.
They’re just the guys who drive the All-Stars crazy.
Madden and Pandolfo have been among the NHL’s best defensive forwards for the past seven seasons, a couple of pesky menaces who skate on the same line for the New Jersey Devils and are routinely assigned to shut down the opposition’s top scorers.

continued

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Kopitar For Calder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times,

An emotional pregame ceremony looking back on Robitaille’s stellar career was followed by a demonstration of Kopitar’s ample skills.
The Kings were killing a power play. Kopitar was thinking offense. He stripped the puck from the Coyotes’ Travis Roche, then made goaltender Curtis Joseph look foolish. Kopitar showed Joseph the puck, then pulled it back before tucking it into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Just more stock footage for the rookie-of-the-year campaign.
“Kopi has to win the Calder Trophy,” Kings center Craig Conroy said. “We have to get that campaign started. People in the East don’t know what he’s done. We have to make them aware.”

more (reg. req.)

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