Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Roenick Leaves Early

from the Arizona Republic,

Coach Wayne Gretzky scratched center Jeremy Roenick from Tuesday's game because of “back spasms.” Roenick, who Gretzky said, spoke of back pain on the team flight after Monday's game vs. San Jose, did not like Gretzky's decision to bench him and abruptly left General Motors Place upon hearing the news a few hours before the game. Roenick was not spotted in or around the Coyotes dressing room during the game, nor was he in it afterwards. “I just didn't want to play a guy that was injured,” Gretzky said. “It's as simple as that.”

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Trouble With The Fins

Pete Weber, Nashville play by play man, did a Q & A with the Tennessean,

On the toughest names to pronounce in the NHL: "It's tough when we get a combination of Fins on the ice at the same time. In games against Phoenix a few years ago, there was Kimmo Timonen on the ice for Nashville, and on the same shift for Phoenix would be Teppo Numminen and Ossi Vaananen. You can imagine what that was like. 'Numminen to Vaananen, over to Numminen! Hello Numminen!' "

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Canes Struggling

from the New & Observer,

Limping home after a discouraging road trip, the Carolina Hurricanes realized the magic was gone. That ability to overwhelm opponents with furious, third-period rallies, to leave slower teams gasping in their wake, was a trademark of last season's Stanley Cup run. Injuries and inconsistent play on both ends of the ice have fouled up that equation, however.
continued

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Making A Name For Himself

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Touted as a can't-miss top-five draft pick at last summer's NHL draft, Esposito's spot on the Canadian junior squad is anything but a cinch this year.... "They compare me to Crosby and all I can say is I'm just a 17-year-old trying to do the best I can do," said Esposito, who sits 10th in QMJHL scoring with 17 goals and 37 helpers in 31 games. "Crosby is mentioned with guys like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, and it's flattering but you can't make that comparison. Still, I get that in every rink."
more

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On The Comeback Trail

from the Hartford Courant,

Another drill was about to begin for Jed Ortmeyer. Practices often can be more of a chore than a pleasure, but not for Ortmeyer on Tuesday. Few enjoyed the workout and competitive 3-on-3 at the end of practice more than Ortmeyer, who will play for the Wolf Pack tonight against Philadelphia at the Civic Center, his first game in 71/2 months. Everything about practice beats what transpired in early August while Ortmeyer was taking a routine offseason run with Rangers - and former Pack - teammate Ryan Hollweg.
continued

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Ducks Lead The League

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Coaches and general managers like to say their teams can win any style of game -- speed and finesse or grind-it-out and physical -- but the Ducks really are an example of that thus far. Anaheim had 33 fighting majors in its 33 games. St. Louis led a batch of bad next-closest teams with 21. Combine five teams with the fewest -- Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal and the New York Islanders, all with six each -- and the Ducks still had three more.
more

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Don’t Bury The Flyers Yet

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Things sure have changed around the ol' Wachovia Center. When the secret lead-lined door at the corner of the press box opened after the first period, who stepped out but (cue suspenseful music) Mr. Bob Clarke. To be fair, the Flyers did say Clarke would be scouting junior hockey after his resignation as general manager. They just didn't mention that the junior-hockey team in question would be the Flyers.
continued

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Don’t Waste The Opportunity

from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,

For a professional sports franchise, few sounds are sweeter than these: "Leave me alone!" "Dad, tell him to stop hitting me!" "Popcorn, popcorn! Cool!" "Hey, Mom, get me this T-shirt!"... Those are the sounds and sights that suggest there really is significant hope for the future of this franchise, even as the below-.500 team struggles to fill all of its seats. Those also are the sounds and sights that underscore what a unique opportunity the Panthers possess, and what a shame it has been to waste it so far. The only greater shame would be wasting it further.
read on

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Put Em All In

from the Globe and Mail,

Not only is Upon Review in favour of the Fitzpatrick movement, we'd like to see several other players make the all-star team. In Nashville, Tenn., it's time for fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets to launch a campaign for the hard-working Jody Shelley, either him or Ohio State Buckeyes' quarterback Troy Smith. In Colorado, Avalanche faithful should get behind Karlis Skrastins, and we would too if we had a clue who the guy is and how to correctly spell his name.
more

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Maurice Wakes Up Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

You knew a storm was brewing when the traditionally tardy folks in sushi row hadn't reclaimed their seats and the Maple Leafs had already called a timeout. Indeed, the Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning hadn't even completed a minute of competition in the second period last night before Paul Maurice gave the universal "T" sign to the officiating staff assigned to the game.... Even from a distance, his animated lecture was good entertainment. There was lots of gesticulating and waving of arms, a fine rant that would have made fiery former Leaf coach Pat Burns, symbolically present in the building last night, proud. "None of it was printable," Maurice said with the trace of a smile. "Often, you don't exactly remember what it was you said. It doesn't have to be coherent, just loud enough and profane enough."
read on

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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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