Kukla's Korner

Wallin Brothers Turned To Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

The script doesn't change much across Canada, whether it's six Sutters growing up in Viking, Alta., the Gretzky boys in Brantford, Ont., or the three Wallin brothers of North Battleford, Sask. ...And the script? Well, the Wallins woke up one morning in April of 1994 and learned in a hurry that things don't always go the way you thought they might. "My dad's death was ruled a suicide," Jesse, 28, said yesterday from Red Deer. "But ... he died of a mental illness. He was a victim no different than anyone with cancer. It's hard for people to understand that, but it wasn't like my dad woke up one day and decided he'd had enough."
more

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Trades Just Don’t Workout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

While most Edmonton Oilers' fans started planning the parade route when they acquired Sergei Samsonov and Dwayne Roloson at the NHL trade deadline, head coach Craig MacTavish was experiencing a slightly different reaction; a reaction shared by the coaches of every other team that made significant moves at the deadline. MacTavish, for starters, wondered how forwards like Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres, who'd bled for him all season, would react when their ice time was affected by Samsonov.
continued

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May The Least Bad Team Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Both teams are thoroughly mediocre. The stakes - a bottom-feeder's berth in the playoffs and a probable quick exit at the hands of Ottawa or Carolina or Buffalo - are hardly worth fighting for. One team is captained by a Swede, one by a Finn. Four weeks ago, Mats Sundin and Saku Koivu filled the same two positions in a game that really mattered, for Olympic gold.
continued

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Kings Made The Right Decision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The Kings were a very unhappy team. That hardly makes them unique but, in this case, they want to prove they were right and that Murray was the cause of their problems. One veteran player will insist off the record that Murray is the worst coach he has played for. Another, who is never reticent to go over the coach's head, has been complaining for much of the season about Murray's tactics. The complaints have had one common thread: Murray doesn't use his players properly. It must be said that players often make this type of evaluation, and they're not always right. It must also be said that players and coaches often assess attributes differently. But to be specific, the players felt Murray coached to keep the game close. They want to pull all the stops to win, even if the more open games occasionally caused them to lose by a large margin.
more

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St. Louis Starting To Roll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Tribune,

It's not easy going from underdog to overdog. Especially when underdog is what got you here. That's this Lightning season. And for the longest time it was the blank space where the next chapter in the Martin St. Louis storybook was supposed to go. "For a while, I was nowhere to be seen," St. Louis said.
continued

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Europeans & The NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

Most of the nightly chatter at the European rinks has been about how the new NHL deal will affect the draft from a European standpoint. Here's our speculation on one scenario that could develop over the next couple of years. First, teams will look for a "guarantee" from agents that the drafted Europeans will be signed to a contract within two years.
more...near the bottom of the article plus some discussion regarding the Russians and the IIHF agreement...

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The New NHL Old Lottery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

As far as this year's draft lottery is concerned, we return you to our regularly-scheduled programming, which is to suggest the old format is in place. Rest assured, there won't be any reality TV shows built around it. Aa some point in the playoffs, the 14 non-playoff teams will get their shot at "winning the lottery" but the connotation is a lot different this year for a myriad of reasons. For starters, the "winner" of the draft lottery cannot move up more than four places, so in order for a team to get the No. 1 overall pick through the lottery it would have to be amongst the five worst teams in the league at the end of the regular season.
more

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The MVP Debate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The MVP talk is starting to sprout up. Kevin Allen of USA TODAY was just on Detroit radio and thinks either Jagr or Alfredsson will win the award. His personal choice is Joe Thornton and Kevin also mentioned a few goalies would be in the running and Zetterberg will be a long shot. No mention of Lidstrom but his name has been brought up by the bloggers.

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NHL Hockey Fan Map

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vancouver Canucks Op Ed has started a fan map. You can register your name and location on the map and follow along as the map grows. image

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Oliers, Canucks & Habs Struggling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Merose of ESPN,

While San Jose, Anaheim and Atlanta are building up speed, three teams are starting to struggle: Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal. Here's why. Edmonton: The Oilers said they needed goaltending at the trade deadline. They went out and got Dwayne Roloson, but they've only managed to win two games since the March 9 deadline.
more of the good, bad & ugly from Melrose...

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