Kukla's Korner

One Year Ago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

There's one thing you can say about NHL trades: only time reveals their real impact. One year ago tonight, the San Jose Sharks acquired Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins in a four-player swap that went down as the season's biggest blockbuster. At the time, the general consensus had the Sharks as the clear winners. After all, the team that gets the best player typically takes the pot. But a year later, it's hard not to recognize that, in losing their superstar center, the Bruins took the real step forward.
continued added 4:05pm, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail brings up the Thornton trade too and wonders...
If the league were to allow teams to absorb a percentage of an unwanted player's salary to make his contract hit more palatable, there's little doubt we'd see more deals. But with little or no sentiment from the head office in New York to change that CBA provision, all we can do is reminisce about the good old days and wait for February to come upon us, when the trading action figures to become fast and furious once again.
more

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LeClair On Waivers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward John LeClair on waivers Thursday. "Hopefully, something will change because it's not a great situation for me," LeClair told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "You have to make the best of it, but, hopefully, something happens."
more

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Irish Get Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the South Bend Tribune,

They spell their names just a tad bit different. One comes from a legendary hockey family, the other doesn't. One exudes a calm, easy-going demeanor, the other a fiery blue-collar presence. But they have one thing in common -- when they square up for a check along the boards, opposing hockey players are only left to think, "Oh @*&!" Notre Dame forwards Christiaan Minella and Christian Hanson have given the Irish a dimension this season that they haven't had in the past -- a fearsome physical presence
continued

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The Little Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

Don Edwards. Billy Smith. Grant Fuhr, Pelle Lindbergh and Mike Vernon. All top goaltenders in the NHL through the 1980s, and in some cases, the 1990s. Edwards, Smith, Fuhr and Lindbergh all won the Vezina Trophy at the league's top netminder between 1980 and 1988, while Vernon hung on into the mid-90s, and won the Conn Smythe with the Detroit Red Wings at the age of 34. The one thing in common among all five? Their height. It used to be that a shorter player in the crease was nothing out of the ordinary, but steadily since the 1980s, bigger and bigger athletes have taken over the crease duties
continued

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Between The Benches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Continuing its leadership in sports television, TSN once again is on the cutting edge of hockey broadcasting becoming the first network ever to provide both play-by-play and analysis from ice level for an NHL game. The landmark broadcast takes place Friday at 7:30pm et/4:30m pt featuring the New York Rangers facing the Buffalo Sabres from HSBC Arena in Buffalo, with Chris Cuthbert and Glenn Healy calling the action from between the benches.
continued

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Garon Suffers Groin Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times,

Kings goaltender Mathieu Garon suffered a groin injury during practice Wednesday and will not play in today's game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Garon was hurt making a save at the end of practice. He stretched his left leg to block a shot on net, then immediately collapsed and had to be helped off the ice. Garon will undergo treatment but said, "I've never had this before so maybe I'll respond quickly, maybe I'll be feeling better tomorrow. There is no reason to panic." There could be some call for panic, given that the Kings have to start Dan Cloutier in net.
continued (reg. req.)

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Hockey Ratings In Canada Way Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,

National ratings for CBC and TSN show a significant decline from last season, the first after the NHL lost an entire season to a labour dispute. And while the league has been touting the attractiveness of the "new NHL," with its new rules designed to open up the game, ratings thus far indicate the league is not much more popular here than it was prior to the lockout. There are some possible explanations, but TV executives are mystified by the size of the decrease. Hockey Night In Canada ratings are off 19 per cent for the early game and a whopping 33 per cent for the late one compared to last year. TSN's ratings have dropped 18 per cent.
read on

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Thrashers Looking For Offensive Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Waddell said he would like to add an offensive centre to play between Hossa and Kozlov. Right now former Michigan State forward Jim Slater has that spot and hasn't disappointed the Thrashers GM. "We've made a commitment to Jimmy," Waddell said. "But the one spot that has me concerned, and it's no secret, is finding a centre to play with Hossa and Kozlov. "Of course, a centre who makes no money," he added, jokingly.
more

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Elias Struggling Early

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

Especially noticeable is his minus-14 rating, tied yesterday for second-worst in the NHL with Petr Nedved among forwards, better only than Phoenix rookie Enver Lisin's minus-16. This from the guy who led the league at plus-45 in 2000-01. "It's killing me," Elias told The Post yesterday. "I'm shocked, too. I never was minus in my career. It's disturbing. Even on this road trip, we'd make two or three mistakes and I'd be on the ice, and it'd go in. And when you have chances and don't score, it's going to show."
more

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Turning Tragedy Into Hope

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Associated Press:

The parents of a former Norwich hockey captain, who died from injuries in an attack outside a Toronto bar, have donated their slain son's organs. In a statement released Wednesday, Michael Serba's family said the organ donations would allow their son's legacy to live on through others. Serba, a graduate student at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., died Tuesday. The 25-year-old Serba had been on life support after being struck in the head with an unknown object, possibly a brick, early Saturday after he left a bar. Nicholas Crowdis, 22, of Toronto, was arrested early Saturday, police said. His next court appearance is Dec. 4. "Out of this tragedy we are comforted that Michael's great many qualities of strength, determination, compassion and goodness continue to shine through beyond his life," Serba's family said in the statement.
continued

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