Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Decision For Sabres

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Buffalo Sabres are likely going to make a choice next summer that has the potential to backfire on them. Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, who share the captaincy with the Sabres, are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in the off-season. Yes, the Sabres are focused on winning a Stanley Cup, but you can be guaranteed Briere and Drury are going to want raises from Buffalo GM Darcy Regier next summer.
continued

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Stop The Hits To The Head

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

For the longest time Williams looked like a man in the grip of death. He was lying face up on the ice, but he was motionless. His arms didn't move, nor did his legs or even his hands. There was a growing pool of blood beneath his skull, and it was getting larger even in the moments when the trainers first rushed to his aid. For the longest time Williams had the look of death on his face, blood everywhere, eyes motionless and glazing over. You could see the fear freezing on his face. It went on that way for a long time, even as the frantically calm first responders fitted him to a body board and a head immobilizer and carefully lifted him into an ambulance that had backed up to the Zamboni entrance. You could feel it in the silence of the crowd. They didn't know if Williams was alive, dead or dying before their eyes and they were afraid. And you want to tell me that's a part of the game?
read on

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You Go First

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The great thinkers of the NHL convened in a Cooper-mini last summer and decided to give home coaches the option this year of going first or last in the penalty-shot skills competition that, by the way, already is wearing pretty thin as entertainment in its second go-round. Through Thursday night's games, home-team coaches actually had chosen to go first in 22 of the 32 shootouts. Their teams had gone 9-13. Home teams going second, meanwhile, were 8-2. Let's forget psychology for a moment. Let's instead deal with, oh, I don't know, facts.
more... and Brooks wants to know why Duff is going into the HHOF while others are not, plus questions why the NHL commercials are being run during hockey games...
Wouldn't it make more sense for the NHL to buy time, say, on NFL telecasts, to run that spot?

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NFL Style Trade Season

Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel quoting Jaques Martin on the lack of trades,

"I'm wondering if since the [salary] cap has been brought whether we're not going to a direction that's close to the National Football League," Martin said, referring to the rarity of trades in-season. "You may see scenarios where you'll see a lot more trades in the offseason, at the draft. "Every team has their own budget and cap to work with. What happens, once you fill up your roster, you have to work with your people. It's not like in the past where if you weren't happy with a guy or you had an injury, you could go and get somebody. Now it makes it more difficult. It's the same for every team, almost."
more

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Patrick Roy Winks at the HOF

George Richards of McClatchy Newspapers writes a summary of Patrick Roy's career as he gets set to enter the HOF:

"The wink?" he said. Oh yeah. The wink. In Game 3 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals in Los Angeles, the Kings were coming hard at Roy and his Montreal Canadiens. In overtime, Kings forward Tomas Sandstrom put a big shot on net with Roy making another spectacular save. The two made eye contact. An ultra-competitive, ultra-confident Roy simply winked at his opponent, sending a signal that no more pucks were getting past him.
Continued...

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Andrew Raycroft and the Toronto Fishbowl

From Lance Hornsby at the Toronto Sun,

His good upbringing manifests itself every day that Raycroft goes under the spotlight in Toronto. After nine years of name goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour, the Leafs were grilled for giving up a first-round pick and three years at $6 million US for a relative 26-year-old pup, rated third on the Boston Bruins depth chart. But Raycroft might be the first Toronto stopper since Felix Potvin to actually be comfortable in this milieu. Unlike the sensitive Joseph or the surly Belfour, he came with a proven and formulated game plan for life in the Leafs fishbowl.
Continued...

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How Bad Can It Get

Flyers up by one late in the 3rd period, full blown 3-0 after the Sabres dman falls at the blueline, and they miss the chance to put the game away. Sabres score about a minute later, game goes to OT and Sabres finish off the Flyers on a Briere pp goal. image

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Schedule Doesn’t Make Sense

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune,

As it is on so many issues, the NHL stands alone on topics in which it seems only to create controversy. Is there any talk ever about the schedule in any other sport? No, and if the NHL just followed the acceptable model that is already in place in the NBA, this would be a non-issue. Oops, there's that word, or rather, letters. NBA sounds the alarms to many "hockey people" that their sport is about to be taken over. Setting that ridiculous paranoia aside, why the NHL doesn't schedule its games in the same manner as the NBA is beyond mind-boggling. Consider: Both the NBA and NHL have 30 teams. Both have two conferences with three divisions in each conference. Both have playoffs based on conference seedings and both play 82 games. Somehow, the NBA finds a way for their teams to play every other team in the league home and home, while the NHL doesn't.
more

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Holmgren Keeps Job For This Year

from TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers named Paul Holmgren as general manager through the remainder of the 2006-07 season, according to Flyers Chairman Ed Snider. "Paul has been working very hard and I felt that it was important at this time to provide him with some stability in his position which will help him with the tasks at hand," said Snider.
continued

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Comcast Looking At HD Hockey & Golf Channel

from TVPredictions,

Comcast is considering starting a new High-Definition channel for sports, TVPredictions.com has learned. The channel would likely feature high-def broadcasts of the National Hockey League from the Versus channel and tournament action from The Golf Channel. Comcast owns both The Golf Channel and Versus, formerly known as The Outdoor Network The nation's largest cable operator may launch the HD sports channel by year's end or in early 2007, according to one source close to the situation. The addition would be part of Comcast's overall plan to expand its high-def lineup, with more HD networks coming early next year. "I think we’ll be adding a new HD service from Comcast that will be a compilation of programming from Golf and Versus to start," said the source.
continued...this looks like it will take care of the problem with the NHL on INHD and being bumped for NBA games.

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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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