Kukla's Korner

Ball Hockey Prepared Canuck For The Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

NHL players often employ fitness trainers and belong to exclusive clubs to stay far away from prying eyes. Not Alex Burrows. The summer regimen for the Vancouver Canucks left-winger includes playing ball hockey -- which is like being a piece of meat amid a throng of butchers. "There are lots of guys who are just out there to try and act tough in front of their buddies and to say that they fought an NHL player," Burrows recalled Monday. "That's not something I want to get involved in." Even so, Burrows found himself in an awkward position at the nationals. "A guy from Vancouver kind of jumped me a little bit from behind and we had a little scuffle, but nothing big," he said. "I used to get slashed a lot before and this year I decided to take it easy.
read on

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Fleury Shooting For Consistency

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News,

The smile that Marc-Andre Fleury made his trademark with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles is as bright as ever. After several seasons of ups and downs with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 21-year-old goaltender still flashed the pearly whites yesterday at the team's mini camp at Moncton Coliseum. "It's fun to get back into action," said an upbeat Fleury, who took over the starting job in December last season and started 50 games after Jocelyn Thibault went down with an injury. "I've grown a year older and I'm more experienced. I played a lot last season and that's going to help me this year." He said he's hoping to be more consistent this season, noting that it's "difficult to be perfect every single game." "I think if you want to be a good No. 1 goaltender, that's the most important thing," said Sorel, Que., native. "If you can, every night, give your team a chance to win, it's the best thing you can do."
more

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“New Jersey” Debut

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The Sabres, after all, were debuting new uniforms which feature a stylized buffalo and, for the folks consulting programs, numbers on the right chest. This week, an Internet headline labelled the new get-ups "controversial." And they are — as long as you're using "controversial" to mean "yet another abomination to sporting aesthetics." The update is ugly on a lot of levels. The team claims it transports the colour scheme back to the expansion-era roots of blue and gold. But the blue is ultra-navy, bordering on black. And the particular hue of banana — which turns the brush-stroke logo into a Day-Glo eyesore — hasn't been employed so offensively since the man with the yellow hat stole Curious George from the jungle and spun it as a favour to the monkey. Add it up and the combination waddles suspiciously like a Penguin.
more

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Nashville Has One Goal- The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nashville City Paper,

The disappointments of last season are driving the Nashville Predators in training camp. Members of last year’s team took it hard when they failed to advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. “We did a lot of great things last year except the thing that was the most important, and that was to win in the playoffs,” Predators winger Steve Sullivan said. “We are going to be bigger and stronger this season. We have all the ingredients. Now it is a matter of going out and executing.”
continued

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Finger Pointing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The Vancouver Canucks and Todd Bertuzzi have turned on each other in the civil lawsuit launched by former NHL player Steve Moore.... Each side is pointing the finger at each other for whatever damages may be awarded -- and likely will be awarded -- in the civil action launched by the former Colorado player. The lawsuit -- now three-sided with the Moore family taking on Bertuzzi and the Canucks and the Canucks and Bertuzzi taking on each other -- is apparent in Statements of Defence filed by attorneys representing both the team and Bertuzzi in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice earlier this month.
read on

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More Tests For Colaiacovo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Injured Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo remains unable to shake concussion-like symptoms that resurfaced Friday during an uptempo training camp skate. Sources tell TSN Colaicovo is still suffering from a "slight" headache and won't be pushed by the team for precautionary measures.
continued

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Waiting For AO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

A couple of weeks ago, I waited for Alex Ovechkin. We were supposed to meet at 7:30 p.m., but a late flight and photo shoot gone long set the meeting back a couple of hours.... Ovechkin arrives at the hotel in a bright pink t-shirt that reads "Love Metal" and jeans with ripped patches. He apologizes for being late, even though it's not his fault, and makes sure his newly acquired, signed Sidney Crosby jersey is taken care of. Then he is ready to go. He is visibly tired, but he sits down and never mentions that he has plans or would like to be somewhere else. But I know better. It's a little past 9:30 p.m. He's a 20-year-old professional athlete in Manhattan. He must know someone in New York City and, even if he doesn't, he has plans. He better. But still, he doesn't rush. He doesn't look at his watch. He works hard to find the right English words to answer the questions. And sometimes, it seems, he works hard to keep from saying too much or something that might be misinterpreted.
more

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Balsillie Not Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via 680News,

Balsillie's speech was peppered with references to sports and hockey, including a nod to Wayne Gretzky winning his first Stanley Cup. However, when asked to confirm a report that he was a front-runner to buy NHL team the Pittsburgh Penguins, he told the audience that he was giving a solid "no comment." Balsillie had previously denied the claim. "The problem is that if you say anything, then the next time somebody has something that has substance to it, and you say, 'No comment,' are they going to buy you? No," he said. "The problem is you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound in answering those kinds of highly speculative questions." Balsillie later told reporters that he won't attend a pre-season Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres, scheduled for Saturday at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum. Instead, he said he will be in Australia.

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Possible In-Season Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

With NHL training camps now in full swing and the new hockey season fast approaching, here's a look at the players from each club in the Eastern Conference who could become potential trade candidates throughout the 2006-07 season. ATLANTA THRASHERS: Vyacheslav Kozlov. He's hit the 20-plus goal mark nine times in his career, most recently in 2005-06. Still a valuable offensive performer but also an unrestricted free agent at season's end. Thrashers' management would prefer to retain him but the lure of free agency could be too strong for "Slava", which could spell a trade deadline deal if the Thrashers are out of the playoff picture by March.
read on for the rest of the East...

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A Hockey “Match”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Thrashers,

Two years ago Thrashers fan Andy Freeman got some startling news: his kidneys were failing and he was in need of a kidney transplant. He immediately began going to a clinic three times a week for hemodialysis, a three-to-four hour process that involved having his blood removed from his body, cleaned, and filtered back into his system. Time consuming and tiring - not to mention inconvenient for someone who works - hemodialysis was a temporary solution. After five months of it Andy switched to peritoneal dialysis, a procedure which could be done at home while he slept. Most importantly, as he put it with a laugh, it allowed him to eat and drink almost anything he wanted, as long as he watched his sodium intake.
continued

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