Kukla's Korner

The League Will Get Bigger In Two Ways

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

For a mathematician, 32 is a much more attractive number than 30. It creates a nice balance — 16 teams make the playoffs and 16 don’t.
And the rumors of realignment into four divisions that surfaced last year had a lot of merit. Bettman denied the story but you can take that for what it’s worth.
With the proposed sale price of the Nashville Predators being in the $240 million range, Bettman knows that he can sell expansion franchises for at least $120 million.
If he sells two of them, that’s a tidy $8 million for each existing owner. Too lucrative to pass up.
As for the nets, if you read between the lines of some of the statements being made by hockey executives, you know what’s coming.
The league admits that the game needs more scoring. As Bettman said in his press conference at the All-Star game, “The focus on offense remains the priority.”
Furthermore, it’s no secret that the league has given the matter of larger nets serious consideration.

more on both topics.  A side note, the NHL competition committee met today in Toronto, on the agenda was bigger nets, visors and hits to the head…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sale Of Preds In Danger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nashville Post,

Sources told NashvillePost.com that the sale to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie is in danger because of Metro’s legal wrangling over the lease with the team, and the result could be a legal war between the city and the Predators. Attorneys from both sides have been meeting for weeks and team owner Craig Leipold and his attorneys are meeting with Mayor Bill Purcell and the city’s attorneys this afternoon.

read on...the lawyers take over from here…

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keenan Hiring Is High Risk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson at ESPN,

The hire has implosion written all over it.
The debris field threatens to stretch all the way north to Edmonton, all the way south to Lethbridge.
The ending of this movie has the potential to mirror Jimmy Cagney in the final minutes of “White Heat,” standing at the top of the chemical plant, emptying his bullets into a gas tank and shrieking “Made it, ma! Top o’ the world!” as the mushroom cloud of fumes and fire envelops him.
Yes, “Iron Mike” Keenan is back. Harder to get rid of than a zit a day before the prom. His authoritarian jackboots traded in for a pair of cow-pie clogged cowboy kickers, bringing his blunt, uncompromising, signature style to Calgary.

continued

Filed in: Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Montreal Signs Higgins & Komisarek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens signed forward Christopher Higgins and defenceman Mike Komisarek to two-year contracts on Friday.
The 24-year-old Higgins and 25-year-old Komisarek are both former first-round draft picks by the Canadiens and have become key components of the team.

continued

Filed in: Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Older The Better- Sometimes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

Men old enough to be the Hart Trophy winner’s father and men who played with and against the Calder Trophy runner-up’s father are making decisions about 2007-08.
In the post-lockout NHL, one-year twilight deals make more sense than ever, at least for the teams, and arguably for the players as well, if they’re at all concerned about legacies, reputations, pride and even keeping career-closing options open. By that, I mean such things as a slightly slipping, but still effective, veteran perhaps shooting to finish with a franchise in his hometown or his original team for symmetry sake.
The possibility of including incentives in contracts for the over-35 set also provides a safety net. To a point, it can indicate skepticism, particularly about players coming off injuries or with a tendency to miss significant time, but mostly it’s a win-win proposition for both sides of the table in the cap world.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lease Could Be Broken By New Owner Of Predators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

A longtime Metro Sports Authority member and local attorney says that even if the Predators hit 14,000 in paid attendance next season, an owner could still try to move the team.
Steve North said Friday that an owner could choose to break the lease himself, pay Metro a fee of approximately $27 million for “liquidated damages” and then move the team.
That scenario, however, is unlikely to occur, according to North.

continued

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mail It In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

The U.S. Postal Service and Anaheim Ducks announced today that the world’s largest mail carrier is honoring the 2007 Stanley Cup champions by issuing a Stanley Cup postmark and two pictorial envelopes. The commemorative items will be available at all Anaheim Post Offices beginning Monday, June 18.

continued

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Official- Howson GM Of Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that Scott Howson has agreed to a multi-year contract to serve as the general manager of the National Hockey League club. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“I am very pleased to have Scott Howson join the Blue Jackets organization as general manager,” said Majority Owner and Chairman John H. McConnell. “In Scott, we know we found the right person to lead our hockey operations department. He is an extremely bright, hard-working individual who is widely respected and we couldn’t be more proud to have him in Columbus.”

continued

Filed in: Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Voter Confusion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the BTM at NBC Sports,

Consider this: the voters had Luongo second in MVP voting behind Crosby, so it would stand to reason that they thought Luongo was the best goaltender, since he finished ahead of Martin Brodeur in the voting for the Hart trophy.
But wait a minute. Brodeur finished ahead of Luongo in the voting for the first all-star team, which means that some of the same voters who put Luongo ahead of Brodeur on their MVP ballots reversed the order when they voted for the first all-star team.
That makes perfect sense—if you’re the kind of person who washes their lunch down with a gallon of Jim Beam.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Crosby Impact

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

At the moment Sidney Crosby’s name was being announced as the Lester B. Pearson award winner as the most valuable player as voted by members of the National Hockey League Players Association the CBC cameras zoomed in on the faces of Vincent Lecavalier of Tampa and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver.
Luongo had the look of a man disappointed but still with the hope of winning the Vezina as the league’s top goaltender. Lecavalier, meanwhile, had the look of a man who had just seen his first and last chance of winning the big one go by the boards.
Such is the impact of Sid the Kid on the NHL today.

more Awards talk…

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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