Kukla's Korner

Lemieux Driven In His Comeback Attempt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

After seeing former Devils winger Claude Lemieux this week and talking to those who have watched his comeback attempt with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, my belief is that he will make it back to the NHL. He is still driven, even at the age of 43.

Lemieux told me he still has the ingredient that made him a four-time Stanley Cup champion.

“I think it’s just the will to succeed at all costs,” he said. “I think it’s character.”

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+lemieux

Wrong Guy Handed Down The Avery Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Hockey players take great pride in never shirking their responsibilities to the sport. They’d rather crawl off the ice dragging a broken leg behind them than writhe around like an Italian soccer player with a hangnail. As the superb Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker once wrote, “If Abraham Lincoln had been a hockey player, the day after the Ford’s Theater incident, he’d have been listed as ‘slight headache; will play.’”

So when Avery made his senseless remark — the latest in a series — he broke no laws, but he absolutely shattered hockey’s code.

This was his transgression and it was certainly deserving of the league’s action.

But the question that remains unanswered is this: Why was Bettman involved? This was a matter concerning hockey’s code of acceptable behavior, and where is there the slightest indication that Bettman has even the most cursory familiarity with that?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, sean+avery

Building A Hockey Stick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Heidi Androl visits the Easton Hockey Factory to help build Ryan Getzlaf’s next hockey stick.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+getzlaf

All Patrick Kane

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Amber of ESPN,

Q: Last season, the NHL wanted to promote Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin at the Winter Classic. This season, it’s the defending champion Red Wings along with you and Toews under the media spotlight. What does that mean to you to be given that international platform to showcase your skills?

A: It’s cool. Right now, the league is being taken over by the young players. I don’t think people realize how tough it is to make it to the NHL at that age, so to be one of the young guys playing in a game like this makes you feel good. Things were tough last year when we were getting 7,000 or 8,000 fans to some home games; no one knew who you were. So this game really represents a total 180 from where we were.

Q: You mention how young players are dominating the league. If you were starting up an NHL franchise right now and could have any player, who do you take?

A: I don’t think you could go wrong with Alexander Ovechkin. He has so much passion for the game, and he loves to score. It would be fun to play with a guy like that, and he’s so fun to watch, so I’d go with him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

NHLPA Statement On Avery Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (December 5, 2008): NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly’s statement regarding the suspension of Sean Avery for six regular season games:

“While the NHLPA does not condone Sean’s comments, which were clearly inappropriate, the discipline imposed by the Commissioner is unprecedented both in its severity, as well as the process by which it was handed down.  We have also seen signals from the Dallas Stars that Sean’s contractual rights might be challenged.  We are monitoring the situation as it develops, and we will evaluate all legal options as the circumstances warrant.  In the meantime, our first priority is supporting Sean’s efforts to learn from his mistake and move forward in a positive manner.”

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Dallas Recalls Tom Wandell

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

FRISCO, Tex. - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has recalled center Tom Wandell from Timra IK in the Swedish Elite League.

Wandell, 21, has skated in 28 games with Timra this season, recording 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points with 18 penalty minutes. He is tied for first on the club in both goals and points, and is second in assists. Among all players in the Swedish Elite League, he is tied for eighth in goals, tied for 10th in scoring and tied for 16th in assists.

The native of Sodertalje, Sweden, played the AHL Iowa Stars last season, posting 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 53. Wandell added three goals in three games with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads in 2007-08. In 50 games with Assat Pori in the Finnish Elite League in 2006-07, the 6-1, 185-pound center collected 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) and 20 PIM.

Dallas’ fifth-round pick (No. 154 overall) in the 2005 Draft, Wandell skated for Team Sweden at the 2004 World Under-18 Championships and the 2006 Four Nations Cup.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: tom+wandell

To Sell Hockey, Celebrate Scoring

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

One of the most intriguing ideas came from Buffalo Sabres president Larry Quinn, who was musing out loud about what needs to happen for the NHL to make financial sense in all 30 markets. His idea – increasing television revenues – was not exactly ground-breaking, but his explanation of how the NHL might get there was.

Kelly suggested the NHL needed to move closer to the NFL model, where about two-thirds of all revenues are shared because of the generous TV contracts the league has been able to negotiate.

“I talked to the NFL guys last year,” said Quinn, “and I asked them: How did you change your game from the off-tackle, three-yard running play and scores that were 13-10 to what you have right now? And a wise old guy said to me: It’s very simple. Roone Arledge walked down the street and said to Pete Rozelle one day: Listen, I have this idea. It’s called Monday Night Football. I can make you lots and lots of money, but here’s what I can sell: I can sell quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. That’s what I can sell to the American public.

“Well, if you look at what we do, we sell goaltenders. I think it’s fair to say, both Canadians and Americans, that’s not what they love about the game. They love Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Guy LaFleur and Jean Beliveau.”

read on for more stories from around the NHL, including thoughts on the Sean Avery business.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Press Conference Transcript: Bettman on the Avery Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Q. How did you come to settle on the number of six games, and two, had you spoken to the Stars before you decided on the suspension by the league? I get the feeling that they were going to take action if you had not.

        COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Let me take the second question first. What we have done is reflect the league response. This is what we felt was the appropriate response to what Sean Avery said, and what the Stars choose to do or not do is up to them. And you’ll have to talk to them if you would like their guidance in that regard.

        With respect to the six games, as all of you who cover the game know, there is no formula that ever gets you to a particular number in disciplinary cases with precision. You have to do your evaluating based upon the entirety of the circumstances, what you think is correct.

        What was guiding me in this case was a number of factors. One, we needed to be clear that this was the type of conduct that we did not view as acceptable and not representative of what our players do.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, media, sean+avery, suspension

Possible Destinations For Avery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

So, the teams that might consider an Avery trade would have to be teams that are looking to unload their own bad long-term contracts.

Some options worth exploring:

Sergei Samsonov, LW, Carolina - With just two goals and a minus-6 rating in 26 games, Samsonov still has two years and $5.3-million left on his contract after this season.  It’s a bad deal, but probably not as bad as Avery’s, so the Stars would probably have to sweeten the offer….

Jason Blake, LW, Toronto - Though he’s played better in recent games, it’s still fair to say that Blake hasn’t lived up to expectations with the Maple Leafs.

read on with some trade talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Capital Fans Love Their Hot Dogs

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals hosted their second annual Dollar Dog Night, presented by Esskay, on Thursday, Dec. 4, at Verizon Center. Capitals fans consumed 13,700 hot dogs, breaking the record from last year when 12,000 hot dogs were consumed.

The Capitals hosted two hot dog eating contests Thursday night. Jason Battle from Catholic University won the second annual Caps Collegiate Hot Dog Eating Contest, which was held on the concourse before the game. Five contestants representing several local colleges and universities competed; Battle ate seven hot dogs in three minutes to win.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

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