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Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2009)—Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Brown, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Edmonton Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 25.

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Forced Sit-Down May Actually Help Wings

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Much was made of the fact that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will not permit either the Detroit Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk or Nicklas Lidstrom from playing in Tuesday’s first game after the break because they skipped Sunday’s All-Star Game, in order to permit minor injuries to heal.

What an unnecessary tempest in a teapot.

In the grand scheme of things, a couple of extra days off for their two veteran stars will help, not hurt, the Red Wings as they prepare to defend the Stanley Cup…

That’s not to fault Bettman for his decision either. Last February, at the semi-annual general managers’ meeting, he made it clear that All-Star Game matters and so the policy going forward was this: If a player opts out, there better be a good reason to do so – or at least an injury significant enough to keep him out of the game just before the break or the game after.

read on

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The Games Count Now

from TSN,

History shows that having a playoff position in January tends to be a big indicator of who ends up with a spot in April. In each of the last two seasons, 14 of the 16 teams that held playoff spots at the all-star break went on to make the postseason.  In other words, teams on the outside looking in today will really have their work cut out for them.

But that doesn’t mean that that the jump can’t be made.  In the Eastern Conference, Buffalo, Carolina, Florida and Pittsburgh are separated by just three points.  Two of those teams will make the playoffs, and two won’t.  In the West, only two points separate the five teams seeded six through 10, with the Oilers and Canucks both in the thick of the battle.

read on

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Ugly Incident In College Game

from Kevin Ryan of the Ann Arbor News via Mlive,

An on-ice incident during the University of Michigan hockey team’s game against Michigan State at Yost Ice Arena on Saturday night landed Wolverines defenseman Steve Kampfer in the hospital, Spartans players Corey Tropp and Andrew Conboy facing discipline and a man being accused of physically confronting a player in Michigan State’s locker room.

Kampfer, a junior from Jackson, was clothes-lined and sucker-punched from behind by Conboy along the boards and whacked in the neck area by Tropp’s stick during the final minute of play in the Wolverines’ 5-3 victory on Saturday. Moments earlier, Kampfer had knocked Tropp off his feet with what appeared to be a clean open-ice hit.

continued with video…

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Bettman & MacLean

Last night Ron MacLean of HNIC had his annual ASG sit-down with Gary Bettman.

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  Tags: gary+bettman

Veteran Dmen Will Be Available

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Many around the league believe the Flyers are one veteran defenseman away from being a serious playoff threat. With the NHL trading deadline March 4, Holmgren is expected to look closely at defensemen who will become unrestricted free agents after this season, and he could use the Flyers’ depth at forward to acquire one.

Atlanta’s Niclas Havelid, Colorado’s Brett Clark, Phoenix’s Derek Morris, Nashville’s Dan Hamhuis and the Islanders’ Brendan Witt are expected to be on the trade block in the next six weeks. With Scottie Upshall, Lupul and Knuble, the Flyers have the assets to land one of them. Holmgren optimistic

more on the Flyers…

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The Bettman Way

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

The bottom line is that Bettman did it his way and it worked. The National Hockey League that was on display here this weekend is a far happier, healthier place than it was in the fall of 2004 when Bettman locked out the NHLPA.

All our dire predictions that Bettman was going to trash the league, that the fans would never come back, that a league like the NHL could never survive another labour stoppage, much less a lost season? Forgotten.

Just like all those hundreds of emails I received during the lockout from fans who declared that they would never, ever buy a ticket to a NHL game again.

Stupid me. I believed them. Bettman didn’t, which is why he is the commissioner and I am an ink-stained media wretch.

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Would Gerber Help Flames?

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

One of the things being discussed is the future of Ottawa Senators netminder Martin Gerber. He’s been waived by the team and is expected to meet today with Sens GM Bryan Murray to figure out what happens next.

The Flames are rumoured to be considering bringing the veteran in as insurance in case workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff succumbs to a late-season injury.

According to a colleague in the nation’s capital, the belief is the Flames might be interested if the Sens are willing to pick up half of the $1.5 million left on Gerber’s salary.

read on

via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

We said it before the season started and we’ll say it again now: Enjoy Michael Cammalleri the rest of the season, because on July 1, he’ll be a Toronto Maple Leaf, making almost as much money as Jarome Iginla.

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Chemistry Issue In Anaheim

from J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News,

Ducks general manager Bob Murray will decide sometime over the next month whether to tear his team down for the future, or build it up for one more Stanley Cup run.

With time to reflect at the All-Star break, and just 31days remaining before the March 4 trade deadline, he’s not sure which direction to go. In a telephone interview Sunday from Chicago, Murray said he’s just as confused as anybody about why the team has made the decision so tough.

“Something’s not right in the dressing room,” he said. “Within that group of players, it doesn’t for some reason lend itself to the team coming and playing with enthusiasm. There’s no energy. That could be a chemistry issue.”

continued

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Back To Reality

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

...But that party’s over.

There will still be glorious hockey celebrations – imagine Canada winning two gold medals at next year’s Vancouver Winter Games – but no more spectacular bashes that suggest the revenue streams are as endless as the water that flows here from the Great Lakes.

“We are having a good season,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a news conference here on Saturday.

“It’s a wonder no one threw a shoe at him,” a francophone reporter muttered.

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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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