Kukla's Korner

The CBA Plays Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey Rodent at Fox Sports,

Contention… or rather… perception that your team is a contender makes a general manager do strange things. Trust me. Blues GM Larry Pleau and his boss John Davidson are buying drinks for… and are stroking the egos of… several intoxicated peers this week, urging them to recognize how KT or Guerin are just the ticket to those elusive Cup finals.
Of course, this technique only sells pending free agents. Lengthy contracts are the CBA equivalent of cooties, witness the immobility of Darius Kasparaitis, a defenseman who would otherwise be very attractive on the barter market this week. His deal runs another two seasons.

more

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It Runs In The Family

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doug Ward at NHL.com,

If you were listening in for the first time, it took about five seconds of hearing Kelly’s call to realize he was the real deal. Young Dan Kelly says the first thing that grabbed you when you listed to his dad was the voice.
“First and foremost,” Kelly says of his father, “he had an engine — meaning a voice — that set him apart. The raw power of his voice was perfect for hockey. It’s a game of excitement and he could convey that, just with his voice. And he was very passionate about his job.”
Kelly had a way of making his listeners feel like they were at a game, sitting next to an old friend who happened to love hockey more than anything else. Because he cared so much about the games, we did too. Hockey was just better when Dan Kelly was calling the action.

read on...

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Get Away Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The NHL General Managers are on their way back to join their respective teams. 
The meetings were uneventful but I am sure the trade action will soon pick up.
KK will be keeping you posted as usual and don’t forget the KK Forums, they are there for your use.

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Does Anyone Care About The Original 6

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The phrase is invoked with such reverence, one might utter names of ancient civilizations or antiquities.
“The Original Six.”
Genuflect if you will.
But as the NHL moves forward, trying with varying degrees of success to find its foothold in America and the sporting world, the question is where these historic franchises fit into the future.
Many hockey observers believe these franchises are a catalyst component of the league’s long-term health and success—as they go, so, too, does the NHL.

continued

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No To 3 Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The NHL’s point system will stay the same, at least for next season, after general managers gave a universal thumbs down to the idea of three-point victories Wednesday.
‘‘We’ve got some exciting races in both conferences,’’ said Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. ‘‘The parity is great. Why change anything? I think we’ve had too much change of late. It’s a good game, let’s enjoy it.’‘

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Blogging Tips

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Want to get guaranteed responses writing about hockey? Use the following guide:
1. Equate anyone who likes fighting in hockey to cavemen or people who eat glass. If they understand the joke or get someone who understands it to read it to them they will punch out a six word reply.
2. Question the manhood of anyone who doesn’t like fighting in hockey. Their response will be well thought out with a huge hint of pretense. They’ll also use words only used by literary professors, botanists or guys with, well, questionable manhood.

more

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Lack Of Energy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Lowell Sun,

Have we lost the pride and passion that once personified what it meant to be a Boston Bruins fan—or is it just buried, waiting to be unleashed?
The thundering energy that could be felt on Causeway Street whenever the Bruins faced off against any opponent at the old Boston Garden doesn’t seem to be present in the TD Banknorth Garden.
Were the acoustics of the Garden different because of the size or has hockey simply lost its luster to the fans in Boston?

continued

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Growing Pains With Versus Worth It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chris Russell of the Sporting News has a one on one with Gary Bettman…

SN: How about the comparison of your move to VERSUS, to when the NBA went to TNT a while back—the impact you saw firsthand because you were involved with the NBA before coming to the NHL?
GB: If, in fact, we can develop that same type of relationship, the short term pain will be worth it.
SN: A lot of fans believe you’re not able to do your job well, because your not an “NHL guy” and because you were involved with the NBA. Does that accusation bother you?
GB: When you do what I do for a living, you can’t let that bother you. I get amused by the fact that I get stereotyped. It may be a revelation to people but I have been at the NHL longer than I was at the NBA.

more

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Pens Like Smolinski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

One player the Penguins are believed to be in the hunt for is Bryan Smolinski, a veteran center who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and could help the Penguins on faceoffs. As the Chicago Blackhawks’ second-leading scorer, Smolinski has 12 goals and 21 assists and is 51.4 percent on draws.
The Penguins, whose payroll is believed to be in the upper $30 million range, will have competition with the Vancouver Canucks for Smolinski, however.
Another player the Penguins have expressed interest in is Bill Guerin, but they’re not alone.

more on the Pens…

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GMs Watch Their Team In Naples

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Gentleman Lou Lamoriello of the Devils – looking sharp, if not just a little incongruous in his suit - sat with them as well. The expression on Lamoriello’s face when Sean Avery ran over goaltender Martin Brodeur and knocked his mask off – well, you can imagine the daggers directed Avery’s way from his vantage point. Avery probably felt the intensity of that gaze from 2,000 miles away.

more

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