Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hatcher Must Go

from the Trenton Times,

And like the Mets, who saw Mays retire after the 1973 season, the Flyers need to let Hatcher go. It won't be an easy pill to swal low. Hatcher is only 10 games into the second season of a four-year, $14 million contract he signed after the lockout. Putting him on waiv ers -- where he likely would go unclaimed -- would save the team $3.5 million against the salary cap this year. The hard choice comes this summer. The Flyers can let Hatcher spend the next two seasons skating for the Phantoms, or they can buy out the remaining two years of the deal. That move would save on Comcast-Specta cor's internal budget, as the team would only have to play two-thirds of the remaining $7 million. But the cap hit would be about $1.17 million a season for four seasons, as under league rules that remaining two-thirds amount stays on the cap for twice the remaining life of the contract.
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Banned For Life

from the Oswego Daily News,

Brandon “Sugar” Sugden, of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team, candidly described how he was banned for life from the sport he loves because drugs and alcohol took over his life.... “I drank and broke curfew every night,” he said. Today he realizes, “There is nothing good going to come from going out and getting drunk.” As for drugs, he says, “Just don’t do them. They’re horrible. I wish I had never done drugs.” He first tried cocaine when he was 21 while in Cincinnati. The next year, he brought coke with him to training camp. “It’s something you train your whole life for and then you go and do something stupid,” he recalls. He got kicked off the team; but he continued to do coke, he said.
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No Moves For Columbus

from the Columbus Dispatch,

"I don’t think we’ve gotten a total feel for this team yet, with (Fedorov) just coming back (from a shoulder injury) and getting into shape," MacLean said. "I don’t want to do anything right now, because I really like the make-up of the team. And the coaches like the makeup of our team. "I’m talking to different teams, but no more or less than usual, and our start to the season has nothing to do with it. Honestly, I’m not looking to do anything right now." How long will MacLean stay in waitand-see mode? The Blue Jackets, with only 19 goals in nine games, are one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring clubs.
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All Alone

from James Duthie of TSN,

Quick, kids, name the most useless, irrelevant position in sports. Point After holder for the Buffalo Bills? Valid, but no. Post-Season Ticket Coordinator, Kansas City Royals? Close. Personal Trainer, John Daly? Sorry. Try NHL Goal Judge. Oh sure, once upon a time he was Da Man! Any goal the referee didn't see clearly, it would be all up to him. His thumb and that little red-light button would decide the outcome of many a game.
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Middle Of The Pack

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

The easy thing to say is they are a work in progress, these Senators, but the more accurate description is they must progress in their work. Where have you heard that before, huh? Despite some improved play lately, the same flaws keep cropping up -- too much individualistic play, not enough patience -- though not as often, and Senators coach Bryan Murray is starting to sound like he's about had enough.
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Koharski Sidelined

from HockeyRefs,

NHL referee Don Koharski is out for about a week after a puck hit his face Saturday, sources said. Koharski, 50, was overseeing a game between the visiting New York Rangers and Phoenix Coyotes when a puck deflected into his face in the third period. The game, which ended in a 7-3 loss for Phoenix, was finished by referee Tom Kowal and linesmen Brad Kovachik and Tim Nowak.
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Without Powerplays…

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

If it weren't for power plays, we'd be watching soccer on ice. Take out the goals that are scored in an unbalanced-manpower situation these days and you're usually left with something along the lines of a 1-1 game.... On a purely physical level, players are getting bigger and faster. On a skill level, they're getting better and better. And since it's always easier to destroy than create, it stands to reason that it's getting harder and harder to create a scoring play in a rink that has not changed in size in a hundred years.
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Islanders Not Interested In Allison

via Newsday,

Don't look for free agent Jason Allison on Long Island anytime soon. A team official said yesterday the Isles have no interest in pursuing the center, who had 60 points in 66 games for Toronto last season.

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Two Takes On European Player Development

By George Malik Two articles from the Globe and Mail caught my eye recently: First, Ken Campbell does a nice job of debunking the IIHF's study on the NHL's "detrimental" effects on European player development:

The motivation behind the IIHF report was to try to convince the hockey powers to allow players to play longer in Europe, not only so that they’ll ultimately develop into better NHL players, but so they’ll fill more European rinks, and elevate the quality of play and the teams over there will make more money.
The fact is, playing as a teenager in a foreign land might not be for everyone. But is it that destructive for a player to come to North America and learn the language, culture and style of play before embarking on an NHL career? One of the stats in the study astounds me, quite frankly. It points out that 79.4 per cent of the Europeans who came to play in the CHL as 16- or 17-year-olds never went on to play in the NHL. That means, then, that 20.6 per cent of them did. That’s a phenomenal number!

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Malkin & Staal

Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal were involved in the NHL tele-coference today.

Q. Evgeni, what is it like playing with Sidney Crosby? Do you find Sidney Crosby thinks the game the same way you do when you play together? EVGENI MALKIN: It's great play with Sidney Crosby because he's one of the best players. He has a great view on the ice. He’s always going to find you with his great passes. It's still a little bit difficult because I'm not used to playing on the wing. But I think it's going to take a little bit of time. I think I will play my role better and better because it's easy to play with a player like Sidney Crosby. Q. What is it like playing on a team that has so many stars with Crosby and Malkin and Recchi? Does it make it easier for you to play your game knowing those guys are focused on a little bit more? JORDAN STAAL: Yeah. I mean, it's obviously a lot better when you're playing with a lot of great players. I think this team's really starting to join together, really creating lot of chemistry. I think we're starting to pull together in the last couple of games. We can really be a good team in the future.

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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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