Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Best Player In The NHL

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But if a player is to be judged the best in a time when there is no clear-cut megastar, he probably has to excel at the most difficult position. That would mean he's a defenceman. And the best defenceman? The two guys in Anaheim, Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are certainly on the list. Young Matthew Carle in San Jose is opening a lot of eyes in the hockey world and the even younger Dion Phaneuf in Calgary is a phenomenal talent. But in this corner, the vote for the best player in the world at the moment would go to Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.

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The Chief Is Back

Bill, IwoCPO or The Chief, whatever you wish to call him is back! We are still doing a bit of tweaking, so look for some additional features to be added very soon. I welcome Abel to Yzerman with open arms and want to let you know, Bill has his own unique style, which makes his blog a must read, even for non-Wings fans. Please make sure to stop by and wish him well- or some of you may wish he just goes to.... More on KK plans for the future tomorrow.

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Canucks “D” Hurting

via the AP,

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick will miss the next four to six weeks because of a hairline fracture in his left foot. Sami Salo (knee sprain) and Willie Mitchell (post-concussion symptoms) are also sidelined, leaving Vancouver with a young, inexperienced defense for its game Thursday night against Anaheim.

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Patrick Roy Talks HHOF

DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is David Keon with the National Hockey League's Public Relations Department, and I'd like to welcome everyone to today's call. With us we have 2006 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Patrick Roy. Thank you Patrick for taking the time today to join us, and thanks to Nicole Beauchard of the Quebec Remparts for arranging the call. On Monday in Toronto , Patrick will be formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, along with fellow Canadiens alumni Dick Duff, Calgary Flames owner, Harley Hotchkiss, former US Olympic and National Hockey National Hockey League coach, Herb Brooks. The all time career leader among goaltenders in regular season games played with 1,029 and wins with 551. Patrick is also first in playoff history in games played with 247, wins with 151, and shutouts with 23. He won four Stanley Cups, three Conn Smythe Trophies as the MVP, and three Vezina Trophies as the National Hockey League's top goaltender. Following retirement in 2003, Patrick moved into management joining his hometown Quebec Remparts and the Quebec Junior Major Hockey League, and last season went behind the bench and coached the Remparts to the Memorial Cup Championship. Festivities begin Saturday with the Hall of Fame game between the Canadiens and Toronto in Toronto, and conclude Monday evening with the formal induction on TSN at 7 p.m. eastern time. Again we thank Patrick for taking the time to join us and answer us questions related to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Continue Reading »

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The Other Thrasher

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Slam,

Slava Kozlov gives new meaning to flying under the radar. "That's the way it was in Detroit and now here in Atlanta," Kozlov said with a laugh. He was overshadowed in Hockeytown by such greats as Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan and he remains somewhat overlooked in Atlanta thanks to fellow Thrashers wingers Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa. Did anyone take into account that the 34-year-old Kozlov sat fourth in NHL scoring heading into Thursday's games with 22 points (8-14) in 18 games?

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Herb Brooks Left His Mark

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

"His legacy is taking a group of talented kids that nobody gave a chance of winning to molding them into a group that would play at the top of their ability at the proper time," explained Brooks' longtime friend and confidante Lou Nanne. That's all Brooks wanted.... Speaking at Brooks' funeral in August 2003, Mike Eruzione admitted that he would still feel he had done something wrong whenever Brooks called his home years after the Olympics. Fear, loathing, respect, admiration, all of those were qualities or feelings Brooks evoked in his players, said John Harrington, a member of that team who has been coaching college hockey since 1984 and who recruited and coached Dan Brooks at the University of Denver.
read on

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Forsberg Searching For Answer

from the Philadelphia Flyers,

“It’s not 100 percent yet. It’s obviously not the ankle because the doctor said it is fine. So I don’t think it’s the ankle. I hope it’s not the ankle. I think it’s just a skate problem and we are trying to find a right fit. We have tried plenty of things (including molds and braces) and I hope we are getting closer. There has to be a solution otherwise it’s going to be hard. It’s a little frustrating when you get out there and you feel that you can do more.
read on

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Lalime Reborn As Gerber

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Senators' confidence is oh-so-fragile now and it begins in goal, where Gerber is doing his best impression of Patrick Lalime, circa 2002. Lalime always played just well enough to seduce the Senators into thinking that just maybe, possibly, his goaltending was good enough to carry them to a championship.
read on

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All-Star Voting Goes Digital

NEW YORK (November 9, 2006) – For the first time ever, the NHL-All Star Fan Balloting process will be entirely digital. From Nov. 15 through Jan. 2, fans around the world can “CLICK TO VOTE” for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star starters for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game on-line at NHL.com and through Bell Canada cell phones.

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Player Development Takes Time

Steve Wozniak of the South Bend Tribune,

Marc-Andre Fleury was supposed to be the savior of Pittsburgh hockey when he was drafted first overall by the Penguins in the 2003 NHL draft. But rather than let the teenager develop further in junior hockey, the Penguins threw him to the wolves in desperation for an immediate winning turnaround. And the wolves, of course, ate him alive, pummeling the overwhelmed rookie and sending the Penguins to another losing season in 2003-04. [...] Pittsburgh realized it had made a mistake in trying to rush perfection, with then-general manager Craig Patrick saying, "We thought it was best for him to go back to his junior club, considering our circumstances, and put him in a situation where he's got a chance to win some championships."
continued on matters of the NCAA and NHL draft

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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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