Kukla's Korner

Standing Ovation Greets Players Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the L.A. Daily News,

The Kings opened their preseason schedule Saturday night, but the result of the game the Kings beat the Mighty Ducks, 4-2 was secondary to the day's real objective: winning back the hearts of their fans. To that end, the Kings gave away every ticket to the game, and some players spent the morning shaking hands with and signing autographs for fans who lined up at Staples Center to buy regular-season tickets. The Kings seem to be immune to the concern that fans, angered by a 10-month lockout that resulted in the cancellation of last season, wouldn't return. The Kings announced a 92-percent renewal rate by their season-ticket holders, which they say is the highest in the 10 years of the current ownership.

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Confusion Reigns

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

At times the Maple Leafs' Blue and White intrasquad exhibition yesterday seemed more lab experiment than hockey game. The players, sometimes befuddled as they adapt to the NHL's latest crackdown on obstruction, would engage the referees in post-whistle chats trying to understand why they were headed to the penalty box; much like a student buttonholing a teacher after class for extra instruction. "Everyone watching the game is a little confused but I think it's even more confusing for the players," said defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo, who took two early minors, both of which could be categorized as phantom calls. "We've got two or three weeks of exhibitions to get used to it. It's going to take a lot of time to adjust."

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Will The Penguins Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Herald Standard,

Twenty years ago Mario Lemieux was going to be the next Wayne Gretzky. Now he's threatening to become the next Art Modell. Modell was the owner who moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996 when Cleveland was slow to deliver the new stadium he said was necessary for economic survival. Lemieux last week reiterated his matter-of-fact promise that the Pittsburgh Penguins are as good as gone in 2007 if a new arena isn't being constructed. "As I've said, in 2007, we're free to go and we'll just have to do what's best for the business," Lemieux said.

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Talking Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

Mark my words. By the end of the 2005-06 hockey season, somebody is going to want to wring the necks of the NHL rules committee members who decided that tie games should be decided by an overtime shootout. It won't be in November or February, and it won't be the fans, who will put a firm stamp of approval on the excitement of shootouts. But when a team's chances of making the playoffs are doused by the flick of an opponent's wrists in mid-April, some coach or player is going to blast the NHL for taking a team sport and turning it into a skills competition.

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Free Tickets Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

On any given night, the most expensive tickets available to see the Carolina Hurricanes cost more than $100. This afternoon, they're a little cheaper: free. As a post-lockout gesture to their fans, the Hurricanes are taking the unusual move of giving away every ticket for this afternoon's exhibition game against the Florida Panthers at the RBC Center. Fans who have season tickets -- full or mini-plan -- already have been issued tickets for their normal seats. This game is free for them, as was Friday's exhibition opener. Tickets for the rest of the 18,730 seats will be handed out by Carolina ticket representatives outside the RBC Center beginning at 10 a.m. during the Caniac Carnival, the team's annual outdoor festival of games and hockey-related activities.

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It’s Official

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Officially, the first unofficial goal (will open wmp video) by Sidney in the first official unofficial scrimmage Thanks to reader penguinsfans for passing this along.

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Penguins Raise $26,700 For Katrina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

On Saturday at Mellon Arena, the Penguins raised $26,700 to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region through various autograph sessions during the team’s training camp tournament and practices. “To me that’s great. It’s a little thing and hopefully that is going to help a lot,” Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said. “We, meaning the American public, can’t forget – we need to continue to support them because we are always the first to help other people outside of the country, but we need to help our people now.” Individual autograph sessions included Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. Tickets for those sessions were $40. Two group autograph sessions were held featuring Mark Recchi, Rico Fata, Marc-Andre Fleury and Sergei Gonchar in one group and Jocelyn Thibault, Ryan Malone, Ziggy Palffy and Dick Tarnstrom in the other. Fans could purchase tickets to those sessions for $20 per group. In addition, the Penguins raffled off a team-autographed hockey stick.

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Wings Sign Mikael Samuelsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Samuelsson signing official. via TSN,

The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Mikael Samuelsson to a one-year contract. Terms of the contract were not available. Samuelsson, 28, is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward, capable of playing both right wing and centre. He was originally drafted by San Jose in the fifth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Samuellson has appeared in 188 NHL games, scoring 19 goals and 30 assists for 49 points and spent the majority of 2004-05 playing for Sodertalje of the Swedish Elite League where he scored 20 points in 29 games.
update, Sunday 10:00am, According to this article in the Afton Bladet, the Samuelsson signing may be challenged by the Swedish Hockey Association. It appears Samuelsson played in a few games plus the transfer date had already expired. They plan to meet with the NHL to come to a conclusion.

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The Return Of Mogilny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MSG Network,

He turns 37 in February, his closed cropped hair is more salt than pepper these days and he's coming off of two recent operations on his left hip. The New Jersey Devils hope that Alexander Mogilny and can turn back the clock five years and recreate the magic he had with the Devils during his first stint. Mogilny signed a two-year contract with the team last month, returning to New Jersey where he played with the 2000 Stanley Cup champions and the 2001 Stanley Cup finalists. While Devils fans are concerned about the retirement of Scott Stevens and the departure of Scott Niedermayer to Anaheim via free agency, the addition of Mogilny to the lineup could give the Devils a fearless top notch scorer. No small matter based on how offensively challenged theteam was during the 20003 season and playoffs.

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Blackhawks Gaining Confidence

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Herald via Yahoo,

There's something about playing behind an elite goaltender that gives a hockey team added confidence. ust ask Blackhawks forwards Curtis Brown and Matthew Barnaby. They know this from firsthand experience, having played for the Buffalo Sabres when Dominik Hasek was in his prime and dominating the NHL. Brown and Barnaby think Nikolai Khabibulin will have a similar impact with the Hawks. "To have a goalie that you know is proven and is going to do as good a job as anyone in the league doesn't just help keep pucks out of the net, it changes the attitude of the team," Brown said. "You can go out and be more aggressive and not be concerned about leaving him in positions that you would be concerned leaving other goalies in.

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