Kukla's Korner

Avalanche Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

In 13 days, the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Oilers and 27 other NHL franchises will be able to go after free agents. With the salary cap increasing from $39 million to about $43 million, teams will have more breathing room - and, perhaps, increased margin for error. But past mistakes still can be costly. The Avalanche doesn't have to be as concerned with the salaries it will pay Pierre Turgeon, Patrice Brisebois and Brad May as the fact that sticking with them would take up three roster spots and lessen flexibility elsewhere.
continued

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Living With Taunts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

The taunts and jeers were crashing down over him in a relentless storm of ignorance, hate and bigotry. He heard words he knew could be directed only at him, the lone Ojibwa Indian on a tier II junior hockey team in Kenora, a map-dot town in western Ontario located just above Minnesota and right in the middle of a Ted Nolan nightmare. It was 1975. He was 17 years old. He had to get out of there.
continued

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Draft Will Have North America Flavor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The flavor of the 2006 NHL draft will be decidedly less continental. There are fewer elite Europeans available at the top end and, as the rounds go by Saturday in Vancouver’s GM Place, there will be fewer selected on the bottom end. Part of it is a cyclical downturn in available prospects on the other side of the Atlantic. Part of it is rules changes. Once again, welcome to the new NHL. A crackdown on clutching and grabbing has unleashed a fast and furious on-ice product. A salary cap has radically altered the economic landscape of the game. Now, it appears the collective bargaining agreement born of the lockout also will have an impact on the draft. "We’re all looking at European players a little differently than we did before," Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said.
continued

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HNIC Much Appreciated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Green of the Detroit News,

It could be that there is only one soul in all of the United States hooked on our finest import, smuggled over Lake St. Clair and across the Detroit River. From where Prohibition booze once was carted across to our shores by canny bootleggers, we now have Hockey Night in Canada. Our Canadian neighbors, in their bouts of insecurity, on the odd occasion have banned American publications. But we are free to watch the pictures and voice explanations wafted our way by Don Cherry and his friends on the Canadian Broadcasting Co.
continued...many of us living in "border town" cities have appreciated HNIC so much through the years. But, with the games in HD on NBC, well, I made the switch but still turn to CBC for the intermissions...

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The Cup Will Come Out Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News and Observer,

At the RBC Center in Raleigh, a little boy pressed the air out of his inflatable Stanley Cup, his head bowed. One fan waved a Hurricanes flag back and forth as fans filed out. Dan Chatman said he knew things were amiss from the first period. "They just looked terrible. They came out really flat and never got better," he said. But fans held out hope that the Canes will win Monday in the decisive Game 7. "The win will be here. The cup will come out in the next game," Lisa Seago said.
more

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What About Elias

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

So here are the most per tinent immediate ques tions to arise in the wake of reports out of the Czech Republic that impending free agent Patrik Elias has hired lifelong best friend Martin Havlat's agent, Allan Walsh, to represent him: 1. Would Elias will be willing to go to Ottawa for a relative discount if the Senators agree to a satisfactory long-term deal with right winger Havlat, who's eligible to hit the open market next summer? 2. Can the Senators convince prospective free-agent defensemen Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden to both take less to remain in Ottawa than each would command independently on the open market if doing so would allow the team to add Elias? 3. Would and/or could Lou Lamoriello keep Elias in New Jersey by pulling off a trade for Havlat then signing him to a long-term deal?
continued (reg. req.)

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Decision To Play Cole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

When asked if we were taking a risk in playing, Cole said: “The risk is going to be with me the rest of my life. My neck was broken three-and-a-half months ago. It's going to be this way. But I felt strong over the last several weeks on the ice. The coaching staff felt, as long as I thought I could get it done, that we could do this.” Cole said he didn't return to the Hurricanes' line-up as if he were going to be the “saviour” and conceded that had Weight not been injured, the idea of returning probably wouldn't have crossed his mind. Cole didn't like the fact that the Oilers' Ethan Moreau hit him hard in the third minute of play. “It was tough getting some sleep this afternoon,” said Cole. “I had a lot of anxiety, a lot of emotion. It's been a long process. I got to the rink and felt good and was excited. I felt good in warm-ups and on my shift. On that power play, I knew he (Moreau) was coming. It's not surprising that he was trying to head-hunt me a little bit.”
read on You can read Q & A with Cole after the game in the comment section...

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Dominated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Through one stretch Edmonton outshot Carolina 11-0 in the second period. And that was following a 10-3 job in the first. In the end, the Oilers outshot the Hurricanes 34-16, outhit them 23-11, blocked 20 shots to Carolina's eight and had the edge in the faceoff circle. "Five-on-five we continue to dominate,'' said Peca. And physically they've taken a toll. It's the physical end of it, more than what was up on the scoreboard, which had hockey people looking at each other with their eyebrows raised. "You could see it on the second goal, I thought. Glen Wesley was hesitant to go for the puck,'' said Peca of setting up Torres. "Taking a physical toll was something we've been trying too force all playoffs long,'' said Chris Pronger.
more

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Talking After Game 6

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hurricane coach Peter Laviolette...

Q. How do you regain your form for Game 7 now that you lost two in a row? COACH LAVIOLETTE: What are the options really? You know what I mean? There's one game left for the Stanley Cup, and it's in our building. No place we would rather be. We won an awful lot of games there this year. We need to get rid of this game. We looked like we didn't have our legs, we didn't compete very well in the battles, which is disappointing. We have a lot of veteran players in that locker room and a veteran defense, and we just seemed to be off a step, or maybe two.
more in the comment section... added 11:53pm, Now MacTavish's turn...
Q. Can you be better on Monday night? COACH MacTAVISH: Well, I think we have to be. And, you know, it's the game of hockey and you know, in the game of hockey you really have to dominate the opposition to ensure a win. And they are going to try and do the same to us, but we're going to try and get better and improve upon our game tonight. You don't want to -- neither team wants to let a bad break or bad bounce lose a game for them, so you have to have a dominant performance and both teams will be looking for that. We'll be looking for a similar performance.
read on in the comments...

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Get Ready For Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The season that will not end continues. Game 7 in Raleigh Monday night after Edmonton defeated Carolina 4-0. Don't foget to watch the post game interviews provided by NHL.com. image photo/AP

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