Kukla's Korner

Goaltender Soon To Be Added To Competition Committee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

A goaltender will be added to the NHL's competition committee in the near future, and sources indicate Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars are among the candidates. The NHL Players' Association solicited goalies around the league over the past few months and recently handed the NHL a list of candidates. As per the collective bargaining agreement, the NHL will choose which of the goalies it wants on the committee. That could happen within the next two weeks.

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Drake Suspended For Two Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

St. Louis Blues forward Dallas Drake has been suspended for two games, without pay, as the result of an illegal check on Mighty Ducks of Anaheim player Corey Perry during Game #157 Friday night. Drake will miss the Blues' game at Los Angeles tonight and against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday, Nov. 2. He will forfeit $12,408.16 in salary. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Is The New NHL Really Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier-Post,

In terms of speed, the game is infinitely better than it was two years ago. Clutching and grabbing has gone the way of the wooden stick; goals are up; chances are way up; and the overtime shootout keeps fans in the seats, then puts them on the edge of them. But this "zero tolerance" thing with interference has to go. The NHL made significant steps in improving the game by allowing two-line passes, expanding the offensive zones and reducing the size of goaltenders' equipment. But the players have been blindsided by the "letter of the law" interpretations of the rules and as a result, the NHL is dangerously close to losing many of the fans it lured back after 17 months in the dark. "Zero tolerance is a hard way to start a season because to me that's an overreaction," said a former gap-toothed center who looks an awful lot like Bob Clarke. "(Referees) don't have a choice. They just call it." Don't consider this as much an indictment of the new NHL and its officials; rather as a recommendation.

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Canadian Settling In As Russian League Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

For the first Canadian ever to coach in the Russian Super League, the learning curve has been relatively painless. Dave King, the three-time coach of Canada's men's Olympic hockey team, has his squad, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, in first place after losing only twice in its first 18 games. That left Magnitogorsk five points ahead of second-place Avangard Omsk and 11 points clear of Ak Bars Kazan, the two big-budget teams in Russia and the ones that drew all the attention during the National Hockey League lockout.

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Is The New NHL Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Delaware County Times,

In an unscientific poll conducted by the Daily Times of players from around the NHL, 23 players of varying experience levels were asked if the way the game is being played now is better than it was before the lockout, significantly worse, or about the same. While four players liked the new rules, 18 said the game was significantly worse and only one said it was about the same. A similar study of fans in three hockey crazy cities -- Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal -- found that 83 percent of those interviewed (100 total) think the game is not as good as it was before.

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FSN South Blocks Carolina HDTV Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

The NHL season is almost a month old, and the Carolina Hurricanes are still trying to nail down their secondary television package. The team's primary rights-holder, FSN South, blocked the team's HDTV deal with Time Warner Cable, leaving the team scrambling to find a way to get additional games on TV -- including Ron Francis Night on Jan. 28.

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Should Coaches Be Held Responsible For Players Actions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

After Atlanta coach Bob Hartley sent out his tough guys late in blowout losses to Toronto and Tampa Bay, resulting in violent incidents and suspensions to Andy Sutton and Eric Boulton, it renewed the debate over coaches being held liable for the actions of their players. Should Hartley get the same six games that Boulton got for elbowing Tampa rookie Paul Ranger? Should Marc Crawford have been made to pay for the sins of Todd Bertuzzi?

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Blackhawks Getting Heathly- Must Improve To Beat Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

It might not seem like it tonight at the United Center, but the Blackhawks could be on the upswing heading into the second of three straight games against the powerful Detroit Red Wings. Wingers Kyle Calder and Tuomo Ruutu, neither of whom made the trip to Detroit, also practiced Friday, and Yawney said Calder should be available for tonight's game. Ruutu will be a game-time decision. Calder is coming off an elbow injury that kept him out of the last two games. Ruutu has had lower back problems since the season began. He missed the last four games.

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Sacred Numbers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore has used some ancient history this season to modernize his mask: he's had LX, his sweater number 60 in Roman numerals, painted on both sides. He's also got an LX tattooed inside his left bicep. Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer, two Canadiens Hall of Famers, will see their No. 12 retired next month - on the 12th, of course - and hung from the rafters of the Bell Centre. Moore believed the number he wore from 1951-63 brought him so much luck that when he founded his equipment rental business, he wanted 12 to be part of his telephone number.

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Spezza Becoming Special

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

If you haven't seen Jason Spezza's overtime goal Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, turn on your television to one of the all-sports networks, grab a seat and wait a couple of minutes. It will come. Goals such as that get played over and over. And afterwards, you will notice how your jaw is almost in your lap. What the hockey world witnessed two nights ago was not only a spectacular clutch goal by a dazzling young talent, but what could prove a major demarcation point for the Mississauga native and former prodigy. Years from now, we may look back at that goal and point to it as the moment Spezza became an NHL star. "I have goals and I want to be one of the best players in this league," Spezza said. "Hopefully, this year will be a kind of a coming-out party in that sense, that I can show people I can be the player that I've always thought I can be."

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