Kukla's Korner

Better Than Gretzky, Orr & Howe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Today's hockey history lesson... from Steve Milton of Sportsnet,

Rocket Richard. You may remember what happened when The Rocket, just four years short of his death from cancer, was introduced on the Forum's closing night in the late winter of 1996. An 11-minute standing ovation. Try clapping for, say, six straight minutes. Or five, or even three. You will see how much emotion and adrenalin you'd need to sustain yourself to 11 minutes. And the ovation only died because Richard asked it to, just as he asked the fans of Montreal to calm themselves after the St. Patrick's Day riot of 1955.
read on

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How Will Olympic Hockey Be Called

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel insists the group will use the NHL model to root out the obstruction that has become a blight on the international game in recent years. "For the first time in hockey history, we have the opportunity for the IIHF and the NHL to be on the same page when enforcing the rules and calling restraining fouls like hooking, holding and interference. ... It is our responsibility toward the game and its fans to seize this opportunity and showcase hockey as a sport of unique speed and skill to a projected TV audience of 2.3 billion viewers." That will be easier said than done given the IIHF is determined to employ just one referee instead of the two-man crews that have been crucial to reducing the obstruction fouls in the NHL this season.
continued...and around the rink, ESPN style...

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NHL POW

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, who tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week. Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who recorded a 0.47 goals-against average and .983 save percentage in two appearances, is the League's Defensive Player of the Week. New York Rangers right wing Jaromir Jagr, who posted nine points (2-7=9 in four games) and St. Louis Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk (5-4=9 in three games) were runners-up for offensive honors, while goaltenders Martin Biron of the Buffalo Sabres (2-0-0, 1.97 GAA), Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers (2-0-0, 1.33 GAA) and Curtis Joseph of the Phoenix Coyotes (2-0-0, 1.49 GAA) were runners-up for the defensive award.

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In Case You Were Wondering

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Now that NHL star Joe Thornton has replaced his Bruins 'B' with San Jose's Shark, St. Thomas is following suit. In the coming weeks, the city will replace seven Joe Thornton signs displaying the Boston Bruins logo with a collage, depicting the local star's other hockey accomplishments. "Rather than taking the Boston one off, (we'll) put the new Sharks one on and we're contemplating putting the Davos (Switzerland) and Canada Cup (logos) on as well," said alderman Bill Aarts. "We still have to get them made -- that'll likely start next week."
- via the St. Thomas Times-Journal

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OLN Features

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

NHL Productions and OLN will offer hockey fans special coverage this Monday night before and after OLN's telecast of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings (7p.m., E.T), highlighting two of the NHL's most beloved players, Darren McCarty and Mario Lemieux. The network will first air "Darren McCarty: Homecoming" at 6:30 p.m., ET. Produced by NHL Productions, the show takes a look at the former Red Wing and fan favorite during his recent return to Detroit (Dec. 1) with his new team, the Calgary Flames. NHL Productions followed Darren for two days; from the moment he arrived at the airport to his return home to spend time with his family as they prepared for the holidays. McCarty wore a wireless microphone during the Calgary-Detroit game where some colorful exchanges were captured between Darren and former teammates Brendan Shanahan and Mathieu Schneider.
more...including a short video... Remember, the Wings-Pens game will be shown at 11pm tonight on IHND due to a scheduling conflict.

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Pittsburgh’s Problems- Off The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Delco Times,

As much as Lemieux has done for the city, he’s quickly learning that Stanley Cup Championships, All-Star Game appearances, and a Hall of Fame hockey career means nothing in the political spectrum. When it comes to politics, the only stats that matter are the ones that highlight pocket-lining by interest groups and lobbyists in terms of campaign contributions. There’s no question that on that front, the Penguins aren’t even on the radar. For example, the family that operates Forest City Enterprises, a Pittsburgh-area company that has partnered with Harrah’s, has contributed $264,942 to the campaigns of elected officials and other political interests since 2002, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Penguins, by contrast, have contributed a mere $5,250 through team president, Kenneth Sawyer.
more

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Rangers After Sykora

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),

Rangers assistant GM Don Maloney was dispatched to Montreal Saturday night to scout Mighty Ducks winger Petr Sykora, The Post has learned. Multiple sources have told The Post that Rangers GM Glen Sather and Anaheim GM Brian Burke are having ongoing conversations about a deal that would send the 29-year-old winger — who registered a goal and an assist in 14:18 of ice on Saturday against the Canadiens — to Broadway, though it is not clear what the Mighty Ducks are demanding in return.

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Some GMs Relieved

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from at least a dozen National Hockey League general managers. Because of stronger-than-expected revenue from broadcasting and good planning in basing the $39-million cap on a conservative revenue forecast, there will be good news delivered to the NHL governors at their two-day meetings this week in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Devils were one of three teams over the cap when the season started. They led the parade at $43-million, with the Detroit Red Wings at $40.8-million and the Atlanta Thrashers at $40.7-million. Under the new collective labour agreement, it is where a club finishes the season in respect to the cap that matters, not where it started. Thanks to a trade and a demotion, Lamoriello is just under the cap now, but he has a problem looming when forward Patrick Elias and his $4.1-million salary are cleared to play. However, Lamoriello may get a break there, as Elias is now thought to have an abdominal tear on top of his recovery from hepatitis, which could push his return back to the end of January.
more

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Andy Murray Turns To NHL Book For Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Long Beach Press-Telegram,

Jeremy Roenick's production, or lack thereof, probably doesn't merit him getting major minutes on one of the Kings' top lines, but who will play up there if not Roenick? And then, what to do with Roenick? Hoping for some answers, Murray turned to a book by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for guidance. "It's part of role definition," Murray said. "You get to a position with players, and how do you deal with them? I'm reading Belichick's book for the second time right now and going over the transition from (quarterback Drew) Bledsoe to (Tom) Brady and how difficult that was for everybody at that time. "It's about maximizing strengths at this point. It's great to hope that a player will do what he's done in the past, but you have to deal in the now."
more

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Around the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Gleen Murray was not in the Boston lineup Sunday when the Bruiins played Phoenix. -Left wing Oleg Saprykin injured his left knee early in the first period Sunday and did not return to the game. Saprykin likely will be sidelined for at least two weeks. -Martin Biron set a Buffalo record by winning his 10th straight start on sunday.

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