Kukla's Korner

Despite Sell-Outs - Buffalo May Lose Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

These are giddy times for the Buffalo Sabres, sitting atop the Northeast Division standings and poised to sell out every seat for all 41 home games. The cold slap in the face comes in the profit-loss standings. The Sabres figure to have a difficult time breaking even this season, even with an extended playoff run. The culprit: The Sabres increased their payroll by $12 million. Even a yearlong sellout won't be enough extra tickets to cover half that amount.
continued

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Blackhawks In Serious Trade Discussions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

Tallon's defensive responses to the fans' demands for new players were revealing. Here are some of them: ''Obviously we're trying to make some trades that make sense for the future. We're not going to trade for a Band-Aid. It would have to be a player that will fit into our future scheme.'' ''We are not waiting to make moves to upgrade the roster. A lot of teams are still not in a position to give up on a certain player. We know what we need and have been in serious discussions with a lot of teams as far as moving a young D-man [presumably defensemen Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Jim Vandermeer or Lasse Kukkonen] for some offense. But we also don't lose sight of the fact that our young D-men are the future of this franchise.''
more

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Are The Avs Interested In Foppa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Is something brewing between the Avalanche and the Philadelphia Flyers? If not, why were Dave Brown, the Flyers' director of player personnel, and team scout Al Hill in attendance at Saturday night's Avs-Nashville game? The Avs don't play Philadelphia this season. The Predators do, on Nov. 29, so their presence no doubt had something to do with that. However, it is highly unusual for a team to have more than one scout at a game.
continued

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Yashin Stepping Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Explaining the difference from last season, Snow cited a play by Yashin in a 3-1 win Thursday in Philadelphia that snapped a two-game losing streak and sent the Islanders into a five-day schedule break on a positive note. Sami Kapanen ran Yashin into the boards, and he made sure to return the favor in spades. "To me, that play showed me he's more determined and that he's playing like a man possessed," Snow said of Yashin. "He made a point to track Kapanen down on the ice, not once, but twice, and buried him. Yash isn't just doing it with his goals or assists. He's leading by example by finishing his checks and playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. When he brings that to the table, it makes him a dominant player."
more

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Decision For Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Buffalo Sabres are likely going to make a choice next summer that has the potential to backfire on them. Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, who share the captaincy with the Sabres, are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in the off-season. Yes, the Sabres are focused on winning a Stanley Cup, but you can be guaranteed Briere and Drury are going to want raises from Buffalo GM Darcy Regier next summer.
continued

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Stop The Hits To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

For the longest time Williams looked like a man in the grip of death. He was lying face up on the ice, but he was motionless. His arms didn't move, nor did his legs or even his hands. There was a growing pool of blood beneath his skull, and it was getting larger even in the moments when the trainers first rushed to his aid. For the longest time Williams had the look of death on his face, blood everywhere, eyes motionless and glazing over. You could see the fear freezing on his face. It went on that way for a long time, even as the frantically calm first responders fitted him to a body board and a head immobilizer and carefully lifted him into an ambulance that had backed up to the Zamboni entrance. You could feel it in the silence of the crowd. They didn't know if Williams was alive, dead or dying before their eyes and they were afraid. And you want to tell me that's a part of the game?
read on

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You Go First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The great thinkers of the NHL convened in a Cooper-mini last summer and decided to give home coaches the option this year of going first or last in the penalty-shot skills competition that, by the way, already is wearing pretty thin as entertainment in its second go-round. Through Thursday night's games, home-team coaches actually had chosen to go first in 22 of the 32 shootouts. Their teams had gone 9-13. Home teams going second, meanwhile, were 8-2. Let's forget psychology for a moment. Let's instead deal with, oh, I don't know, facts.
more... and Brooks wants to know why Duff is going into the HHOF while others are not, plus questions why the NHL commercials are being run during hockey games...
Wouldn't it make more sense for the NHL to buy time, say, on NFL telecasts, to run that spot?

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NFL Style Trade Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel quoting Jaques Martin on the lack of trades,

"I'm wondering if since the [salary] cap has been brought whether we're not going to a direction that's close to the National Football League," Martin said, referring to the rarity of trades in-season. "You may see scenarios where you'll see a lot more trades in the offseason, at the draft. "Every team has their own budget and cap to work with. What happens, once you fill up your roster, you have to work with your people. It's not like in the past where if you weren't happy with a guy or you had an injury, you could go and get somebody. Now it makes it more difficult. It's the same for every team, almost."
more

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Patrick Roy Winks at the HOF

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

George Richards of McClatchy Newspapers writes a summary of Patrick Roy's career as he gets set to enter the HOF:

"The wink?" he said. Oh yeah. The wink. In Game 3 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals in Los Angeles, the Kings were coming hard at Roy and his Montreal Canadiens. In overtime, Kings forward Tomas Sandstrom put a big shot on net with Roy making another spectacular save. The two made eye contact. An ultra-competitive, ultra-confident Roy simply winked at his opponent, sending a signal that no more pucks were getting past him.
Continued...

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Andrew Raycroft and the Toronto Fishbowl

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lance Hornsby at the Toronto Sun,

His good upbringing manifests itself every day that Raycroft goes under the spotlight in Toronto. After nine years of name goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour, the Leafs were grilled for giving up a first-round pick and three years at $6 million US for a relative 26-year-old pup, rated third on the Boston Bruins depth chart. But Raycroft might be the first Toronto stopper since Felix Potvin to actually be comfortable in this milieu. Unlike the sensitive Joseph or the surly Belfour, he came with a proven and formulated game plan for life in the Leafs fishbowl.
Continued...

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