Kukla's Korner

Day-To-Day For Spezza

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Spezza has always been a stand-up guy, though not usually quite as literally as this. Invited to sit down for a brief interview, Spezza politely declines. To his painful right hip flexor, standing beats sitting; a straight leg trumps a bent one. On Tuesday, when the Ottawa Senators flew home from Denver, Spezza stood for much of the flight, receiving treatment to try to keep the hip from tightening up. The day before tonight's game at the Corel Centre against the Dallas Stars, Spezza offers the proverbial "day-to-day" assessment on a hip that slowed him in Vancouver and Calgary and kept him out of the lineup on Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche.
continued

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Where Did The Money Go

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

A trio of current and retired National Hockey League players is demanding the NHL Players' Association show them the money when it comes to accounting for licensing fees and players' union dues in the past two decades. Former NHL player Bob Probert, along with Los Angeles Kings forward Jeremy Roenick and Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Denis Savard, are attempting to obtain the union's annual financial statements for a second time. As Probert's agent, Ducharme said he saw documentation of the growing revenues the NHLPA was generating through their licensing and marketing programs. "We could be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars here," Ducharme said. "I would be very surprised if it wasn't a significant sum. "They also get a ton of revenue from international events, charitable events. It's a real revenue machine.
more

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Sharpshooter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Miami Herald,

When he shoots, he usually scores. Nathan Horton recorded his first hat trick since his days in juniors Tuesday as the Panthers pounded Nashville 7-3, scoring the three goals on six shots. Wednesday, the 20-year-old Horton found himself the NHL leader in shooting percentage, with his team-leading 14 goals coming on only 49 shots. For those math majors, that means Horton scores almost 29 percent of the time if he takes aim at the net. Not too shabby.
read on

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Looking Back At The Heritage Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Once was enough, Theodore said after practice - indoors - yesterday. "I'm really happy I did it once, but I wouldn't look forward to doing it again. It was a one-shot experience," he said. "It's going to be a little warmer playing the Oilers inside. A lot fewer fans, though." Theodore and his team prevailed in the Heritage Classic game, 4-3, but it was a long, bitterly cold night. "I had to go to the bench on every faceoff to put my gloves up to the heater. I couldn't catch anything. I couldn't feel the puck, so when I got a shot, I knew it wouldn't hurt me," Theodore said. Montreal defenceman Craig Rivet's memories were also running hot and cold yesterday as he recalled the NHL's great outdoor showcase. "Talking about how cold it was that day maybe made it colder than it actually was," Rivet said. "I remember playing at that temperature when I was 10 years old on an outdoor rink in Thunder Bay and I'd be out there from 8 in the morning until 8 at night, with spotted times in the heated shack. "It didn't bother me then. I don't know why it bothered us with heaters on the bench.
more image

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Once Every Three Years- Come On!

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

I'm not sure what the NHL is thinking. The idea is to bring the game back to the fans. We all love the new rules. But no one I know thinks the NHL is bringing the game to the fans when they're taking away the Canadiens from fans in Western Canada.'' The Edmonton-Calgary rivalry is arguably the best in hockey. But did anybody ask either franchise if they'd rather have two extra games against each other at the expense of seeing the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs two out of every three years? That's the deal. One visit by five teams from one division in the East a year. One visit by five teams from another division the next year. One visit by the five teams from the other division the year after that. The idea is to add "rivalry games.'' So far, the effect in these parts has been to dilute rivalry games and make fans feel too many degrees of separation from the East to bother watching games on television anymore.
read on

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New CBA Hurts Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

It's quite the irony. The deal that was supposed to have been the salvation of small-market hockey franchises and their fans may actually have made it easier for one of those teams to cut and run. And the player who was supposed to have led the renaissance of a dying club may in short order wind up as the poster boy somewhere else. A year and three months back, the National Hockey League went to war with its players and eventually won a glorious victory, shoving a collective labour agreement complete with salary cap right down their throats.
continued

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Enough bertuzzi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philly Burbs,

Bertuzzi, who tonight makes his first appearance in Philadelphia since the much-documented on-ice assault case involving Colorado's Steve Moore on March 8, 2004, still hears it from the stands just about everywhere he plays. Peter Forsberg, who played for the Avalanche when Moore was injured, says it's time to move on. "I think so,'' Forsberg said after Wednesday's practice. "It's been a long time. He had a lot of time suspended. You could argue was he suspended long enough because he had the year off (for the lockout). But I think it should be over. It was a bad incident, he felt bad about it. But things have to go on.''
more

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All Hail Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

Once again, Canada has saved the National Hockey League. There may be a bit of poetic licence in play there, but it is the strong Canadian attendance, combined with the strong Canadian dollar, that has spearheaded the NHL's resurgence, a resurgence that probably will result in an increased salary cap next season. As a result, when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association executive director Ted Saskin met here yesterday, they did so amid a sense of optimism for the league.
more

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Goodbye Ed Olczyk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

In the wake of last night's 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Pittsburgh Penguins have fired head coach Ed Olczyk and his assistants, Joe Mullen and Randy Hillier. Michel Therrien, who had been coaching the Penguins AHL farm team in Wilkes-Barre, will take over the coaching duties. Sources told TSN that Therrien's entire staff at Wilkes-Barre will join the big club. An official announcement is expected on Thursday, and Therrien will lead the team's practice.
more from Sportsnet,
Early Wednesday afternoon Olczyk met with Penguins GM Craig Patrick and discussed many things team-specific, but Olczyk told Sportsnet Patrick never let on he was about to lower the boom.

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The Brothers Niedermayer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

But as much as Scott, who is 32, and Rob, who turns 31 on Dec. 28, are relishing the experience, they realize who cherishes it most: their mother, Carol. "It's nice that she can come down and see both of us in the same city," Rob Niedermayer said with a chuckle after a recent game. "And she doesn't have to choose sides anymore. I think she's really enjoying that." Carol Niedermayer did not enjoy all the attention she received during the 2003 Stanley Cup finals, in which the Devils faced the Mighty Ducks, after she revealed that she was rooting for Rob to win his first championship. Much to her chagrin, Scott won his third Cup with the Devils, who defeated the Ducks in seven games.
read on

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