Kukla's Korner

Jax To Hire Hitchcock Or Andy Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from TSN's Bob McKenzie:

The Columbus Blue Jackets search for a new head coach is down to a two-man race and a decision should be made by mid-week. Sources tell TSN that the only two considerations, at this point, are former Philadelphia Flyer Ken Hitchcock and former Los Angeles King Andy Murray. Hitchcock was in Columbus for a full day of meetings with ownership and management on Sunday. Sources say Murray will arrive in Columbus tonight and go through the full day of meetings tomorrow. It's expected that Blue Jackets' general manager Doug MacLean will make a recommendation to ownership by Wednesday. At that point, the only obstacle to hiring the new head coach will be agreeing to a new contract.
concluded

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Picture It- 600 Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sports Illustrated has some great, individual pictures of the players in the 600 goal club. image

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364 Days Later, Fisch’s Discusses His Fresh Start

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from ESPN's Scott Burnside:

It was a matter of seconds; in the course of a lifetime as a grain of sand is to a beach. But in that moment, Jiri Fischer and the life that he had known ceased to exist. In its place has emerged a man who is different, that much is clear. But what is equally clear is that this Jiri Fischer is not just different, he's better and happier than ever before. "It really changed my life for the better. I haven't been this lucky in my life," Fischer told ESPN.com. "It was an experience that made my life better. I was able to learn things about my body at age 25 instead of age 60. "Right now, many people come up to me and they feel sorry for me. They say, 'How are you doing? I hope you can play one day.' I say, I hope I can get healthy one day." Fischer, now 26, is sitting in the quiet of the media workroom in the bowels of Joe Louis Arena. One of the oldest rinks in the NHL, Joe Louis throbs with a perpetual hum that muffles the sounds of Fischer's teammates as they practice a short walk away. The team has defied skeptics and is off to a good start as it once again pursues the Stanley Cup. Fischer, though, is pursuing something more elusive: answers to his near-death experience and a new course for his second chance at life. "I died. I died and I was brought back," he said.
continued

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Hockey History

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One of the fastest moving professional sports was founded this week in 1917, at a meeting in Canada. At the time, the National Hockey League was made up of two teams from Montreal, one from Ottawa and one from Quebec. There were many changes in the early years, and at one point, the NHL was down to only three teams. The first American team admitted to the league was Boston in 1924. Two years later, the Stanley Cup came under the control of the NHL - the oldest trophy in North America for professional athletic competition.

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Giving Babcock His Due…And Plenty Of Rope

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Buried in the comments of this post are these words from W2J2:

Kopecky is consistently pounding the boards. Hudler is good on the puck, knows where to be on the ice, gives a hit, and can take one, too. Filpulla is a natural. Cleary is amazing. He was a star scorer in the minor leagues, and now look at him score after years playing checking forward in the big show. One other thing: Lilja was kicking butt Saturday night. Listen guys, a lot of this player development is happening because of Mike Babcock.
A homer, you say. A typical A2Y reader so biased for the Wings that he's blinded to the pitfalls that lay ahead, like...the implosion perhaps?. Not quite.

Continue Reading »

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PSA- Get A Lappy Shirt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Help give to charity while showing your support of one of the most likable players in the NHL, Colorado Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere (“Lappy”) by purchasing an “It’s All About Lappy” t-shirt. All proceeds from this project, started by a fan in Los Angeles, go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities at Laperriere’s request. In just a few short months, over $1000 has been raised, and shirts have been sent to fans all over the US, Canada and Europe. Visit www.itsallaboutlappy.com for more information.

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One Game At A Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

The Flyers want to sign Forsberg to a long-term deal before he hits the free-agent market, but insiders tell Sportsnet that Forsberg is content to take it one game at a time for now. The hesitancy is thought to be a ploy on Forsberg's part to see exactly where the team is going over the next little while. If it looks like it will right itself and become a Cup contender again, well, a long-term deal makes sense, but if the current chaos prevails, it might be time for the 36-year old to play the field. This is likely to resolve itself by the first of the year. If the Flyers are a team on the move, Forsberg will listen to their offers. If not, look for general manager Paul Holmgren to start shopping Forsberg in an effort to get something for him before he's able to walk away.
more... catch other NHL news too, plus an opening feature on Mike Babcock...

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Missing the Senators of Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Wayne Scanlan in the Ottawa Citizen,

In this season of fan unrest, the Senators and their management are being blamed for everything but the rain in the sky and the results on election night. Second-guessing is rampant, revisionist history is the new curriculum. To hear some people tell it, the Senators would have won a couple of Stanley Cups by now if they had just hung onto a few precious pieces of their talent. The reality of a salary cap world is that all teams are losing players to free agency, forced to choose one player over another.
Continued...

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Budaj Challenging Theodore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Though Theodore is being paid like a No. 1 goalie, he has not always played like one. In 13 games, he is 5-6-1 with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .898 saves percentage. Budaj is 4-3-1 with a 2.03 GAA and a .929 saves percentage. One of his losses came in relief after Theodore allowed five goals in the first two periods of an eventual 6-5 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. "Every year is different. I don't try to look at the similarities (to 2005-06) or try to see what's going to happen next," said Budaj, whose GAA ranks third in the NHL. "Right now, coach and the staff have trust in me . . . and I'm very happy I could show them I'm worth the trust. Hopefully, they're going to trust me more and I keep playing as many games as possible."
more

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Behind the Mask

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

CBC's Kelly Hrudey, in the Calgary Herald:

Looking back, my No. 1 fault as an NHL goaltender was my temper when I played poorly. I remember in my first year of organized hockey, even at 12 years old, I was ruthless in my own self- evaluation. I had set standards for myself that were unapproachable. I wanted to be perfect - which is a quality - but a little leeway might have been nice. Years later in my pro career, I'm sure it took my wife, Donna, some getting used to when, after a bad game, I would be furious at myself in the car on the way home. Granted, I always calmed down about 20 minutes later.
Continued...

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