Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Goalie Makes The Difference

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

They were two young NHL general managers facing similar challenges, both running Canadian teams that had missed the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs and in desperate need of a starting goaltender.
One went big. One went medium-sized.
The GM who went big was Vancouver’s David Nonis and, as the grinding NHL season moves through January, the Canucks are discovering the benefits of almost never having to wonder or worry about the identity of their goaltender from night to night.

continued

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Shake-Up The Bruins

from the Boston Herald,

Dave Lewis has seen enough.
After watching his team stumble to its sixth defeat in seven games yesterday with a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden - Tim Thomas [stats]’ 35 saves prevented another lopsided result - the Bruins [team stats] coach vowed to shake up the lineup for tomorrow’s matinee against the Buffalo Sabres.
“We need to either change the lines or change the rotation on players, because right now it’s not working,” Lewis said.

continued

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Rangers Want To Make Moves

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Post has learned the Rangers are not content with what might be termed as a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the S.S. Minnow. Rather, sources report that management this week has intensified efforts to reacquire Martin Rucinsky from the Blues while also engaging in protracted conversations with the Penguins, believed to be focused on top-six winger Ryan Malone, and perhaps on physical defenseman Brooks Orpik as well.

read on

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The Uniform System

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Propaganda Alert! Scheduled to unveil its new uniform design at a press event in New York on Wednesday, the NHL will attempt to control the message from the players through talking points distributed by a PR agency.
“To assist us in the launch, we have hired public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard to collaborate with NHL players in the role of player advocacy, so that we will build consensus, keep everyone informed and educated, and work toward a product launch that will reflect well on the league, Reebok and the players whose input was - and will remain - critical to all phases of this project,” reads a memo distributed by the league to its teams last week, and obtained by Slap Shots.

more

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What About Jagr

from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,

Sather acknowledged yesterday that his consultation consisted of calling league vice president Colin Campbell and telling him the Rangers would be happy if Jagr were bypassed.
“I’d have loved to have seen him go,” Sather said. “But the best thing for the team and for him is to take the time and work on his leg and heal. You don’t want a guy going down there for three days and get really hurt.”
Campbell could have said the heck with it, chosen Jagr and put the onus on the superstar and his team. But hockey people don’t do that. They take the hit for one of their own.

more

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The Talk Of Trades

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,

Will Peter Forsberg be changing addresses at the NHL trade deadline next month?
At this point, it is doubtful….
Minnesota general manager Doug Risebrough has sent out a fax to all 29 teams to let them know winger Pascal Dupuis is available….
Several teams have called the Bruins about defenceman Brad Stuart—including the Oilers, Sharks, Wings and Canucks….

more

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Give The Medal Back

via the CP,

The gold medal-winning goalie from Canada’s sledge hockey team had his most prized possession stolen at a charity event Saturday.
Paul Rosen of Thornhill, Ont., was signing autographs at a fundraiser for spinal chord research at Downsview Park in north Toronto when he turned around and discover the theft.
“I don’t care if it was a lark. I don’t want to prosecute. I just want it back,” Rosen said. “I worked for four years every single day to win that medal.”
Rosen made 18 saves to help Canada defeat Norway 3-0 in the Paralympic Winter Games gold-medal games last march in Turin, Italy.

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Kings Will Become Sellers

from the LA Times,

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky probably will remain with the Kings, team officials said Saturday at a meeting with season-ticket holders.
Visnovsky, the subject of several trade rumors, is a “core player” who “we’ll look to sign this summer,” Ron Hextall, assistant general manager, told fans. He later qualified that by saying, “Well, I would never say never, but it would take a lot.”
Still, although Visnovsky appears to be an untouchable, General Manager Dean Lombardi indicated the Kings would now start to look to next season as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches.
“With the way the team is now, we will end up being sellers while many other teams are buyers,” Lombardi said. “We can end up getting good young players and picks.”

more (reg. req.)

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Forget GAA, Sv%- Think PI

from Jeff Z. Klein & Karl-Eric Reif of the New York Times,

A rating system called the Perseverance Index gives fans a better read on whose save percentage benefits from a light workload and whose suffers beneath a hail of frozen vulcanized rubber.
Basically, it combines six parts save percentage to one part shots against. Above is a chart of the top performances this season by that measure, through Friday’s games, with category leaders in bold.

read on

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Forget Parity

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

At the risk of being banned from every NHL arena, parity might be overrated.
I used to be all for it. I used to preach and preach about the importance of it in Sunday columns when I worked in another market….
Apparently, I was wrong. Clearly the fans aren’t buying into the fact that 23 teams of about identical stature have amazingly defied mathematics to all be above “.500.”
Just look at the attendance. And not the attendance figures the NHL releases, but actually walk into arenas or turn on your TV. Most every U.S. market’s arena is half to three-quarters full.

read on

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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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