Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

An Out-Of-This-World Slap Shot

from Reuters:

Never mind that he has played golf only twice in his life. Next week the Russian flight engineer aboard the International Space Station will hit a drive that even Tiger Woods couldn't match. Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin plans to begin a spacewalk set for Wednesday evening by knocking a lightweight golf ball off a tee placed on the top of the Russian docking port. "I play ice hockey and my understanding is that it is very similar," Tyurin said in an interview during which he discussed the stunt, part of the Russian space agency's quest for commercial contributions.

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Leonsis Disputes Forbes Report

from the Washington Times: Ted Leonsis admits that the lockout really was about franchise equity while disputing Forbes' assertion that the Caps made money last year:

"We lost $6 million last year, with revenue sharing," he said. "That is inaccurate. They said we were going to make money this year, and we're going to lose money. They said we are worth $125 million, and we are probably worth $180 million. I read it, and you just go. "They weren't close on the numbers," Leonsis continued. "Our revenues are higher, we're losing money ... we did not make a profit. If you do the math, it is like losing $15 million, and then you get $10 million revenue sharing."
"We are a couple of million dollars away [from making money] in ticket sales, and the burning off of Jaromir Jagr's contract, and then we are at break even," Leonsis said. "Then, if you make the playoffs, then you can really start to make some profit. We are a couple of years away from that. "The goal is to have the asset appreciate more than you are losing money," he said. "That wasn't happening pre-lockout. You would lose $30 million and the team would appreciate $5 million. Now if you are losing $4 million or $5 million or breaking even, your team is appreciating. The rule of thumb is you should double your asset value every seven to 10 years. So right now the Wizards are probably double their value in the last 10 years, with a new CBA and stability. We have a better CBA in the NHL. So we think team values will increase dramatically. So we are really happy. This is the most relaxed I've been since I've been in the league."

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Biron’s The Sabres’ Go-To Guy—For Now

from the Niagra Gazette:

Unlike his early years, when Biron would stand on his head through the first 58 minutes, only to surrender the game-losing goal in the final moments, Marty’s recent work has been marked by timely saves, even if they come after a few sloppy goals. “I’ve been giving up a lot of goals lately, but we won,” Biron said. “The big thing is at the end of the day, you want to finish plus one. Teams are winning 7-6 and other teams are winning 2-1. “It doesn’t matter. Sometimes as a goalie, you go home and think ‘what was that all about?’ But you won.” There’s never a sense that the Sabres are pressing to help Biron, even though he’s clearly the second goaltender in the franchise. With their top defensive pairing still out, Buffalo didn’t change the plan one iota, worrying first about offensive transition. “It’s the same as last year, we didn’t really care who was playing back there, we were comfortable and confident,” Teppo Numminen said. “I don’t think anybody notices a difference.”

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JR’s Gambit Was Ill-Conceived

from the LA Times:

Kings fans get a chance to welcome the Coyotes' Jeremy Roenick back to Staples Center today. Last season, Roenick became the poster boy for the Kings' collapse. He was acquired in a trade, showed up to training camp out of shape and finished with nine goals In a TV interview last month, Roenick said that he intentionally showed up out of shape to spite the NHL for the lockout. Tim Leiweke, the Kings' governor, declined to speculate whether Roenick should return some of the $4.94 million the Kings paid him to show up in shape. "The Roenick experiment was bad for him and worse for us," Leiweke said. "The risk we took, and the money we paid, he did not take on the responsibilities we needed him to take on. It was a major disappointment. We've learned our lesson and moved on."
Roenick replies:
"I loved playing here; unfortunately, I didn't do anything or perform the way I wanted to, and I'm sure that I disappointed a lot of fans here and that disappointed me," Roenick said. "And by no means do I just say 'whatever' about the whole situation. I really feel bad that I didn't perform for those fans, but I'm past that and if they want to boo me and all that stuff because of my poor performance, that's fine. That's understandable." Asked if he would boo him if he were one of the Kings fans, Roenick smiled and said: "Yeah, I probably would."

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Fontinato Recalls Howe Bust-Up

from the Guelph Mercury:

Lou Fontinato makes no bones about it. He wanted to fight Gordie Howe that night. "If he's going to start anything, I'm going after him," Fontinato said he told teammate Eddie Shack prior to the fateful Feb. 1, 1959 encounter between Fontinato's New York Rangers and Howe's Detroit Red Wings, a New York home game. What Fontinato didn't know is the fight he went looking for would follow him for the rest of his playing days and beyond. It was a fight that some feel destroyed Fontinato's reputation as the league's toughest player and helped cement Howe's reputation as a player as tough as he was skilled.

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You Were Loosening My Grip On Bobby Orr

from Lawrence Martin of the Globe and Mail:

No. 4! Bobby Orr! Whatever happened? How did he become our lost legend, a loner, a distant relative to his home country? Our three greatest hockey players of the past few decades have all made their homes outside Canada. Mario Lemieux settled in Pittsburgh. Wayne Gretzky commutes between Phoenix and Los Angeles. And while these two have stayed connected, the inscrutable Bobby Orr, save for the odd happy-faced TV commercial, has remained off limits, in Boston, estranged of his own volition. His boys, Darren and Brent Orr, have never even played the game. The legend never gave them the opportunity. As sports writer Stephen Brunt tells us, "Bobby Orr's sons didn't even learn to skate."

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KK- Game Time Nearing

I am headed to Columbus, Ohio to attend a college football game that is barely on the national radar. Updates today will be supplied by IwoCPO, Alanah and George.

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Adapting To The North American Game

from the LA Times,

Shoot the puck. Get to the net. Grind it out around the crease. The chatter in Frolov's ear reached talk-radio proportions. Now it appears Frolov has tuned in rather than tuned out. Frolov has seven goals and 12 points in the last eight games, including two goals in each of the last two games. But it's not only that he's scoring goals — Frolov has averaged 20 a season in his short career — it's where he's scoring them. "People have always talked to me about going to the net," Frolov said. "It's been hard because you learn the game differently in Russia. I'm trying to change because it can only help me. Good things happen around the net."
more (reg. req.)

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They Said It

from Terry Koshan at the Toronto Sun,

• Blue Jackets enforcer Jody Shelley happened to hear the name of the Predators' Jordin Tootoo mentioned in the dressing room recently. "Tootoo?" Shelley said. "Who wants to talk about that midget?" When asked if that was on the record, Shelley said: "Sure. Why not? Let's get it rolling a little bit." • Message to all NHL personnel: Listen to what your colleague, Blues GM Larry Pleau, has to say about hiding injuries. "What do you think of the two-tiered league now? You know, the upper and lower bodies," Pleau said. "If a guy misses even one game in regular season, we should be telling people why. What's the big deal? I don't get it."

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A Game For Gentlemen

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette wonders if a fine is headed Tortorella's way for the following comment,

"You have to be a gentleman," Tortorella said. "It's a game for gentlemen. And it's frustrating, because that's not the essence of what this game is supposed to be about. "I can't do a thing about it, except teach my players that they can't even lift their stick off the ice. You have to tie it onto the ice. That's the only way that you can play this game right. Because there's not supposed to be any type of rubbing or physicality in this game, or it gets called."

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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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