Kukla's Korner

Expansion Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

But isn’t it interesting how expansion has suddenly crept into polite NHL conversation of late?
Maybe I’m wrong on this. Maybe, hopefully, Gary Bettman will publicly renounce the mere thought of adding more teams this week. After all, the league just straightened out its finances and its game coming out of the lockout, and still has any number of franchise problems to work out.
But the suspicion is the league is working on expansion as we speak.
To anyone who loves the game, of course, the immediate response is to throw up at the mere thought of adding more teams to the Original 30.

read on

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The Future Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ovechkin & Crosby from a media conference in Dallas today…

Q. Sidney, I’m here from the Kansas City Star. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this situation and what do you know about Kansas City?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t know a whole lot. Obviously I think the players in our team are pretty content with being in Pittsburgh. We really enjoy it there. We get great support. That’s where we want to be, but again, it’s out of our hands. We have heard the rumor it’s a possibility to go there, but I think we’re quite content with being in Pittsburgh.
Q. Sidney, All-Star game players tend to not exactly give 110 percent. What percentage would you say you’re going to put out there?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t know. I’m going to work hard obviously. Not going out there throwing hits everywhere, but it’s still a time to have fun, show some creativity and go out there and try to impress some fans.
So I think it’s a fun time. Obviously, like I said, you’re not going to be throwing your body around, but it’s a time to have fun and show some skills. So I think that’s what we’re all going to try to do.
Q. Both of you guys have been compared to each other so much. Are you looking forward to playing each other, how excited are you about that idea?
ALEX OVECHKIN: I’m looking forward to play against, together with Sidney and it will be a great time to play with a great player and we’re both young and I think we have the next game play together, too. It will be good.
SIDNEY CROSBY: I’m looking forward to it, obviously. As he said it’s always myself against him type of thing. It’s always built up when we play against each other. It’s nice to be on the same line. Obviously if you give him a puck he’s scoring for us and not against us. So it’s nice. Hopefully we can have some fun out there and create some things.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I just wait one time.

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All-Star Coaches Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eastern Conference Head Coach Lindy Ruff
Eastern Conference Assistant Coach Bob Hartley
Western Conference Head Coach Randy Carlyle
Western Conference Assistant Coach Barry Trotz

Q. Randy, Lindy, you don’t mind, so many All Stars at this game, in some ways I guess you could say it’s a changing of the guard, but can I get an opinion from both of you, so many new faces being displayed worldwide in their first All-Star game.
RANDY CARLYLE: Obviously the landscape of the NHL has changed in the past two years and it’s vital importance for your group to have the skill level and the skill level that’s being afforded from the junior level and from the colleges, it might be at an all-time high. But I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of dollars being spent.
You need these young players, skilled young players to make a contribution to your lineup to have success with the parody that’s now taking place in the league and the amount of dollars that are spread out, it’s a tougher job for your general manager and your scouting staff to provide you with the highest skilled players.
But everybody is looking out for the same thing.

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Ten Great Moments In All-Star History

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the CBC:

The NHL All-Star Game has undergone many transformations since the first official matchup 70 years ago.
It had its origins in several unofficial all-star games organized in the 1930s to raise money for the families of Ace Bailey, who suffered a career-ending injury, and later Howie Morenz and Albert (Babe) Siebert, who met untimely deaths.
Seeking a celebratory showcase following the Second World War, the NHL revived the all-star format to kick off the 1947 season, with the defending Stanley Cup champion taking on the best players from the remaining Original Six rosters.


continued

 

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E.J. Talks Uniform Sysem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

The NHL and RBK Hockey unveiled their new “uniform system” (jersey, pants and socks) on Monday in Dallas as part of the buildup to Wednesday’s All-Star Game.
(Well, actually, the league and its corporate partner pulled the curtain back on their latest creation for a select group of media in New York this past Wednesday.)
For now, I’d say the league gets an “A” for effort but an “incomplete” for every other element of the project.
First, let me give you the good news.

continued

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Legends Beat Thistles In Reenactment

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Daily Miner:

History didn’t repeat itself but the week-long celebration commemorating Kenora’s Stanley Cup victory over the Montreal Wanderers in 1907 will be rehashed with as much fervour as if it did.
Sunday afternoon, former Winnipeg Jets hero Dale Hawerchuk nailed the game winning goal late in the third period as the Team Canada Selects quashed the Kenora Thistles’ hopes of reliving the glory of the club’s Stanley Cup win 100 years ago to the day in an 11-10 nailbiter.
In old re-creation jerseys for both sides, the match was a throw back to the early days of the game, even the referees wore black cardigans and collared shirts and ties.
Louie McKay, the oldest surviving Kenora Thistle at 90 years of age, put the home team on the board first, with a blistering shot from the blueline into the open net just prior to the game’s actual commencement.

continued

 

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NHL.com Streaming Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Begin Streaming...

Monday, Jan. 22
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET - All-Star Special (video)
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET - Mid-Season Recap (video)
7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET - NHL Salute to a Generation of Stars (video)

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Selling Out The Can

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Oh, well isn't this just a happy little tale out of Bandwagon, Colorado. Varsity Whiner and longtime Dive writer Mark Kiszla is perturbed.

After beating Detroit 3-1 Saturday night, there were so many folks dressed in a No. 19 red sweater as they walked in the arena's tavern that you wondered if Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman was signing autographs at the bar. How appropriate that the 500th sold-out home game in Avalanche history was against the Red Wings, the hockey team this town loves to hate. How sad that after all these years, you could see more fans in Colorado's own arena wearing Yzerman replica jerseys than sweaters honoring former Avs star Peter Forsberg.
Please tell me you're not surprised. Michigan natives may be leaving the state in droves, but it's not the Wings driving them out. So, our allegiance remains where it is, and should be: with the Wings. Denver, meanwhile, had its fad. Now it's fading. Thanks to Hockeychic for the pointer.

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Reebok Edge Uniform System

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Check out their website, which is loading very slowly right now.

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Uni Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 3:13pm, History of hockey equipment (pdf file)

from ESPN,

...That’s Uni Watch’s preliminary reaction to the NHL’s new Reebok-designed, snug-fitting “uniform system,” which will get a test drive in Wednesday night’s All-Star Game and then be used league-wide next season. Uni Watch emphasizes the “preliminary” qualifier there, because for now the NHL is only revealing the All-Star Game version of the new uni. It remains to be seen how the 30 NHL teams will fit their logos and other graphics into the new silhouette. We won’t see those designs (several of which aren’t even finalized yet) until this spring or summer.
That’s right—after all the buildup, all the fanfare, the league isn’t showing us what everyone really wants to see. Frustrating? Definitely.

read on... NHL players will be wearing their All-Star jerseys beginning tonight in an open practice session in Dallas…

Players react to new design…

Continue Reading »

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