Kukla's Korner

Dvorak Chooses Blues Over Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues President John Davidson 2, New York Rangers 0. The former New York goalie and broadcaster has lured a second player who was considering both the Blues and the Rangers. Forward Radek Dvorak signed a one-year deal for $1 million with the club Thursday. Dvorak, who like Martin Rucinsky chose the Blues over the Rangers, becomes the second player who competed in last year's Stanley Cup Finals to join the team. Doug Weight's Carolina Hurricanes edged Dvorak's Edmonton Oilers in Game 7.
continued

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New Attitude Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Herald,

“There’s a different mentality here than the past few years,” captain Adrian Aucoin said. “I like to tell people that when I came in the league, Blackhawk hockey was kind of the model for most teams in the league — that hard-nosed, gritty hockey. “I think that’s the kind approach we took last year, but being the new game and the new rules, there’s a lot more skill involved, and going out and bullying other teams around really didn’t pay off for us too much. “I’m not going to say that they didn’t have winning in the blood here, obviously, because they’ve had some of the best teams in hockey in the past years, but it’s a different approach to the game now because of the new rules. We’ll take the approach that we have to be more offensive now and worry about skill a little more than being the brutes out there.”
more

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Offensive To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

"There's no question it's the most firepower we've had,'' Coach Barry Trotz said. "We have potentially eight or nine guys that could score 20 goals, and that's a pretty balanced attack if those guys are able to reach numbers like that.'' The transformation from the gritty, low-scoring, defensive-minded club to a more threatening offensive unit actually began last year when Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya played their first full seasons in Nashville, and young players — such as Scott Hartnell and Martin Erat — started to showcase more goal-scoring ability. Nashville "definitely has more offensive potential,'' Kariya said. "The organization is going more of the offensive route and so is the league. You have to play offensively to be able to win.''
read on

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Looking At The Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press,

WHAT CAN'T HAPPEN Believing a fatter payroll will solve their problems. The principles that define Jacques Lemaire-coached teams are a dogged work ethic, commitment to playing a responsible two-way game and counterattacking. The new blood makes the Wild more dangerous, but the players cannot abandon their roots lest they endure Lemaire's wrath. Nor can the stars dump all of the defensive dirty work into Wes Walz's lap.
more

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Penguins Bidder’s All Thumbs

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

[Jim] Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the company based in Waterloo, Ontario, that makes the BlackBerry, has emerged as the latest frontrunner to buy the Penguins, two sources with knowledge of the sale process said yesterday. His second pursuit of the hockey team is the latest development in what has been a roller-coaster ride the past several months as fans have waited to see who buys the club and whether the new owner intends to keep it in Pittsburgh. Balsillie, who has declined comment, was the secretive Canadian bidder who nearly signed a letter of intent with the Penguins in mid-July. He backed out when he realized it wouldn't be simple to move the team. It's believed he wanted to relocate it to Hamilton, Ontario, which is near Waterloo.
continued

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The Rule Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a variety of rule changes pertaining to the curvature of players' sticks. The maximum curvature of a player's stick was increased to three-quarters of an inch. Previously, the maximum curvature had been one-half inch. During regulation time or overtime (but not shootouts), a player found to have a stick curved in excess of that amount would be assessed a minor penalty and a $200 fine for the first offense. A second offense in the same season would be accompanied by a minor penalty, plus a fine of $1,000. A third offense in the same season would draw a game misconduct penalty and an automatic one-game suspension. The suspension would double in length for any subsequent violation in the same season. During shootouts, an opposing Club may request measurement of a shooter's stick prior to the shooter's attempt. If the stick is found to be legal, the complaining Club would forfeit its next shootout attempt and the player listed for the challenging Club's next attempt would not be permitted to participate until all other eligible players have participated. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the Club's coach would be fined $1,000. If the stick is illegal, the offending player would become ineligible to participate in the shootout and the Club would forfeit that shootout attempt. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the player would be fined $1,000. The Board also approved enhanced measures against "diving" and embellishment of actions in the attempt to draw a penalty. The first such infraction would result in a warning letter being sent to the player or goalkeeper. A second infraction would be accompanied by a $1,000 fine. A third infraction would result in a telephone hearing with the Director of Hockey Operations and a possible one-game suspension. The length of the suspension would double for any subsequent violation. The Board also approved a rule change that will give the home team the choice of shooting first or second in the shootout.

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Tanguay Will Center Iginla

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The arrival of Tanguay gives Iginla a talented set-up man or takes pressure off him should Tanguay end up on another line. ''I'm a winger and I like to shoot the puck. I'm not going to lie,'' Iginla said. ''So it's exciting to hear that he's going to feed me, but I plan on trying to get him a few back and return some favours too.'' Tanguay contemplated the possibility of switching from wing to centre to play alongside Iginla. ''I've played maybe, over the course of my first six years in the NHL, a maximum of 10 or 15 games at centre,'' he said. ''It's something I'm unfamiliar with, but if I have to play centre, I'll play centre no problem.''
read on

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As Expected - Canucks Will Match Kesler Offer Sheet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN the Vancouver Canucks will match the 1.9 million dollar offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyers lured Ryan Kesler into signing on Tuesday. Canucks general manager Dave Nonis will file his intentions with the NHL today

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The MSG Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stan Fischler of MSG Network breaks down the Ranger, Islanders, Devils and Sabres.

The good news is that the Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Sabres all are undefeated. The other news -- as if you didn’t know -- is that nobody has played a game yet. No Matter. This is a delicious time of the year for hockey fans because optimism reigns supreme; and, as everyone knows, when it rains it pours -- hockey pucks.

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Caps Shooting For Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

"You get to a level where Alexander is, and you are evaluated over time,'' Hanlon said. "The great players are the ones who can do it year in, year out, and we will see that with Alexander. I think it's just a matter of time. This player doesn't have a drop-off.'' Last year, Ovechkin was one of the few reasons to watch the Capitals, who languished, as expected, at the bottom of the Southeast Division in a rebuilding year. If the team is to win a Stanley Cup with Ovechkin as the centerpiece, it's time to start heading in that direction. "Last year we were about the process,'' Hanlon said. "And now there has to be some focus on achievement.'' Hanlon refused to cite any specific goals, but goaltender Olie Kolzig wasn't shy concerning the "P'' word. "Our goal this year is not to be satisfied with working hard every night - that should be a given,'' Kolzig said. "I think our goal this year is to try to make the playoffs.''
more...and it case you missed it, the Caps have signed John Erskine...

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