Kukla's Korner

Talking Winnipeg & Quebec City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The National Hockey League has not given up on one day re-visiting Canadian markets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and, way down the road, will examine a second team in the Toronto area. Fielding those questions was new Hockey Hall of Fame builder Harley Hotchkiss, an executive with the Calgary Flames and chairman of the league's board of governors. "I think we have an obligation (to see if those markets can work)," Hotchkiss said yesterday. "There were great fans in those cities to support those teams. "Speaking as a Canadian our team had some great games against the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques."
continued

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Tuesday Deep Digging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Quite a bit to choose from this morning as all the Deep Diggers seem to be active and chipper. Helene St. James spoke with Chris Chelios recently, who naturally said he considers his age a "black cloud hanging over my head" and that he hates the idea that his 44 years is the first thing people think of. Kirk Maltby said opposing fans do all they can to remind him. Helene St. James/Free Press

"It seems to happen a little more in the Canadian cities. I think it's just because of the way he plays against some of the teams that we've seen a lot of over the years; it seems there are always signs about his age and how old he is and whatnot. I think it motivates him a little bit in the overall scheme of things, to keep prolonging things. I think he gets a chuckle out of it. When he sees a new sign, he kind of applauds the guy or girl that did it."
Speaking of Canadian fans and signs, this is my favorite picture from last year. image

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Report Seems Outdated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV,

While a study of NHL data finds teams that fight have a better chance of winning, a hockey author notes that was in the old NHL. "I'd like to see this study done again in another five to seven years," Stephen Cole, author of the Canadian Hockey Atlas, told CTV.ca on Monday. Former NHLer Mike Gardner was even more skeptical, saying: "I think you could probably do a study too that a team that ate spaghetti at a pre-game meal is more likely to win than a team that eats chicken."
continued In case you missed the study that is being referred to, you can check out an article from earlier in the day.

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The List Grows: Holmstrom Out Too

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Joining the Wings suddenly expanding list of injured players? Tomas Holmstrom. Hasek due to play more than expected, as well. MLive/Khan(!)

Niklas Kronwall (groin), Tomas Holmstrom (groin) and Chris Osgood (hand) didn’t practice Monday in Vancouver and, according to Mike Babcock, won’t dress Tuesday against the Canucks. Babcock said none of the injuries is significant and expects all three to be ready for Friday’s game in Calgary. Forward Josh Langfeld, recalled from Grand Rapids, will make his Wings debut Tuesday. Babcock said Dominik Hasek, who’ll aim for his third consecutive shutout Tuesday, might play more games than planned because he’s not getting much work in his starts (averaging 20 shots against).

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Corporate Leadership?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yeah, I got spun up when I saw it too. The NHL has created, seemingly out of the blue, a leadership award and named it after Mark Messier who, according to their public release, "many believe to be the greatest captain in hockey history." I'm not one of the many. And neither are you, if you're reading this here. But, whether he is or isn't may not be the question. The more interesting issue could very well be just where the heck this award came from. According to the release, one leadership award will be given monthly and another yearly. Keep that "yearly" item in mind.

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Pointing At The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Maven at Hockey Journal,

*Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who often seems more consumed with harassing Ted Saskin than earning his millions playing hockey, is about to have the challenge of his “Look, I’m Rich” career. With Edmonton a mediocre 8-8-1 and trying to prove that its trip to the Finals last spring was no fluke, it’s now up to pseudo-union-expert Roloson to lead his club. Otherwise Rollie goes down as yet another vastly overpaid netminder, who always seems to be beefing about something rather than appreciating what he has. *Speaking of the Salary Cap, we haven’t heard a single player beef about the new system that the union had so vociferously fought; until Trevor Linden, Bill Guerin and Vince Damphousse wised-up the NHLPA. …
more from Stan Fischler... while on the topic, did you know The Maven has a blog?

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The Return of Grampa Pinhead

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You know by now that the idea of writing about the NHL at large scares me. So I leave that to Grampa Pinhead. Opinionated, often cranky and certainly willing to debate should you choose to take that step, I'll bring you his viewpoints whenever he sees fit to provide them to me. ------- Tonight Buffalo (14-1-1) at Carolina (9-6-3) Montreal (8-4-3) at Ottawa (6-9-1) San Jose (13-5-0) at Los Angeles (5-10-4) and I get Philadelphia (3-11-2) at Pittsburgh (7-6-2) In spite of all their efforts and improvements, VS (OLN) continues to suck. No wonder I am having a little problem getting into hockey this year.

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Gallant Gone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Gerard Gallant of his head coaching duties with the National Hockey League club, President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. MacLean will meet with the media in the press conference room at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday at 10 a.m. prior to the club's practice. Media parking is available in the service yard, located next to the loading dock on the northwest side of the arena. "I am extremely disappointed to announce that Gerard Gallant has been relieved of his head coaching duties with the Columbus Blue Jackets," said MacLean. "He has shown tremendous dedication to our organization over the past six-plus years and worked as hard as he could to help our team be successful. Unfortunately, we have not gotten off to the start we expected this season and while there are always a multitude of factors involved, we felt a change was needed."
Update 7:06pm, A coach is expected to be named tomorrow. Let the speculation begin. Update 9:20 pm, TSN is speculating that while assistant coach Gary Agnew will be named interim head coach, he will not be permanent replacement and there will still be a search for a new candidate.

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Monday Evening Odds and Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Josh Langfeld has been recalled by the Wings as the team waits out Jason Williams' recovery. Also, according to Helene St. James' Wing blog, Niklas Kronwall has been ruled out of tomorrow's game at Vancouver; along with, surprise, Chris Osgood.

Langfeld will replace Tomas Holmstrom, who is sidelined by a groin injury. Holmstrom, Chris Osgood (hand) and Niklas Kronwall (groin) didn’t practice Monday, and coach Mike Babcock said the three would not play Tuesday. Babcock said none of the injuries are serious.
Ummm, Kronwall's injury "wasn't serious" after the Nashville game. Three days later, he's still nursing the groin, and it's still not serious. Considering our boy's injury history, it sounds mildly serious to me. And check this out. Just before Patrick Roy headed to the land of happiness and light in '95, guess who almost nabbed him? Pierre LeBrun/CP
Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman confirmed the Wings were contacted by then-Montreal GM Rejean Houle. "Yes, he called us, I was handling trades at the time for Detroit," said Bowman, in town Monday for the Hall of Fame festivities. "But we had just got (goalie) Mike Vernon a year or two before from Calgary. I didn't think I could make a trade with them. But I figured maybe I could get the price up. We didn't do it. They moved him pretty quick. "I knew he'd be going somewhere but I was just hoping it wouldn't be Colorado."
Finally, according to NBC's Eric McErlain there are lessons to be learned from Darren McCarty's troubles.
The story of a veteran player like McCarty, who won three Stanley Cups in Detroit and is now closer to the end of his career than the beginning, ought to serve as a cautionary tale. Fortunately, there is help, and it can be found on the campus of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It's there that you'll find the Professional Athlete Transition Institute (PATI), the home of a cooperative venture between the NHL, NHLPA and the NHL Alumni -- Life After Hockey.
Noble effort on the part of the league, but man...c'mon. You're making millions. Hire a financial advisor.

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Going With One Or Two Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

At first glance, many NHL teams have definitive starters in goal, with the backup getting spot starts, typically on road trips in the second game of back-to-backs. But with the league now governed by salary cap considerations, and goaltenders seeing more demanding action on a nightly basis due to increased power play time and more aggressive attacks unleashed by the rule changes, having two established goaltenders to share the load seemed to be a trend in the making.
continued

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