Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Miller Given Time To Find His Game

from the Buffalo News,

The All-Star goaltender isn’t being benched per se. That would seem as though he has been punished.
But the Sabres haven’t been happy with Miller’s recent performances and are giving him time to rediscover his game.
“He needs two or three real good practice days where he just gets back to what I call a relaxed comfort zone,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “He seems like he’s been uptight. He’s put a lot of pressure on himself, which he usually does.”

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Kings May Not Be Done Dealing

from the LA Daily News,

Lombardi declined to discuss specifics - although he did dismiss a rumored deal that would send Rob Blake to Edmonton - but said his general strategy would be to keep the Kings’ young core of players and trade those with expiring contracts.
“You can look at the contract situations and figure it out pretty well,” Lombardi said.
That would move Brent Sopel, Sean Avery and perhaps Aaron Miller, all potential free agents, to the top of the list, but Lombardi said it’s against his nature of his job to declare any player as “untouchable.”

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Female Hockey Player Convicted Of Assault

from Canoe,

A former Niagara Falls women’s hockey player joined company with NHL bad guys Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorley when she was charged after a vicious on-ice assault in London.
But unlike the disgraced big-league athletes given conditional discharges for hockey violence, Julia Tropea was dealt a criminal record yesterday for kicking London Devilette Carly Bernard in the head with her skate two years ago.

continued

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Everyone Into The Pool

from the Winnipeg Sun,

The Super Draft Hockey Lottery started out with 917 entries and a $5,000 purse in 1984.
Twenty-three years later, Canada’s largest hockey pool boasts more than 6,000 entries and a $90,000 purse.
Not bad for a tiny little town in Saskatchewan. And certainly not bad for a couple of brothers-in-law who were simply chatting about expanding their 10-man hockey pool after a curling game in the spring of 1984.

continued

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It Is All About Confidence

from the Democrat & Chronicle,

It very easily could have gone the other way for Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek.
Last spring, for the first time in his hockey career, the wonderfully skilled native of Austria was nothing more than a part-time player when the Sabres were storming through the Stanley Cup playoffs.
After playing the prized rookie left wing in all but one of the 82 regular-season games, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff crossed Vanek’s name off the lineup sheet eight times in 18 postseason games.
“I worry every time I take a player out how he’s going to react,” Ruff said recently. “Obviously, the spotlight is even bigger when you take a player that has the offensive caliber of Thomas out of the lineup in the playoffs.”

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Savard Remains Loyal

from the Chicago Tribune,

In the greater scheme of things the game meant very little—a run-of-the-mill late January game for a team with little hope of making the playoffs. Yet Savard had to take time to compose himself in order to not break down, then professed his love for his players, the city of Chicago and the franchise.
After waiting so long for a chance to be a head coach, Savard has thrown himself into the job with the intensity normally found in the NFL coaching ranks.
“If I have to be here 15 hours a day, I’ll be here 15 hours a day,” Savard said over the weekend. “I’ll never give up.”

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Change The Gear

from Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle,

The future Hall of Fame goalie is dead-on, of course, regardless of the fact he’s playing the position that would be most adversely affected by such a change. Brodeur suggests expanding the size of the playing surface or going to more 4-on-4 skating, if the trend continues.
“If they make the nets bigger, players are just going to shoot from everywhere,” he added. “Does the league really think 8-7 and 9-8 games are going to make hockey more popular? I don’t know too many hockey fans who want to see that.”

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Only If He Is Healthy

from the Windsor Star,

He wants out of Philadelphia badly there’s no doubt about that,” one Wings scout confirmed. “It’s been discussed trying to bring him here.”
The Wings interest in Forsberg will depend entirely on his health.
“There’s been one inquiry, a long time ago, only to say that if he were healthy we’d like to hear from Paul at the deadline, if he’s going to move him,” a Wings official said. “If he’s going to be dealt, just place a courtesy call to us.”
“I can’t say we’re the front-runners,” said the Wings’ official of the persistent rumours that Detroit’s large Swedish contingent and cap space make the Wings a leading contender for Forsberg.
“We have no interest if he’s not real healthy.”

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Fans Embrace Canes

from the Toronto Star,

The city has embraced the reigning Stanley Cup champions, with 15 home dates so far drawing more than 18,000 fans to the RBC Center. That’s a far cry from last year when only seven of their first 25 home dates drew that many fans.
“Clearly, if you win the Cup, that’s the ultimate,” said president and general manager Jim Rutherford. “It makes your business run so much better.”
A testament to how much the fans in Raleigh have embraced the only pro sports team in town came earlier this week in a fundraising event. Traditionally the team raises about $30,000-$35,000 (all figures U.S.) on its casino night. The biggest draw is usually a trip for two with the Canes on a road trip, drawing about $3,000. This year the event raised about $150,000 with the road trip-winning bid topping $10,000.

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Leafs Or Flyers

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

So if you had a choice between being where the Flyers are today and where the Leafs are today, everyone except John Ferguson and a few stubborn diehards would take the Flyers’ position.
If you’re going to be lousy in sports these days, it pays in the end to be really lousy. Being middle of the pack gets you Jiri Tlusty not Sidney Crosby. Being middle of the pack gives you hope when you really have none.
There is no false hope in Philadelphia these days. People know this team is terrible. People hope there is a star on the way.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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