Kukla's Korner

counting Pennies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

Every dime counts in the new salary cap world of the NHL, literally. Despite a $39-million US salary cap, some NHL clubs have got into the routine of shuffling players between the big league and the minors to squeeze the most out of their available money. "You have to manage your cap dollars effectively," explains Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis.

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Pens Shorthanded For Next Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Playing in Philadelphia is never easy for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team has won there only twice since the end of the 1993-94 season. It certainly won’t be any easier without Mario Lemieux and Sergei Gonchar in the lineup on Wednesday when the Penguins trek across the state for a 7 p.m. contest against the Flyers. Lemieux, who has a stomach virus, will sit out for the first time this season, while Gonchar will miss his second-straight game with a strained groin.

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Who To Take

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

You are the executive director (a.k.a. general manager) of Team Canada and you are staring at a five-week window to decide the players you and your staff feel have what it takes to defend the gold medal Canada won at the '02 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. You've dispatched your top lieutenants, Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini, to arenas scattered around the NHL map to scout some of the 81 players in the mix for a spot on Team Canada. You've had conference calls and have assembled a ghost roster. You may have announced 81 players in mid-October, but really you are only considering no more than three dozen, and some say as few as 28.

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Offensive Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot of NHL.com,

I've seen the future and not surprisingly, channeling the vision were the amazing offensive youngsters Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Comparison and debate over their exploits is inevitable, but what I witnessed recently from the pair was astounding: Both won games in shootouts using exactly the same move. Before we get to the move, consider the form of offensive creativity throughout the ages. The power wingers had their day in the 1950s with Rocket Richard rollicking end-to-end, daring defenders to step into his path. Boom Boom Geoffrion took that model and added the booming slap shot as the payoff for goaltenders.

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All Time Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CBC,

Maurice Richard was one of the best players in NHL history. Not an outstanding stick-handler or skater, he excelled through sheer force of will. Driven by desire so fierce his glare unhinged rival goaltenders, the Montreal Canadiens star set numerous records. "The Rocket" thrilled fans worldwide and was a cultural icon among Quebecers, who revered him as "Saint Maurice."
more...including audio and video clips that are priceless...

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Will These Leagues Get Off The Ground

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kommersant,

The board of Russia’s Professional Hockey League (PHL) passed a decision yesterday, November 14, 2005, whereby the League’s status may change from the non-profit partnership to the joint stock company in the near term. Mikhail Margelov, head of foreign relations committee at the Federation Council, is expected to chair the BOD of the new company. This initiative of the PHL could be viewed as a response to proposal to create a Euro-Asian Hockey League (EAHL), which was presented by Federal Sports Agency’s head Vyacheslav Fetisov and backed up by a raft of clubs.

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Sullivan Cracks The Whip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

'It's about how we win, and how we lose," said Sullivan, perturbed after the lackluster effort that translated into a 5-2 loss to the Islanders in Uniondale Saturday night. ''It's unacceptable." Finally, one quarter of the way into the season, Club Causeway got its dander up a bit. For weeks, everyone connected to the club had been singing a happy song, despite bobbing along around .500, despite four times kicking away two-goal leads, despite usually displaying little or no emotion. Sullivan, as peeved as he's been since taking over the Bruins at the start of the 2003-04 season, led the club through a one-hour practice, one he repeatedly stopped for lengthy sessions of wind sprints. At one point, he stopped a drill and bellowed, to the entire rank and file, ''Do your own job! We are all trying to duplicate each other. Just do your own job!"

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Avery Rips NHLPA & Campbell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Long Beach Press-Telegram,

Kings forward Sean Avery, upset about being fined $1,000 for an alleged diving incident, unleashed his verbal fury Monday after he learned the fine will not be revoked. "It's a (expletive) joke and the players' association is a (expletive) joke," Avery said. Avery received the fine after his second diving violation of the season, which took place Nov. 3 at Phoenix. Avery sought to appeal the fine, which the league office issued although Avery was not penalized on the play, but Avery will have to pay, and perhaps pay another fine after Monday's outburst. Avery said he took issue not with league referees but with league discipline czar Colin Campbell - who could not be reached for comment Monday - and other NHL officials. Avery said he feels he is being targeted by the league for his outspoken nature. "No question," Avery said. "I'm sure (the fine) is just an excuse for the league to do something to me. This is obviously Colin Campbell sitting at his desk, or whoever looks at the tape (making decisions)."

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Three Points For A Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The National Hockey League, which feels obliged to award three points in some of its games, should go all the way and award three points in each and every match. It should stop rewarding a team for losing, too. Since the newly stirred and shaken league has elected to embrace the shootout, and clearly for a significant period if not permanently, it should re-evaluate the importance of the outcome of games. So here's one suggestion: Three points for a win in regulation time or in overtime. Zero points for a defeat in regulation or in overtime.

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Heatley - Hossa Deal Works For Both Sides

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The most interesting aspect of the Atlanta Thrashers' decision to trade Dany Heatley in August was that general manager Don Waddell kept Heatley's availability secret. About three months later, the deal — probably one of the most fascinating in NHL history — has benefited both teams. Heatley has 28 points and is tied for third in the league scoring race. Hossa has 23 points and DeVries has settled in as Atlanta's No. 3 defenseman.

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