Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Time To Grow-Up

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Moments after the Blue Jackets signed Nikolai Zherdev to a threeyear, $7.5 million contract yesterday, president and general manager Doug MacLean stressed that a baby sitter will no longer be part of the deal. "We’re not going to have a fulltime baby sitter for him," MacLean said. "There’s a difference between getting him help and getting him a baby sitter. We’re willing to help the kid, of course. But we need Nikki to come in here ready to be a better teammate. That’s the bottom line."... MacLean said yesterday that Zherdev has promised to buy $125,000 worth of tickets during the next three seasons to be donated to charity. "Nikolai is a good, young kid," MacLean said. "He wants to do well and he wants to do the right thing."

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MacLean Takes The Ice

More information on Ron MacLean putting on the red armband tonight. KK readers were advised last week that he would be doing this... from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

So Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, a critic of National Hockey League referees, is joining the other side to officiate the second period of tonight's Buffalo Sabres-Pittsburgh Penguins exhibition game. "I think this is the time to bury the hatchet," said MacLean, who will work with Stephen Walkom, the NHL's director of officiating. The overture to MacLean was made by the league's vice-president and director of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, who invited MacLean to the referees' training camp in Fort Erie, Ont., last week The bid to bring onside a critic of the new NHL was a slick move by Campbell, whose staff have been rankled by MacLean's complaints. During a Hockey Night media telephone conference call yesterday, MacLean said the referees at Fort Erie were in his face.

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Devils Status

from the NY Post,

If Lamoriello wins relief on Mogilny, he can probably save enough room by sending Greene and Hale to Lowell and keeping minimum salary backliners like Oduya. The situation also weighs against former first-rounder Travis Zajac, who would make some 900G if he sticks. If Lamoriello doesn't gain relief on Mogilny, then he will have to clear nearly $5 million in salaries, and smaller numbers will not be enough. Players like John Madden, Jamie Langenbrunner, Sergei Brylin and even Scott Gomez might haved to be moved.

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Chelios On Owens

Chris Chelios was on Detroit radio today and was asked how a player like Terrell Owens would do in the NHL? Cheli's response, "He'd never make it, he would get his a## kicked by his own teammates." We are getting close to hockey mode folks!!!

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Phenomenal Competitive Balance

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Canada.com,

The 89th NHL season kicks off next Wednesday with all 30 clubs believing they have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. Seriously. "The parity is amazing," says veteran centre Jeremy Roenick of the Phoenix Coyotes. "You can't count anybody out in hockey anymore. There's no clear contender for the Cup."... Last season, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman points out, 22 clubs either made the playoffs or were within 11 points of making the playoffs. "That is phenomenal competitive balance," said Bettman. "Because I think what a sports league owes its fans, no matter what team they root for, is the hope, the optimism, the excitement, that their team has a shot."
much more

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Facing The Challenge

Tele-conference with Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal...

Q. There was a lot of talk about younger players adapting to the grind of the NHL in your second year, you went through 107 games, how was that for you physically? And the second question will be: Are you concerned much about the exhibition games with no wins so far, and what do you think the team needs to do to get better the next few days? ERIC STAAL: It is a long year. You know, I think it's something you learn as a process, your first year, you kind of know what to expect and it makes it easier the next time around. I think with our team, last year, was easy for me because we had such a great group of guys that when you went to the rink you wanted to be there; it was exciting; it was fun, we were winning and all of those things help and it makes it go a lot quicker. It was a long year but it didn't really feel like 107 games. It felt like it went by so fast. You know, that helps when you've got a great team to be around. And the second question, you know, training camp, you know, it's about getting back into your timing, your speed, your passes, everything like that, and you know, we obviously want to win every game we can, but I don't think anyone is too worried about the first three games. We're trying new guys here and there, and I think by this weekend here, or by tomorrow night, we're going to have most of the guys that are going to be in the lineup opening night on the weekend, and really need to have a good two games and get ready for the year.

Continue Reading »

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KK- Upgrade

KK & KKF may be unavailable sometime today while an upgrade in software is performed. It should take no longer than 30 minutes or so. Sorry for the problem but better now than during the season.

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Who Wins - Who Loses

Is it just me, or is ESPN giving more coverage to the NHL this year? Can there be an unknown motive behind this? Team by team previews...

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Sometimes Challenges Chase Us

from the Hingham Journal,

Travis Roy may not have been a familiar figure to the Mites, Squirts and Pee Wees - who were too young to remember the BU player at the Pilgrim Skating Arena on Saturday - but soon he became someone they would never forget.... Today Roy, who as a youth hockey player dreamt about playing the sport in college and even the pros, is an author, hockey sports analyst, and motivational speaker with a foundation that supports research and one-on-one assistance to those with spinal cord injuries. "I woke up that morning and it was the best day of my life," Roy recalled about Oct. 20, 1995. "I sat in the locker room that had just been redone and the walls were covered with pictures of past BU players who had moved on to the NHL." "I thought someday my picture might be on that wall."
read on

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Malakhov Won’t Return to Devils

from the Newark Star-Ledger:

General manager Lou Lamoriello said he hoped Malakhov would be in camp, but the 38-year-old skater insists he was never asked. "That's news to me," Malakhov told Igor Larin of Sport Express. "In any case, I have not received anything, and nobody from the team has called me in a long, long time. Everyone is looking for me on the ice in New Jersey, but in reality I am playing tennis in Miami at the present moment. The theory of my disappearance was conjured up by American journalists or by someone from the Devils."

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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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