Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Free Agent Flop & The Blackhawks

from the Northwest Herald,

Thus far Khabibulin has been the NHL's most surprising free-agent flop, much bigger than Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar. One of the best-conditioned athletes in any sport, Khabibulin eventually will earn his money. His confidence and legacy will improve in time. The popular pastime of criticizing – or worse, ignoring – the Hawks is well-justified. The "character" veterans general manager Dale Tallon signed after 2003-04 season have proven ineffective. The lack of creative marketing that owner Bill Wirtz allows his staff to develop is beyond reason.
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Flyers Relax In The Sun

from the Philly Burbs,

Can a jet-ski, a Frisbee or a volleyball help make the Flyers a better team? One would get that impression, based on comments made by players after two days of sun and fun on the eastern shore of the Sunshine State. So it was good to get together, let some of the nave rookies get a sunburn and tell a few jokes on the beach, even if this break was actually pre-scheduled as part of an annual Flyers' marketing and business get-together.
read on

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Is Belfour Trying To Save Face

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The burning question in the press box -- which, like all press boxes has more than its share of conspiracy theorists -- was this: Is Ed Belfour really hurt? The media people who have dealt with Belfour during his tenure here didn't think it was unreasonable to suggest he is not the kind of person who would take kindly to sitting at the end of the bench with a towel around his neck as a healthy scratch. Instead, he declared himself an unhealthy scratch, thereby saving face.
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More Of The Same Schedule Next Year

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Bettman said there's little chance of any significant policy changes this summer. He says the top two complaints he hears from fans, especially in Western Canada, revolves around bumping the number of shootout players from three to five and a schedule that sees Eastern clubs here every three years. "If we decide we want more inter-conference play, then we have to sacrifice the rivalries. It's a balancing act. We'll probably do it again next season and then we'll take a deep breath, have a talk with our fans and see where we go from there.
read on

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The Race For The Calder

from the Globe and Mail,

The race is far from over and anything can happen. Mr. Crosby has rallied, having put up five points in his past two games. He is on pace to put up 94 points, the highest tally by an 18-year-old in NHL history. Mr. Crosby entered the season as the NHL's new darling and odds-on favourite to win the Calder Trophy. More recently, however, Mr. Ovechkin has been seen as a lock, not only because he leads in points but also because he has scored the most memorable goal of the season.
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The International NHL

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The Swedish Red Wings, the Czech Rangers and the Finnish Stars aren't NHL franchises, and yet they are clearly visible in the league standings. All three teams lead their division, suggesting an advantage to the groupings.
read on

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Decisions For The NHLPA

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

There are two simmering issues that involve the NHL Players' Association and it's going to be interesting to see whether either of them boil over in the near future. The first concerns the leadership of NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin.... The second issue will come to the fore on Wednesday when a conference call with Saskin and NHLPA player reps will go a long way towards determining what the salary cap will be next season in the NHL.
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Mainstream Media Coverage

Abel to Yzerman once again drives the point home how bad the Detroit media is when it comes to covering the Wings. I must agree and have expressed my thoughts in the past. Today, Detroit area sports radio stations are consumed with Detroit Lions talk. Who did they get, why didn't they get this guy, etc. All pathetic talk for a terrible team. The Wings on the other hand have not even been mentioned today, no update on the injury to Samuelsson, not a word on how practice went, nothing. With a team that is playing above expectations this year, the mainstream media in Detroit should be focusing on the Wings and the Pistons, but then again they are much better at reporting on the negative like the Lions and Tigers, which of course creates the controversy they are looking for. A2Y also points out what Tom Benjamin thinks about the NY media coverage of hockey, which in comparison makes the Detroit media look like awarding winning journalists.

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Integrity Of The Game Still Solid

from the CP via Slam,

Despite the NHL's ongoing investigation into an alleged gambling ring, commissioner Gary Bettman says the affair has not damaged the league's reputation. "What's becoming increasingly clear - and it was from the outset - is that this had nothing to do with hockey," Bettman said Tuesday. "It has nothing to do with the integrity of our game."
read on update 6:52pm, from Eric Dutaschek of the Globe and Mail,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Calgary Thursday to address a Chamber of Conference luncheon and then speak at a dinner honouring Harley Hotchkiss, the long-time Calgary Flames' owner and chairman of the NHL's board of governors. In a meeting with Duhatschek and others, Bettman addressed some of the league's more pressing concerns. Following is an edited transcript of his talk:
read on...the best question goes something like this, "Please explain it in laymen's terms" & for Pens fans, Bettman says the clock runs until December or January...

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Berard Not Returning This Year

via TSN,

Columbus Blue Jackets' defenceman Bryan Berard will miss the rest of the season due to a back injury, team president and general manager Doug MacLean said Monday night. Doctors will decide if surgery is necessary.

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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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