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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Expect A Battle Today

from the OC Register,

Uh-oh.
There must still be bad blood between the Nashville Predators and Ducks, who would be the top two seeds in the Western Conference if the Stanley Cup playoffs began today.
No, not because Nashville coach Barry Trotz accused the Ducks of taking “cheap shots” in the closing minutes of the Predators’ 3-0 victory on Feb. 3 in Nashville and promised his players would have “long memories.”

continued

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What Will Iginla Want

fromJim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Calgary GM Darryl Sutter didn’t have to agonize over signing Jarome Iginla before Tuesday’s deadline, like the Oilers did over Ryan Smyth here, but he knows the day of reckoning isn’t that far off. Jarome
Iginla has one year at $7 million US left. He has virtually no chance of getting that same number over five years in a new deal before he’s an unrestricted free agent. Three years, maybe.

read on for more NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The NHL Doesn’t Get It

from Larry Felser of the Buffalo News,

The NHL’s problem is that it can’t - or won’t - shake its “duh!” culture. While pro football goes to extremes to protect its stars, the NHL goes to extremes to coddle its cement heads. Neil went unpunished after the Drury late hit because the NHL doesn’t have a rule against late hits. In the era before helmets were mandatory, not so long ago, the players policed themselves because they respected one another and seldom would do anything that might threaten a career. Now hockey remains in an era where head-hunting is encouraged.

read on

Filed in: Cheap Hits, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Could Clarke Be In Columbus

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

There’s speculation the clock is ticking on Blue Jackets president and GM Doug MacLean because his club is going to miss the playoffs ... again. Just wondering? Would the Jackets bring in former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke to take over from MacLean? Clarke is close friends with former Philadelphia and current Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock. The reason Clarke stepped down from his post with the Flyers was because he didn’t want to give in to owner Ed Snider’s demands to fire Hitchcock.

much more of the talk around the NHL…

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The Price Of Dealing

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Good to know that it was the same old, same old coming out of Edmonton.
Another great guy became just another greedy bum on the way out the door, this at least according to the Edmonton management and media - or is that redundant?
Really, does anyone honestly believe Ryan Smyth left the Oilers over $100,000 a year? Why would Kevin Lowe - who, like Paul Coffey and Mark Messier before him, forced his way out of Edmonton in order to make more money elsewhere - feel the need to spread that fantasy tale?

more around the NHL bits…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Ain’t Easy

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province:

Every year, it seems the trade deadline produces some big stories. Fans get excited. The media gets excited. But this is one of those stories that gets lost in all that wheeling and dealing. This is one of those stories that reminds you people are getting traded, not—what’s that word again? ah yes—assets.
“It’s great to be in the playoffs but that human side is overlooked,” said Smolinski, who was visibly moved as he talked about his situation on Saturday. “I guess it comes with the territory. I’m not the only one who’s had a trying time. But there’s still that side to it.
“It’s a chaos of emotions. You’re not too far away but your family needs that support system and it was very hard, very hard on my wife.”

“A lot of questions hit you,” Smolinski says of his reaction to the trade. “The first five or six hours, you throw your arms up in the air. It’s pretty emotional for the family. I had to take the kids to dinner and explain what’s going on.
“It’s tough, but there’s not much else you can do. The kids still have their routine. You just want to make sure when you talk to them, it counts.”

continued

 

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Facing Former Teammates

from the Chicago Tribune,

Although he’s downplaying it now, Havlat likely will feel differently Sunday when he takes the ice and sees former teammates across from him. Havlat spent his first five years in the NHL in Ottawa.
Martin Lapointe vividly remembers the first time he faced the Detroit Red Wings after signing as a free agent with the Boston Bruins in 2001-02.
“It was a weird feeling,” Lapointe said. “I felt like I was on the wrong side. You spend so many years there and have such great memories, you never think you are going to leave.”

read on

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He’s A Big Dude

from the AP via the Centre Daily Times,

“He’s a big dude,” winger Nils Ekman said of the 6-foot-3, 243-pound Laraque. “When you see him without hockey equipment on, you can see he’s just huge.”
Forward Erik Christensen said, “I really started to appreciate how big he was when I shook his hand and my hand disappeared into his.”...
“If I didn’t enjoy it,” Laraque said, “I wouldn’t do it. So yes, I enjoy it.”
“It looks like this will be dynasty for years to come, and for a veteran to be a part of it and do my role of looking after them, it’s just an honor.”

more

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Morozov Sets Superleague Record

from the New York Times:

Alexei Morozov of Ak Bars Kazan, the leading scorer in the Russian Superliga, had an assist in the first period of his club’s 6-2 victory over Metallurg Magnitogorsk last Tuesday, giving him 80 points for the season. That broke the single-season record for points at the top level of Russian or Soviet domestic hockey, set in 1980-81 by Sergei Makarov of CSKA Moscow.
Later in that game, Morozov scored his 33rd goal of the season, which also led the league. But with two games left, he is well short of the single-season domestic record: Venyamin Aleksandrov had 53 for CSKA in 1962-63.

...plus a look at the Preds attendance…

Morozov’s an unrestricted free agent, so an NHL team could theoretically sign him, but they’d have to waive him per article 13.23 of the CBA.

continued

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Where Has The Time Gone

from the Miami Herald,

Jacques Martin will coach his 1,000th regular-season game in the NHL tonight, a milestone tinged with elation and reverence as he remembers his mentor, close friend, former colleague and idol, the late Roger Neilson.
Martin will become the 12th coach in league history to accomplish the feat and tie Neilson, who was the Panthers’ first head coach.
‘‘I feel honored to still work in this league,’’ Martin said of the milestone. `I’m wondering where the time has gone.’‘

continued

Filed in: Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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