Kukla's Korner

Hull Still Taking Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

The thought of Brett Hull on NBC hockey telecasts that begin this weekend should send shivers up the spine of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman if, and only if, what happened on Wednesday’s conference call can be taken on to the telecasts.
Hull was at his outspoken best when he ripped the current NHL schedule, which limits visits by Sidney Crosby and others to Western Conference fans as “asinine”. He also carved up the new form-fitting uniforms as “completely ugly”.
He took shots at the way the New Jersey Devils play and the L.A. Kings for “muzzling my friend Sean Avery.”

continued

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Foppa Looks Terrific - Not 100%

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

“He looked terrific,” Stevens said after watching Forsberg participate in his first practice with the team since Dec. 15. “It’s the most energized I’ve seen him in a long, long time.”
Despite reassurances from more than a dozen doctors that his right foot is perfectly functional after offseason surgery, Forsberg said he still is not 100 percent satisfied with the way his right skate fits his foot, insisting the foot is “a little crooked.”
“I don’t think I’ll be playing my best hockey, but I have to keep on battling,” Forsberg said. “We have a lot of injuries, everybody’s hurt, and I’m trying to come back as fast as possible.
“Is it 100 percent? No, it’s not 100 percent. But I have to play.”

more

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Playoff Hopes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Wayne Gretzky expects the Coyotes to make the playoffs this season.
“Absolutely,” Gretzky said, inspired by his team’s seven-game winning streak. “But I also know we’ve got our work cut out. It’s a tough conference with a lot of good teams, but I believe if you look at our team . . . they’re answering all the questions you need to answer to at least have a chance. Now we still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong. But at least we’ve put ourselves into position to be in that (race for the postseason) now.”

continued

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Oilers Need Dman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Edmonton Oilers fans know their club needs some help on defence and like antsy, bouncing-off-the-walls small children on Christmas Eve, they want GM Kevin Lowe to deliver a puck-moving defenceman N-O-W!...
But since Lowe is not given to impulsive moves, it may be a while before any talent-upgrade moves are made. One thing we do know is there is no Chris Pronger available, so if and when the Oilers do make a move, it is likely to be either a rental, a la the
Bruins’ Brad Stuart, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, or a solid but unspectacular upgrade a la ex-Oiler Eric Brewer, who might be available if St. Louis head man John Davidson begins to off-load assets with a view to the rebirth of the Blues.

read on

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Rangers Missing Parts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Let’s face it. The Rangers simply don’t have enough players with gumption. They don’t have enough young legs. They don’t have role players who productively fill defined roles. They don’t have a line that’s capable of planting the opponents’ defense’s faces into the glass. They don’t have a unit that can provide an energy boost by sacrificing their bodies for 40 seconds at a time.
They had that line last year. They had the perfect hard-hat, blue-collar force in Dominic Moore, Jed Ortmeyer and Ryan Hollweg, then they went and sent Moore away in exchange for Adam Hall over the summer in what quickly has become the most misguided deal of Sather’s tenure.

more

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Ferguson Plan Not Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Ferguson’s plan for the Maple Leafs this season was rather elementary: Be better in goal, cut down on the goals against, be more effective on the penalty kill. “We don’t have to score more,” the fledgling general manager said, “we have to give up fewer goals.”
Ferguson’s blueprint, while interrupted but not disguised by the steady onslaught of injuries, has never come to be. The team he envisioned, the team he intended to build, is not this team. The plan he had has been exposed as inefficient.
Go back to the off-season and remember: At the June draft, Ferguson traded for Raycroft. When free agency hit a few days later, Ferguson spent almost $10 million US a season for Kubina, Hal Gill and Michael Peca.

read on

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For The Record

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Errors, errors everywhere. I feel like the Tiger pitching staff. Thanks to Matt for pointing out that my public castration of Brett Lebda yesterday was unwarranted. Lebda wasn't on the ice for the Wolski goal--that was Franzen with the assist. Thanks, too, to Left Wing Lock for reminding me our young friend Ozzie was also a key component of The Rivalry. On to some Thursday deep digging.

Continue Reading »

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Top Sellers In December

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (January 10, 2007) –The New York Rangers were the top-selling team in the NHL.com store in the December holiday season. For the third consecutive month, the Buffalo Sabres had the highest percentage increase in team sales in the NHL.com store compared to last year with an increase of approximately 214%. Overall, sales of NHL-licensed merchandise on NHL.com were up more than 23% compared to last December.

Continue Reading »

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Ian White Out With Separated Shoulder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN that White suffered a shoulder separation in Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes and will be sidelined for 3-4 weeks.
An MRI today determined the extent of the injury.

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Sid The Best

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN the Magazine,

When you arrive with the kind of hype that surrounded Sidney Crosby, there’s going to be a degree of skepticism. With the buildup he received, there will be those looking for ways to tear him down. Perhaps it’s just human nature to believe, “Hey, no one can be that good.”
Well, let me tell you, Sidney Crosby is that good. He’s more than that good. Six months shy of his 20th birthday, Crosby is the very best player in the NHL.

continued

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