Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Miracles

from Screen Shots at the Hockey News,

When Blue Jackets owner John McConnell hired Ken Hitchcock to replace Gerard Gallant as head coach in late November, the least he hoped for was for the team to improve on its .263 winning percentage.
The Jackets certainly picked the right portion of the calendar in which to do it. Everyone wants to believe in miracles this time of year. So let’s look at a list of what would constitute minor and major miracles for all 30 NHL teams.
Anaheim
Minor Miracle: Brian Burke responds to reporter’s question with “no comment.”
Major Miracle (a.k.a. Alert The Vatican): Burke acquires Todd Bertuzzi at trade deadline, brings Pavel Bure out of retirement for playoff run.

see the miracle for the rest of the NHL teams…

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Streaks No Matter What

from Scott Morrison of CBC,

In the case of the Maple Leafs, it is a moot point for the moment, but not for Carolina or Philadelphia or St. Louis for instance.
The question before the court of public opinion is, are the Hurricanes and the Flyers, neither of which have won or, of course, tied in their past four games, on a winless streak or a losing streak? Same for the Blues, who haven’t won in eight games and cost a coach his job as a result.
Sounds like a dopey question, but it isn’t.

continued

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Oduya Ended Up In Sweden

from the Star-Ledger,

It could have been a drastically different life for Johnny Oduya had things worked out differently in the divorce. Oduya was 2 when his parents split -- but this was no ordinary breakup where Mom lives on one side of town and Dad on the other. In this case, Oduya's father headed home to Kenya to run a taxi company. His mother stayed in Sweden with the kids. And Oduya grew up playing hockey. "A lot of people's lives could've been different," he said. "Growing up in Kenya would've been a long shot. I've never even thought about it like that. I'm happy about the way it worked out."
continued

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Modano Goes On IR

via the AP,

Mike Modano was put on injured reserve Thursday by the Dallas Stars and missed his fifth straight game because of a lower-body injury.
The move was retroactive to Dec. 4, the night Modano got hurt. The soonest he could return is Saturday at Los Angeles, but that is questionable.
Modano got hurt in the second period of the Stars’ 1-0 victory over San Jose after he scored the game’s only goal on a one-timer during a power play in the first period. Modano has 10 goals and 10 assists in 27 games this season.

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Hello Buffalo

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

A series of little lighted signs greets you in the concourse at Buffalo Niagara International Airport: Enjoy this beautiful season Go Sabres! Is that two thoughts or one? Do Buffalo fans even know the holidays are here amid all the Sabres celebrations since October? They hope the good times run long past New Year's Day. The Sabres are a team with speed, depth and two quality goaltenders. Many of the players developed together within the organization. They know one another's strengths and weaknesses, and they are friends.
continued

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Wild Take On Roloson

from the Pioneer Press,

Manny Fernandez remembers the first time he crossed paths in St. Paul with former teammate Dwayne Roloson last March. "We looked at each other, and we didn't have to say anything," Fernandez said. "We sort of understood that we made our games better by being together." Today, logic tells you that Fernandez will start in goal for the Wild and Roloson will start in goal for Edmonton as the teams tied atop the NHL's Northwest Division meet at the Oilers' Rexall Place. Maybe, maybe not.
continued

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Gretzky On J.R.

from the Arizona Republic,

The Coyotes might be finished with Jeremy Roenick. Coach Wayne Gretzky said Roenick would not play in tonight's game, and possibly more, because Roenick left General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday after learning he'd been scratched from the lineup because of a back injury a few hours before Phoenix's 5-2 defeat. Roenick said he watched at least part of the game while eating dinner in a restaurant in Vancouver, and he was not seen in the Coyotes dressing room after the game. “I treat players like men and they should act like men,” Gretzky said Wednesday. “JR, all and all, has been pretty positive. But the reality is, last night he made a mistake. … There will be ramifications for what happened.”
continued added 9:12am, from the East Valley Tribune,
Jeremy Roenick can see the sun is quickly approaching its setting point on his long, illustrious, controversial and always entertaining career. “End of the (NHL) year, absolutely (I’ll retire),” Roenick said Wednesday at the airport in Vancouver before the Coyotes headed home following their 0-2 road trip. “The way it seems to be going right now, I don’t think anybody would want to give me another chance to tell you the truth.”
continued

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NYR Want Nylander Around

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

But the bargain, if not necessarily Nylander's tour in Manhattan, is almost over. Failing to exercise a team option over the summer of 2005 for what would have been a 2007-08 commitment of $2.28 million - how could they after the contract's first season became a cancelled season? - the Rangers ceded control of the fourth year to Nylander, who has a player's option for $1.52 million for next year. Obviously, Nylander will not exercise the below-market value option. This means the Rangers will have to sign No. 92 to a multi-year contract extension commensurate with the going rate for a successful first-line pivot or risk losing him over the summer as an unrestricted free agent. To that end, the wheels are in motion.
read on

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The Big & Small Battle

from NorthJersey,

The latest chapter of this tall tale was written in the third period of the Devils' 5-1 win at TD Bank-north Garden on Saturday. During a scrum in front of the Bruins' net, Gionta hooked his stick blade behind Chara's left knee and gave a small tug, trying to throw off his balance. Chara reached down, grabbed Gionta's chin strap and started yanking on it from side to side. "There's some matchups you just can't explain," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "It's obvious to me that Chara must respect him a lot to play him that hard. On the other hand, he [Gionta] is a competitor and he's showing him that it doesn't matter what he does. It's not going to stop him."
more

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Old Stick

from the National Post,

It has survived flooding, frozen ponds, frozen cow patties and a flex test from Cliff Fletcher. And now the world's oldest hockey stick -- worth an estimated US$4.25-million -- is being auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity. The stick's original owner, and maker, was Alexander Rutherford. Rutherford carved the treasure from a piece of hickory wood he found on his family's farm in southeastern Ontario sometime between 1852-56.
continued See it on eBay...

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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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