Kukla's Korner

Sykora Was A Great Pick-up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports touches on numerous teams and subjects, including this one...

The Edmonton Oilers coaching staff made a great move by playing forward Peter Sykora on the point on the power play. He opens up so many options for all the Oilers and he can really rip the puck...
much more and I wonder how many GMs are kicking themselves for not picking up Sykora when he was available...

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Forsberg Options

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

He is, after all, their captain and during the team's struggles — this is the worst club Forsberg has played for since joining the NHL as a rookie in the 1994-95 season — he considers his relatively meager contributions as part of the reason they're bringing up the rear in the Eastern Conference. Hence, his priority is to work through their many and varied issues and be part of the Flyers' solution. No matter how it evolves, though, there is little indication that Forsberg wants to abandon ship now, or for that matter, leave as a player rental closer to the Feb. 27 trade deadline. The only way that might change is if the Flyers were hopelessly out of the playoff race by then and they came to him and asked him to waive his no-trade clause as a favor to them — so they could then swap him for one or more young assets, and give him a chance to play the final six weeks of the regular season, plus playoffs, for a contender.
read on...plus a piece on Jagr and others...

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It Could Have Been Different

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Dump and Chase breaks down the altercation that lead to fines and suspensions during the Caps/Thrashers game a few night's ago.

Thrashers coach Bob Hartley feigns innocence and astonishment at this sort of thing, but the Freedom of Information Act (well, the availability of box scores and games on television, anyway) exposes that charade.
read on... and I tend to agree...

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Around The ‘sphere

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Up first: Kudos to Ken Holland. Local Detroit news stations are showing footage of the Wing GM serving meals at a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen yesterday morning. Not sure how much pub that will get. I'd actually be even more impressed if it doesn't receive any, which would give an idea of the motivation behind the act. Either way: good on ya Kenny. Having been pre-occupied with domestimerica the last two days, I offer you nuggets from my fellow hockey bloggers. I really wish Columbus was better. For if Columbus was better, they'd be our rivals. If they were our rivals I'd dislike them intensely, and maybe even generate a glossary entry; undoubtedly tied to the acronym that they claim. Oh, that would be witty. If I disliked them intensely, I'd be happy, happy, happy today. Why? Because I really detest their new large coach.

Continue Reading »

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Black Friday Shopping

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I'm going out on a limb and saying right now I was the only U.S. hockey blogger out of bed at 4:30 this morning, on the road by 4:45 and knee deep in the trenches by 5. Yes, I did. I waded into Black Friday battle. Am I proud? No. I'm humilitated and, frankly, more than a little shaken. Nothing in my military career prepared me for the violence, the viciousness and game-day intensity brought to the table by the housewives today. They elbowed me, glowered, cursed me and intimidated me. It was horrifying. But I wasn't the only Wing fan shopping today. Ken Holland was too, and he was much better prepared than I.

Continue Reading »

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Backup Woes In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

The Canucks were handed more than just an ugly 6-0 loss here Thursday night. They also have another one of those seemingly never-ending backup goalie controversies on their hands.... "It's too bad," Sabourin said. "I played good the last game I went down with Manitoba. I felt ready but a couple of tips and it's a different game. Maybe if they don't tip those in it's a tight game and you never know what is going to happen." His NHL record as a starter is now 0-6 and his goals-against average is well above the 4.0 mark. Now Sabourin must wait and wonder when, or if, he will get another start with the Canucks.
more

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Hull May Be At NBC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NY Post,

With Eddie Olczyk moving into John Davidson's chair as NBC's lead NHL analyst, the opinionated Brett Hull is likely to replace Olczyk in studio.

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Check Your Head

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik The "head-shot" debate has turned into the latest gripe-fest between those who believe that hockey is becoming a "soft" sport every time a physical blow is made illegal, and those who want to prevent injuries. Both sides of the argument generally have put forth thoughtful and considerate arguments (relatively speaking), but they're also using the debate as the latest battle upon which the very fabric of the game and future thereof depends. Come on now, let's be honest. When the commentators get involved, it becomes a contest of power and a gripe-fest. The hockey establishment and its representatives in the radio, TV, print, and online media try to proffer their arguments into gains in terms of power and influence; an element of "stewardship of the game" remains, but we all try to look after our own interests when we argue with one another. In this case, it's the "old school" against the "new school," and that old school's got a hundred years of history behind it, so the case of blows to the head has become a fertile battleground for both parties. Let's cut the rhetoric out for a moment. Let's talk about the physics involved instead.

Continue Reading »

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Will Hitch Save The Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Canada.com,

When John H. McConnell, who pays the bills for his Columbus Blue Jackets, stepped up to the microphone to welcome Ken Hitchcock as his new head coach, the first words out of the owner's mouth were a jaw-dropping "this is the man to save the franchise." The last owner to make an outlandish statement like that was Art Williams, who ballyhooed Vincent Lecavalier as "the new Michael Jordan of hockey" after his Tampa Bay Lightning took the flashy Lecavalier with the first overall pick in 1998. Both owners turned the screws up, but then owners can say and do what they want because, well, they're owners. It's their money.
continued

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Niedermayer Finally Meets The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

Nearly 16 months after making a bold free-agent move to leave the perennially strong New Jersey Devils and sign with the then-rebuilding Ducks, Niedermayer will face off against his former team in a matinee matchup at Honda Center. Countless NHL players switch clubs via trade or free agency every season, so such reunions are anything but uncommon. This one, though, is special. Just like Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and former captain Scott Stevens, Niedermayer had become as much a part of New Jersey as, well, the Meadowlands and other garden spots that make it the Garden State. "He grew up there," said Ducks right wing Rob Niedermayer, Scott's younger brother. "He went through a lot when he was there, from 18 until whenever, 31 or so. There is a lot of history there, and I'm sure he has a lot of fond memories. I'm sure it will be a little weird for him, and he'll have a few smiles out there."
read on

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