Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Get Rid Of Eklund

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Did we mention respectable? First order of business for Sportsnet has to be getting rid of “blogger” Eklund who was billed as an expert but instead brought down the credibility which the network’s legitimate pros offered.
Bad enough that Mr. Eklund appeared to be guessing most of the time. Worse that he almost always guessed wrong.

more on Sportsnet…

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Handzus Undecided On Contract Talk

from the Chicago Tribune,

Matt Keator, Handzus’ agent, said he and his client have had “initial discussions” with Tallon regarding a new contract, but the Handzus camp seems content to wait to see how a number of matters play out.
“[Handzus] is still assessing how his knee is feeling, which is better every day, and we’re still assessing where the organization is headed,” Keator said.
Keator said Handzus likes Chicago and the Hawks have treated him very well.
“There’s a chance he will re-sign, but that’s for a later date,” Keator said.

read on

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Souray Open On Negotiating With Montreal

from the Montreal Gazette,

“I’m not sure whether the Canadiens will want to keep me, but I want to talk to them when the season is over,” Souray said after the Canadiens’ 4-0 loss to the Rangers Tuesday night.
There has been speculation Souray wants to play on the West Coast to be closer to his daughter, who lives with Souray’s estranged wife, Angelica Bridges.
Souray said he and Bridges have a cordial relationship and have discussed living in Montreal should he stay here. He said their relationship is complicated by the fact Bridges is expecting the couple’s second child in May.

more

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Pilar Attempting Comeback

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

It is not a workout for the faint of heart, a category into which Karel Pilar was once exiled.
It is purposeful. Slicing sounds, the hard carving of ice, fill the empty arena when things are going well. A staccato curse echoes to the rafters when they aren’t.
Comebacks are tough business. Particularly from coronary problems that, logic seemed to dictate, ended a promising career before it had found its rhythm.

continued

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Hitch With History

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Ken Hitchcock became a Blue Jacket in 1992, the year he visited Gettysburg for the first time. He took a tour and, when it was done, a few re-enactors emerged in period dress to stage a play of sorts. They used the tourists as troops in the scene. It was an epiphany.
Hitchcock, a hockey coach from Edmonton, Alberta, became fascinated with the American Civil War.
“I got all fired up thinking that this leadership and followship issue is really interesting,” Hitchcock said in a recent interview in his office in Nationwide Arena.

continued

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More to Know About Moose Factory Cheechoo

By Gare Joyce in ESPN Magazine,

Hockey—pretty much any sport, come to think of it—produces lots of small-town-kid-makes-good stories. All have similar elements: endless hours of practice, nurturing townsfolk, the moment of discovery, a dream shared by player and community. But take one walk through Moose Factory and chat with a few of the locals, and you realize that Cheechoo’s story trumps most of the others.

After all, how many other heroes practiced for six hours straight in minus-40 weather, risking toes to frostbite? How many other hockey teams have to wait for the ice in the river to freeze before they can travel to play opponents? Listen to the tale about how the people of Moose Factory chipped in $15,000 for Jonathan’s hockey training—lessons, clinics, tournaments—and you have to wonder, how many other towns have invested so heavily in hope?

more…  (*article also found in the March 12 issue of ESPN Magazine, out today)

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Zetterberg Out 2-3 Weeks

from the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings will be without superstar forward Henrik Zetterberg two to three weeks while he recovers from an inflamed disk, general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday.
Zetterberg suffered back spasms during Monday’s practice and did not make the trip to Chicago for Tuesday’s game. An initial MRI revealed nothing, but a second one Wednesday showed some damage.

continued

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Smyth Says Goodbye

from 630/CHED,

A day after he was traded from the Oilers to the New York Islanders, Smyth choked back tears as he read a statement and answered questions during a news conference at the Edmonton Airport.
He says he found out about the trade through the media.

read on and you can listen to Smyth’s statement too…

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Always Learning

from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,

With each trade deadline (did you know there was just one trade deadline deal involving one player in 1983?), we learn something about the league and its clubs. Here are eight things I took out of Tuesday’s swap meet:
8. Brian Burke is stubborn
The Ducks GM is stubborn. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. Burke was a player in a couple of separate trade negotiations, but he refused to trade any of his young studs (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry or prospect Bobby Ryan) for a short-term fix. But the Ducks’ road to the Cup finals got a lot tougher after the Predators, Red Wings, Stars, Sharks and Flames made significant acquisitions.

more

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Hectic Two Days

from David Kolb at MSG.com,

Oiler GM Kevin Lowe has taken a lot of initial criticism for not letting other GM’s know that Smyth was available, as GM’s were surprised that Smyth was traded; so credit Islander GM Garth Snow with being “in the know,” and landing Smyth.

more short bits on the Islanders, Rangers & Devils…. I heard Ken Holland mention last night he was not made aware of the Smyth situation.  I do wonder why Lowe did not open up the bidding?

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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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