Kukla's Korner

Icing & Instigating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Province,

The icing rule is a favourite hobby horse of Don Cherry as he wants the injury-causing races for pucks shot down the ice ended so as to avoid the awful sound of bodies slamming into the boards when players trip going in at top speed.
Bettman said he would have no problem seeing that rule changed if, in fact, that was the recommendation of the competition committee. But the committee has dragged its feet on the issue, evidently not enough defencemen on the body to make an impact given it’s they who must pay the price in most cases.
Ditto the instigator rule, and it’s here where it really does make sense for everyone to take a sober second look.

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Roenick Sees The Curtain Calling

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Arizona Republic:

These are precarious days for Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick, as he wrestles with retirement or the possibility of returning for at least another season, somewhere.
“I know I can play this game. I can play it hard, and I can play it well, but I haven’t decided what I want to do,” Roenick said after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit at Joe Louis Arena.
Still, Roenick said he might have played his last regular-season game at the Joe, and it struck a major chord about his impending future, especially with the Coyotes languishing out of the playoff picture.
“I’ve always had an admiration for Detroit,” he said. “It’s been kind of a love-hate thing since my days with the Blackhawks. . . . If this was it, though, I’ll miss this place. This is one of the greatest buildings in all of sports. The fans are just awesome here. They call it Hockeytown for a reason.”

...plus Wayne & Gordie talk…

continued

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Up & Down Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fromm Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

The problem wasn’t last night, but the two weeks that preceded it. For the past 10 days, the Blue Jackets haven’t been so much a hockey team as a Nationwide commercial.
Ten days ago, they were a budding NHL powerhouse, having beaten Detroit, Buffalo and Minnesota at home and Vancouver on the road.
They woke up yesterday morning as the Bad News Bear Jackets, with half their players vying for the role of Engelberg and the other half resembling Coach Buttermaker.
Life comes at you fast.

read on

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LeClair Waits For The Right Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

Still, LeClair remains upbeat. He sits at home, not waiting for the phone to ring, but certainly answering it when it does.
So far, he says, several teams have called (the Flyers not among them). But as a free agent he’s in a position to pick and choose where he goes and so far he hasn’t found anything he likes.
It’s not so much about whether the prospective team is a contender or where it’s located. It’s just about whether that team is a good fit.

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Recchi Meeting The Challenges

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

“I still don’t know why it happened here,” he said. “But then that kind of pushes you, too. You want to stuff it to people who don’t believe in you. I played hurt through all those playoffs and I did a lot for the organization, so you know, it was a little disappointing. But that’s what keeps you going. If you don’t have that little bit of bite in you, there’s no use playing.”
Mark Recchi is more than playing. At age 39, he is the right wing on Sidney Crosby’s first line, with a gaudy 52 points while playing in all 54 games. His 19th goal, made on a second-effort poke as he fell on his back, broke a 2-2, third-period tie last night and helped the red-hot Penguins to their 10th victory in 12 games via a 5-4 shootout victory over the Flyers.

read on

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Tucker “Talks”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

The Darcy Tucker contract talks are reaching a critical stage at the same time the Maple Leafs move toward the buyers’ table for the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline.
General manager John Ferguson twice yesterday used the term “positive” to describe his recent dealings with Tucker’s Seattle-based agent, Carlos Sosa. And it’s known Sosa was in Toronto this week where the Tucker has been laid up in a cast, before Sosa took a flight home last night.

continued

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Mary Kate And Ashley Olsen No More

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail:

A changing of the guard within the Vancouver Canucks is nearly complete as bearded, red-headed brothers with supreme passing skills drive the offensive game of the National Hockey League team.
The evolution of identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin has taken six NHL seasons as the 26-year-old Swedes now top the team in scoring.
Danny and Hank, as they call each other, are the talk of the town, even if you can’t tell them apart.
Left-winger Daniel, wearing sweater No. 22, leads the team with 23 goals and 55 points. Centreman Henrik, No. 33, has 46 assists and 53 points.

continued

 

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Doomsday Smytty

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

If the Edmonton Oilers believe they still have a shot at making the playoffs on, say, Feb. 25, general manager Kevin Lowe likely won’t entertain any thoughts of trading free-agent winger Ryan Smyth before the NHL deadline two days later.
But what if the Oilers are 10 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the last post-season spot in the Western Conference in two-and-a-half weeks?
Then what?
What if Lowe can’t get close to re-signing the 30-year-old left-winger to a four- or five-year contract as the trade deadline clock ticks down?

continued

 

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Up It Goes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger at TSN,

The belief that next year’s salary cap will increase to upwards of $48 million was one of the topics discussed in a meeting between the National Hockey League Players’ Association and a group of NHL player agents.
According to sources inside the meeting, the union also contends current gate receipts and hockey-related revenues show the cap could climb to as high as $52 million by 2010.

continued

added 11:11pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The National Hockey League Players’ Association held its annual agents seminar Thursday, an occasion usually marked by the mundane business of administering the collective agreement.
But the real topic overhanging the gathering at a Toronto hotel, attended by 93 player agents, was the one dogging the union for months — the future of executive director Ted Saskin.

continued

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Wings - Ducks In Running For Peter Forsberg

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

But he won’t be hunting alone in this forest. The Detroit Red Wings are very much in the discussions about Forsberg, who has a no-trade clause. The Red Wings will be appealing to Forsberg because of their strong collection of Swedish players and their opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. It seems as if Anaheim and Detroit are the top two contenders for Forsberg.
If Detroit doesn’t land Forsberg, GM Ken Holland will be after Bertuzzi. They are going to land a forward or two to improve their offense, although the Red Wings’ goal scoring numbers, weak at the start of the season, now suddenly have climbed back to third in the Western Conference. Bertuzzi would also give the team some beef, lacking since Brendan Shanahan’s departure.

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