Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Do You Wear A “Sweater”?

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

But has any apparel trend lasted as long or made as many American men look more heinous than the replica jersey? Once it was a piece of clothing that was limited to professional athletes and a handful of insanely dedicated fans who wore them on game day. Now the jersey of a single NBA or NFL player can generate more than $10 million a year in sales. And yet as great as a sports jersey can look on sinewy, young and attractive athletes, it can look atrocious on balding, out-of-shape older men -- who seem with an increasing frequency to be the core demographic. Go to a heavily populated pick-up basketball court, and you'll almost never see an NBA jersey. Go to a McDonald's in Hayward, and you'll see at least three.
more...and take the test... image

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The Russians Are Coming

from the Globe and Mail,

Evgeny Malkin isn't the only Russian eager to join the National Hockey League, despite having a signed contract with a Russian Super League team for the coming season. Forwards Alexei Mikhnov and Andrei Taratukhin have each given 14 days notice to Yaroslavl Lokomotiv saying they will not play in Russia. Instead, Mikhnov is close to signing with the Edmonton Oilers while Taratukhin is expected to sign with the Calgary Flames.
continued added 6:44am, from the Toronto Star,
"Is it not clear that Evgeni left for America at the invitation of the people overseas?" Gennady Velichkin, head of Malkin's Superleague team, told Soviet Sport. "The Americans' arrogance is beyond bounds. This is the theft of the century. They don't care that Malkin is Russia's national treasure." "We must sue not only Pittsburgh but the entire National Hockey League and its whole arrogance. The NHL must receive a total condemnation from the entire sporting world. Let's get back to the question of the compensation. ... Money is not most important for us. The most important (aspect) for us is to get a precedent and win the case."
more added 6:55am, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar said that looking back on his conversation with Evgeni Malkin just over a week ago, the young Russian phenom sounded upset. Which struck Gonchar as interesting, given that Malkin was calling to tell him he'd signed a new contract with his Russian team and was putting off coming to the NHL for one more year. "He was very, very disappointed that he signed it," Gonchar said from his home in Russia on Tuesday. "He was very upset." Now, Gonchar knows why.
continued added 8:42am, see the comments for some information from Dave King...

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Wang To The Rescue

from the People's Daily,

There are only three professional ice hockey teams, in Harbin, Qiqihar and Jiamusi, and lack of financial investment has forced Chinese hockey players to play low-level competitions. This has caused Chinese ice hockey lag behind Asian rivals Japan and South Korea, not to mention traditional powerhouses such as Canada and USA. But this may change and Chinese ice hockey stars could be playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) under a bold new rescue plan. In a bid to boost the grass-roots levels of the sport, China Winter Sports Administration Centre officials and Charles Wang, owner of the New York Islanders of the NHL signed a deal called China Ice Hockey Project Hope in Beijing this week.
more

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Determined Hockey Player

from the Dallas Stars,

Most people aren't aware that there was an American team of amputee hockey players that went overseas to compete against other national teams, but with a Metroplex representative on the squad, it did attract some local interest. Aged 14, Flower Mound's Kevin Qualls was the youngest member of Team USA at the International Standing Ice Hockey Federation (ISIHF) World Championships in Riga, Latvia in late May. Team USA went 4-2 during the tournament, defeating teams from Latvia, Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic before falling to Canada in the Gold Medal game by a 4-2 margin. Qualls, whose right arm stops a few inches past his elbow, was one of the few players on the team that does not wear a prosthesis. He has used one at times in the past, but is most comfortable without one and doesn't wear one to play. "It's harder to use the prosthesis," Kevin said. "With my arm, I can control whatever it does. (With the prosthesis), it's harder to pick up stuff and it only moves three fingers."
read on

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Report- Nolan Close To Signing With Phoenix

via Sportsnet,

The Phoenix Coyotes are set to sign Owen Nolan to a one-year contract, Sportsnet has learned, following extensive testing to the 34-year old power forward's health. After undergoing several MRIs and on-ice testing, sources say the former all-star winger and Canadian Olympic Gold medalist convinced Coyotes management that he's got the passion to continue his career and play at a high level again.

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Sean Hill To The Islanders

Hill agrees to a 1yr deal. from the NYI,

"I spoke with Sean a lot over the last two weeks because we felt he would be an excellent addition to our blue line," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "We’re very happy that Sean is coming to Long Island. He has been a very good defenseman in our league for a long time, a consistent player in all zones, a strong competitor and a leader".

