Kukla's Korner

No Deal- No Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Twenty-nine NHL teams have to be pleased that Russian hockey officials appear to moving -- albeit at a glacial pace -- toward eventually signing off on a deal that would reopen the talent pipeline from that country to North America. And one -- the Penguins -- should be downright ecstatic about it. Mostly because Pat Brisson, managing director of IMG Hockey, which represents highly regarded prospect Evgeni Malkin, believes that's the team's only realistic hope of having him play here next season. "It's very clear that the [International Ice Hockey Federation] and Russian federation will have to have a deal in place in order to have Evgeni come to Pittsburgh," he said.
continued

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Canadiens Honor Red

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Red Fisher, the dean of hockey writers on this continent or any other, currently uses a Macintosh iBook G4 laptop computer, featuring wireless capability, a DVD drive and so much memory that it can recall when the Canadiens were a dynasty. Optional installation on its 14-inch display is a tastefully small photo of country singer Shania Twain, wearing a midriff-baring Canadiens jersey. This computer is slightly higher-tech, though much less beautiful, than what the Canadiens presented to Red in the Salon Jacques Beauchamp an hour before Saturday's Bell Centre game - an engraved, gold-plated Montblanc Solitaire pen - in honour of his 50 years (plus one) of covering the team. "I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else," he said of his career, deeply moved and clearly surprised by a ceremony that the dozens of Montreal media in attendance had known about for weeks.
continued...some wonderful stories... image

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Businessman Commits To Help Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pittsburgh Business Times,

The Detroit businessman who has applied to build a slots casino on Pittsburgh's North Shore is now committing to a funding plan to help build a new multi-purpose arena. Don Barden, chairman of PITG Gaming LLC, will announce Monday his plans to add a 300-room hotel to his plans for a casino and entertainment complex on the North Shore. In addition, a spokesman for PITG Gaming said Barden is scouting three Pittsburgh locations to build a multi-purpose arena partially funded with slots revenue. Owners of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins have said they need a new arena, or will be forced to sell the team or move it out of town.
continued

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Questions Answered

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

There are NHL mysteries that are yet to be solved and may never be. For example, what exactly is it that the goal judges sitting behind the net do anymore? Are the Ottawa Senators in trouble? Sure seems like it. They were lifeless on Saturday, especially on the attack, and the goaltending of Ray Emery was not their biggest problem. Jason Spezza, with one goal in his last 15 games, is slumping, team discipline has slipped and nobody knows if and when Dominik Hasek will return.
read on

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Fear The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Isn't it ironic, as Alanis Morissette is believed to have once asked Mike Peluso, that a Devils' team dedicated to eliminating even the theory of open ice will enter the first new-age Stanley Cup playoff tournament with the best open-ice player in the league in Scott Gomez? Which, in concert with their pedigree, their goaltender, their coach and their system, is just another important reason to fear the Devils when the playoffs commence, regardless of whether they finish third, fifth or sixth in the East. You'd better believe it. The NHL should be afraid, very afraid, of the team the new era was designed to make obsolete. Ha, ha. The joke's on everyone else.
more (reg. req.)

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The Altered NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

The regular season concludes tomorrow, separating 16 teams with a glint of Cup silver in their eyes from the 14 holding nothing but draft lottery tickets. Surviving clubs will bore you all week with quotes that the past 6 1/2 months were a meaningless dress rehearsal, but don't believe 'em. In the wake of a damaging lockout and commitment to radical change, the past 1,230 games have dramatically altered the National Hockey League. Here's a look back at a turbulent 2005-06 schedule:
read on

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Life Is Great For Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette via the Star Phoenix,

Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL's hottest young property, showed he possesses a sly sense of humour, even working in a second language. Do his teammates play jokes on him? "Yes, they do." Are there any he could describe for publication? "No," he said. "But if you want to know, you can ask the other guys." No one in the NHL appears to enjoy himself more than Ovechkin. True, he is young and talented and wealthy, but so are dozens of other players who don't enjoy themselves half as much as he does. "I always try joking and try to do something funny," Ovechkin said. "I think, why not smile? Life is great right now, so smile."
read on

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Pronger Seeing Red

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Nobody wants to bend, fold and mutilate the Detroit Red Wings in a Stanley Cup playoff series more than Christopher R. Pronger. This is the 10th consecutive season he's made it into the playoffs. Half of them have involved series against the Detroit Red Wings. He's never won one. "I've had success everywhere else but in the playoffs,'' said Pronger. He came closest on his first try. "Detroit won in Game 7 in double overtime. That was my first taste of the playoffs. Losing in Game 7 in double overtime.'' Steve Yzerman scored the series winner. A year later the Red Wings won four games to two. It was a six-game series in 1998 and a five-game series in 2002. Three of those four years the Red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup. "They always found a way to win,'' he said.
more

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Pick Your Opponent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Conspiracy theorists, this is your big day. Those folks always on the lookout for nefarious schemes will have plenty of speculative fodder during tonight's Calgary Flames-Anaheim Mighty Ducks season-ending tilt There's essentially nothing on the line for Calgary. They can't move in the standings, have already claimed the Northwest Division crown and know when the playoffs begin Friday night in the Stampede City, they'll have home-ice advantage over the sixth seed in the Western Conference. What team that will be, however, will likely be decided in the outing at the Arrowhead Pond. As of this morning, Anaheim, currently holding that No. 6 spot in the Western Conference, has a one-point lead on Colorado. The Avalanche, playing in Edmonton tonight, has the tiebreaker if the clubs finish tied in the standings.
continued

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The Key To The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Journal News,

The Rangers were off yesterday, but Lundqvist skated without restrictions both Friday and Saturday and anticipates a hard practice today. "It's going to be a lot of fun to be back on the ice and play and get ready for the playoffs," Lundqvist said. "It's important for me to get a game and get the timing going. Sometimes, it's good to get a break, and I feel very fresh. Hopefully, I get going right away." There's little doubt the Rangers will only go as far in the postseason as Lundqvist will take them, with all due respect to Jaromir Jagr's prodigious scoring ability.
more

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