Kukla's Korner

Let The Kids Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Messager LaSalle,

When you get involved in hockey, it can be when it's at its best, the game is only part of the package. It becomes a social outing for parents. It should never be about who is going for extra power skating but about building that kind of environment, the kind of memories kids and parents and families will have forever. Sometimes, when I stand around the arenas I can't believe the tone of the conversations I hear. The visions are so short-sighted. The conversations are almost always about today and who won and who lost and who scored.
read on

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‘Circle’ Game for Ducks Konopka

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

"It's a huge day," Konopka said of his first game in Buffalo. "I've had this date circled. "I grew up watching games in the Auditorium. It was great. My favorite players were Lindy Ruff and Mike Foligno. There's a lot of good memories in Buffalo. It's a hard-working city, and I kind of feel like I'm a hard-working guy." Konopka, who will turn 25 in three weeks, came from sturdy stock. His late father, a Polish immigrant, worked at General Motors in St. Catharines, Ont., and grew fruit on his farm. "He worked 16-hour days and was the hardest-working guy I've ever known," Konopka said. "Being back here brings back good memories of my dad. But he's still watching, and I'm making him proud that I'm doing this."
more

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Malkin Eligible For WJC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Penguins 2004 second-overall pick Evgeni Malkin will apparently play for Russia at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament in Vancouver later this month. At first, Malkin was not slated to take part in the tournament and his name was reportedly left off the Russian Federation’s original world junior roster. However, Dave King, the coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk – Malkin’s Russian Super League team – confirmed Malkin’s inclusion on the Russian roster for the tournament. “He’s very excited about going,” King told the Toronto Globe and Mail. “He’s just a great kid, with lots of enthusiasm for the game.
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Replay for High School Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via HockeyRefs.com,

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) unanimously approved the adoption of video replay for hockey on Thursday. Under the system, any goal may be reviewed with a request by either the referee or the off-ice official responsible for video replay.
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J.R Chat Alert

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com will be hosting a chat session today at 4pm EST. with Jeremy Roenick. I wonder if he will bring Avery along with him? image

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Devils Looking For A Leader

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

He has shaken them. We'll see tonight if Larry Robinson has stirred the Devils by calling them "the strangest team I've ever been around." He also defended his decision not to name a captain at season's start to replace first Scott Stevens, and acting captain Scott Niedermayer. "That probably would have backfired because I believe you're born with leadership. I don't think you can create it," Robinson said. "Not everybody's a leader. "I don't think there's been somebody that's stepped up and deserves it, or has shown me they're a leader."
read on (reg. req.)

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Bettman In Love

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Gary Bettman looks revitalized. He is smiling, telling jokes, slapping backs and walking with pep in his step. The nervous twitch he often seemed to unconsciously carry with him for the past few years is gone, and so with it, the paranoid stares he would regularly plant on inquiring minds in the hockey media. "Hey, I love you guys," Bettman said wryly to reporters during a recent visit to the Valley. "I love the game. I love what we're seeing," Bettman said. "You know what I love best about it? I'm loving the uncertainty of the results and the lead changes. When I was in Tampa on opening night, I was watching the scoreboard and I saw Los Angeles had gone up 4-0 on Dallas in the first period, but then lost the game 5-4. "Right then, I knew we were on the right track and that this was working. We're seeing more lead changes in the third period than we've seen in modern time. Every team's got a shot. That's the best thing we can give our fans."
more

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MRI Today For Vokoun & Legwand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun strained his left knee in the first period Thursday night, and center David Legwand sprained his left knee in the second and had to be helped off the ice in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. Both were scheduled for MRI exams Friday. Coach Barry Trotz said only that Legwand had a "leg injury" and that the Predators would know more after the tests. "Hopefully, we have some results for you," Trotz said. Vokoun said he hurt his left knee stopping a shot by Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis when his leg was caught and twisted at the net at 12:15 of the first. He felt pain but stayed in the game. He didn't say anything to the trainers and returned to the ice and tried to play in the second. "I tried to stretch. I can't go in the butterfly. ... I was as surprised as everybody. I just went down, tried to extend my leg and I couldn't do it. I just went off the ice. That's when I knew something was done," Vokoun said.

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Canada Needs Mario

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The temptation will be there as early as today for Team Canada to excuse Mario Lemieux from participation in the Turin Olympics. Problem is, the man's country very much needs him to play. This will seem, of course, somewhat counter-intuitive to those who look at Lemieux's lousy stats this season, his slowing 40-year-old body and brand new heart concerns and figure he's no longer suitable for the defending Olympic champs.
continued

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Attendance Picking Up In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

More promotions, cheaper ticket prices and a loyal fan base are being credited with making the return to the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes a good one. It also doesn't hurt to have the National Hockey League's reputed greatest player ever as the head coach of a team that's winning games. The Coyotes are reporting an increase in ticket sales from the previous season and are averaging more than 15,000 fans a game.
read on

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