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Russian National Coach On Malkin

from Sports Express Daily,

Russia head coach Vyacheslav Bykov spoke exclusively to Sport Express about Yevgeni Malkin’s situation. “First of all I would like to have as more information as possible,” told Bykov to Sport Express. “There is no official version from Metallurg Magnitogorsk yet.” “But if Malkin’s departure is a fact, it means the players had a reason for that.” “I don’t want to criticize anybody – the same happened to Mogilny and Fedorov. Both were made villains first, and later became heroes.” “There is only one thing I can’t understand in all this story with Malkin: we live in a free and democratic country and anybody could leave it at any moment.”
continued thanks to a KK reader for the pointer... added 1:54pm, from Sports Illustrated,
The Malkin episode -- more cloak than dagger -- evokes echoes of the good old days of the Cold War when the NHL covertly helped players defect from Soviet-bloc countries. Using a network of immigrants with contacts in the old country, plus bribes, forged documents, fake names and professional people smugglers, the league's underground railroad spirited more than a dozen stars out from behind the Iron Curtain in often life-threatening circumstances.
read on

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The Puck

You know it is a slow day when we are talking about pucks!

Why are NHL game pucks are frozen? Timekeepers in NHL rinks keep a bucket of frozen pucks in the penalty box with them. When a puck is frozen, a thin layer of ice forms on it, reducing the friction between the puck and the ice surface. After freezing, pucks slide better, go faster and bounce less, making it easier to puck handle, pass and shoot.
read on...note: dated 1994 so I would imagine some changes may have taken place since then. if so, pass it on.... image

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Calgary Flames Offseason - Part 1

Hello Folks, Mac here and I've been lucky enough to have been invited by Paul to contribute some blog entries on KK. I'm a long time follower here on KK, since the Breaking Sports days. I'm also a big fan of the Calgary Flames and I have a blog called Flames Page, where, as I'm sure you have guessed, I post news and information on the Flames. What I hope to do here at KK is give my two cents on all things Flames as well as some other hockey related items. I do not deal in rumours - unless they come from a very good source - or speculation. What I do deal in is fact, which I will bring to you along with my opinions. OK, with that out of the way, let's get down to business. I'm going to break the offseason down into three parts, first I will look at the Flames coaching change, second will be who's in and who's out player wise and finally I'll take a look at the Flames outlook as we head into training camp. One of the biggest stories for the Flames this offseason was the news that Head Coach Darryl Sutter was handing the reigns over to assistant Jim Playfair. With Sutter holding both the Head Coach and GM duties, everyone knew that it wasn't a matter of if, but when he would step aside and put his focus on the front office rather than coaching. As Sutter put it this was a succession plan that was stalled a year by the lockout. He felt that he would coach one more season after leading the Flames to the 2004 Cup final and falling short to Tampa Bay in seven games. Who is Jim Playfair? Many people thought Sutter would opt for a more established coach to take over his team - most notably brothers Brent and Brian - but Brent is firmly entrenched as Owner/GM/Coach of his Junior Team in Red Deer and has turned down NHL offers recently. Brian, the Flames Coach from 1997 - 2000 was never really an option for Darryl. This brings us back to Jim Playfair. After leading Calgary's farm club in Saint John to the Calder Cup title in 2000/01 - his first season as Head Coach there - he was an assistant from 02/03 up to the point when Darry Sutter decided to hand the team over to him. Playfair was drafted, oddly enough, 20th overall in the 1982 entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers and played 21 NHL games and nine pro seasons before retiring due to injury in 1992. Playfair takes over a team with an established leader in Jarome Iginla and an All Star Goalie in Miikka Kiprusoff, but he also takes over a team that struggled to score goals last season and were knocked out in seven games by Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. In future posts I'll go further into these topics. We'll look at who's on board for 06/07 and can they provide the goals needed to take the team deep into the playoffs. Until next time, thanks for reading!

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Find Those Old Hockey Cards

from the Daily News,

Surely the old-time sports-card collector's worst enemy was the bleaching power of the sun, the corner-crushing bricks of a wall, or spokes of a bicycle wheel. Perhaps it was the protection racket of the schoolyard bully, or the mildew of a basement. Not so, says Gerry Chartrand of Dorval, Que., a dealer of top-quality vintage hockey cards, programs, photos and other non-trophy memorabilia through his website, gerryssportscards.com. "The collector's worst enemy," Chartrand says, "was his mother, when she went into his room for spring cleaning and threw out the cards he'd bought all winter long."... And this is why Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Elmer Lach is now holding his plastic-sealed 1951-'52 hockey card, one Chartrand expects to sell for close to the $4,000 Lach earned in his rookie NHL season.
read on image

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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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