Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

An Awkward Night

from Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star, T

he estrangement between Toronto and Keon had been so prolonged, and so poorly explained by the man behind the grimace, that rapprochement felt awkward, not quite as advertised, and something less than magic.
Keon looked uncomfortable on the blue carpet, barely cracking a smile – either devoid of emotion or suppressing it. Later, though, he visibly trembled in the midst of a reporter gang press.
“Just look at this,’’ he said through thin lips when an inquisitor wondered if it was easier being a Leaf two generations ago.

read on

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Keep An Eye On…

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• A guy to keep an eye on at the deadline is Phoenix D Derek Morris. Scheduled to make $3.9 million (all terms US) for the next two seasons, he has a no-trade clause in his contract, but there’s talk he could be moved out of the desert.
• There’s been a lot of discussion about W Gary Roberts winding up with either Toronto or Ottawa at the deadline, but you can all but rule out the Leafs
• As for Khabibulin, he has two years left at $6.75 million per year and the market is limited. Sure, the Lightning would like to bring Khabibulin back, but not at that price.

more from Mr. Garrioch…

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Expected To Win

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• In the past, teams have added nice pieces like Butch Goring or Rob Blake and the additions have had immediate impact: Both those were complementary players. Goring remains everyone’s trade deadline dream story: How his acquisition altered and deepened an already strong New York Islanders team.
It’s hard enough to win a Stanley Cup without significant pressure: It gets that much harder, as Nashville will soon find out, when there are expectations of victory and nothing else.
• Let me see: Chris Chelios fired Don Meehan as his agent. Chelios is the leading the anti-Ted Saskin fight. Meehan is outspoken on the other side. Must be pure coincidence?

more NHL bits sprinkled in…

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Going, Staying, Who Knows

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If Detroit’s Matt Schneider is available, that’s news to the veteran defenseman given that the Red Wings are attempting to sign him to a multiyear extension.
The Flyers accepted Nashville’s offer for Peter Forsberg rather than an equally intriguing one from San Jose, Slap Shots has been told. According to sources, the Sharks were willing to send netminder Evegni Nabokov to goaltending-needy Philadelphia as part of a package that included young defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

more player talks from Larry…

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What Would It Be Like

from the Denver Post,

“I’m a rock star, baby,” Sakic told reporters. “The fans come to see No. 19, not the man with the gray hair standing behind the bench.”
That scenario never has - and never will - happen. But, can you imagine the press coverage it would get him, the Avs and the NHL if it did? TV reporters and talk-radio hosts who don’t know the color of the blue line would run - run - to the Pepsi Center to crowd around Sakic. Newspaper sports columnists would come down off their thrones to see what the fuss was about. The “PTI” guys might even slip it in their countdown, right between some contrived debates over Terrell Owens’ Sharpie and Mark Cuban’s new goatee.


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Turco Works Off The Ice To Get On The Ice

from the Dallas Morning News,

And the big picture is that Turco will be the starting goalie when the playoffs begin. He is 31 with 302 NHL games under his belt. He boasts a 163-79-2 career record. Smith is 24 and has played 15 NHL games. So the Stars are going to do everything to make sure Turco is ready for the playoffs.
“He’s had some days to work in practice and he’s got some good work in, and now we’ll see if that translates into how he plays,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said.


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Jovanovski Playing Tonight

There was a story this morning in the Arizona Republic saying Jovanovski had an abdominal muscle injury and the Yotes were thinking about a few different options for him.
Well, he is in the lineup tonight against the Wings.

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Surgery For Huet

via the Montreal Canadiens,

The Montreal Canadiens announced tonight that goaltender Cristobal Huet will undergo surgical repair of an injury to the left hamstring muscles on Sunday, February 18 in Montreal. He will be out indefinitely.

added 9:00pm, CBC Hot Stove mentioned Mike Knuble suffered broken orbital bone and out for the season.


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Chelios Misses Old-School Hockey

from the New York Times:

“Coaches like Mike Keenan and Darryl Sutter encouraged going out there antagonizing and intimidating,” Chelios said of his time with the Blackhawks, which ended with a 1999 trade to Detroit and a coach with a different philosophy. “Scotty Bowman didn’t like that type of play, the scrums after the whistle, the penalties.
“You look back at the old Chicago days, players hated coming into that building. It was like the gladiators, a battle every time they came in there. I love that type of game.”
Chelios added: “But the league is changing. It’s more of a European style of play. If they think that’s going to fly in North America, I’m all for it if it helps the game, but I’m an old-school defenseman.”



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Souray Not Being Shopped

via Sportsnet,

All-star defenceman Sheldon Souray has been given a vote of confidence by Canadiens management, Sportsnet has learned.
The team has no intention of shopping the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent going into the NHL trade deadline on Feb 27.
With the impression Souray will now finish the year with the Canadiens, sources are telling Sportsnet the club will make every conceivable effort to ink Souray to a long-term deal.

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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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