Kukla's Korner

Surgery Possible For Bertuzzi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel,

Panthers winger Todd Bertuzzi is considering surgery on his lower back and will make a decision by the end of this week, his agent, Pat Morris, said Tuesday. Morris said Bertuzzi has received two epidurals to subdue pinching pain that has spread from near a disc in his back down to his buttocks and right leg. Neither was effective.
continued

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The San Jose Pumpkins?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Actually, the Sharks are running an auction for charity on these one of a kind sweaters. image

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Home Depot Relationship Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (November 1, 2006) - The National Hockey League today announced the renewal of a multiyear agreement with The Home Depot Canada, the country’s largest home improvement retailer. "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with The Home Depot Canada, which, through innovative and unique programs, has allowed hockey fans across the country to demonstrate their great passion for the game," said Ed Horne, President, NHL Enterprises. "I am sure our loyal fans will continue to enjoy and participate in the unique promotions that The Home Depot Canada has planned to celebrate the game of hockey.” “Our partnership with the NHL is such a natural fit for us. Our customers and our associates, like all Canadians, are in love with the game of hockey,” said Annette Verschuren, president of The Home Depot Canada. “Partnering with the League has provided our company with so many ways to be innovative in the marketplace, and we plan to leverage both our brands to bring more exciting opportunities to customers and hockey fans alike.”

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Message From Above

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Flames GM Darryl Sutter has a message for his struggling offensive players: Find your top-end form immediately or youngsters may be taking your place in the lineup. "Their record and their performances speak for themselves. I've seen them play four of nine (games)," Sutter said as Flames players trickled out of the dressing room for their three-game road trip beginning tonight. "The one thing you know for sure about those kids is they're winners and they're good competitors and that's not something they've learned in the last two weeks. "The adjustment they (must) make as first-year players playing pro hockey is to become good pro players. At the same time, they're very similar players to some of our high-end players in here, so if somebody's struggling here, their opportunity should be now."
more

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Side Bet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hopefully KK readers can help with this email request I received yesterday...

Perhaps you can help. I'm a baseball fan and enjoy the game of mound-ball when watching a ball game. keeps my guests entertained ... each puts a buck into play and if the ball at the end of the inning rests on the dirt of the mound, the holder of the pot wins. I hope you might know of some similar fun for hockey games. thanks.
So, do you participate in any such "hockey games" or know of anything this person can do to add a little more excitement to the game?

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The “Faces” Of The Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Foster of the LA Times,

The face of the Pittsburgh Penguins seems to be evolving, with new profiles being added every week. The team has banked on a young-guns approach, on the ice and in its marketing campaign, plastering the hearts and minds of local fans with what amounts to a senior class photo. Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Whitney and Colby Armstrong were first to strike the pose, appearing on the media guide cover and billboards with the slogan "Experience the Evolution."
continued (reg. req.)

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Pushing E. Staal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

With seven goals in the past eight games and four in the past three going into tonight's game against the Atlanta Thrashers, Staal is close to his pace from last season, when he scored 45 goals and added 55 assists. Still, that's not good enough for Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette. "I thought last game his legs looked really good," Laviolette said. "Obviously he has a terrific stride, but I think when he has the juice in his legs, he's really powerful with it. You could notice that last game. Points, we need him to push the points. We need him to want to be better than he was last year. "You constantly have to push yourself, and he's the type of kid -- a young kid with a lot of skill -- he shouldn't settle for last year's numbers. He should push for more than that."
read on

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Rangers Need To Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Changes are necessary. The defense is a shambles without Henrik Lundqvist erasing all of the blunders. The forwards aren't collectively good enough without Jaromir Jagr consistently dominating. The team is far too slow on its feet and in moving the puck. It appears that change is coming. The Post has learned that the Rangers and Blackhawks are engaged in serious trade talks. As was reported in this space yesterday, Chicago pro scout Marc Bergevin has been tailing the Blueshirts from coast to coast. Last night, the Rangers were scheduled to send two of their personnel people to the Coliseum to scout the Blackhawks against the Islanders. Sources have told The Post that the name of veteran Chicago defenseman Jassen Cullimore has been prominently mentioned, but at the same time, informants confirm that the Blackhawks are mighty interested in Petr Prucha. The Rangers obviously aren't trading a promising 24-year-old winger coming off a 30-goal rookie season for a 33-year-old fourth or fifth defenseman.
more

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Boring Rivals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

It was some brilliant work by Gary Bettman and his boys to avoid banning fighting altogether, and instead change the rules so that fighting would simply die a death of attrition over time. Honestly -- the game hasn't been this good in years. What has happened as a result however, is that the rivalries we've grown up on have become a casualty of the new NHL. Why are players and fans bored of seeing the same divisional opponent eight times per season? It's simple: familiarity no longer breeds contempt the way it used to. Teams used to brawl, which carried the excitement into the next game, and the next one. And, in the old divisional playoff system, rivals met each other every other spring like clockwork, intensifying the relationship.
more

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Clutching And Grabbing Over The Crackdown

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

Support among the media for the obstruction-free National Hockey League game appears to be slipping, at least among some commentators. Greeted with enthusiasm a year ago, the league's zero tolerance for hooking, holding and interference is now raising questions and producing critics. "It's a myth that today's hockey is entertaining," co-host Bill Watters said on AM640 Toronto's Leafs Lunch program yesterday. Most of the complaints are over what are called phantom calls, or, as Ron MacLean of Hockey Night In Canada describes them, "chintzy calls."
continued

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