Kukla's Korner

Inline Big In The Triangle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Just about all the inline hockey players in Morrisville this weekend could tell you about the puzzled looks they get when describing their sport. "When you explain it to people they usually say, 'Um, OK,' " said Emily Smith, 14, a defensewoman who plays for the Central Carolina Hockey Wildcats. "Then they see it, and they say how cool it is." Inline hockey looks just like ice hockey, only it's played at roller skating rinks by people gliding around on high-tech wheels instead of blades. The Triangle boasts one of the larger inline hockey junior programs in the country, with about 30 top-flight teams.
continued

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Bad Logos

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

James Mirtle is thinking bad logos...

In light of the official unveiling of the Buffaslug to the world, I’d like to offer a service to reassure Sabres fans that, no, it’s not that bad. And, yes, it could be worse. Oh so much worse. Here’s a look at some of the worst hockey logos of all time. (And please don’t hold me responsible for any resulting queasiness you experience while viewing this Gallery of the Damned.)
continued image

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Time Running Out On Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The Devils payroll presently sits at just under the $44 million cap, but the club still must re-sign forward Brian Gionta and defensemen Paul Martin and David Hale. GM Lou Lamoriello obviously wants to re-sign those three but still needs to slash payroll to absorb those salaries and stay under the cap by opening of the 2006-07 season, little more than two weeks away. Naturally this situation has given rise to plenty of wild trade speculation, usually involving Gionta and his linemate Scott Gomez, who was awarded a one-year, $5 million contract via arbitration this summer and is eligible for UFA status next summer. It's possible one or the other could get traded, but I think it's also unlikely. The signs seem to indicate Lamoriello is looking at a different solution.
read on

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Phoenix A Great Fit For Jovanovski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Ed Jovanovski had millions of reasons to want to be a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, but the five-year contract worth $32.5 million he signed to join Wayne Gretzky's hockey team isn't at the top of the list. Jovanovski, 30, who had his pick of teams to sign with when he became an unrestricted free agent July 1, says Gretzky and GM Mike Barnett are trying to build a contender in Arizona, and he wants in on the ground floor. The money and the weather is a bonus.
continued

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NHL Back In The Maritimes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chronicle Herald,

...as promoters put the finishing touches on three upcoming exhibition games in Halifax — Pittsburgh against Ottawa on Tuesday night, Boston against the New York Islanders on Saturday and Toronto against Ottawa on Sunday — their only concern is that all three games sell out. The Leafs-Senators tilt has been sold out for a while. The Islander-Bruin game was about 95 per cent sold out on Friday. The Pittsburgh-Ottawa contest has been drawing most of the attention, not only locally where Cole Harbour’s Sidney Crosby has become such a sports hero, but also abroad, where he’s regarded as perhaps the best young face to sell the NHL. Fox television is broadcasting the Pittsburgh game in Halifax and one from Moncton. The NHL Network is also picking them up. "Of all the exhibition games I’ve done, I’ve never (had to be) worried about television," said local promoter John Graham, who is partnering with Power Promotional Concepts to bring five NHL exhibition contests to Moncton and Halifax. "The Crosby game is more of an event here than a hockey game."
read on

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Barnaby Brings It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Morning News,

Barnaby, a free agent signee with the Stars, is among the elite when it comes to NHL theatrics. Rivaling Jeremy Roenick and Sean Avery for entertainment value, Barnaby celebrates goals by slamming into the glass, taunts fellow fighters by laughing at them while exchanging punches and sends barbs through the media to opposing players. Of course, he sometimes goes a bit far. He once threatened to take a run at his own goalie Dominik Hasek – after he blamed Hasek for getting coach Ted Nolan fired. He was fined $25,000 for a pregame skirmish with goalie John Vanbiesbrouck. And he was suspended five games for a hallway battle with Eric Cairns after leaving a game. "He is who he is, and you realize that when you get him," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "But I think who he is can be very helpful to your hockey team." Make no mistake, Barnaby is an acquired taste. Brett Hull, the former Stars winger now working in the front office, put it this way: "If he's on the other team, you hate him. If he's on your team, you love him."
read on

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Bruins Welcome Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hartford Courant,

"It feels like building a whole new organization," Peter Chiarelli, the new general manager charged with shepherding the remake, said this week. "It's been very, very busy the past month, a lot of everyone getting to know each other. We have been meeting with our coaching staff, our scouts, our organization people and now the players. It's exciting and good to get started on the ice." Some die-hardfans no doubt believe the changes are long overdue.
more

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Martin Has His Hands Full

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The new-look Panthers include that eternal ray of sunshine Todd Bertuzzi, the former Vancouver Canucks power forward who received his desperately needed change of scenery in the big Roberto Luongo deal last June. There is also volatile former Toronto Maple Leaf Ed Belfour in goal, coming off a serious back injury, trying to squeeze one more season out of his ultrafit but breaking down 41-year-old body. Then there is Gary Roberts, another ex-Leaf, who requested a trade back to Toronto last spring so that he could be closer to his teenage daughter. He didn't get his wish and is back patrolling the left side and dispensing advice and guidance to the Panthers' young, emerging talent. It'll be left to Jacques Martin, the former Ottawa Senators' coach, to sort it all out. Martin will need to be part coach and part master psychologist to weave this disparate group into a cohesive team, and he'll need to do it in a year when he's also added the general manager's duties to his coaching portfolio.
read on

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Slow Start For Gerber

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Gerber, who was anointed the new saviour after being signed to a three-year, $11.1-million contract on July 1, didn't exactly look stellar with about 5,500 looking on during Senators Fanfest. While the former Carolina Hurricanes starter allowed four goals during the 30 minutes he spent in the net, everybody needs to remember it's September, not April. And Gerber wasn't alone. Backup Ray Emery didn't shine, either, while youngsters Kelly Guard and Jeff Glass also have work to do
more on the Sens...

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Don’t Doubt The Avs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

"It was like that last year a little bit, people doubting us," Sakic said. "But it's how you come together as a team, and we're going to have a lot of guys that surprise people. We're going to have a good, exciting team again. We've got to try to jell quickly, because we've got a lot of new faces. We're going to work on that in training camp." "The game last year was great, and the playoffs were exciting, up-and-down hockey," he said. "I don't think we're tinkering with too many rules now, and so there won't be an adjustment period for anybody. It's going to take off right away, and the game is going in a great direction."
more

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