Kukla's Korner

No Ice Time For Fighters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The new NHL has laid a beating on the league's enforcers. In fact, several of the league's top heavyweights from the 2003-04 season, when mucking was mandatory, have punched out for good. They're either completely out of the game or they've dropped down to the minors to drop their gloves. Of the NHL's 13 most frequent fighters from 2003-04, only two — Ottawa's Chris Neil and Chicago's Matthew Barnaby — are playing significant roles today in a league that puts a much larger premium on fast feet than fast hands.
more, including Spezza shooting for the Olympics.... related story from the Toronto Star, where are the fighters now....

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Instigator Rule Needs To Vanish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun, f the NHL's goal, in creating a schedule overloaded with conference and divisional games, was to foster animosity and rivalries, it's working - there is bad blood brewing all across the league. The latest hot spots are Phoenix-Anaheim where Ducks' enforcer Todd Fedoruk received a three-game suspension for his blindside charge on Petr Nedved, and Nashville-Los Angeles, where things got ugly after Darcy Hordichuk jumped Sean (The Turtle) Avery. more

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Saskin Approval A Joke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the LA Daily News,

Ted Saskin has been officially approved as executive director of the NHL players' association. But the Kings never voted, which led to some confusion and frustration Friday. "Well, that's a joke," forward Sean Avery said when informed of the announcement. "If that's a vote, it's not a thorough vote, because the L.A. Kings didn't vote," Jeremy Roenick said. A news release from the NHLPA said that "a majority of the eligible votes" had been received and that 85 percent of the votes received were in favor of Saskin's election. But the union acknowledged that not all player representatives turned in votes. The Kings' Mattias Norstrom did not submit a vote on behalf of the Kings, and although the union will continue to accept votes until Dec. 16, Norstrom said the Kings do not intend to vote any time soon. Instead, the Kings are following a lawsuit filed with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board on behalf of a group led by former Kings forward Trent Klatt, which seeks to have the election deemed illegal.

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Legace Strains MCL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit Free Press,

Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace suffered a sprained left knee late in the first period Friday afternoon and won't dress tonight when the Wings play at San Jose. "I just strained my MCL," Legace said. Legace sprained the same knee on Nov. 1 against Chicago when Matthew Barnaby tumbled on top of him, but trainer Piet Van Zant said the two injuries are unrelated. Van Zant said there was no swelling and that Legace likely won't have to undergo an MRI. It all depends on the next few days.

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IIHF Crackdown Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The International Ice Hockey Federation is telling its officials to call the game as tightly as the NHL, with next month's world junior hockey championship in Vancouver included in that approach. "The world juniors will be the first indication whether the IIHF emphasis on restraining fouls is enforced the same way as the NHL's crackdown on similar fouls," IIHF president Rene Fasel said in a statement.
read on

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Washington Outworking Opponents

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Wasingtion Times,

The Washington Capitals have built a reputation as an honest, hard-working team that grinds victories out. Seldom have they had the personnel to speed past opponents or go head-to-head with offensive powerhouses. The Caps still can't match up against the league's top teams, but the club has done little to change the image it is a lunch-bucket brigade that has to outwork opponents to win. "They skate, they hit, they score and they're the kind of guys you win with," general manager George McPhee said yesterday in describing forwards who get secondary billing but are filling first-class roles right now. "We're not surprised by their contribution. We're just happy it's finally happening for these guys. They've earned it."
more

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Burns Hopes To Coach Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Slam,

Pat Burns, who is battling a second form of cancer, says he hopes to eventually resume his NHL coaching career. Burns won a battle with colon cancer after it was diagnosed in April 2004, and he was regaining his health before learning last summer that the cancer had spread to his liver. "It's been a little tougher this time around," Burns told Rich Chere of the Newark Star Ledger during an interview at his Florida home. "I've been through chemotherapy for more than a year. "It's hard at times but I'm going to try to beat this thing."
more

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Hockey Future Doubtful For Fischer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MLive,

Dr. Tony Colucci said he would not recommend Fischer return to hockey. He said the 25-year-old defenseman would have to make that difficult decision himself. "I wouldn't be comfortable with me playing, let alone telling somebody else to go ahead," Colucci said Wednesday night, before the Red Wings' 7-3 victory over Colorado at Joe Louis Arena. "If there's nothing he can do to try to correct it . . . is he going to want to go back out there thinking, `Is this going to happen again?' He's got to answer that question himself."
read on

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Phaneuf For Calder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

I've got to give my first quarter rookie nod to Phaneuf. Outside of Calgary, I'm probably alone on this call, but the transition this kid has made from juniors to a potential depth member of Team Canada is nothing short of phenomenal. While the new rules were made to accentuate the skills of offensive whizzes such as Crosby and Ovechkin, they were supposed to make the job more difficult for defenders like Phaneuf. Instead, he's obliterated the stereotype of the slow learning curve for young blueliners and has outplayed many of the game's top veterans.
continued, inlcuding other 1/4 awards...

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Players Approve Saskin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP,

Players have confirmed Ted Saskin as the NHL Players' Association's executive director in a secret-ballot vote. A majority of the eligible votes have been counted with 85 per cent those cast accepting Saskin's appointment as Bob Goodenow's replacement. While a majority of the eligible votes have already been received, not all have been returned. PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is in charge of the vote, will open and count any additional ballots received on Dec. 16, 2005. The NHLPA carried out the vote when a group a players legally challenged Saskin's appointment.

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