Kukla's Korner

Pressure On Turco

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Telegram,

The pressure on Turco, the team's highest-paid player at $6 million this season, is immense. General manager Doug Armstrong made Turco the team's "stake in the ground" with a four-year contract extension through the 2009-10 season. And though the goalie is the second-winningest NHL goalie over the past three regular seasons, three more postseasons like his past three would be unthinkably dire for the organization. The truth is, Turco probably wouldn't last that long in Dallas. But a strong season -- and more important, a superb postseason -- would restore Dallas' faith in the goalie. That's all he can hope for. "This is where I want to be," Turco said. "I don't want to go somewhere and pretend [the past two seasons] never happened."
more

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Cap Relief- Devils Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The New Jersey Devils' salary cap problems are rapidly diminishing. Sources tell TSN that an independent medical evaluation has determined that Alexander Mogilny's chronic hip condition makes him physically unfit to play and that when the Devils file their roster with the league Tuesday, they will be able to designate Mogilny as a Long-Term Injury.
continued added 9:05am, from Sportsnet,
The New Jersey Devils continued to inch closer to getting under the salary cap before the start of the 2006-07 by waiving right wing Grant Marshall. The 33-year-old veteran is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (New Jersey in 2003; Dallas in 1999) that spent parts of the last three NHL campaigns in 'The Swamp'. The move saves the Devils $760,000 in salary-cap space, but it also opens up a spot on the Devils' all-important checking line--along with Jay Pandolfo and John Madden (hernia), who is currently injured.

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Save A Career

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

A prospect in the Anaheim Ducks’ organization, Smith, 20, was a rookie defenseman for their top farm team, the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, when he was hit by the puck Feb. 24 in a game against the Manchester Monarchs. Surgeons could not save the eye, and he now wears a prosthetic. Seven months later, speaking by telephone from his home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Smith refused to consider that matters might have been different if he had been wearing a protective visor. “The worst thing for me to do would be to play the what-if game,” he said.
more

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How Important Is Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Province,

The premise, admittedly, is slightly absurd because to suggest goaltending isn't important in hockey is to suggest pitching isn't important in baseball or water isn't important in horticulture. But given the direction the game seems to be moving in the new NHL, it's fair to raise the question: Is goaltending as important as it was in the dead-puck era? It's a line of inquiry with profound implications for the NHL as a whole. But it's especially relevant to the Vancouver Canucks because they've opted to build their team around Roberto Luongo this season.
continued

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A Day In The Life…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Winsor of the Beacon,

I want to take you through a typical game day in the NHL, as seen through the eyes of a media person. The game in question was played Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., at the Pengrowth Saddledome, between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks. I arrived at the rink around 10 a.m. for the morning skates of both teams. My first stop after picking up credentials was the media lounge for a coffee and a chit chat with other members of the fifth estate, who were gathering for preliminary work prior to start time later in the evening.
continued...entertaining and informative read...

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Excitement On Every Shift With Brule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Sergei Fedorov, the ageing Russian star, injured his shoulder in the pre-season and will not be fit for game action for a few more weeks. That means Brule, all 19 years of him, is a prime candidate to start the season as the Blue Jackets No. 1 centre, with former Maurice Richard Trophy winner Rick Nash on his left wing, and David Vyborny on his right. "I've been thinking about that, and it's pretty crazy, actually," Brule says. "Watching those guys when I was in junior, and to then be on the ice with them, especially with them on my line, would be a privilege."
more

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The Bigger West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Welcome to the wild, wild West, where it appears the Sharks' acquisition of Joe Thornton from the East two months into last season has triggered rivals to add size on defense or at center this season. Dallas acquired Eric Lindros. Nashville added Jason Arnott. Phoenix nabbed Ed Jovanovski. Los Angeles got Rob Blake. But the one that had the league buzzing throughout the summer was Anaheim's deal to pilfer Chris Pronger from Edmonton, a move that puts two of the league's elite defensemen on the same blue line.
continued

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Just Guessing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CanWest via the Daily News,

Last season? Fuhgeddaboudit. The new NHL, preoccupied with post-lockout growing pains, rule-changes and teams discovering new identities as the massive personnel shifts took root, was immune to logic. Hands up, if you predicted Carolina, Buffalo, Edmonton and Anaheim as the NHL's final four, and the Hurricanes to win it all. So it is that the league's marketing department has come up with a new slogan to cover all eventualities, namely: Your Guess is as Good as Ours.
continued

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Bucci Believes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

I believe ... Sidney Crosby will win the Art Ross Trophy. Ilya Kovalchuk will win the Maurice Richard Trophy. Hockey is more vinyl than digital, and if we take any more sandpaper out of the game, the game will lose its soul. Cold rinks make for warm people. Kerry Fraser in a hockey helmet is just not right. You might as well put one on Bobby Orr. Jack Johnson should be able to do whatever Jack Johnson wants. I'm looking forward to this NHL season more than last NHL season. The Western Conference will look something like this-
read on

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Gionta Expects To Play In Opener

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,

Ongoing efforts by the New Jersey Devils to free up salary-cap space means Brian Gionta should be on the ice for their NHL opener on Friday. Gionta, coming off a 48-goal season, is a restricted free agent who remains unsigned because the Devils are at least $5 million over the $44 million salary cap. "I'm cautiously optimistic we could have it done (by today)," his agent, Steve Bartlett of Pittsford, said.

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