Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Markov Comfortable In Detroit

from the Detroit Free Press,

On their part, the Wings don't want much from Markov: "I don't need him to be cute, I don't need him to do anything fancy," coach Mike Babcock said Thursday while his players took physicals in advance of today's start of training camp. What does Babcock want from the 30-year-old Russian journeyman? "I just need him to be hard, great defensively, and make a good first pass," Babcock said. "When I talked to Stumpy about Markov, he just said he's a big-time leader and he competes hard. That's what you want."
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Waiting For A Move Or Two

from the NY Post,

Asked if either Mogilny or Malakhov reported, new coach Claude Julien said that he was in meetings during the morning, not monitoring the physicals and routine. Asked if he had seen either, Julien asked, "Is that a trick question?" Then he said he hadn't. Malakhov represents $3.6 million, and Mogilny $3.5 million of cap space, which doesn't disappear this season through waiver demotion, as it did last season with Mogilny. Malakhov was suspended last December after the Devils said he retired, but even in that situation, Lamoriello would probably need an unlikely favorable league ruling to keep Malakhov's salary off his cap total. Both were over 35 when they signed multiyear deals as unrestricted free agents in 2005, and the new CBA says any years beyond the first of a contract for over-35 unrestricted free agents count toward the cap, whether or wherever they play.
read on (reg. req.)

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More Needs To Be Done

from the Toronto Star,

The loss of another great talent like Primeau to post-concussion syndrome reflects that as much as the NHL is no longer in the Stone Age when it comes to dealing with head injuries, it still has a long way to go. "In many ways as much as advances have been made, it's gotten much more complicated," said former Maple Leaf Nick Kypreos, whose own career was ended by a head injury. Exactly how many players have been lost to post-concussion syndrome is not known. The NHL could not produce such a stat yesterday. Maybe they don't want to know. But any list would include Jeff Beukeboom, Scott Stevens, Adam Deadmarsh, Pat Lafontaine, Geoff Courtnall, Mike Richter, Paul Comrie, Brett Lindros, Michel Petit, Dennis Vaske, Jim Johnson and Dave Taylor.
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What Did They Create

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

So now we know what the owners of the National Hockey League won in their labour war victory over the players: They established the right for one of their wackier confreres to sign a middle-of-the-road goaltender to a 15-year, guaranteed contract. They created a chance for a bright young player to return to Russia rather than suit up for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They opened up the opportunity for that old ankle-breaker, Bob Clarke, to put an end to the age of gentlemen's agreements and play the front-office game the same way he played hockey.
continued

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Dvorak Chooses Blues Over Rangers

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues President John Davidson 2, New York Rangers 0. The former New York goalie and broadcaster has lured a second player who was considering both the Blues and the Rangers. Forward Radek Dvorak signed a one-year deal for $1 million with the club Thursday. Dvorak, who like Martin Rucinsky chose the Blues over the Rangers, becomes the second player who competed in last year's Stanley Cup Finals to join the team. Doug Weight's Carolina Hurricanes edged Dvorak's Edmonton Oilers in Game 7.
continued

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New Attitude Blackhawks

from the Daily Herald,

“There’s a different mentality here than the past few years,” captain Adrian Aucoin said. “I like to tell people that when I came in the league, Blackhawk hockey was kind of the model for most teams in the league — that hard-nosed, gritty hockey. “I think that’s the kind approach we took last year, but being the new game and the new rules, there’s a lot more skill involved, and going out and bullying other teams around really didn’t pay off for us too much. “I’m not going to say that they didn’t have winning in the blood here, obviously, because they’ve had some of the best teams in hockey in the past years, but it’s a different approach to the game now because of the new rules. We’ll take the approach that we have to be more offensive now and worry about skill a little more than being the brutes out there.”
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Offensive To Win

from the Tennessean,

"There's no question it's the most firepower we've had,'' Coach Barry Trotz said. "We have potentially eight or nine guys that could score 20 goals, and that's a pretty balanced attack if those guys are able to reach numbers like that.'' The transformation from the gritty, low-scoring, defensive-minded club to a more threatening offensive unit actually began last year when Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya played their first full seasons in Nashville, and young players — such as Scott Hartnell and Martin Erat — started to showcase more goal-scoring ability. Nashville "definitely has more offensive potential,'' Kariya said. "The organization is going more of the offensive route and so is the league. You have to play offensively to be able to win.''
read on

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Looking At The Wild

from the Pioneer Press,

WHAT CAN'T HAPPEN Believing a fatter payroll will solve their problems. The principles that define Jacques Lemaire-coached teams are a dogged work ethic, commitment to playing a responsible two-way game and counterattacking. The new blood makes the Wild more dangerous, but the players cannot abandon their roots lest they endure Lemaire's wrath. Nor can the stars dump all of the defensive dirty work into Wes Walz's lap.
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Penguins Bidder’s All Thumbs

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

[Jim] Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the company based in Waterloo, Ontario, that makes the BlackBerry, has emerged as the latest frontrunner to buy the Penguins, two sources with knowledge of the sale process said yesterday. His second pursuit of the hockey team is the latest development in what has been a roller-coaster ride the past several months as fans have waited to see who buys the club and whether the new owner intends to keep it in Pittsburgh. Balsillie, who has declined comment, was the secretive Canadian bidder who nearly signed a letter of intent with the Penguins in mid-July. He backed out when he realized it wouldn't be simple to move the team. It's believed he wanted to relocate it to Hamilton, Ontario, which is near Waterloo.
continued

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The Rule Changes

The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a variety of rule changes pertaining to the curvature of players' sticks. The maximum curvature of a player's stick was increased to three-quarters of an inch. Previously, the maximum curvature had been one-half inch. During regulation time or overtime (but not shootouts), a player found to have a stick curved in excess of that amount would be assessed a minor penalty and a $200 fine for the first offense. A second offense in the same season would be accompanied by a minor penalty, plus a fine of $1,000. A third offense in the same season would draw a game misconduct penalty and an automatic one-game suspension. The suspension would double in length for any subsequent violation in the same season. During shootouts, an opposing Club may request measurement of a shooter's stick prior to the shooter's attempt. If the stick is found to be legal, the complaining Club would forfeit its next shootout attempt and the player listed for the challenging Club's next attempt would not be permitted to participate until all other eligible players have participated. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the Club's coach would be fined $1,000. If the stick is illegal, the offending player would become ineligible to participate in the shootout and the Club would forfeit that shootout attempt. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the player would be fined $1,000. The Board also approved enhanced measures against "diving" and embellishment of actions in the attempt to draw a penalty. The first such infraction would result in a warning letter being sent to the player or goalkeeper. A second infraction would be accompanied by a $1,000 fine. A third infraction would result in a telephone hearing with the Director of Hockey Operations and a possible one-game suspension. The length of the suspension would double for any subsequent violation. The Board also approved a rule change that will give the home team the choice of shooting first or second in the shootout.

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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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