Kukla's Korner

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NHL Back In The Maritimes

from the Chronicle Herald,

...as promoters put the finishing touches on three upcoming exhibition games in Halifax — Pittsburgh against Ottawa on Tuesday night, Boston against the New York Islanders on Saturday and Toronto against Ottawa on Sunday — their only concern is that all three games sell out. The Leafs-Senators tilt has been sold out for a while. The Islander-Bruin game was about 95 per cent sold out on Friday. The Pittsburgh-Ottawa contest has been drawing most of the attention, not only locally where Cole Harbour’s Sidney Crosby has become such a sports hero, but also abroad, where he’s regarded as perhaps the best young face to sell the NHL. Fox television is broadcasting the Pittsburgh game in Halifax and one from Moncton. The NHL Network is also picking them up. "Of all the exhibition games I’ve done, I’ve never (had to be) worried about television," said local promoter John Graham, who is partnering with Power Promotional Concepts to bring five NHL exhibition contests to Moncton and Halifax. "The Crosby game is more of an event here than a hockey game."
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Barnaby Brings It

from the Dallas Morning News,

Barnaby, a free agent signee with the Stars, is among the elite when it comes to NHL theatrics. Rivaling Jeremy Roenick and Sean Avery for entertainment value, Barnaby celebrates goals by slamming into the glass, taunts fellow fighters by laughing at them while exchanging punches and sends barbs through the media to opposing players. Of course, he sometimes goes a bit far. He once threatened to take a run at his own goalie Dominik Hasek – after he blamed Hasek for getting coach Ted Nolan fired. He was fined $25,000 for a pregame skirmish with goalie John Vanbiesbrouck. And he was suspended five games for a hallway battle with Eric Cairns after leaving a game. "He is who he is, and you realize that when you get him," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "But I think who he is can be very helpful to your hockey team." Make no mistake, Barnaby is an acquired taste. Brett Hull, the former Stars winger now working in the front office, put it this way: "If he's on the other team, you hate him. If he's on your team, you love him."
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Bruins Welcome Changes

from the Hartford Courant,

"It feels like building a whole new organization," Peter Chiarelli, the new general manager charged with shepherding the remake, said this week. "It's been very, very busy the past month, a lot of everyone getting to know each other. We have been meeting with our coaching staff, our scouts, our organization people and now the players. It's exciting and good to get started on the ice." Some die-hardfans no doubt believe the changes are long overdue.
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Martin Has His Hands Full

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The new-look Panthers include that eternal ray of sunshine Todd Bertuzzi, the former Vancouver Canucks power forward who received his desperately needed change of scenery in the big Roberto Luongo deal last June. There is also volatile former Toronto Maple Leaf Ed Belfour in goal, coming off a serious back injury, trying to squeeze one more season out of his ultrafit but breaking down 41-year-old body. Then there is Gary Roberts, another ex-Leaf, who requested a trade back to Toronto last spring so that he could be closer to his teenage daughter. He didn't get his wish and is back patrolling the left side and dispensing advice and guidance to the Panthers' young, emerging talent. It'll be left to Jacques Martin, the former Ottawa Senators' coach, to sort it all out. Martin will need to be part coach and part master psychologist to weave this disparate group into a cohesive team, and he'll need to do it in a year when he's also added the general manager's duties to his coaching portfolio.
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Slow Start For Gerber

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Gerber, who was anointed the new saviour after being signed to a three-year, $11.1-million contract on July 1, didn't exactly look stellar with about 5,500 looking on during Senators Fanfest. While the former Carolina Hurricanes starter allowed four goals during the 30 minutes he spent in the net, everybody needs to remember it's September, not April. And Gerber wasn't alone. Backup Ray Emery didn't shine, either, while youngsters Kelly Guard and Jeff Glass also have work to do
more on the Sens...

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Don’t Doubt The Avs

from the Denver Post,

"It was like that last year a little bit, people doubting us," Sakic said. "But it's how you come together as a team, and we're going to have a lot of guys that surprise people. We're going to have a good, exciting team again. We've got to try to jell quickly, because we've got a lot of new faces. We're going to work on that in training camp." "The game last year was great, and the playoffs were exciting, up-and-down hockey," he said. "I don't think we're tinkering with too many rules now, and so there won't be an adjustment period for anybody. It's going to take off right away, and the game is going in a great direction."
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Canucks And The Cap

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

While Sunday's scrimmage was at the same time an outstanding example of how the Canucks may have tightened up defensively and how they may have trouble scoring this season, the overall change in formula had best be a winner for this NHL team. Because if it's not working they're essentially hooped for next season, too. Any analysis of the future Canucks, in money terms, shows that if you think they have cap problems this year with the Ryan Kesler contract pushing them to the brink, take a boo at next year.
continued

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Ovechkin Ahead Of The Curve

from the Washington Post:

On Thursday, the NHL approved a rule change that increases the maximum curvature for players' stick blades to three-quarters of an inch, up from the traditional half inch. Although it may not sound like much, Ovechkin predicts it will give him and other Europeans an edge. They grew up playing under International Ice Hockey Federation rules, which permit a curve close to the NHL's new standard. (The IIHF measures in centimeters.) "You will see this season when my new sticks come," Ovechkin said, grinning mischievously.
"It will help me, for sure," Ovechkin said at Ashburn Ice House, where the Capitals are holding their training camp. "Last year I played with a normal stick, maybe just a little bit [illegal]. Now it will be [curved] how I like it."
continued

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Avery’s Muzzling Won’t Last

from the LA Times:

A few precious moments with the volatile Sean Avery, who is limiting his media exposure in an effort to change his controversial actions of last season. Avery was brilliant on the ice during a team scrimmage Saturday, scoring one goal and assisting on two others. Off the ice, well, it's a work in progress. You're just going to focus on hockey this season? Avery: "Yes." What can you do to move on from last season? Avery: "I got to play hard." How long do you think it will take for people to let you move on from last year? "You're just wording it that way to talk about all those things from last year. That's it," Avery shouted and stormed off.
continued

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Remember To Watch

from the Detroit Free Press,

Hockeytown USA is lucky. We're one of the few American cities that get the CBC network. And we'll also enjoy tuning into "Hockey: A People's History," a 10-epsiode series that begins tonight on CBC.... "Hockey: A People's History" has some clunky reenactments, tedious music and some hokey and cliched narration. But its archival footage, talking heads and wide-ranging subject matter make the series a great way to prepare for another season of hockey.
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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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