Kukla's Korner

Southern Hockey Invades My Home

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Anyone else get their catalog from the NHL today? I did. And I almost threw up in my mouth when I turned it over and saw this. image My god...my name on the back of a Hurricane jersey? Is this some sort of sick joke the Acid Queen is pulling on me? Speaking of the Canes, an A2Y reader from the Triangle wrote me today with this little tidbit of goodness.

Funny story. when Eric Cole scored a hat trick againts the Caps last week, John Forslund (the Canes excellent play-by-play guy) exclaimed on air, and I quote...."Hat trick for Eric Cole, and we FINALLY get to give away a TRACTOR!!" He was referencing the John Deere lawn tractor giveaway, given to a fan when any Cane scores a hat trick. Maybe ya had to be there, but it seemed the essence of "Southern Hockey".
You know, for some reason, I find that to be pretty cool. Like the reader said, that's "Southern Hockey."

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Cheechoo Injury Not Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Jonathan Cheechoo's left leg injury isn't thought to be serious, but the San Jose Sharks will wait until Saturday to determine their star goal-scorer's status for their next game. Cheechoo, who won the Maurice Richard trophy with an NHL-best 56 goals last season, was injured late in the second period of the Sharks' 4-3 win over Colorado on Wednesday night. He has just two goals in his last 11 games - both in a road victory over Los Angeles last week. The Sharks refused to comment on the injury's specifics Thursday. They host Philadelphia on Saturday night.

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Jordan Smith Will Skate Again

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Canadian Press:

It took only a second to happen, and it changed his life. Skating for the Portland Pirates in an AHL game in Maine last Feb. 24 in his rookie pro season, [Jordan] Smith was struck by a deflected puck. "I was in front of the net and the puck came up and struck me in the eye," he recalls. He lost sight in his left eye, which forced him to reassess his future.
After the frightful injury, he came to accept the reality that he'd be better off choosing a different career. So, he decided to become a teacher, and now he'll attend Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., for the schooling that will someday put him in a classroom - and allow him to play hockey again. He'll begin his hockey comeback in January with the varsity Thunderwolves. Coach Pete Belliveau has him pencilled in for a Jan. 5 game in Windsor, and Smith is excited about the prospect.
continued

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Smart Move NHL Hooking Up With YouTube

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Slover of the Sporting News,

Exposure is hockey's most dire need. Great stories involving the NHL are less available than insight on the Iditarod or Galapagos tortoise races. The NHL needs to get its stories, its action, its people into the mind of its target audience. And that audience is you, or folks like you, who eschew slick, vanilla TV for video on the web. More people are getting news and information from the web every day, and more than once in recent weeks have I heard how smart folks are getting their message across via computers. No longer will fans have to wait for video to appear on TV. It'll be right there are their fingertips. I'm impressed. For a sports organization that too often goes into lockdown mode, this is a great move for the NHL. Let's see just how open it will be in distributing clips from all 30 teams and whether its video images will be honey or have enough vinegar to give a true taste of the game.
read on

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Fix The Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau at the Globe and Mail,

However, there’s no denying some NHL telecasts still appear to be lit via candlelight, with interview sets on loan from the local community cable channel. It’s also quite clear the energy levels of a few play-by-play men rival that of Ben Stein (a.k.a. the near-comatose teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off). A remedy for the problem is, of course, an infusion of money from the owners (insert cynical belly-laughs here) to spend on broadcasts. The old adage “you’ve got to spend money to make money” obviously applies, but NHL owners have preferred cost certainty to image improvement since the league was founded.
more

