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Columns

A hockey tease

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 10:06 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

"Recently the temperature here in Michigan dipped into the high 50s during the night. Of course, I immediately thought hockey is getting close."
-- Paul Kukla

Recently the temperature here in Michigan dipped into the high 50s during the night. Of course, I immediately thought hockey is getting close.

The next day, it was back to reality. The weather almost hit 90 degrees with the humidity to match. I thought, oops ... the ice is going to melt.

I'm always thinking hockey on a regular basis. I see numbers while driving, things such as speed limit signs and gas station prices, and I attach player numbers to those numbers.
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Getting excited about the upcoming season

Tuesday, 08.17.2010 / 9:31 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

One month from today, NHL training camps officially open. Yes, we can begin to get excited about the return of our game.

I turned to Twitter yesterday to ask NHL fans what they were looking forward to regarding the upcoming NHL season.

I had no expectations when putting out the question and was pleasantly surprised by the response and I'd like to share some of them with you.

The question was: "What are you looking forward to in regards to the upcoming NHL season?"
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I've had enough of ...

Tuesday, 08.10.2010 / 10:07 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

* The weather report predicting another warm and muggy evening. Come on calendar, get to mid-September quickly.

* People either posting on their blog or tweeting: "NHL sources tell me this trade (insert the names you've heard the most lately) is about to happen." All I know is these sources aren't very good, maybe they should retire.

* All the Ilya Kovalchuk talk. Just get it done the right way this time -- and hurry.

* Brian Burke being quiet this summer. Yes, we have a little over a month before training camp starts, so Burke still has some time left.

* Many of the mainstream media guys being on vacation. Time to get back to work.

* The spam e-mails I keep receiving, asking me if I want to buy a case of field hockey sticks.

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Questions that need answers

Tuesday, 08.03.2010 / 9:22 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

Finally, August has arrived and I have questions regarding the upcoming NHL season. 

I could probably answer most of the questions myself, but that would be no fun at all.  I am always interested in the opinion of hockey fans, but I will ask you to take off your "homer" glasses and answer the questions as objectively as possible.

* Name the two teams playing in the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

* What team will raise the Stanley Cup in June 2011?

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I did not expect all this

Tuesday, 07.27.2010 / 9:46 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

Since I started blogging for NHL.com in August 2006, I've received all kinds of e-mails. E-mails asking me for phone numbers of players, coaches and owners, and even for a few of the ice girls for different teams.

I've received requests for interviews, requests for hockey equipment and request for tickets to NHL games.

Some of the e-mails have been filled with hate, some filled with bait (trying to get me into an argument) but the majority of them have been great.

I have been asked by fans to tell certain GMs to trade so and so for so and so. They've even followed up, asking me if their message has been relayed to the GM. E-mails have come in suggesting I write a blog about how a certain player should retire, try harder, skate faster, stop the puck, shoot the puck and cut his hair.

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Sick of the summer, I'm ready for some hockey -- now!

Tuesday, 07.20.2010 / 9:17 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

The constant hum of the air conditioner was getting to me so I stepped outside to find some quiet time, but beads of sweat started forming on my forehead in about two minutes.

I jumped in the car, opened the windows to create a breeze and a downpour began. The car windows began to fog up so I just stopped the car and just sat.

I turned the radio on  to listen to a baseball game only to find out my team, the Detroit Tigers, were about to lose their sixth game in a row. I turned the channel to a national sports radio show but quickly heard the word LeBron and shut the radio off.

Oh if only I could find a hockey game, then all would be good.

Even though we are in the middle of summer, my mind is on hockey. I wanted it at that moment and only my game would give me relief.

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Twitter or Not

Tuesday, 07.13.2010 / 9:32 AM / Columns

Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

Paul, I followed your advice recently and signed up for a Twitter account to follow all the NHL news.  Some people are great to follow, others just seem to throw stuff out there with no sense of the salary cap and it just doesn't make sense. What can be done about this? – A hockey fan in Boston.

Well, hockey fan, Twitter is just like real life. In our daily routine we have numerous choices to make and I do hope most of them are the correct ones. Just because someone is on Twitter does not make them an expert on our game, but you have to decide that for yourself.

I am sure in real life you have run into a person who supposedly knows everything about a certain topic, but when you actually sit down with that person, you realize it is all hot air and fluff. 

My suggestion is stick to the people you actually have heard or read about in the past, someone who has a proven track record and is well-respected within our sport. At times that person may be wrong regarding a trade or a signing, or you may not like what they are tweeting, but in the long run you are much better off following a person like that than a person who tells you what you want to hear or just tosses stuff out there just to try to get the "hockey insider" tag attached to their name.

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Luongo's energized to play down the stretch

Friday, 04.03.2009 / 10:00 PM / Columns

Larry Wigge - NHL.com Columnist

When San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson hired Todd McLellan away from the Detroit Red Wings, he clearly wanted something like the success of the defending champion Wings.

Earlier this season, Wilson spelled out several things he wanted from his team under McLellan:

* A style that makes the other team have to try and defend the Sharks.

* A team that is encouraged to go to the net and shoot, shoot, shoot.

* A team that draws a lot of penalties that San Jose's power play with convert.
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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis