Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Hockey Refs,
The four NHL referees assigned to the Winter Olympics are preparing for their duties by officiating select AHL games this week. Dan Marouelli, Dennis LaRue, Don Van Massenhoven, and Paul Devorski are being sent down to the minors for one game each because, unlike the NHL, the Olympics feature a three-official system with one referee and two linesmen.
via the LA Times (reg. req.),
Defenseman Aaron Miller, concerned about his back, has withdrawn from the United States Olympic hockey team at Turin, Italy. Miller informed Team USA officials last week. "I need to use the time for my health," said Miller, who played in the 2002 Olympics. "The Kings come first."
Enter Atlanta Thrashers' general manager Don Waddell, whose team is in the midst of an intense playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. “We'll be in the playoffs," Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday night. “If you want to write 'guarantee,' I have no problem with that.”more
Let your voice be heard. It is up to you, the fans, to decide who is the all-time greatest player on every single NHL team. It is up to you, the fans to decide who are the all-time greatest rookies ever to lace them them up. Lastly, it is up to you, the fans to decide which is the all-time greatest NHL hockey team ever. more
from Inside Bay Area,
The Sharks may suddenly be dead-bang dead. While they still have three more home dates plus a road jaunt to Phoenix to close the pre-Olympics schedule, their best opportunity to climb back into the mix may be slipping away. While they will play 26 regular-season games once the NHL season resumes on Feb. 28, the schedule is not nearly as favorable. When things finally do start up again, their first opponent will be the Detroit Red Wings. Then they head out on a three-game roadie. Ouch. Hence, the time to make a move is now. Instead, though, they're backpedaling. With this latest setback, the Sharks now trail eighth-place Colorado by eight points.more
from the Arizona Republic,
This is how it is when Gretzky returns to Canada. A baggage handler tells a cousin, the cousin tells a friend and suddenly grown men are driving to remote locations in pursuit of his signature. His arrival always inspires recollection and genuflection, a papal-like excitement induced by a brilliant 20-year NHL career. Back at the Toronto hotel, after signing autographs, Gretzky climbs aboard the team bus en route to a morning practice before the evening's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He smiles at TV analyst Darren Pang, a former NHL goalie whose signature also was pursued. The diminutive Pang dismisses the attention, suggesting, as always, "that they think I'm Scott Hamilton."read on
from the anti Terry Frei, Woody Page, etc.- otherwise known as RWBill,
Referee Don Pollock expanded, “The Holding call on Lidstrom in the third is textbook. You got a rookie out there, Svatos, he comes across the blue line focused on the net. He glances to his left, hell, he’s shoulder to shoulder with Nick Lidstrom…that smooth face and square jaw, of course his knees are gonna buckle. ‘Whoosh’, down he goes. That’s a call we gotta make.”more
-Tampa's goalie John Grahame's father, Ron Grahame, played goalie for Boston, Los Angeles and Quebec from 1977-81. Washington G Brent Johnson's father, Bob Johnson, played goalie for St. Louis and Pittsburgh from 1972-75. When the younger Grahame and the younger Johnson started in net Saturday, it marked the first time two sons of former NHL goalies played against each other.- via the Tampa Tribune On a side note, Johnson is also the grandson of the late Red Wing great Sid Abel. -Former Blue Jackets coach Dave King, who coaches Pittsburgh property Evgeni Malkin in Magnitogorsk, Russia, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Malkin is leaning toward coming to the NHL next season. It will take some doing, as Malkin’s Magnitogorsk contract runs through 2007-08 and there’s still no transfer agreement between the Russian federation and the NHL. -"We're not looking behind us now, we're not going to look behind us at all," right wing Steve Sullivan said. "We're trying to catch Detroit. We're trying to make sure we've got home-ice advantage. There are still (28) games left in the season, so there is a lot of work to be done. We have the guys in the room to do it."- The Tennessean -Heads up to the Red Wings radio flagship station- Ken Holland was not named the general manager of the Team Canada Olympic team. He is the GM for Canada's IIHF World Championship team. The tournament will be held in Riga, Latvia, May 2006. -Petr Prucha suffered a right knee injury on a knee-on-knee hit from Turner Stevenson with 5:33 remaining in the second that will not only sideline him for up to six weeks, but will prevent him from representing the Czech Republic in the Olympics. The devastated 23-year-old rookie left the arena on crutches.- Larry Brooks, NY Post
from the Ottawa Sun,
An open letter to Pittsburgh Penguins fans, hockey fans, and the reverent admirers of No. 87: I don't know if you're aware of this, but ... I don't have to like Sidney Crosby. Oh, and I know how you desire for me to see it your way -- to listen to the spin doctors pontificate on the various "legitimate" reasons why he should be defended. Back off, Crosmaniacs. I'm not drinking your Kool-Aid.continued
from the Rocky Mount Telegram,
For the first time in a long time, perhaps the franchise's history, winning is not a throw-in after all the cold, hard cash has been collected. It's not the cherry on top. It's what is expected. An elite player stood up, waved his no-trade clause and said he would only go to the franchise with the best chance to carry Lord Stanley's Cup. He chose the Carolina Hurricanes. Nothing less than a trip to the Eastern Conference finals counts as a "great," or even "very good," season at this point. For the team unbelievably on top of the NHL points standings, it is Stanley Cup or bust.read on
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 firstname.lastname@example.org