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The NHL Store

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK / CANTON, Mass. (November 16, 2006) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and Reebok today announced plans to open a flagship retail store in New York City, N.Y. in fall, 2007. The 6,700-square-foot retail store will be located at 1185 Avenue of the Americas, at the corner of 47th Street, in midtown Manhattan. “We have wanted to open an NHL store for a long time and now the timing is right,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President, NHL Consumer Products Marketing and Retail Operations. “The store’s location, size and product offering, as well as our partnership with Reebok, all will serve to enhance the NHL brand, promote our players and offer hockey fans a unique multi-sensory shopping experience.” “The NHL has some of the most dedicated and passionate fans in all of sports,” said Matt O’Toole, President and Chief Executive Officer, Reebok Canada. “This venture will allow our brand to reach those consumers in new and exciting ways and will also serve to reinforce Reebok’s relationship with the NHL.” The NHL and RBK store will carry a wide selection of NHL-licensed and Reebok branded apparel, outerwear, footwear and equipment.

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Sens’ Owner Gets Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Globe and Mail:

Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators, will hold a media conference call Thursday at 4:30 p.m. EST. Rumours have been circulating in recent days about a potential shakeup in the organization on the heels of the club's slow start. The Senators are coming off a 4-2 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The win was just the second in nine games for Ottawa, which also snapped a two-game losing string.
Update 4:34 PM: listen along on Ottawa's Team 1200...Chris Stevenson will update his blog after the call as well...

Continue Reading »

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How About A Good Old-Fashioned Donybrook

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Douglas Karda at Fox Sports,

In recent years, there has been a move toward a "kind" and "family friendly" game on the ice. While I am a fan of many of those changes, fighting has become as endangered an existence as an intelligent TV comedy — thank goodness we still have Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Thanks, guys. Now, the first question we need to ask if a good donnybrook has a place in the NHL game.
more also from Douglas,
So here I am to tip my cap to 10 of the greatest fighters I have ever seen in person, spanning the last 30 years. 10. Nick Fotiu: Perhaps the best fighter to ever wear a Rangers jersey, Fotiu added a much-needed physical presence in New York. There was a time when teams like the Flyers and Bruins would push around the "Blueshirts" and Fotiu quickly let people know that they weren't going to get away with it any longer.
read on for the rest...

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All Rolston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Amber at ESPN,

In this week's Facing Off, the Wild captain tells us what it was like to be traded for Ray Bourque, why Minneapolis is a better hockey town than Boston and who he thinks is the game's next Mario Lemieux. Question from David Amber: You keep getting tagged as the "NHL's most underrated player." What does that mean to you? Answer from Brian Rolston: Not much I guess [laughs]. That's great being underrated, but I think that comes from the media. Over my career, I have seen a lot of players who aren't that good built up by the media, I haven't had that kind of buildup, but I would like to think the people in the organization and my teammates appreciate what I do.
read on

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Rail Cam Debut

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, CT (November 16, 2006)—VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, today announced that the network will debut a high-definition rail camera (Rail Cam) on Monday, November 20, when the Colorado Avalanche take on the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. ET at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, host of the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration. The Rail Cam, which was developed and supplied by the technology firm of Fletcher Chicago, runs on a small rail system situated just above the glass on one side of the arena. The camera shot will be used extensively during live-action play, as well as in replay sequences. VERSUS is using the Monday, November 20, game as a trial run for the Rail Cam and, if the new technology proves successful, VERSUS will use the Rail Cam during the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, January 24, in Dallas. “The Rail Cam gives viewers a unique perspective, bringing them significantly closer to the action," said Marty Ehrlich, Vice President of Production and Executive Producer for VERSUS. “The camera gives viewers an appreciation for the speed and strategy of the game with the way it tracks the action on the ice. We’re excited to introduce this new technology and we could not have done it without the help of the NHL, the Dallas Stars and the dedicated operations staff at the American Airlines Center.” Although there have been some experiments with Rail Cam in other hockey telecasts—previously during the nationally televised Frozen Four, a college level hockey tournament—this is the first time that the camera is being used extensively in a nationally televised NHL game in the U.S. It is also the first time that the Rail Cam has been used in native high-definition. Recent improvements to the Rail Cam provide better and smoother-moving shots than ever before.

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