Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Gallant Gone- Now What

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Word that coach Gerard Gallant had been fired began spreading among Blue Jackets players around 5 p.m. yesterday. They weren’t pleasant conversations. "Not one player is happy about it," left winger Jody Shelley said. "Gerard deserved a lot more wins than we gave him. He deserved a lot better fate, that’s for sure. "I’ve got a sick feeling about it, I really do, because I love that guy."
continued from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Gerard Gallant has been fired, and the cold, cruel NHL world is again safe for our beleaguered Blue Jackets. It is the coach’s fault, right? Sure, it is. Dumb as it is, that has always been the pro sports mentality. As they say, you can’t fire the players, so you fire the coach. The underlying hope is that maybe this will temporarily quell the uprising of disgusted season-ticket holders threatening to turn Nationwide Arena into a good place to stretch out and do some quiet reading.
read on

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What’s Next For The Senators

from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox,

If a body is to be tossed overboard in Gallant-like fashion, the prime candidates are GM John Muckler, head coach Bryan Murray and captain Daniel Alfredsson, not necessarily in that order. Muckler is in the trickiest position, having chosen to keep Redden ahead of Zdeno Chara in the off-season and failed to convincingly address the team's goaltending needs. Without Martin Gerber struggling in the nets and without Redden or Chara in the lineup, the Sens are a very vulnerable squad at this moment. During the off-season, Muckler declined to deal Alfredsson, the goat on the season-ending shorthanded goal by Buffalo's Jason Pominville in last spring's playoffs. That now appears to be the last major card Muckler has to play, and it's a tough one.
more

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It Was Like You Were There

Shawn Roarke, an NHL.com writer, did something a little different the last few days. Shawn blogged (at NHL Connect) about all of the action surrounding the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions. A great job by Shawn and hopefully a sign of things to come.

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Luc Joins LA Front Office

Another former player turns exec. Via TSN,

Robitaille, hired as the Kings' alternate governor, will focus primarily on the Kings business operations and community relations. "The game of hockey has been extremely good to me and my family, and I have always considered the Kings to be my second family," Robitaille said in a statement. "Even though I'm not on the ice anymore, my goal remains the same - to bring the cup to Los Angeles."
More

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Too Many Shootouts

from the Daily News,

Shootouts have been great for hockey. It's the right way to end a game in the regular season when regulation and overtime can't decide a winner. It sure beats those boring ties that had become all too common place in the sport. But have shootouts become too much the norm in today's hockey world? I say yes, and it's time to do something about it. Going into last night's action in the National Hockey League, 33 games were decided by a shootout. Average that out, and more than 90 per cent of NHL nights have had at least one game end in a shootout.
continued

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Holmqvist Leads Bolts Charge

from the St. Peterburg Times,

The leg pads, as Johan Holmqvist recalled, came up to about his waist. They were the big, old-fashioned leather kind that got heavier and heavier as they got wet. Holmqvist said he was about 8 when the older boys on his street in his hometown of Tierp, Sweden, decided he would play in net. "They were 15 years old and they would fire tennis balls and rubber pucks at me," he said. "They said I was pretty good and I should try it on the ice." If they only knew. The Lightning goaltender is one of the NHL's hottest with four straight victories, a .917 save percentage in that stretch and a 2.22 goals-against average. He has earned playing time at the expense of struggling No. 1 Marc Denis and, for the short term, removed the backup label with which he started the season.
continued

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World Cup ‘08? Discussions Today On NHL Participation

Via Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Representatives from the NHL and the Players' Association were scheduled to meet with IIHF president Rene Fasel on Tuesday to discuss the agreement that runs out at the end of the season. But the most pressing need for the NHL and its players is to decide how to proceed with the World Cup of Hockey, the Little Orphan Annie of international competitions.
More

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Smyth Hurt In Last Seconds Of Game Last Night

via the AP,

Shocked. Uncalled for. Dangerous. Those were some of the words Edmonton players were using after their star, Ryan Smyth, was taken down late in the Oilers' 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. With 28 seconds left in the game, Smyth gingerly skated off the ice after taking a knee in the leg from Colorado's John-Michael Liles as Smyth tried to skate past him on a breakaway along the boards. Liles was called for kneeing. The original diagnosis was a charley horse. "I don't know," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said when asked of Smyth's condition.
update 9:55am. from the Edmonton Sun,
"That was a pretty dangerous play on Liles's part," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "Obviously a desperation play on his part. "If Smytty gets by him it's going in the back of the (empty) net, but it was a pretty dangerous play." The very early diagnosis is a charley horse and Smyth might not miss any time, but it's hard to tell moments after a guy hobbles off the ice. "You don't know how it's going to swell up." said MacTavish. "And it's going to be awfully painful."

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Talking Winnipeg & Quebec City

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The National Hockey League has not given up on one day re-visiting Canadian markets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and, way down the road, will examine a second team in the Toronto area. Fielding those questions was new Hockey Hall of Fame builder Harley Hotchkiss, an executive with the Calgary Flames and chairman of the league's board of governors. "I think we have an obligation (to see if those markets can work)," Hotchkiss said yesterday. "There were great fans in those cities to support those teams. "Speaking as a Canadian our team had some great games against the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques."
continued

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Report Seems Outdated

from CTV,

While a study of NHL data finds teams that fight have a better chance of winning, a hockey author notes that was in the old NHL. "I'd like to see this study done again in another five to seven years," Stephen Cole, author of the Canadian Hockey Atlas, told CTV.ca on Monday. Former NHLer Mike Gardner was even more skeptical, saying: "I think you could probably do a study too that a team that ate spaghetti at a pre-game meal is more likely to win than a team that eats chicken."
continued In case you missed the study that is being referred to, you can check out an article from earlier in the day.

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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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