Kukla's Korner

Miller Wants A Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Thing is, Miller insists he's not concerned with The Dominator's aura. Rather than chasing ghosts, he is more interested in tracking down something that has proven just as ethereal in Buffalo: a world championship. And at least for tonight, when the Sabres play Hasek's Detroit Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena, Miller will be preoccupied with attaining another elusive feat. For once in the NHL the former Michigan State star would like to beat his hometown team. "I've had two cracks at it and they smacked me around," said Miller, who is 0-2 with a 5.64 goals-against average and .766 save percentage against Detroit. "I want to go in there and get a victory against these guys and keep this team going where we need to go."
more

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It’s Early

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

Of 15 offensive categories on the NHL stats package, nine of the early leaders are Europeans. They've even infiltrated the rookie ranks, where you can't tie your dog [Lasse Kukkonen] to a Pole [Wojtek Wolski] without finding some guy named Alexander Suglobov or Loui [Satchmo] Eriksson. This deep into the season, it's obvious: The Calder Trophy will go to Anze Kopitar, the Los Angeles Kings draft pick who hails from Slovenia. There, hockey is so scarcely played that one in four registered players makes Slovenia's national team. (And still they wouldn't pick Rob Zamuner). But it's early, right? The Kopitar kid can't keep on averaging 21 minutes and scoring two points per game, can he?
read on

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Go Kolnik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers announced today a pair of special in-game promotions for their upcoming game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, October 13. The Cats have partnered with Hooters to give fans 13 free chicken wings if RW Juraj Kolnik (#13) scores a goal in tomorrow nights game versus Tampa Bay. In addition, one lucky fan seated in one of the BankAtlantic Center’s seat 13’s will receive two tickets to attend the Guns N’ Roses concert at the BankAtlantic Center on Oct. 24.

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Early Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While the NHL schedule is less than 10 days old, the heat is already being turned up with some teams off to slow starts. You can bet trade talks are going to heat up in the next week. "I would say by the end of next week you're going to have teams calling around trying to see what's available because they're not where they should be," said an NHL executive yesterday. "You can't afford to wait until you've played 20 games before you make changes. It's all about making the playoffs now and if teams want to stay in the race they're going to have to decide pretty quickly what they're going to do." Most eyes are on the Phoenix Coyotes. The club is coming off a 9-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings with goalie Curtis Joseph taking the brunt of the shellacking.
read on

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Boring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Yes, the Canucks should celebrate their status as the most boring team in the NHL because, Lord knows, the national pundits couldn't get this wrong. So for the next game, all fans should wear grey flannel suits and go nuts when the Canucks ice the puck. Or cheer like madmen every time they retreat into the neutral zone. Maybe the old Canucks were more entertaining to watch, but this team opens up all kinds of new and exciting opportunities under Alain Vigneault. "People who are saying that don't have any idea of what the trap is or how the game is played," said Canucks GM Dave Nonis. "Not being able to put the puck in the net is a lot different from trapping."
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That Hurts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Montreal Gazette,

A diehard Montreal Canadiens fan has had some of his possessions seized and sold at auction to pay civil damages resulting from a fight 21 years ago with a Quebec Nordiques supporter. A court ordered the seizure of Edgar Grenier's assets after he had paid only $3,000 of the $33,200 in civil damages he was ordered to pay the victim in 1993. Grenier, who received no criminal penalty, ended up owing Alain Jacques $92,500 because of interest.
continued

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NHL’s CBA Murky About “Dangerous” Pursuits

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Globe and Mail:

Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the National Hockey League, said hockey's standard contract prohibits players "from engaging in other dangerous sports," but piloting can be negotiated individually. The Montreal Canadiens' Alexei Kovalev, for instance, is a licensed flyer, and the Habs do not stand in his way. "The way it works is you're responsible for everything you do in your life," Kovalev told the Associated Press. He goes to a safety school every year and constantly upgrades his ratings. The Vancouver Canucks have an "extraordinary danger" provision in their player contracts. Skydiving, mountain climbing and other rugged outdoor pursuits are covered, but not specifically piloting a plane, general manager Dave Nonis indicated. "It's open for interpretation," Nonis said. "I've never heard of issues over piloting."

Continue Reading »

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Increasing Revenues In PA’s “Interest”

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Globe and Mail:

Everyone in the hockey world, the media included, seems to get itself all worked up over the word escrow. The sooner we all learn to accept it as a part of the new-world NHL, the better. That’s the message the NHL Players’ Association has for its constituents. After dealing with a frenzy of player speculation and paranoia concerning escrow last year, the PA is basically telling players to relax and deal with it. After all, it’s nearly impossible to predict where revenues are going to be in any given year, so the PA is telling players that each year either the players will be giving money back to the NHL or the NHL will be giving money back to them.
The NHLPA has a very vested interest in making sure the NHL "gives money back" to them each year:
Another misconception about the CBA is that the players receive 54 per cent of revenues. But that’s only if revenues fall under $2.2 billion. Should the league be wildly successful and make more than that this season, the players would get 55 per cent of revenues from $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion. That goes to 56 per cent for revenues from $2.4 billion to $2.78 billion and 57 per cent for anything exceeding $2.78 billion.
continued

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There Is Only One “Little Ball Of Hate”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am listening to the JT the Brick radio show tonight and JT was talking about a Ft. Worth sports reporter who had the guts to question Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells today. She is now being referred to as the "Little Ball of Hate". I called in, off the air, and stated there is only one person who deserves that name- Pat Verbeek. The person who answered the phone asked me, "Is he some sort of hockey player?". I stated he is a retired NHL player with over 500 goals and went on to explain how he earned his nickname. The call screener wasn't impressed and said thanks for the call...click! added 11:36pm, Found the fake, "Little Ball of Hate"! image image

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Waiting For Offensive Explosion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

"As far as we're going to win, it's not a big deal," Kovalchuk said. "I don't think we'll start losing, but it's my job to score goals. I should keep working. I have my chance every night. For some reason, it didn't go in. It's OK, it's only four games. ... Last year, I didn't play the first three and I didn't score the first two. It's the same picture. But this year I'm plus-3 now. I'm playing much better defensively." Because of Kovalchuk's defense – yes, defense, formerly an oxymoron when the word was placed next to his name — coach Bob Hartley is saying that Kovalchuk is playing his best hockey since Hartley's arrival in January 2003. "He's working, he's hitting, he's back-checking," Hartley said. "He's getting chances, they're just not going in. He plays the way we need him to play. It's just a matter of time."
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