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More Fighting Off Ice Than On Ice

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Bickering on both sides only accentuates the negative for hockey fans
As the 15th anniversary of Gary Bettman’s hiring passes without celebration, the level of unrest in the National Hockey League may be at an all-time high.
Animosity seems everywhere these days. Owners are fighting with owners. Players are fighting with players. If you listen long enough or hard enough to anyone who loves the game or the league, they will tell you what is wrong, instead of what is right.
This is what Bettman’s NHL has become—an argument that is never completed, a debate put off until the next board of governors meeting.

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A Few Watched

from the New York Times,

It was only one of 82 games for the Devils this season, on the road last Saturday night against the Florida Panthers. Not much will be recalled. The Panthers won, 4-2, in front of 18,136 fans at the BankAtlantic Center.
But something quite extraordinary occurred in the New York market: A hockey game broke out on MSG, but almost no one watched.
Only 736 households — a minuscule .01 rating — tuned in.
That is 736 out of nearly 7.4 million, from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

continued

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Going For #5

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Lidstrom turns 37 during the playoffs, and he’s supposed to be entering the twilight of his career and yet he is on course for his fifth Norris Trophy.
Early in the season, it seemed like Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger, building off his strong playoff performance for the Edmonton Oilers last spring, might unseat Lidstrom. Pronger was the difference in much of Anaheim’s early success, but a broken foot temporarily derailed Pronger and Lidstrom’s durability and consistency kept moving him forward.
Starting play Thursday, Lidstrom leads the NHL with a plus-minus of plus-31 and he’s tied with Scott Niedermayer for most points by a defenseman with 44.

more

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Back To The Weekend

Bob McKenzie at TSN says the NHL ASG in Atlanta will be on the weekend and the Pens deal looks very close to being done.
Plus more on the NHL, inlcuding some trade talk.

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LaFleur Devastated With Charges Against Son

from the CBC,

The son of Montreal Canadiens’ legend Guy Lafleur faces a range of charges, including the sexual assault and forcible confinement of a minor….
Lafleur’s lawyer, Jean-Pierre Rancourt, said of his client’s famous hockey family: “They’re devastated.”

more

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Looking Back At Bettman

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...“I mean, there are ways you can get your story out,” said Bettman, “about who these terrific stars are and why they’re great role models and why what they do on ice is as amazing as what Michael Jordan does in the air, when he’s going to slam dunk.”
Bettman concluded: “We’ve got a great product that I think has been underappreciated.”
Sadly, those observations are as true today as they were 14 years ago when he originally said them - which may be the most damning indictment of all of Bettman’s time at the helm.

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Hedican Activated

via the Carolina Hurricanes,

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman Bret Hedican has been activated from injured reserve. Hedican is eligible to play in tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the RBC Center.

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How’s Mogilny

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Sporting News,

On the shelf with a chronic hip problem, one that has very likely ended his career, Mogilny is faced with pondering a future beyond hockey.
“It’s been very difficult,” he said on the phone from the Los Angeles area. “Everybody goes through it. But it’s not easy to be honest. You find a lot of empty space to fill.”
He’s getting paid US$3.5 million by the New Jersey Devils this season, the last year of a contract he signed with the club coming out of the lockout in August 2005.
He’ll be an unrestricted free agent July 1 but highly doubts a comeback in is the cards.
“Never say never, but probably not,” Mogilny said. “I’ll be 38 in a few weeks. . .”

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Shadowing Yashin

from David Kolb at MSG Network,

To the majority of NHL players, the morning of a game is just a routine. Wake up, eat, come to the rink, stretch, hop on the ice for 20-45 minutes, then get back into street clothes and be on their way home, or to the hotel if they are on the road.
To Alexei Yashin, things are very different.
This past Tuesday morning I decided to tag along and bear witness to what the Isles Captain’s routine is like. On this day the Isles would host the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in four years.
So at 10:30 a.m., after Yashin did a bit of stretching, he laced up and hit the ice. Yashin worked on some skills but cut his ice time a bit short, for no apparent reason.

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KK- January Stats

Well folks, it keeps on getting better.
Thanks for your patronage, it is much appreciated.
See previous month stats starting here.

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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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