Kukla's Korner

Coming To Vancouver’s Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

...That prospect has fueled speculation that Nonis will acquire St. Louis veteran Eric Weinrich for a draft choice when the roster freeze ends Monday. Weinrich, 39, becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and -- with $443,000 US left on his $1.3-million deal -- it could be palatable to Nonis, who has about $3 million in salary-cap relief from long-term injuries to Jovanovski and goaltender Dan Cloutier. "At this point, we don't have a deal with any team," said Nonis.
read on

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Gold Is Nice But Cup Is Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Garrett of Sportsnet,

The league shuts down for 16 days so its stars can participate in the Olympics. The Players' Association and the league thought by showcasing their talents every four years on the world's biggest stage it would help sell the game. Do you think the fans in Nashville really care who wins the gold?
more

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Get A Plane Ready Ilitch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Now that five and maybe six Red Wings are in the Olympic finals on Sunday, Ilitch should give his players a nice surprise. Have a plane waiting for them at the Turin or Milan airport and let them travel in comfort to San Jose. The Wings play the Sharks Tuesday and the Ducks on Wednesday. By giving them access to a plane and a direct flight to San Jose, the Olympic Wings would not have to worry about delayed flights, making connections or lost equipment. This would be a great move from Ilitch and he has done things like this in the past, time for Mike to come through again. I am sure the players would appreciate it and Babcock probably would be thrilled with it too.

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Follow The Semifinals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This site normally updates throughout the game and the NHL scoreboard is pretty quick with updated scores. Sweden vs. Czech is scheduled for a 10:35am EST start and Russia vs. Finland is at 3:05pm EST. I know of a few radio stations that were going to stream the games, but with Canada and the USA not being involved, they changed their mind. If you know of any streaming available for North American hockey fans, please leave it in the comment section.

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Q & A With Ed Snider

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Times,

DT: Is there anything in the new rules that looking back you say, ‘well, that didn’t work out quite like we would have hoped?’ ES: I really want to wait until the end of the season and talk to the coaches, but if there’s anything that I don’t personally like it’s that you can’t make a line change after icing the puck. I think that’s ridiculous. It’s rare that they ice the puck because they are in trouble, but even still that’s a harsh penalty for something as simple as icing.It can lead to a goal that comes from a penalty against a team because they iced the puck. That’s too strict.
much more

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Witt Still Looking For Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Times,

Brendan Witt made his wishes quite clear when the Washington Capitals began training camp and yesterday he repeated them: He would like to be traded, preferably to a team with a chance to go deep into the playoffs. Within the next two weeks, the chances are excellent the veteran defenseman will get his wish -- although where he will end up is still unknown. "At my age (31) I want to win now," he said yesterday as the Caps gathered to resume workouts after the Olympic break.
more

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Deal With It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Swedish coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has a message for Flyers general manager Bob Clarke, and it's not being sung with amore: You have an agreement. Now live with it. A day after Clarke said he didn't appreciate indirect pressure European nations might have placed on his players - including Sweden's Peter Forsberg - to play at the Olympics, Gustafsson said he had talked with Forsberg but had never applied pressure.
continued

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Who Wins Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune,

So now Wayne Gretzky and Don Waddell must know how the Blackhawks feel. While NHL teams were trying to get their European players to play more like North American grinders, the league embraced the type of game in which European players typically excel. The question now is how quickly NHL teams, as well as the Canadian and American national teams, can adapt. Friday's Olympic semifinals will offer a lesson on how far they have to go.
read on for predictions on today's games... from the Phildadelphia Inquirer,
The Russians have the most electrifying young player in the world in Alexander Ovechkin. The Finns have Antero Niittymaki, who still has not proven to Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock he should be a full-time starter, yet he might win a gold medal. The Swedes have a skill line of Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin and Fredrik Modin. And the Czechs possess the one player most countries fear as having the ability to turn a game around single-handedly: Jaromir Jagr.
continued

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What’s In A Name

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Star,

Swedish forward Tomas Holmstrom was holding court in the mixed zone yesterday, noting that the Czechs will be a tough opponent tonight because they have a hot goaltender in Tomas Vokoun. When it was pointed that Milan Hnilicka has taken over as the Czech netminder, Holmstrom raised an eyebrow and said: "Oh. It doesn't matter what the name is as long as he's hot."

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Snap Out Of It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Much of the thrill is indeed gone from these Olympic Games, with the banishment of Team Canada as distant also-rans. Unlike some mean-spirited media misanthropes, I take no glee from the failure of the glossy hockey squad. I take no pleasure when any athlete — professional or so-called "amateur'' — flops, especially with the whole world watching, except for those millions of Americans who have apparently flipped the channel already to American Idol or reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
more

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