Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sundin Leading Resurgent Leafs

Via the Toronto Star,

At the moment in question he took the puck, circled the Philadelphia net, saw his attempt at a centring pass busted up, and dug hard in chase. He recovered the puck and traced a ring around the goal again. And by this point there was a palpable buzz from a mostly buzz-less crowd. What Sundin was doing — his second lap of the Flyers' zone in a few short seconds, literally skating circles around his opponents — was a move you might expect more from a waterbug left-winger, not a 6-foot-5 captain who'll be 36 in February.

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Raycroft’s Happy Return To Boston

From the Globe and Mail,

Andrew Raycroft can be forgiven for the ear-to-ear smile that strained not to turn into a guffaw last night. "I haven't even noticed where they're at all," he said as his grin stretched as long as the truth. "It's not like I know what you're talking about." The subject was his former team, the Boston Bruins, and how he could not possibly be riding any higher into his first meeting with them since they ran him out of town last summer.

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A Preppy Brawler

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

The Ivy League is not the traditional route to the NHL. With no athletic scholarships and tuition in the mid-five figures per year, most who exit such hallowed educational institutions do not immediately think of a life in hockey. George Parros is different. Then again, a lot of things are different about the Avalanche's recently acquired enforcer. Parros has a Princeton pedigree and a bare-knuckled, blue-collar approach to his job. He can talk one- or two-syllable trash on the ice to opponents, then solve his teammates' toughest crossword puzzle problems off it.

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Power Play After Power Play

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Commissioner Gary Bettman says today's general managers meeting in Toronto will "take the temperature" on some controversial issues in the National Hockey League. The Maple Leafs are in favour of some changes in everything from officiating to scheduling, but how much the 30 GMs influence matters down the road remains to be seen. While agreeing the on-ice product generally has improved since last year, many Leafs hope the GMs discuss the plethora of power plays that continue to disrupt the flow of games.

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The Staal Family

from Lynn Zinser of the NY Times,

“Every once in a while that pops into your head, you think about maybe all four of us can make it there one day,” Jared said. “But we’re not there yet, that’s for sure. We’ve got a ways to go. If that would happen, that would be unbelievable.” They see themselves as merely four boys who grew up in a small, remote town, working on their family’s farm in the summers and skating themselves numb during Thunder Bay’s long, frigid winters. Henry Staal admits to a selfish motive for building a rink in the family’s front yard. “That meant I didn’t have to drive them somewhere,” he said.

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Selling Itself Short

By George Malik: When the GM's meet in Toronto later today, they're going to discuss potential rule changes as they canvass the GM's for their opinions as to why both attendance and ratings are down this year. They'll toss around the usual crap that GM's do--bigger nets, letting more penalties go to bring "passion" and "intensity" back, according to some pundits, mandating wood sticks and/or visors, etc; in other words, they'll look at the easy changes, the tweaks that don't require much forethought, any idea what players want, or what fans would like to see changed.

Continue Reading »

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Spector Breaks Down The Rumors

More than a few trade rumors floating around these days, maybe even more than usual for such an early stage of the season. Naturally, that has the trash-swilling rumor mongers (and the geniuses who pay to read them) firing on all cylinders. Thankfully, we have Spector at our disposal to separate the reasonable from the ludicrous. From his Prince of Pucks column on Fox,

The struggles of the Calgary Flames have caused the rebirth of an old rumor of Gagne being shipped to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, but such a move would make no sense for the Flames. They need a first-line center for Iginla's line, and swapping him for another winger does nothing to resolve the problem.
Much more from Spector. But before you go, speaking of rumor mongers, trash, and Eklund....a line you may have missed from the French-based article on hockey bloggers making its rounds today, courtesy of James Mirtle.
Richardson (Spector) devotes most of his blog to trade rumours. But the rumours he comments on are those that find their origin in newspapers and from specialized websites like tsn.ca — not those that emanate from oft-critiqued blogger eklund. "Anyone can hide behind anonymity and make allegations without base and without citing sources," Richardson says. " I think most hockey fans are smart enough to tell the charlatans from the legit sources.

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Let’s Hear It For Denver

The Avalanche will pay tribute to members of The Greatest Generation tomorrow evening as they commemorate Veteran's Day. Via their PR office,

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club will honor four distinguished U.S. war veterans at its game with the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night in advance of Veterans Day on November 11. The Avalanche will introduce four US World War II veterans, representing each of the two theaters of operation. * Ed Tipper – D-Day veteran and member of 101st Airborne Division, 506th Easy Company, an original member of the “Band of Brothers” * Bill Brunger – Served with the 75th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge * James Blaine – Served with the 4th Marines Division that was in the first wave of units to land at Iwo Jima * Robert Lowe – Served with the 6th Marines Division and is a veteran of battles at Guam, Saipan and Okinawa
Veterans representing the Air Force and Navy will also be in attendance. A fantastic gesture by the Av organization. For more information on The Greatest Generation, their contributions and how you can help veterans click here.

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Leafs Building The Right Way

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

After narrowly missing the playoffs last season however, the Leafs finally began rebuilding in earnest this season. Several young players are getting significant minutes under new coach Paul Maurice -- many of whom he is familiar with from coaching the Leafs AHL affiliate in Toronto last season. His candid take on the Leafs' situation is that they will have to scratch and claw to make the playoffs this season, and that his statement isn't a reflection on his team, but on the highly competitive state of the NHL. All of what Maurice says is true. It's also refreshing to hear a coach in a major market tell it like it is, without the spin and sense of entitlement that often surrounds longstanding NHL members.

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We Get It

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

We hear some NHL announcers continue to bash the "new NHL" phrase against the sides of our heads and it feels like a frozen canned ham. Stop. We get it. A hook is a hook, a trip is a trip, a hold is a hold. It was always in the rulebook, but for 10 years, the NHL corporate office was more concerned about expansion fees, spreading the game across the 48 contiguous states, getting in bed with as many corporations as possible, planning its season and squashing the pugnacious Bob Goodenow, who fought the NHL on every issue down to the conference table centerpieces. The on-ice product was way down on the list of "things to do" on the NHL agenda. The neglect showed.
John continues to explain...

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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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