Kukla's Korner

Naslund Shoots Down Trade Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Markus Naslund could have taken the easy way out after a stunning stretch-drive collapse last April cost the Vancouver Canucks an NHL playoff appearance. With 14 players gone from last season's roster in a summer of discontent, the captain could have asked general manager Dave Nonis for a trade to a Stanley Cup contender and escaped the fishbowl of Vancouver. Instead, the face of the franchise put to rest yesterday the ongoing rumours that he could be swapped for unsigned Philadelphia Flyers winger Simon Gagne and join longtime friend and countryman Peter Forsberg. "No, I've been committed," said Naslund. "I like playing here and it's a special place. It's been tough not having the success we expected with a group that had the possibility of having success. And that's how I felt...."
continued

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Year-Round Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Gone are the days of NHLers working second jobs during the summer, then using training camp to get fit. No longer do Canadiens work offseason sales or public-relations jobs for Molson, the brewer that long owned the club, while using 18 holes of golf as a workout. Modern hockey is a year-round occupation for today's hugely salaried player, a fact reflected by the scrupulous attention Livingston pays to keeping the Canadiens healthy and fit. It's why he sent every player into the summer with a lavishly illustrated 166-page offseason training manual, which covers training philosophies, stretching, regeneration, injury prevention, principles of cardiovascular, metabolic, strength, power, agility and quickness training, diet, even yoga.
more

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Stars Preparing For Players Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A good look how the Stars equipment and training staff are preparing for the season... from the Dallas Stars,

"We do our best to pay attention to the minor details that players request for their gear," said Sumner, "and with so many new players, we're learning how each guy wants each piece of equipment. Some of our returning players may also be switching to new sticks or new skates, for example, so we are definitely getting into midseason form early." Representatives from various stick manufacturers have already been in to meet with players and get their custom specifications for the new season. The Stars' equipment staff facilitates the relationships between the players and the stick companies, so Sumner and his assistants, Chris Davidson-Adams and Dennis Soetaert work closely with both sides to make the players happy.
more

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Hockey Player Replaces Hockey Player

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

The Michigan State Fair has been publicizing for weeks and as late as Tuesday that former Red Wings star Darren McCarty and his band Grinder would perform at the fair tonight. But this morning, fair officials said the band would not be appearing. “We’re actually pretty hot about it because we were in discussions with them going back about two months ago,” said Miller. “For over two weeks time, they have known that we were not performing … It’s pretty frustrating. You think you’ve taken care of things on your end, but the message doesn’t get through. Ultimately, it makes (McCarty) look bad.” Mitch Ryder and Mickey Redmond are scheduled to open for Karen Newman & Friends at 7 p.m. tonight....
more...and any time I can get Karen (interview earlier this year) into KK, I will...

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NHLers Going The Other Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via News 1130,

While Evgeni Malkin's flight to the NHL has incensed Russian hockey officials, some NHL executives are growing hot under the collar at watching their players abandon North America for greener pastures in Russia. Already the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders have lost three players to Russia this summer. Mark Gandler, the agent who represents those players, says Russia is an attractive option for "young, vibrant talent which is not properly treated (by NHL teams)." Winger Eugeni Artukhin rejected Tampa's last offer and has signed on for more money in his native Russia. The same goes for Russian defenceman Denis Grebeshkov and Finnish winger Sean Bergenheim of the Islanders.
continued

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Chasing Dumont

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Free-agent winger J.P. Dumont has narrowed his list of suitors down to three or four teams and it doesn't include the Montreal Canadiens. Some fans and media in Montreal have been pressing the Canadiens to make a move on Dumont, a 28-year-old Montreal native, but that hasn't happened. "We've never had an offer from Montreal," his agent Yves Archambault said Wednesday. "I've spoken to several teams. At this point we're really looking at 3-4 teams." The Detroit Red Wings are believed to be among the teams interested in Dumont, who became an unrestricted free agent earlier this month when the Buffalo Sabres exercised their walk-away rights after he was awarded a $2.9-million US, one-year deal in arbitration.
continued

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Babcock On The Captaincy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock says a report that star defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom will succeed retired legend Steve Yzerman as captain is premature. "I'm not saying Nick Lidstrom won't be the captain but what I am telling you is that we haven't spent one second on it yet," Babcock told The Canadian Press on Wednesday from his off-season home in Saskatchewan. "Anything written about it at this point is pure speculation."
more added 2:12pm, As I have stated throughout the summer, I believe Babcock favors Zetterberg for the "C". It still may be Lidstrom, but the report earlier today may have been a bit premature. added 3:15pm, Babcock was just on WXYT, said announcing a captain right now is like throwing a dart at a dartboard. The management team including Yzerman will sit down next week and make a decision. Babcock said he want a captain by the time training camp starts.

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Stuck In The Middle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Seated in the sunny lobby of a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica, his feet in flip-flops and his long fingers skimming the keys of a cellphone, Evgeni Malkin looked more like a bellboy than a budding hockey superstar whose hurried departure from his Russian homeland echoed the plot of a Cold War spy novel. Barely 20 years old, a gangly 6 feet 3 and 178 pounds, Malkin stands at the center of a dispute that has strained the tense relations between Russian and North American hockey executives.
continued (reg req.)...recommended read...

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Between The Lines

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Guelph Mercury,

Ray Scapinello was always one of the fastest people in the world's fastest game. Now, after four decades patrolling the lines in hockey rinks around the world in some of the sport's biggest games, the Guelph man is sharing his experiences in a book. Between the Lines captures the National Hockey League record holder's thoughts and memories about the game he still loves.
continued image

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NHL2K7 Trailer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

AS many of you know, I am not much of a gamer. But the video looks great...

2K Sport has released NHL 2K7's third dramatic installment of its official trailers. Bragging of an undoctored look at cinemotion, the scenes are shot with all new-dynamic cameras that bring you closer to the game.
more image

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