Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Something Special About The Pens

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

It isn’t just in Pittsburgh that fans are getting caught up in the Penguins’ improbable vault from second-to-last place in 2005-06 to fourth place in the Eastern Conference this season.
“There’s a Penguins craze building like a big wave, and it’s not only in Pittsburgh but everywhere else,” national broadcaster Bill Clement said yesterday. “It’s to the point where almost every person I speak to says they love to watch the Penguins more than any other team. You can tell there’s something special when hockey people want to watch the Penguins all the time.”

read on

thanks to a KK reader for the tip…

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9 Days Left To Trade

Spector is working OT… Breaking down the numerous trade rumors is not easy folks, but Spector is doing it in fine fashion…

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Modin Close To Re-Signing

from the Columbus Dispatch,

With nine days left before the NHL trade deadline, the Blue Jackets appear to be preparing for a fire sale.
Right winger Anson Carter is likely gone, with Vancouver, Pittsburgh or Carolina his likely destination. So is defenseman Bryan Berard, if the Jackets can find a taker.
But one player isn’t going anywhere. At least that’s how it looks.
Left winger Fredrik Modin is expected to sign a multiyear contract extension with the Blue Jackets later this week.

read on

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All Kinds Of Options For Billy

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues President John Davidson says the team has several options when it comes to Guerin, but sources say the club wants to capitalize on his trade value.
“Listen, here’s where it is with Billy: Billy didn’t play in the playoffs last year, and Billy didn’t play the year before because there was no hockey,” Davidson said. “Billy is a guy that, you never know, if he did get traded, and that’s a big if, he may want to come back during the summer. If we miss the playoffs and Billy’s here and we didn’t re-sign him, we’d be caught with nothing. That’s not a good thing for the future of the St. Louis Blues. There’s all kinds of different options with a guy like Billy.”

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“Beat” The Sabres

from the Buffalo News,

I suspect that the opposition’s mantra will be “pound them - knock ‘em to the ice at every opportunity - wear ‘em down - it will pay off in the third period.” This mantra is especially popular with Buffalo’s three eastern Canadian rivals, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, who will meet the Sabres eight times between now and the playoffs.
The Maple Leafs are brazenly open about their feeling that the way to beat the Sabres is to out-tough them, a tactic that will be even more obvious when the Leafs get Darcy Tucker back in their lineup.

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Why Not Use CNBC

from the Ice Block,

Today’s three NBC games start at 3:30 pm eastern. The games are regional, although most of the country will get Pens-Caps. If you have Center Ice, you can get the other two games on there.
What’s on CNBC at 3:30? Paid programming until 6:30.
There has to be some sort of deal the NHL and NBC can work out to get a bonus game on that network. No, it’s not going to be any sort of ratings monster, but CNBC is on basic cable on many systems and any extra accessible hockey would be good for the league right now, even if a lot of marketing has to be done to let people know it’s there.

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A New Franchise In Canada

from Darren Desaulniers of the Ottawa Citizen,

While overall NHL attendance is down 0.5 per cent from last season, Daly said, it’s still at its second highest level ever. He also said attendance figures for the first six weeks of 2007 were better than for the same time period in 2006.
Daly also touched on the status of certain NHL markets, including Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Nashville.
The franchise that troubles Daly is Nashville, where the Predators are receiving poor support from the corporate sector.
He then said that the NHL, as a rule, opposes franchise relocation, but later added he wouldn’t be surprised to see a new franchise in Canada in the future.

read on

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San Jose Plans

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

While Internet rumors and reports of imminent deals rain down this time of the year, as if the authors have a pipeline to each phone call made between teams, the best way to forecast what Wilson might do is to look at the past.
At the trade deadline in each of his first two years as San Jose’s GM, Wilson has added pieces in the hopes of improving his contending clubs.
If the past is the best predictor of the future, Wilson likely is not finished after Friday’s deal with New Jersey to reacquire Russian forward Alexander Korolyuk.
“I think Doug is trying to improve the team,” coach Ron Wilson said. “But you do that throughout the season. That’s what these games are all about right now, seeing where your team is.”

read on

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An Awkward Night

from Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star, T

he estrangement between Toronto and Keon had been so prolonged, and so poorly explained by the man behind the grimace, that rapprochement felt awkward, not quite as advertised, and something less than magic.
Keon looked uncomfortable on the blue carpet, barely cracking a smile – either devoid of emotion or suppressing it. Later, though, he visibly trembled in the midst of a reporter gang press.
“Just look at this,’’ he said through thin lips when an inquisitor wondered if it was easier being a Leaf two generations ago.

read on

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Keep An Eye On…

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• A guy to keep an eye on at the deadline is Phoenix D Derek Morris. Scheduled to make $3.9 million (all terms US) for the next two seasons, he has a no-trade clause in his contract, but there’s talk he could be moved out of the desert.
• There’s been a lot of discussion about W Gary Roberts winding up with either Toronto or Ottawa at the deadline, but you can all but rule out the Leafs
• As for Khabibulin, he has two years left at $6.75 million per year and the market is limited. Sure, the Lightning would like to bring Khabibulin back, but not at that price.

more from Mr. Garrioch…

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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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