Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Brett Again

Brett Hull did a Q & A with the Star-Tribune,

Any changes needed?
They’ve got to get rid of the shields, get rid of the diving. And make the goalies’ pads—I don’t want them smaller—I want them more aerodynamic so every time they go down it’s not like a wall. So that if they’re rounded there are still holes there like there used to be. With all the materials in the world, they can make the chest and arm protectors still protective, and still get holes under the arms and what-not. I think making the nets larger is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. Is it hockey or is it soccer? The nets have been fine for I don’t know how long the game’s been around, you know?

more

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Close Call For Ref

from the Winnipeg Free Press,

Rob Martell has heard all the jokes about referees and bad eyesight, but for the last two months he’s had trouble seeing the humour in witty wisecracks about vision.
Martell suffered an eye injury on Oct. 5 in a game between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues. A redirected slapshot hit the Winnipeg-born Martell in the left eye and he almost immediately lost vision in it.
“Right away, I knew this was worse than the usual bumps we get,” recalled Martell, who will work a game in New Jersey Tuesday when the Devils host the Atlanta Thrashers. “I knew this was something out of the ordinary. Almost immediately, I couldn’t see out of the eye, and when I was leaving the rink, I was wondering if it was the last time I would step off the ice.”

continued

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Credit Goes To The Trainers

from the National Post,

Higgins sat at his locker after logging an impressive 15:08 of ice time over 20 shifts and spoke of everything just short of voodoo and witch doctors to describe his rehabilitation routine, which began shortly after he mangled his ankle Nov. 4 in a home game against the New Jersey Devils.
The problem for the medical staff was the complexity of the injury, which didn’t quite know what it wanted to be.
“Chris had bruising, irritated tendons and an irritated ligament—a strain, sprain and a bruise, all together,” Rynbend said. “There were a lot of different issues going on. It’s almost like he had a broken ankle.

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Are They Superstars

from Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle,

All this hype about Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin already having achieved superstar status is nice, but is it valid?
Make no mistake, Pittsburgh’s 19-year-old sensation Crosby and Washington’s Ovechkin, 23 months older at age 21—drafted first overall in successive years of 2004 and 2005—are the best players to step into the National Hockey League in a long time. Their skills are nearly beyond description as Crosby leads the league in scoring with 52 points and Ovechkin is tied for the top spot in goals with 22.

continued

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Naslund Feeling The Heat

from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,

Vancouver talk radio sports shows are punctuated with callers wondering what’s wrong with Naslund, often saying he should be traded (Naslund has a no-trade clause in his contract).
For the Canucks to return to the Western Conference playoffs in the spring, they will need their top-paid players to put up numbers that reflect their positions on the payroll. Naslund understands and takes his responsibilities seriously.
“I would like to score more goals, there’s no doubt about it,” Naslund said before the team departed for a four-game trip beginning Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild. “I try to do the right things, and hopefully things will come along and I will get my chances — and I’ll get my goals.

more

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Lame Shootout

from Ted Montgomery of USA TODAY,

The shootout … I don’t know. The first 20 times or so, it was pretty exciting, but now it seems kind of lame to me. While it has been responsible, obviously, for abolishing ties once and for all (and good riddance), it now seems too gimmicky. Soon there will be hired guns available for shootouts. I’ll make this analogy using baseball.

read on...and much more from “The Mouth”...

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Is There A Deal Brewing

from Slam,

Sources close to Petr Nedved have told SLAM! Sports that the embattled Philadelphia Flyers’ centre may be headed back to the New York Rangers as part of a multi-team deal, instead of returning to Europe as many speculated.
Nedved is currently under contract for $2.4 million USD, and any team trading for him would be responsible for the remainder of his salary for the 2006-07 season.
NHL rosters are frozen beginning at midnight on Dec. 19 through Dec. 27 for the Holiday break.

continued

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Chara Just Wants A Win

from Matt Kalman at the HockeyJournal,

B’s head coach Dave Lewis and center Marc Savard both predicted Zdeno Chara’s return to Ottawa tomorrow night would be “exciting.”
But you’d never know it by talking to the giant defenseman.
“I’ve thought about it, obviously. It’s my former team, but now it’s just a matter of both teams want to win the game. And it’s business as usual,” Chara said after the B’s practiced at TD Banknorth Garden this morning and before they chartered to Ottawa for tomorrow night’s game with the Senators.

continued...plus much more on the Bruins…

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AO Steps Up

from Capital Insider, the blog of Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,

I wrote last month that Ovechkin’s defense has improved significantly this season. Well, I’ve noticed, particularly in recent games, that defense is not the only area where he’s getting better.
As one person who watches him regularly said today, “It’s like he’s got rocket fuel in his skates” in recent weeks. Another person said he’s playing with greater “intensity and determination” than the first two months of the season.

more (reg. may be req.)...

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Ozolinsh On Waivers

via RDS (translated),

Rangers of New York lost patience with the defender Sandis Ozolinsh, whose name was placed at the ballot.
The 34 years back obtained three points in 21 matches this season. It presents also a ratio less eight.
Ozolinsh touches wages of more than three million dollars this season.

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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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