Kukla's Korner

All Strachan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says that he is convinced the league will be able to make money off its NBC exposure which starts in the new year. Under the arrangement, the league gets no rights fees but it can earn advertising revenues. "We're out selling time," Bettman said, "so that's still an unknown, but it will likely be a revenue source." The NBC arrangement has come in for much criticism but it was a deal of this nature that got the National Basketball Association started on the road to a big contract. With hockey having been revamped to suit American tastes -- shooutous, no ties, etc. -- it's not inconceivable that ratings might start to improve.
read on, many more topics discussed...

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No Rush to Move A Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Don't expect the Buffalo Sabres to trade one of their goalies anytime soon. Rumors circulating around the NHL frequently mention the Sabres and their three netminders, especially now that Ryan Miller is on the cusp of returning from his broken right thumb and Martin Biron is riding a record hot streak. It's no secret the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Biron now that Dan Cloutier is done for the season. But Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said after Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins that he's had no discussions regarding his goalies with the Canucks - or any other team, for that matter. "There will come a decision," Regier said. "The bigger question right now is getting one guy back. Then we'll go from there."
read on

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Get In Shape Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

In the wild, Penguins are stout and slow by nature, but the new coach of the NHL Penguins of Pittsburgh thinks his flock of flightless birds are generally out of shape and poorly conditioned as well. On Saturday night in Buffalo, after his second game and loss behind the bench, Michel Therrien said he has a long week of tough practices planned for his team that lost 4-3 to the Sabres to fall to 8-18-7 on the season, worst in the Eastern Conference. They don't play again until Friday, when the Flyers visit the Igloo.
continued

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Bertuzzi Should Not Play For Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Just a few winters back, Hockey Canada sent a team to the world junior championships and every player wore a bright red STOP patch on the back of his jersey. The idea being: If you can read the STOP sign it acts as a symbolic deterrent to prevent players from hitting from behind. This week, when Hockey Canada names its Olympic roster, it will be ignoring its own advocacy for safety if Todd Bertuzzi is somehow named to the Canadian team. And every indication is the Vancouver bad boy will be on the team. But consider the message of the action: It is win at all costs. It is damn the consquences. It is do as we say, not as we do.
more

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BOG Meeting Didn’t Address Some Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

When the NHL Board of Governors met last week to discuss the state of the NHL, it addressed the viability of keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh, the inner-workings of the new $39 million salary cap, and the feasibility of an expanded playoff format that would increase the number of playoff teams from 16 to 20. Two topics that were not discussed last week have Flyers general manager Bob Clarke tied up in knots: handling the day-to-day challenges of the salary cap, and the interpretation of the new rules. Last Wednesday, while the Flyers were skating in preparation to face the Vancouver Canucks, three players scheduled to be in the lineup the next night -- Eager, Chouinard and Matt Ellison -- practiced with the Phantoms. Why? Because the Flyers did not want to pay them the combined $12,000 for one day of NHL service. "We could," Clarke said, "but it costs too much money on the cap. It just doesn't seem right. We're supposed to have a chance to put the best possible team on the ice. But when you're talking about three players, you're talking between 10 and 15 grand a day against the cap."
more

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Trying To Get Sykora

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

Perhaps the greatest compliment anyone has made about the job Rangers coach Tom Renney has done this season comes in the form of disinterest by Anaheim general manager Brian Burke, who sees very little on the Blueshirts' roster that he would take in exchange for scoring winger Petr Sykora. The NHL holiday roster freeze goes into effect Monday, which leaves little time for the Rangers to bring in a third team to make the deal happen for Sykora. We know that Rangers GM Glen Sather has made crystal clear his interest in the former Devil, but what Sather is willing to send in return won't motivate Burke.
continued

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Where’s The Fight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Baltimore Sun,

"There was no intention on our part to curb fighting," insists Stephen Walkom, the NHL's director of officiating. "If [the reduction in fighting] is a byproduct of new rules, then fine." Fighting has been a part of the NHL since its inception in 1917. It has been a vehicle to protect your own stars and intimidate your opponents. Conn Smythe, an icon in a sport in the early years when he served as a coach, general manager and team owner, explained the importance of fighting when he famously said, "If you can't beat 'em in the alley, you can't beat 'em on the ice."
read on

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Tortorella Not Happy With Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Lightning coach John Tortorella walked into his postgame news conference Saturday night and angrily said, "I'm happy with the way the team played. So figure it out." You need not to have a degree in rocket science with a minor in hockey to understand what he was driving at. He pinned Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Red Wings squarely on the shoulders of goalie John Grahame. "I thought we played very well, but do the math," Tortorella said. "Eight scoring chances, five goals."
continued

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Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-How long will it be before the Edmonton Oilers are in another financial mess? The question came to mind as soon as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman started to boast about the certain increase in salary-cap levels next season. Right now, GM Kevin Lowe has a few extra bucks on hand if the right deal comes along, but Edmonton is still limited by its ability to spend big bucks. If the cap limit climbs every year, I suspect the Oilers will be up against it soon.- via the Edmonton Sun -Giants supremo Ed Courtenay has called on the Elite League to take strong action against Nottingham Panthers coach Mike Blaisdell. In the third period of last night's game, Blaisdell and the Giants' former NHL superstar Theo Fleury were involved in a heated verbal exchange. Courtenay blasted: "What Mike Blaisdell said to Theo Fleury was a disgrace. Something should be done. It should be brought to the League's attention. "I'm not going to repeat what he said but he should be reprimanded for it and something should be done. The linesman was right there and he heard it. I'm asking the League to look into the situation."- via Sunday Life (UK) -There is a lot of interest in Wild goaltenders Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez, NHL scouts say, and it wouldn't be surprising if one were traded before long for offensive help.- via the Pioneer Press

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Classic Brooks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Here's the deal about the news of next season's cap increasing to between $40 and $45M: The 2006-07 cap would have increased to $40.95M even if revenues had merely met this season's conservative $1.8B projection. That's because there's an annual five-percent bump on revenues built into the cap as per the CBA. In other words, the only way the cap would not increase for next season is if revenues are reported at $1.714B. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would never allow that. Why not? Because Bettman would never allow the PA membership to become inflamed to the point where junior partner Ted Saskin's leadership would be questioned by anywhere approaching a critical mass of the union... Slap Shots has obtained figures from a management source that tell a different story about the health of the burned NHL village. According to the NHL gate report of Nov. 15, the Panthers distribute just under 4,000 complimentary tickets per game. The Blackhawks, who operate in the dark ages, give away just over 3,100 tickets a game. Dallas, once one of the league's strongest markets, gives away 2,700 freebies a night. The Bruins, who have descended into disgrace under Jeremy Jacobs' ownership, also give away 2,700 tickets a night, per the document.
read on (reg. req.)

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