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A fan-tastic effort put this latest column together

Tuesday, 08.18.2009 / 9:53 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

"I am stuck. Normally write my NHL.com story early Tuesday morning but know a topic by now. I have no idea what to write about. Any ideas?"
-- Paul Kukla's Twitter post, requesting ideas for today's blog

I admit it -- when it comes to hockey, I am a vanilla-type guy. I like my hockey on the ice, where the real action is. 
 
That is why a summer without hockey is killing me. I have had enough of failed or good jerseys, photo-shopped pictures of hockey players, rumors that don't come true and all the other semi-hockey related talk that comes about when there is no hockey being played.
 
As many of you know, I like to write my NHL.com blog early Tuesday morning, which allows me to inform you of any late news that may have happened Monday night. But truthfully, I could have written about seven of these blogs in early July and not have missed a thing.
 
Last night I went to bed early, around 9:30 p.m., but quickly started tossing and turning, concerned with what topic I should cover in this blog.
 
I returned to my computer around 10:45 p.m. and searched for any hockey news I would think fans would be interested in.
 
I found nothing, and started to panic. I turned to Twitter for help -- "I am stuck. Normally write my NHL.com story early Tuesday morning but know a topic by now. I have no idea what to write about. Any ideas?"
 
When it comes to writing on NHL.com, I always have considered myself an extension of the hockey fan. I am not a journalist or reporter, just a fan who was lucky enough to get the opportunity of a lifetime by being allowed to write for NHL.com on a weekly basis, and I do try to take the pulse of the hockey fan whenever possible.
 
What better way to get the pulse of the fans by asking them for some topics to write about? Suggestions began pouring in.
 
Tyler of NHL Digest suggested a few topics -- "Free agents taking pay cuts; older Russians heading home; and goalies left unsigned. If all else fails -- Avery, Emery or Burkie!" Some great topics without a doubt, Tyler, but some of them would take some deep research on my part, and I need sleep.
 
A Twitter reply from workmanrw came in -- "I think Tangs (Alex Tanguay) and (Dany) Heatley sagas could be blogs." I responded "I could throw Mats Sundin in the mix, too."  I don't do sagas very well and I think most fans just want a resolution now. Regarding Sundin, I think soon we will see his name in the hockey news again.
 
Cyclelikesedins sent a Twitter message -- "You could discuss the most memorable Olympic uniforms since Team Canada's duds came out." I guess I could, but I am sure that topic has been discussed in the hundreds of pass or fail sweater stories that exist on the Web these days.
 
Dchesnokov suggested writing on this Olympic topic: "I would argue that having NHL players at the Olympics simply promotes the game worldwide."  Well, Dmitry, I guess we just covered that topic and I agree with you 100 percent.
 
James Mirtle Twittered two words -- "Phoenix Coyotes?" My response: "Yeah, that'll work out just fine."
 
Whew, another NHL.com blog put to bed. I was in panic mode around 11 p.m. last night.  Could the moral of the story be, "When in doubt, turn to Twitter?" I doubt it, but I sure am glad I was able to get the replies and suggestions from hockey fans worldwide, fans just like you and me.
 
Next week, maybe I actually will think of a topic to discuss a few days ahead of schedule. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail me at pk@kuklaskorner.com to talk hockey or follow me on my new BFF, Twitter, at twitter.com/kuklaskorner. For the latest hockey news, visit Kukla's Korner.

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday