Kukla's Korner

Sunday Odds and Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Couple of interesting quotes from Chris Chelios on WDFN regarding the Williams/Torres situation. Among them were , "it's not over yet;" a reference to the fact that the Wings have two more games (regular season) with Edmonton and this situation has yet to be resolved by the players. Chelios also tells a story of Williams showing up at the rink the next morning, in scrubs, with dried blood in his hair. Listen to the entire interview here. Bruce MacLeod, a quality deep digger with the Macomb Daily Tribune, has some views on the Torres hit. Pretty strong views.

Raffi Torres was not finishing his check. Not this past Wednesday night, not when he knocked Jason Williams unconscious, not when he expressed afterwards that it was part of the physical nature of hockey. Not a chance.
MacLeod believes Torres had Danny Markov's hit on Jared Stoll (from two weeks prior) in mind when he drilled Williams. Dan Cleary is on fire. Well, for a Red Wing he is. The empty netter he scored Friday against Bubba was his fourth of the year and leaves him just behind Zetterberg and Lang for the team lead. According to the Detroit Free Press, the logical explanation is that his mom's in town.
"She always brought good luck," Cleary said of his mother. "I said it before she got here, I would score when she got here." Babcock apparently has a plan to keep Cleary going when his mother leaves town. "I told Drapes to make sure he gives him a big hug every day from now on," Babcock joked.
Oh yes, an implosion is on the way. That lockerroom is in utter disarray. Dave Lewis is having a tough go of it in Boston. It's tough to see because he's a nice guy. But it's not exactly surprising because, well, he's a nice guy. Milford Daily News
Lewis knows a thing or two about winning teams, and about turning around a moribund franchise. He served as an assistant and later head coach in Detroit, where the Red Wings rose from basement dweller to champion. "I came to Detroit when they were called the Dead Wings and I left when they were finished winning three Cups," said Lewis.
Yes, they did Dave. I'm thinking Scotty Bowman may have had something to do with that. Terry Frei writes this morning about Patrick Roy, and the swagger he brought with him. According to Frei two of the most memorable press conferences he ever covered featured Roy. He mentions Roy's reply to Jeremy Roenick when he said his ears were plugged with Stanley Cups as one, and Roy's open challenge to the Red Wings in '97 as the other.
I'll never forget that news conference on an off day when they were down, and they were struggling. He walked into a room in a hotel there and basically challenged the Red Wings to beat him by himself. He sounded like he should have been in 'Animal House,' giving the speech John Belushi made.
Yep, we fondly recall that too. A blog we like, The Puck Stops Here, believes there is one clear pick for MVP of this young season.
Nicklas Lidstrom leads the NHL in +/- with a +17 rating. He has 14 points in 16 games and has been a power on the Red Wings blueline for almost 26 minutes a game. That is why I pick Nicklas Lidstrom as the MVP of the season to date.

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“He’s got an office and everything.”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Steve Yzerman is making the transition from player to executive. And those around him, his former teammates and his newly-found peers, are watching the adjustment with some amusement.

"Yeah, he's got an office and everything," said Wings winger Kirk Maltby. Yzerman is a vice-president with the club after spending more than two decades as captain in Detroit. "I think he's getting the idea what being a general manager is all about, the time commitment ... I think I may have talked him out of it," laughed current Wings GM Ken Holland, who welcomed the retired Detroit captain into the management club a few months ago to mentor him along with longtime Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.
More from the Edmonton Journal.

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Despite Sell-Outs - Buffalo May Lose Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

These are giddy times for the Buffalo Sabres, sitting atop the Northeast Division standings and poised to sell out every seat for all 41 home games. The cold slap in the face comes in the profit-loss standings. The Sabres figure to have a difficult time breaking even this season, even with an extended playoff run. The culprit: The Sabres increased their payroll by $12 million. Even a yearlong sellout won't be enough extra tickets to cover half that amount.
continued

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Blackhawks In Serious Trade Discussions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

Tallon's defensive responses to the fans' demands for new players were revealing. Here are some of them: ''Obviously we're trying to make some trades that make sense for the future. We're not going to trade for a Band-Aid. It would have to be a player that will fit into our future scheme.'' ''We are not waiting to make moves to upgrade the roster. A lot of teams are still not in a position to give up on a certain player. We know what we need and have been in serious discussions with a lot of teams as far as moving a young D-man [presumably defensemen Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Jim Vandermeer or Lasse Kukkonen] for some offense. But we also don't lose sight of the fact that our young D-men are the future of this franchise.''
more

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Are The Avs Interested In Foppa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Is something brewing between the Avalanche and the Philadelphia Flyers? If not, why were Dave Brown, the Flyers' director of player personnel, and team scout Al Hill in attendance at Saturday night's Avs-Nashville game? The Avs don't play Philadelphia this season. The Predators do, on Nov. 29, so their presence no doubt had something to do with that. However, it is highly unusual for a team to have more than one scout at a game.
continued

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Yashin Stepping Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Explaining the difference from last season, Snow cited a play by Yashin in a 3-1 win Thursday in Philadelphia that snapped a two-game losing streak and sent the Islanders into a five-day schedule break on a positive note. Sami Kapanen ran Yashin into the boards, and he made sure to return the favor in spades. "To me, that play showed me he's more determined and that he's playing like a man possessed," Snow said of Yashin. "He made a point to track Kapanen down on the ice, not once, but twice, and buried him. Yash isn't just doing it with his goals or assists. He's leading by example by finishing his checks and playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. When he brings that to the table, it makes him a dominant player."
more

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Decision For Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Buffalo Sabres are likely going to make a choice next summer that has the potential to backfire on them. Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, who share the captaincy with the Sabres, are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in the off-season. Yes, the Sabres are focused on winning a Stanley Cup, but you can be guaranteed Briere and Drury are going to want raises from Buffalo GM Darcy Regier next summer.
continued

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Stop The Hits To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

For the longest time Williams looked like a man in the grip of death. He was lying face up on the ice, but he was motionless. His arms didn't move, nor did his legs or even his hands. There was a growing pool of blood beneath his skull, and it was getting larger even in the moments when the trainers first rushed to his aid. For the longest time Williams had the look of death on his face, blood everywhere, eyes motionless and glazing over. You could see the fear freezing on his face. It went on that way for a long time, even as the frantically calm first responders fitted him to a body board and a head immobilizer and carefully lifted him into an ambulance that had backed up to the Zamboni entrance. You could feel it in the silence of the crowd. They didn't know if Williams was alive, dead or dying before their eyes and they were afraid. And you want to tell me that's a part of the game?
read on

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You Go First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The great thinkers of the NHL convened in a Cooper-mini last summer and decided to give home coaches the option this year of going first or last in the penalty-shot skills competition that, by the way, already is wearing pretty thin as entertainment in its second go-round. Through Thursday night's games, home-team coaches actually had chosen to go first in 22 of the 32 shootouts. Their teams had gone 9-13. Home teams going second, meanwhile, were 8-2. Let's forget psychology for a moment. Let's instead deal with, oh, I don't know, facts.
more... and Brooks wants to know why Duff is going into the HHOF while others are not, plus questions why the NHL commercials are being run during hockey games...
Wouldn't it make more sense for the NHL to buy time, say, on NFL telecasts, to run that spot?

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NFL Style Trade Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel quoting Jaques Martin on the lack of trades,

"I'm wondering if since the [salary] cap has been brought whether we're not going to a direction that's close to the National Football League," Martin said, referring to the rarity of trades in-season. "You may see scenarios where you'll see a lot more trades in the offseason, at the draft. "Every team has their own budget and cap to work with. What happens, once you fill up your roster, you have to work with your people. It's not like in the past where if you weren't happy with a guy or you had an injury, you could go and get somebody. Now it makes it more difficult. It's the same for every team, almost."
more

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