Kukla's Korner

Wings Handling the Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The Detroit Red Wings, an NHL franchise that has spent freely and won convincingly for the better part of a decade, are proving they can also win within their means. The Red Wings (13-2-1) have defied preseason predictions they were on the decline by storming out of the gate with the league's best record — despite a $39 million league-wide salary cap that is just over half what they spent on players when the NHL last played.

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Bolts And Random Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Random thoughts, while awaiting the start of play in the new WHA … This is probably not the best of times to be singing the praises of the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have lost three games in a row. John Grahame, the goaltender they designated to replace Nikolai Khabibulin, is struggling after a decent start. The reigning NHL scoring champion, Martin St. Louis, is over-thinking his game, instead of just playing, and consequently, his name is absent from among the league's scoring leaders. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Brad Richards, hasn't quite found the range around the net either, alternating between effective games and nights when he just doesn't seem to be all there.

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Who Is Next For The Hall

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

by the CP via Slam,

Now it gets interesting. A bevy of big-name players are set to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame over the next four years, starting in 2006 with Patrick Roy and Pavel Bure and perhaps even Doug Gilmour and Mike Richter. Then comes the "fab five" in 2007, but only four can get in because of the Hall's bylaws: Al MacInnis, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Igor Larionov and Scott Stevens.

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ESPN & NHL Reach Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

ESPN will provide National Hockey League fans coverage of the league across a wide-range of its media assets as part of an agreement announced by ESPN and the NHL today. The agreement includes rights for new media platforms, including highlights for Mobile ESPN, data rights, the re-airing of recent and archival games on ESPN Classic and more.

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Weekly POW

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who led all scorers with 11 points in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week. Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who backstopped the Flames to three victories with a 0.33 goals-against average, .984 save percentage and two shutouts, has been named the league's Defensive Player of the Week.

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Classic Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Hockey fans are in luck – the pinnacle of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ promotional lineup is here. And, those who attend Thursday’s game at 7:30 p.m. at Mellon Arena have a chance to bring home a unique piece of Penguins history. The box and first DVD are only available at Thursday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. None of those items or the other DVDs will be available in stores, so the only way to get this once-in-a-lifetime series is to attend the designated games. The rest of the series will be distributed in order at home games on December 8, January 7, February 2 and March 7.
Watch some of the clips from all five DVDs.

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Who Plays For Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

Like everyone else in the NHL, Wayne Gretzky has watched the breakout seasons both Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes is having. And as much as the two young players deserve to be on list of 81 under scrutiny for Canada's Olympic team, they will probably be out of luck because there's just not the room on the roster for them. Staal and Spezza are centres and Canada isn't lacking down the middle.

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Crosby vs. Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Russian Hockey Digest,

It didn’t seem that Crosby would face serious rivalry in the run for the Calder Trophy, which is, to remind you once again, awarded to the best rookie of the NHL prior to the season. Things got a bit worse for ‘Sid the Kid’ when Russia’s top young talent Alexander Ovechkin opted out of his contract with Russian Super League team Avangard Omsk and joined the Washington Capitals to start his NHL career. This new rivalry was adding up excitement and making the fans anticipate the beginning of the new era in the history of the National Hockey League with even greater impatience than there already was. Crosby was regarded as nothing less than the new Gretzky or at least the new Lemieux while Ovechkin was getting a fraction of that sort of attention unless we’re talking about the indigenous mass media services of the DC area.

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The ‘Other’ Hall Of Famer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times,

Just because there's a Hockey Hall of Famer in our family, doesn't mean our home life is any different from yours. I mean, we still have to take out the garbage once a week, do the laundry, water the plants, pay the bills. And, just as in your home, I'm sure, the phone will start ringing in the morning and it'll be the bank or the car repair place or the guy who's coming over to fix the doorbell. Or maybe it'll be Brian Burke. Or Dave Taylor. Or Gary Bettman. Or Wayne Gretzky. That's the kind of thing that happens, I've learned, when you're married to a hockey writer. And not just any hockey writer, but this year's winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for bringing "honor to journalism and to hockey": The Times' own Helene Elliott.

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Hatcher Hitting Stride

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Times,

"We were at a critical stage in the hockey game," said Hitchcock. "Derian (Hatcher) had a beat on those guys. They weren’t going around his area very quickly. We needed to get that kill. We needed to get it for sure." So, the timeout was specifically called to get Hatcher some rest after a long shift and to get right back out there to kill some more? "Yes," said the coach. It was definitely a smart move by Hitchcock because, while most of the Flyers were on cruise control against the Thrashers, Hatcher was definitely one of the few impact players that carried the team.

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