Kukla's Korner

Devils Lack Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

Through their first nine home games, the Devils have averaged 12,336 fans — 9 percent less than the 13,548 they averaged during the same span last season. The Devils, in their 25th season in New Jersey, have rarely been a big draw, but this season stands out. “We’ve been playing pretty well for many years, but attendance can be better than what it is,” Patrik Elias, the team’s captain, said.... “I am very disappointed, very disappointed,” Jeffrey Vanderbeek, who has owned the Devils for two years, said during an interview at his office in Newark last week. “I’m embarrassed for our players. Last time I checked, we were in first place.”
more

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Game Day Preview: Wings at Flames

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Barry Melrose, interviewed on ESPN News last night, was asked by whoever the heck the anchor stuck on ESPN News was, about the "hottest team in the league". Melrose said, "Calgary is playing..." The anchor, clearly shaken, said, "No Barry..I mean Detroit." Melrose stammered out a few sentences about defense, Hasek and Luc Robitaille all playing well for the Wings, then said they're not going anywhere unless Datsyuk and Zetterberg perform well in the playoffs. Then he started giggling and moved on to the Flames. Well, in three weeks when ESPN discusses hockey again perhaps they'll look back to tonite to settle the "who's the hottest team debate." Because both are on fire, so to speak. Calgary is riding Mikka Kiprusoff, while the Wings have decided not to let anyone bother Hasek.

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YouTube, NHL Looking For Cross-Legitimization

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star:

While users have already been able to access NHL highlights for months at the website — clips available at YouTube, before yesterday's deal was announced, included a 1999 brawl between the Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers and a collection of goals scored by Washington's young forward Alexander Ovechkin — a formal agreement with the hockey league helps to legitimize the Internet site. "It's further validation for YouTube," said Jimmy Schaeffler, a former producer with ABC Sports who now works as the Carmel Group media consultancy in California. "It's kind of like when the government says something's illegal but doesn't do anything about it, and then they make it legal and, all of a sudden, people rush in and it becomes that much more popular." Still, Schaeffler said, "how the NHL monetizes this remains the big question."

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Friday With The Deep Diggers; Analyzing the PP

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

All the Deep Diggers have been heard from in the Province, and all three are focusing on the Wing injury situation; where we have one worse (Holmstrom), one better (Kronwall), another status quo (Osgood) and one biding his time (Williams). As befitting his glorious title as Deep Digger Captain, we start with Khan(!), who writes that despite recent reports that Tomas Holmstrom could play as early as tonite in Calgary, that won't be the case. Khan(!)/MLive

Tomas Holmstrom left practice early Thursday and will sit out both games because of his groin injury, which happened before practice last Sunday. "There was a warm-up drill at the start and he was holding (his groin area) like he was shot,'' Babcock said. "They thought it was going to be nothing, but obviously, it's more than that.''

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Putting Your Best Face Forward

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from NHL.com's Marcie Garcia:

Mostly, I know that there is an interest into the personal lives of the favorite player. Notice the autograph line is never without a picture to sign or picture to take. And yes, some teams do an outstanding job of allowing a peek into the personal lives of their athletes. Good Public Relations Departments make sure there are player and team involvement throughout the season, which is important for both sides of the puck. Why not invest in fans the way they invest in the team? Fans invest their time, energy, not to mention dime, and most importantly, emotion - even when at times it’s tough. Let’s face it; it’s easy to latch onto another winning team as opposed to sticking to your guns, even when a losing record is as common in your city as garbage day pick up, sometimes the two are hard to differentiate.
The old logic is that players put fans in the seats, and winning keeps them there, but if you don't know anything about the name and number on the back, you probably won't care about the logo on the front. Fan bases aren't a renewable resource. Teams that treat their fans like chattel tend to pay for their attitudes in both in lost revenues and bad reputations with the media members who have to deal with crappy PR departments. Are you listening, Mr. Hahn? continued

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Wings’ “Kids’ Club” A Reasonable Investment

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Red Wings have decided to charge $15 for something other than parking at the Joe:

There is a brand new program at 'The Joe' this season -- the Red Wings Kids Club. The kids club is an exclusive fan club for the little Wings' fans. Kids who join the club will receive a members-only goody bag, have the chance to win tons of super cool prizes, and even be able to attend a Wings' practice. In addition, Niklas Kronwall has agreed to be honorary president of the Kids Club this season. He will send out birthday cards and welcome letters and will even hold a question-and-answer session at the Wings' practice.

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Reflections From The Top Of The Crease

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik: The CBA (will open pdf file) is a strange bird. In two weeks, Sean Bergenheim (NYI) is stuck in Sweden because he's a restricted free agent. If Pavel Vorobiev (CHI), Mika Noronen (VAN), Timofei Shishkanov (STL), Denis Grebeshkov (NYI), Niklas Nordgren (PIT), or Evgeni Artyukhin (TB) are having second thoughts about their decisions to head over to Europe--in Bergenheim's case, specifically, to get contract leverage--they're simply not welcome in the NHL. Restricted free agents can't be re-signed after December 1st. Given the hold-outs staged by Yashin, Khabibulin, and Fedorov, the December 1st stipulation's well-intentioned, but it is a bit strange in its execution.

Filed in: George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The UFA Interview Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

On July 1, the interview period would begin. The objective would be to have a parade of players moving from city to city for interviews. It would be similar to what goes on in the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball when free agents, fly in, spend a day with a team, meeting the coaches and talking to other players. They see real estate agents, review the area, and talk to folks about schools. That seems much more professional than the NHL microwave approach to signing free agents. During the interview process, teams would be free to negotiate with players all they want, but no one can sign until July 8.
read on for much more...

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Injury Updates: Homer, Osgood Out For Weekend

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

According to Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!), the Wing injury situation doesn't look to improve dramatically this weekend. Khan(!)/MLive Wing Weblog

Tomas Holmstrom (groin) left practice early and won't play the next two games. Niklas Konwall (groin) said he felt good and hopes to play Friday. Chris Osgood (hand) has not practiced since Sunday and won't dress this weekend. Dominik Hasek, who starts Friday as the Wings try for a team-record 10th straight win, might also play Saturday in Edmonton. Coach Mike Babcock said there's also a chance that Joey MacDonald could make his first NHL start against the Oilers.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Southern Hockey Invades My Home

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Anyone else get their catalog from the NHL today? I did. And I almost threw up in my mouth when I turned it over and saw this. image My god...my name on the back of a Hurricane jersey? Is this some sort of sick joke the Acid Queen is pulling on me? Speaking of the Canes, an A2Y reader from the Triangle wrote me today with this little tidbit of goodness.

Funny story. when Eric Cole scored a hat trick againts the Caps last week, John Forslund (the Canes excellent play-by-play guy) exclaimed on air, and I quote...."Hat trick for Eric Cole, and we FINALLY get to give away a TRACTOR!!" He was referencing the John Deere lawn tractor giveaway, given to a fan when any Cane scores a hat trick. Maybe ya had to be there, but it seemed the essence of "Southern Hockey".
You know, for some reason, I find that to be pretty cool. Like the reader said, that's "Southern Hockey."

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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