Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Briere Gets A Wake Up Call

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

When the Phoenix Coyotes put him on waivers in 2000 in an attempt to get him to Springfield of the AHL, and every other NHL team passed on him, Daniel Briere heard the phone ringing. In his head. "That was kind of a wakeup call," Briere, 28, said in a dressing-room conversation earlier this week after a Buffalo Sabres practice during the Eastern Conference finals. ...Yet, in his early years as a pro, he tore up the AHL, but struggled with the transition to the NHL. He was in danger of being mostly renowned for trying out training with Hugo Girard, the subject of the documentary "Strongman" and a mainstay in the World's Strongest Man competition. Both Girard and Briere are from Gatineau, Quebec.
read on

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Meet The Caniacs

from ESPN,

One would think there would be a decent number of hockey fans here since there's a professional franchise, but you can't make that assumption with hockey. While most leagues expanded into areas where interest already existed, the NHL seemed to think it could land in a city and make people fall in love with the game. Or maybe they expected carpetbaggers living in the Sun Belt to convince their new neighbors of the virtues of hockey. Really, do you believe the folks at the Opry were just itching to get pucks flying in Nashville?
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Cole Won’t Return This Year

from the News & Observer,

Erik Cole will not return to the Carolina Hurricanes this season after doctors told him today the fracture in his vertebra has not healed enough to allow him to play. Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said that Cole should be ready for training camp this fall, but Thursday's CT scan did not show the progress the team had hoped to see. "There was insufficent healing in the bone," Laviolette said. "He will be OK for the game of life and his career, but he will not be joining us in the playoffs."

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Can The Ducks Comeback

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The Edmonton Oilers better hope that was a last spasm of life from a desperate Anaheim team and not a reflection of an Oiler team that's run out of gas or worse, the roosters finally coming home to roost. Or Ducks, as it were. No matter how you cut it, Thursday's 6-3 loss was disheartening for an Edmonton team that had won seven playoff games in a row and was looking to secure its first berth in a Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years. "We got a lesson. It was expensive. They're obviously a confident team leaving here," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.
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Burning Carolina

from the Buffalo News,

As far as I can tell, 99 percent of Carolina residents wouldn't know Cam Ward from a cam shaft.... So I'd like to thank my esteemed colleague from Raleigh, who wrote a piece in our paper on Wednesday that actually made me feel like a hockey sage. Ol' Ned ripped Sabres fans for being pseudo-experts, while rationalizing his lack of insight by suggesting that hockey is no more complicated than, say, a typical episode of "Mayberry RFD." Keep in mind, this is the perspective from North Carolina, where the burning intellectual question is how swiftly a bunch of guys in overalls can change four tires and fill up the gas tank without getting run over by a stock car. ...But I don't mean to belittle the good people of Carolina. Given another 30 years, they'll learn to love hockey, as I have. It's not my favorite sport. But living in Buffalo has taught me to appreciate the game's elemental beauty, its subtle strategic shifts and, above all, the transporting thrill of a Stanley Cup run.
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Chiarelli To Bs For 2nd Round Pick

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

Peter Chiarelli is going from Bytown to Beantown. It took a ruling in an arbitration hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and right-hand man Bill Daly, but sources say Chiarelli was traded to the Bruins last night for a second-round pick in next month's draft. Sources say officials from both teams were in New York for a day-long hearing to settle the dispute because the Senators wanted compensation to allow Chiarelli to leave.
continued update 3:!5pm, from the Boston Bruins,
The Boston Bruins have named Peter Chiarelli to the position of General Manager, it was announced today by Bruins Owner Jeremy M. Jacobs. Chiarelli has signed a four-year contract, terms of which were not released, to head the club's hockey operations department. He becomes just the seventh General Manager in the team's 82-year history.

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Gaborik Negotiations Getting Nasty

from the National Post,

If there was any more proof needed the job of general manager in the NHL has become more difficult than ever before, you need only look at the predicament Doug Risebrough has himself in with regards to Marian Gaborik. Given it's the off-season for the Wild, the world is unfolding as it should only when the team and Gaborik are locked in a bitter contract dispute. ...Complicating this wonderful scenario is the fact that during the '03-04 dispute, the Wild used Richards as a comparable in their discussions to resolve the first salvo. Not surprisingly Salcer is once again trying to use Richards claiming his client is worth the same US$7.8-million per the Tampa star just signed for.
read on

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Just As Planned

from the NY Times,

Everything is going exactly as the National Hockey League planned, if not as it wanted. Another arena rocks with the renewed excitement of playoff hockey, and two small-market teams are playing here in late May, a time long reserved for their big-market brothers. The N.H.L., looking for a comeback, is left to wonder: How long and sweeping is this radius of intrigue? The league fought for years to ensure the success of small-market teams. And now that it has found the formula, the timing could not be worse.
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Ottawa Talking To Hasek

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

Don't rule out the return of "The Dominator" to the Ottawa Senators next season. Ritch Winter, the Edmonton-based agent for Senators goalie Dominik Hasek, confirmed to Sun Media yesterday he has held talks with Senators general manager John Muckler about coming back to Ottawa next year. "(Muckler) and I continue to discuss the possibility of Dominik Hasek completing the job for which he came to Ottawa. (Hasek) desires to do just that," Winter wrote in an e-mail.
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Who Is Missing

from the Globe and Mail,

There is something missing from the Stanley Cup semi-finals this year, although only the most knowledgeable National Hockey League fans might have noticed. Gone are the meticulously maintained coiffures of Kerry Fraser and two other veteran referees, who had all been mainstays in the playoffs for most of the last 15 years. Fraser, Dan Marouelli and Don Koharski did not make the cut last week when the NHL's director of officiating, Stephen Walkom, picked the nine referees to work the conference finals. Walkom said his decisions were based strictly on performance. He declined to discuss individual decisions.
continued Of course, you already knew that if you have been following along at Hockey Refs...

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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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