Kukla's Korner

What Are Canes Waiting For

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Perhaps Jim Rutherford is too busy clearing out space on his mantle for that Executive of the Year trophy. Perhaps he was too busy trying to lowball 2005 draftee Jack Johnson into giving up his college career at Michigan and jumping to the Hurricanes. Whatever it is, the Carolina Hurricanes president/general manager needs to get on the ball and stop procrastinating. He must sign coach Peter Laviolette to an extension, and the time to do it was yesterday.
continued

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Milbury Talks To Players- They Still Lose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

He may be a lame-duck GM, but Milbury is still employed by owner Charles Wang, who, as Milbury told the players, was owed an apology for their no-show performance against the Penguins. This kind of move doesn't reflect confidence in the motivational skills of interim coach Brad Shaw. Now that the playoffs are no longer the focus, the franchise's impending overhaul has returned to the front burner. Milbury's appearance sent a confusing message to the players and might do the same around the league, where there is already skepticism as to whether he will truly no longer be involved in hockey operations.
more

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Questions Waiting For Gretzky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Wayne Gretzky did not make the overnight trip with the Phoenix Coyotes here as the clock sprang forward Saturday night. "He went back to Phoenix. He has an issue with his family,'' said Coyotes media relations man Rick Braunstein. Gretzky? An issue with his family?
read on

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The Greatest Hockey Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Uh oh! Get the crying towels out ... get the conspiracy theorists going ... get a new commission to investigate the state of affairs!!! Yes, Canada could become quite the country of confrontations as its hockey fans face the reality that we are no longer No. 1 in international hockey. You see, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) came to the conclusion that Sweden is the better men's hockey nation in its world rankings. I discovered it in the IIHF's newsletter Ice Times.
continued

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Remembering His Grandfather

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I was watching the Sens/Caps game last night and noticed Washington goaltender Brent Johnson's mask. On the back, he is honoring his grandfather, hall of famer Sid Abel. Nice touch Brent. Sid's #12 hangs from the Joe Louis rafters and he was the center of the famous "Production Line". After his playing career, Abel was the Wings GM/coach and finished up his hockey career in the radio booth. I ams sure Sid would have said something like this about his grandson's shutout performance last night, "Brent, he are a good player, Bruce." updated 3:55pm, Well, at least to me Sid looks like Jack Nicholson. A reader pointed the picture looked alot like Jack, and so it is (see comments for more details). image image added 11:09am, While on the topic of Sid, Abel to Yzerman found a nice piece about some of the Wild players paying tribute to Yzerman.

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What Was Esche Thinking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philly Burbs,

The shock value of Robert Esche's week-old “writing on the wall'' comments has pretty much worn off, but the long-term effects could resonate around the Flyers for some time to come. Looking back on what amounted to a concession speech to rookie Antero Niittymaki, it's a bit perplexing that Esche would voice such an opinion when, at the time, there was still about a month to go in the season. Is Esche some sort of soothsayer, a prophet who's able to gaze into the future and predict that Niittymaki won't get hurt or suffer a downturn in his play?
continued

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Controlled Chaos

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Boy, you can almost taste that beer that nobody brought, but these guys watching the game have had more important things to worry about for the last 2 1/2 hours or so. And now, with the referee calling the NHL video crew upstairs to review the goal, a new task is at hand. They want to find a replay from their video footage that will prove whether the puck went in or stayed out of the net -- hopefully before a verdict is rendered from the league's video-review judges. The heat is on and you are again witnessing for the upteenth time this night what they describe as the "controlled chaos" of a TV production crew covering a hockey game.
read on...long, but a great behind the scenes look of what goes into producing a hockey game...

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No Time To Panic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Fans have seen every facet of the team affected by these injury losses. From goaltending to grit, from scoring to defense -- it's a wonder no one has attempted to swaddle Daniel Alfredsson in bubble wrap on his off days. Forget that the Senators have had a franchise record 12 wins in March -- some message boards dedicated to the team are feverishly predicting an apocalypse. Too many integral cogs forced to the sidelines during such a crucial period. Meanwhile, the questions perpetually linger regarding their degrees of injury, and projected length of recovery. Keep in mind these are the same Senators that clinched a playoff spot last week, and continue to dominate the Eastern conference.
read on

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Canes Want The #1 Spot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Miami Herald,

Ottawa, Carolina and Detroit are all in the mix for the award, one that makes for a pretty banner to hang from the rafters but means little if that team doesn't add the Stanley Cup as well. ''We've been talking about this for two months,'' Carolina's Bret Hedican said. ``We're going for it. We want to win it. We have a main focus -- and that's winning the Cup -- but we can make a statement, too.'' But Hedican knows winning the trophy might just mean more in North Carolina. There are some who question why Raleigh has an NHL franchise, and Hedican knows having the league's top team hail from Tobacco Road will not sit well with many of the team's critics.
read on

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Wide Open East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

All the playoff-bound clubs in the east have suffered through a recent dry spell. All must wonder today whether they have the stuff to go the distance. Other than the Devils, there isn't a team with a healthy, playoff-proven goalie in the post-season picture. Yet none — including the rattled Sabres — can be ruled out as the conference's possible representative in the Stanley Cup final come June. It's wide open. Eastern teams that miss this post-season prom entirely, you have to believe, will be kicking themselves all summer long.
more

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