Kukla's Korner

Heatley Glad To Be In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

The gap-toothed smile that is pure hockey said plenty about Dany Heatley's feelings on the trade that sent him from the Atlanta Thrashers to the Ottawa Senators. After a long period of trial and turmoil, the move to Ottawa was finally a ray of sunshine in Heatley's life. "I'm just thrilled to be here in Ottawa and I'm really excited," Heatley said. "This could not have worked out better. I'm getting a chance to come to a team that is going to be a Stanley Cup contender. It's going to be great to get a chance to be on a winning team."

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Big Game Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

When the Wings and Avs get together, you can expect the unexpected. What will happen tonight is anyones guess. Maybe McCarty will drive Lemieux into the boards. We always have a Foote/Shanahan square off. Forseberg will at least put on a few dazzling moves. Then you wonder if the Roy/Vernon square-off will contiue. Will Deadmarsh score another key goal again? Can Uwe Krupp's back hold up? One thing we know is a given, Yzerman and Sakic are still the captains. I think I hear Crawford and Bowman yelling at each other, got to go!

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Luc & Stacia Robitaille Helping Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Founded by the husband and wife team of Luc and Stacia Robitaille, Shelter for Serenity is a charitable foundation dedicated to rehabilitating the lives of families affected by Hurricane Katrina. Families who are crippled by devastating losses - not just of home and property - but of their human potential. The Robitailles, with the help of friends and supporters, are making it their personal mission to raise as many families as possible out of the devastation by giving them an opportunity to start over. Shelter for Serenity's goal is to directly rebuild their lives - by giving them new homes, new jobs, and a new future.

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Covering Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Sidney Crosby will face an actual NHL opponent for the first time when the Penguins play Boston in a preseason game at 7:08 p.m. today, and it's not going to go unnoticed. A crowd of only 4,500 or so is expected in a venue that seats about 8,100. But members of the media might fill the rest. Newspapers from Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Montreal and Providence, R.I., will be on hand to document Crosby's debut, along with at least five TV networks from the United States and Canada and NHL Productions.

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Crackdown On Obstruction Is Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The moaning! The crying! The complaining! And it's only 96 hours into the exhibition season. Some things in life are about as predictable as the rising cost of gasoline — and grumbling about obstruction in the early days of another National Hockey League crackdown is surely rising to the top of the list. Typically, the players doing most of the talking are also the ones with the most to lose — forwards, who play a handful of minutes per night in a "policing" role and defencemen, who guard the front of the net with their bulk and girth, but mostly believe that the art of checking involves hammering a stick into an opponent's back enough times so that he needs to visit his friendly neighborhood chiropractor after the game is over.

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My NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

The National Hockey League is about to answer a question vital to its future: How do you market a brand severely damaged by a season-long lockout? The league is about to begin an advertising campaign called My N.H.L., which has as its central focus an episodic series of cinematically produced TV commercials that follow a hockey "warrior," starting with his female partner ritualistically dressing him in his equipment. It follows him as he waits for the right moment to align a slap shot, then follows the puck from its point of view and ends with the fans' celebration of a victory. Hockey, the campaign says, is a hot-blooded, psychological battleground. "When we showed it to Brendan Shanahan, he said, 'Wow, the warrior, that's what I feel like,' " Bernadette Mansur, a spokeswoman for the league, said referring to a left wing for the Detroit Red Wings
.

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The Players Will Adjust

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star.

Over the past year, NHL players gave pretty compelling evidence that they may not be the smartest business thinkers in the world. But don't take that to mean they aren't smart at what they do. Watch and see just how quickly NHLers will adapt to the new regulatory structure of the league when it comes to certain types of fouls. Hooking, for example, at least for now, is now akin to driving on the wrong side of the road. The cops don't ever turn a blind eye to it. For the Maple Leafs and Bruins last night, there were only four hooking penalties, and almost none of the tugging and water-skiing that had became a routine part of every NHL shift. Lay down the law and stick with it, and NHL players will adapt. They have to. Their livelihoods depend on not only being strong, youthful and talented, but also in being able to alter their game to fit different situations. Last night's game at Copps Coliseum provided some evidence in that regard, or at least the second period did. The Leafs gave up no power plays to the Bruins, while Boston only found itself shorthanded three times.

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A Lot At Stake

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Mercury News,

The National Hockey League loves you. It wants you back. After staring down bankruptcy, breaking the will of the players' union, and disappearing for a full year, the NHL is willing to do almost anything to make sure you are interested once again. So a game that built its sinewy reputation on the broad backs of toothless men bleeding on one another has dug deep in the closet of saucy ideas and selected a very low-cut gown for its grand return. This is the new NHL, and you better like it. There is plenty at stake. If the tricked-up game isn't more popular than its trudging predecessor, you can turn out the lights on a dozen franchises and bequeath it a place somewhere between box lacrosse and monster-truck rallies in the American sports pantheon.

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One More Datsyuk Story

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hopefully this is the last Sport-Express interview with Datsyuk that we will have to read. A lot to digest, but it appears Datsyuk did not want to go to the arbitration board. He did not want to 'split' the teams. Read the whole interivew in the comment section of this post. update 10:16pm, Looks like Peter at Mlive was doing the same thing as I was at about the same time. Much better translation of interview with Datsyuk and his agent Gary Greenstin. update 11:05pm, One more Peter translation, this time another Greenstin interview. We all agree, we have had enough of doing these translations.

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Cooke Signs With Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Matt Cooke appears to be returning to the Canucks. According the Mojo 730 radio in Vancouver, the team has re-signed the winger to a three-year $4.6 million contract.

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