Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

More Changes On The Way

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The lockout may have solved a lot of fiscal problems for NHL owners, but it also created a new set of (mostly unrealistic) expectations for general managers and coaches. The trickle of change started last week. Just watch how it escalates into a flood over the next four months. ...That while lockout created a temporary moment of stability in the NHL, it will also be the reason it comes crashing to a halt this summer. Once they achieved their new economic system, owners — who generally handle arithmetic questions pretty well in their other businesses — collectively concluded that their own personal team should be a lot more competitive; that at the very least they should make the playoffs; and by the way, can anyone explain why they aren't challenging for the Stanley Cup already?

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Fans Need An Explanation

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

And so we say goodbye, we think, to Ed Belfour as a Maple Leaf and as we do, we keep asking for what we always ask for in these matters: a little truth and, barring that, a little light. We're told the Eagle was grounded by a back injury. We don't know when, exactly, it came about. We don't know what, exactly, the problem seems to be. We don't have a clue regards the severity of it. What we do know is that one of the better goaltenders in the history of the Maple Leafs is gone for the remainder of the season and likely beyond. No explanation, no goodbyes, and no "I'll be there for the team and for Mikael Tellqvist until the final horn sounds." Just gone, almost like he never existed.

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Nose Repair

from the Buffalo News,

McKee broke his nose Friday night in HSBC Arena when he was struck in the face with a puck in front of the Buffalo net. He suffered such severe swelling under his right eye that it affected his vision, which kept him out of the lineup Saturday in Boston. "The worst part is going to be [today]," he said. "Guys on the team have been through it. I've never been through it. I don't know if they're messing with me. I don't think they're messing with me. It's a couple long, metal tools that go up your nostrils quite high and move it back into place."

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What Will Jack Johnson Do

from the Michigan Daily,

Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson may not be as sure about staying in Ann Arbor as he claimed to be all season long. ...During the weekend of Jan. 6 and 7, before the Wolverines were took on Alaska-Fairbanks, Johnson and Carolina officials met for lunch, said a source close to Johnson, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the situation's delicacy. The source said the team offered Johnson a contract, similar to the longtime contract Sidney Crosby - a friend of Johnson's - received from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
more Christy of Behind the Jersey and a Michigan student, points out that the Michigan Daily is not always accurate in their reporting, so take what you want out of the article.

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The Travels Of A Hockey Scout

from the Sun-Sentinel,

The draft nears. The road calls. The chase resumes. The sport-utility vehicle barrels off Montreal's Marriott Chateau Champlain property, up Highway 20 along the south side of the St. Lawrence River, past snowmobile trails and the CCM warehouse, bound for Drummondville. The phone chirps. The passenger adjusts his earpiece to receive a most anticipated report.
continued...long, but take the time to read it...

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Sens Health Report

from the Ottawa Sun,

..."We don't know when I'm going to be ready to play," said Chara, who suffered the damage while slugging the Penguins' Eric Cairns last Tuesday. "As soon as it feels good enough, I'll let you guys know. Right now, it's still not good enough." Goalie Dominik Hasek, who has been sidelined 1 1/2 months with a strained adductor muscle, is at least talking about returning to practice in pads sometime this week. "I plan to put the equipment on ... not practise with the team, but put the whole gear on," he said. "Maybe I'll practice. Who knows."

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Burke Believes In His Plan

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Brian Burke came to Anaheim with a plan and he wasn't going to scrap it when the Mighty Ducks' locker-room chemistry was slow to develop or when the rest of the West seemed to be sprinting away. The Duck general manager says he believes in his team and his strategy as strongly today, with the Ducks in fifth place in the conference, as he did on Jan. 13, when the team hit a low point of eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. "The blueprint that we're following is not a new blueprint," he said. "I did the same thing in Vancouver.
read on (reg. req.)...plus more informantion on the NHLPA and Saskin...

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Bad ‘Break’ For Allison

As mentioned last night, Jason Allison is out with a broken hand and will lose some money because of it...Keep in mind he has 17G-43A-60PTS from the Toronto Star,

The Leafs signed Allison Aug.5 to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.5 million (all figures U.S.) plus bonus clauses that would take the total value of the contract to $4.5 million. The bonuses clicked in at 70 points and 75 games, and would have totalled $3 million. Allison started earning $222,222 at 35 games, with that figure growing incrementally every five games. In addition, Allison would have had to hit the target of .65 points per game in order to collect. At the 75-game plateau, he would have collected $2 million. The 70-point plateau was worth $1 million. Unfortunately for Allison, he had been on pace to easily reach the bonus plateaus in his contract.

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The Maven- Your Link To The Rink

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Wasn’t it just a couple of weeks ago that Pierre (The Mouth) McGuire was dissing the Lightning’s chances. Something about John Tortorella not getting along with John Grahame. We’ve got news for McGuire: Goalie and coach don’t have to get along as long as Grahame stops pucks and Tampa keeps winning! -There’s one aspect of the refs-linesmen new deal that bugs us. Starting next season, helmets will be mandatory for all on-ice officials. That means we won’t be able to see Kerry Fraser’s well-coiffed mane; and that will be missed! By the way, visors will be mandatory for all incoming refs and linesmen in 2007-2008.
much more

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Upgrading The Leafs

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

When the wreckage of this season finally settles in the next three weeks, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson will canvass his most trusted advisers for their advice on next season. However, my schedule during National Hockey League playoffs is uncertain at this point, so I'll offer my advice to Ferguson now, just in case I won't be available that week. In general terms, Ferguson has to look at three things: upgrading the forwards as a group, but, most of all, finding at least one winger who can play with Mats Sundin; signing at least one big-name free-agent defenceman so that the Leafs' good young blueline prospects will have veteran leadership to lean on; and settling the goaltending situation.

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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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