Kukla's Korner

Just As Planned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Everything is going exactly as the National Hockey League planned, if not as it wanted. Another arena rocks with the renewed excitement of playoff hockey, and two small-market teams are playing here in late May, a time long reserved for their big-market brothers. The N.H.L., looking for a comeback, is left to wonder: How long and sweeping is this radius of intrigue? The league fought for years to ensure the success of small-market teams. And now that it has found the formula, the timing could not be worse.
more

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Ottawa Talking To Hasek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,

Don't rule out the return of "The Dominator" to the Ottawa Senators next season. Ritch Winter, the Edmonton-based agent for Senators goalie Dominik Hasek, confirmed to Sun Media yesterday he has held talks with Senators general manager John Muckler about coming back to Ottawa next year. "(Muckler) and I continue to discuss the possibility of Dominik Hasek completing the job for which he came to Ottawa. (Hasek) desires to do just that," Winter wrote in an e-mail.
more

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Who Is Missing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

There is something missing from the Stanley Cup semi-finals this year, although only the most knowledgeable National Hockey League fans might have noticed. Gone are the meticulously maintained coiffures of Kerry Fraser and two other veteran referees, who had all been mainstays in the playoffs for most of the last 15 years. Fraser, Dan Marouelli and Don Koharski did not make the cut last week when the NHL's director of officiating, Stephen Walkom, picked the nine referees to work the conference finals. Walkom said his decisions were based strictly on performance. He declined to discuss individual decisions.
continued Of course, you already knew that if you have been following along at Hockey Refs...

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Georges Wants To Score

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

The sheer ecstacy of scoring a goal, however, is better than a week on the beach for Laraque. So you can only imagine the reaction last night, when the player accused of waking up the Anaheim Mighty Ducks did his best to silence them in the second period, scoring just his third career playoff goal. As Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish quipped this week: "Somebody told me once that he could do more offensively. It was him." Ba-da-bing! "He's always wanted a coach who really valued his offensive contributions," MacTavish laughed. "Maybe he'll have to hire one himself."
read on

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NHL Is Not Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Opinion250 News,

So, why is the new brand of hockey not working? Under Bettman’s guidance, hockey has lost its rich tradition. Baseball, basketball, and football have tweaked their games, but have never overhauled the very core of their sports. Bettman’s “New” NHL has evolved into a circus type atmosphere. In addition, the new NHL has virtually eliminated the offensive attack. More often than not, the league has evolved into an all-star type game. Players are weaving, spinning, circling, but rarely do you see them shoot the puck in the corner, chase the defensemen and deliver that “punishing hit”.
more

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Ducks Ready

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CBC,

Anaheim defenceman Francois Beauchemin wouldn't mind if Edmonton tough guy Georges Laraque gestured to Oilers fans one more time Thursday night. "I think he [Laraque] pumped us up more than his own team," Beauchemin told CBC Sports Online following Thursday's morning skate. "We'll use that as motivation [for Game 4]." "We're confident we can win. We did some great things on Tuesday and could have won with a couple of bounces," said Beauchemin, who has one point in the series after collecting seven in Rounds 1 and 2. "We're going to take it game by game and work our way through it."
read on

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Shero Thrilled To Be In Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Ray Shero has helped build winners in Ottawa and Nashville. Now, he wants to construct another Stanley Cup contender in Pittsburgh. “I chose Pittsburgh for a number of reasons. First, the feel of the organization and the atmosphere. It just felt right to me and [my wife] Karen. The passion and excitement Mario [Lemieux] and Penguins President and CEO Ken [Sawyer] have for the city of Pittsburgh and making it work here, at the end of the day it really made me feel good. When I made the decision, there was a lot of joy. We are thrilled to be here.”
more

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Racism Exists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

I find it impossible to believe that anyone can say there is no racism in the National Hockey League, let alone someone who's comments are constrained by a company-imposed seven-second tape delay and who has been called to the carpet and rebuked in public by an executive vice president of Canada's national television network for ethnic comments deemed to be "inappropriate and reprehensible."
continued

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Home Grown Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

When the Dallas Stars first moved to Big D from Minnesota in 1993, David McKee's father Carl bought season tickets. The night of the Stars' first home game, 10-year-old McKee refused to go. "I wanted to hang out with my friends," the native of Midland, Texas, recalled. But his dad kept pestering him and essentially dragged young David to the second home game. It turned out to be a life-altering event for a young man who is now a shining example of how non-traditional hockey markets can, indeed, grow their own.
continued

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Sabres Dman Out With Broken Arm

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP & TSN,

Sabres defenceman Henrik Tallinder has a broken left arm and will miss the rest of the playoffs. Coach Lindy Ruff announced the news following practice Thursday, a day after Tallinder was hurt in Buffalo's 4-3 win over Carolina in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference final series.

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