Kukla's Korner

Why Shanny Left

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,

There's a time when you cast a shadow and a time when the shadow casts you. This, more than anything, is why Brendan Shanahan left the Red Wings on Sunday and signed with the New York Rangers. "It was just a growing instinct," he said via phone from his summer home in Massachusetts. "As great as the future is in Detroit, I think I belonged a little more to its great past." This is not your typical departing-athlete statement, which more often goes: "I had to do what was best for my family."
continued added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroif Free Press now available... FYI, Mitch not only has covered Brendan while in Detroit, but they also consider themselves friends... added 9:12pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock boiled the question down to this: How does a team replace a 40-goal scorer? The answer, from general manager Ken Holland, is that maybe it doesn't. The Red Wings learned during the weekend that prolific scorer Brendan Shanahan has decided to play next season for the New York Rangers, creating a hole in the Wings' lineup. "We've got a competitive team," Holland said Sunday. "We'll try to find another player if we can. If not, we'll start the season with what we've got. Maybe we'll use the Edmonton model and save for the trade deadline."
more added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroit Free Press now available...

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Report- Belfour A Wing On Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

WDIV in Detroit is reporting the Wings will announce the signing of goalie Ed Belfour on Monday. added 7:37am Monday, from Mlive,

Ed Belfour could officially become the Detroit Red Wings new starting goaltender today. Wings general manger Ken Holland said Sunday that he would reveal today whether the club will sign the 41-year-old Belfour to a one-year contract. WDIV-TV in Detroit reported Sunday night that Belfour will sign with the Wings today.

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Brendan Shanahan Almost Got Me Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I completely forgot about this... In a previous life, I worked for a major radio station in Detroit. Right after 9/11, our building was basically on lock-down, no visitors allowed, etc... Brendan was scheduled to be in-studio for a live interview and first had to clear security in the lobby of our building then had to clear security on our floor. Well, the interns who were waiting for Shanahan had no idea who he was so I passed through our lobby and saw Brendan waiting in line to get into our offices. I had met Shanahan on numerous occasions before and I whisked him into our offices without his yellow ID badge announcing him as a welcomed guest. We had a little chit-chat, I walked him to the green room, notified everyone involved that Shanny was in the building and went on my way. Next thing you know, I am getting called into the office, people questioning me "who was that guy", "why did you let him in", blah, blah, blah... I explained to the big-wig and his shadowy assistant it was Brendan Shanahan and there was no reason for him to go through a security process, he was not a threat to our well-being. Long story short, it went into my file, as what, a possible spy? I laughed it off and and still laugh about it today.

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Let’s Not Forget

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The building was electric, filled with anticipation. The Wings finally had their power forward. It was rumored for weeks in Detroit, the Wings were attempting to acquire Shanahan from the Whalers. The wishes of many Wings fans came true on October 9, 1996. The final piece was in place. Shanahan made it to the Joe with minutes to spare for the first game that season. The Wings actually held up going onto the ice so Brendan could join them. With Shanahan scoring 46 goals that year, the Wings went on to win the Cup and repeated the feat the next year. Now he is gone, and with it the "piece" leaves a big hole in the Wings lineup. Now where do they go? Gomez in New Jersey may be an option, the Devils are cap strapped and need to move some salary. Can Anson Carter replace one of the greatest goal scores in the last 15 years? Ken Holland has some work ahead and now is the time for Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall to put their stamp on the Wings. Meanwhile, Shanahan will be a huge hit on Broadway. Just don't believe him when he tells you he was a goalie on the Irish National Soccer team. added 12:38pm, Official announcement from the New York Rangers... added 4:25pm, from the CP via Yahoo,

"It really came down to an instinct I had," Shanahan said Sunday. "Detroit has a great past and a great future ahead of them as well, but I guess I just felt that maybe I was identified with the past a little bit more than the future." "To take on a new challenge was a little scary and exciting at the same time," said Shanahan, who scored 41 goals last season.
image

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According To The Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

Lindy Ruff’s Sabres may have come up short in Game 7 of the Eastern final, but his team’s performance in 2005-06 did not go unnoticed. The Hockey News asked 30 players, “What NHL coach did the best job this season?" Of the players polled, eight listed Ruff, the Jack Adams Trophy winner, as this year’s best coach, while six voted for Carolina’s Peter Laviolette. The Rangers’ Tom Renney and Detroit’s Mike Babcock also got several nods.
continued

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Wings Have New Priority

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The report (NY Post) could not immediately be independently confirmed, but Shanahan has been interested in playing for the Rangers before. His departure leaves the Wings without one of their top forwards. A trade is another possibility, but in order to get back a power forward, the Wings will have to give up something valuable, and youngsters Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall are all off limits. Robert Lang makes $3.8 million but the Wings aren’t going to trade him, because now he’s their only big forward, and furthermore, while his regular seasons have fluctuated, he’s been a steady playoff performer in Detroit.
more

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All Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A recent interview with Georges Laraque at HockeyFights.com.

Q: In your opinion, how do you feel the game in the NHL has changed since the 2003-04 season? Also, in terms of entertainment value, do you prefer today's NHL to the one of years past? A: I think it's too much of a special teams game now, and both team can never really get in a rhythm of a good game since there's so much whistle blows. Q: What did you like least about the “new” NHL this season compared to years past? A: The rules are fine, it’s just a little too exaggeration on the penalties where they call soft hooking and stuff. Q: If the instigator rule were to be taken out, how do you feel the NHL would change? Would it be for the positive? A: It would be a cleaner game, not as much cheap stuff, and most importantly, more fights. More fights would definitely boost the audience!
read on

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Don’t Leave Yzerman In The Dark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Green of the Detroit News,

...Yzerman's post-playing assignment with the Red Wings still is to be determined -- and likely has not yet even been considered. There are contributions to be made, other then as a twiddling goodwill ambassador. Steve, actually, has been the Red Wings' goodwill ambassador ever since that day in 1983 when the club drafted him during the barren years between Stanley Cup championships. He has been the face of the franchise; the Red Wings' marquee and billboard; the poster person. He does not deserve the mushroom treatment. "I got the mushroom treatment," said Gordie Howe. "You know what I mean -- where they keep you completely in the dark, and every once in a while they come in and throw manure on you. "And that's the position I've been in."
more

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A Fan Wants Clarke Gone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

I've been a dedicated Flyers fan since age 9, which, since I grew up in Montreal, has been a real labor of love. Is there any way that general manager Bob Clarke will be let go any time soon? I can barely count the ways in which he is holding this great team back. There are stingy GMs out there, and there are overly aggressive ones. There are GMs who are fooled by big names, and GMs who hate big names. But I can't think of a single other GM who is as fundamentally out of touch with the game today as Clarke is.
continued

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Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, -This is how long Yzerman has been around: In his rookie year, he played on a team that included current Wings GM Ken Holland, New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, NHL vice-president Colin Campbell, ESPN analyst Barry Melrose and Hall of Famer Brad Park. -Some Leafs players quietly have lobbied against the acquisition of Gary Roberts. Turns out they don't want to lose playing time or power-play time to an old man. -Pat Quinn, who has been all but silent since being let go, is telling some people he didn't mind being fired by the Leafs, but he didn't want to be fired by "that little twerp".

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