Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Save A Career

from the NY Times,

A prospect in the Anaheim Ducks’ organization, Smith, 20, was a rookie defenseman for their top farm team, the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, when he was hit by the puck Feb. 24 in a game against the Manchester Monarchs. Surgeons could not save the eye, and he now wears a prosthetic. Seven months later, speaking by telephone from his home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Smith refused to consider that matters might have been different if he had been wearing a protective visor. “The worst thing for me to do would be to play the what-if game,” he said.
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How Important Is Goaltending

from the Province,

The premise, admittedly, is slightly absurd because to suggest goaltending isn't important in hockey is to suggest pitching isn't important in baseball or water isn't important in horticulture. But given the direction the game seems to be moving in the new NHL, it's fair to raise the question: Is goaltending as important as it was in the dead-puck era? It's a line of inquiry with profound implications for the NHL as a whole. But it's especially relevant to the Vancouver Canucks because they've opted to build their team around Roberto Luongo this season.
continued

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A Day In The Life…

from Don Winsor of the Beacon,

I want to take you through a typical game day in the NHL, as seen through the eyes of a media person. The game in question was played Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., at the Pengrowth Saddledome, between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks. I arrived at the rink around 10 a.m. for the morning skates of both teams. My first stop after picking up credentials was the media lounge for a coffee and a chit chat with other members of the fifth estate, who were gathering for preliminary work prior to start time later in the evening.
continued...entertaining and informative read...

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Excitement On Every Shift With Brule

from the National Post,

Sergei Fedorov, the ageing Russian star, injured his shoulder in the pre-season and will not be fit for game action for a few more weeks. That means Brule, all 19 years of him, is a prime candidate to start the season as the Blue Jackets No. 1 centre, with former Maurice Richard Trophy winner Rick Nash on his left wing, and David Vyborny on his right. "I've been thinking about that, and it's pretty crazy, actually," Brule says. "Watching those guys when I was in junior, and to then be on the ice with them, especially with them on my line, would be a privilege."
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The Bigger West

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Welcome to the wild, wild West, where it appears the Sharks' acquisition of Joe Thornton from the East two months into last season has triggered rivals to add size on defense or at center this season. Dallas acquired Eric Lindros. Nashville added Jason Arnott. Phoenix nabbed Ed Jovanovski. Los Angeles got Rob Blake. But the one that had the league buzzing throughout the summer was Anaheim's deal to pilfer Chris Pronger from Edmonton, a move that puts two of the league's elite defensemen on the same blue line.
continued

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Just Guessing

from CanWest via the Daily News,

Last season? Fuhgeddaboudit. The new NHL, preoccupied with post-lockout growing pains, rule-changes and teams discovering new identities as the massive personnel shifts took root, was immune to logic. Hands up, if you predicted Carolina, Buffalo, Edmonton and Anaheim as the NHL's final four, and the Hurricanes to win it all. So it is that the league's marketing department has come up with a new slogan to cover all eventualities, namely: Your Guess is as Good as Ours.
continued

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Bucci Believes

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

I believe ... Sidney Crosby will win the Art Ross Trophy. Ilya Kovalchuk will win the Maurice Richard Trophy. Hockey is more vinyl than digital, and if we take any more sandpaper out of the game, the game will lose its soul. Cold rinks make for warm people. Kerry Fraser in a hockey helmet is just not right. You might as well put one on Bobby Orr. Jack Johnson should be able to do whatever Jack Johnson wants. I'm looking forward to this NHL season more than last NHL season. The Western Conference will look something like this-
read on

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Gionta Expects To Play In Opener

via the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,

Ongoing efforts by the New Jersey Devils to free up salary-cap space means Brian Gionta should be on the ice for their NHL opener on Friday. Gionta, coming off a 48-goal season, is a restricted free agent who remains unsigned because the Devils are at least $5 million over the $44 million salary cap. "I'm cautiously optimistic we could have it done (by today)," his agent, Steve Bartlett of Pittsford, said.

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Bill Daly On Hockey Topics

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was on XM's Hockey this Morning on Monday, October 2nd. He informed the XM listeners on the Malakhov deal, the possibility of Mogilny/Devils cap relief and the state of the game on the ice heading into the season. All files will open an audio file (all less than 5.5MB) and special thanks to XM Home Ice, Channel 204 for providing KK with the audio cuts. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be on the Power Play show today at 1pm. image

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Cup Keeper

from Kevin Shea at NHL.com,

Close your eyes for a moment, clear all thoughts from your mind, sit back and envision the greatest job in the world ... serving banana daiquiris to a bathing suit convention on a sun-drenched beach in Hawaii? Great, but not amazing. Or how about a taste tester in a chocolate factory? I like that, but you'd get tired of it after awhile. Let's see, how about taking the world's greatest trophy around the globe to celebrate the successes of hockey's world champions? Yeah, that's it! That's the greatest job in the world!
continued

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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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