Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Let’s Get It Right

As Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette points out, Ron Wilson raises a good question ...

"I wish when we're making these kinds of critical decisions in this league, why can't one referee ask the other what he saw before you're kicking a guy out or disallowing a goal?" Wilson added. "I've never understood that. I don't stand on the bench and always make decisions on my own. If I'm confused, I ask my assistants...."

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Disclosure Please

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

This business of non-disclosing injuries is a byproduct of head coaches strung out on paranoia. Virtually every head man in pro sports believes he can't hiccup without someone cataloging his actions and planning a counter-hiccup move that will lead to a crucial turnover with time running out. To all these coaches, I'd like to say, "Get a life." But that's like asking Britney Spears to stick with K-Fed. So, is there something the NHL can do to stop this injury-reporting silliness before it reaches epic proportions? ("Bobby Orr? That would be a lower-extremity, upper-ankle booboo of the third kind.") The NHL could force its teams to tell the truth but, guaranteed, there'll be a franchise in Wawa, Ont., before that happens.
read on

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Everyone Goes To The Net

from the Edmonton Sun,

Now, with the NHL clamping down on some of the defenceman's best means of deterrence - hacks, slashes, crosschecks and punches to the back of the head - it's open season on goalies. "Guys are braver, they know they don't have to take the abuse anymore,'' said Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco. "There have always been crease crowders, but now we've got all these brave new souls who never entered that twilight zone before. "But it was inevitable, I guess. One guy gets there by accident, who hasn't been there for years, and says this isn't so bad.''

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Greg Johnson Dealing With Heart Condition

from the Tennessean,

"I saw or talked to five different doctors — everywhere from the Mayo Clinic to the Cleveland Clinic — and not one doctor would clear me to play,'' Johnson said. "All five of them had the same diagnosis, that I'd be crazy to ever step on the ice again.'' So now Johnson, 35, finds himself dealing with a wide range of emotions.... "I think that Detroit — maybe because of Jiri Fischer or whatever — pursued things a little more in depth, to see what was going on instead of passing it on as an athlete's heart.'' Maybe more than anything at this stage, so soon after his involuntary retirement, Johnson still feels frustration.

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They Meet Tonight

from the News & Observer,

Perhaps their eyes will lock briefly. Maybe Brooks Orpik will offer Erik Cole a quick nod on the ice, and then size up the Carolina Hurricanes wing for another check, but that's hockey. But there were no new vows this week to balance the scales tonight, no apologies and no calls for old-school retribution. "I can't speak to the other guys in the room, and it's not a sentiment we've addressed," Cole said Thursday night. In his first public comments after the injury March 8, Cole said the league had left the door open for Orpik's worst punishment to come "when he plays us next."
read on

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Now What Lou

from the NY Post,

Lamoriello already is believed to be right at the cap, thanks to the payroll discounts afforded by the Long-Term Injury exemptions granted Alexander Mogilny, Jason Wiemer, Richard Matvichuk and David Hale. Hale and his $600G salary are on conditioning assignment at Lowell, and the initial three-game allowance runs out tomorrow, although the league can be expected to grant a one-time, two-game extension that would run through next weekend.... Lamoriello's dilemma will be deciding if a player like Matvichuk is worth dumping another player or two. Would keeping both Brooks and Hale be worth waiving or trading Brad Lukowich, who was solid in his two games back from his ankle injury? Would Matvichuk be worth bidding farewell to someone like Sergei Brylin? These are the issues facing Lamoriello, and teams with helpful cap room are vanishing quickly.

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Equity’s What The Lockout Was All About

By George Malik: As one peruses the Forbes report on NHL franchise values, something stands out immediately--21 of the league's 30 teams made less than $5 million in operating income, and most barely broke even--before taxes. The Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils lost over $5 million apiece, and yet their teams experienced 21% and 19% increases in value, respectively. Why? Larry Brooks, love him or hate him, was right about one thing: the NHL's owners don't get make their financial hay from gate receipts and operating profits. It's all about equity.

Continue Reading »

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HHOF Worthy Or Not

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illiustrated,

Here's a look at the key NHL players who will become Hall of Fame eligible during the next three years, and their chances for induction. Let's also look at some players who are already eligible but have yet to receive a call. The Hall requires that players be retired for three seasons, and a maximum of four can get in during any given year. Al MacInnis He'll get in for sure, but not on the first ballot. Scott Stevens He'll very likely get in, but not on the first ballot. Luc Robitaille He'll get in, but not on his first try. Phil Housley He'll probably get in, but he doesn't deserve it.
many more players...and you can read why Brian thinks some will make it and some won't...

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Flyers Crash & Burn

From the Associated Press via TSN,

Peter Forsberg really is sick of losing. The Flyers captain and former NHL MVP skipped practice with the flu and might miss Saturday's game against Buffalo, leaving Philadelphia without its best player against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams. Even with a sniffle-free Forsberg in the lineup, the Flyers have been the worst team in the league this season. While Philadelphia wasn't picked as a legitimate pre-season Stanley Cup contender, no one could have predicted this dramatic freefall to the bottom of the standings.

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Full Mailbag

Phil Coffey of NHL.com had his hands full this week answering some of the fan mail he received this week. Take a step back and read some of the comments and questions, then ask yourself if you fall into the same category. If you do, take another step back, have a laugh, then enjoy the game.

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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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