Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Preds World Class Players Shine

from the Daily News Journal,

If the rest of the world did not know much about the Nashville Predators before, it certainly should after this last weekend. For one thing, it should be apparent that Nashville has gone to great lengths and used all available means to acquire the talent that has helped make it one of the NHL's better teams this season. All five players the Predators sent to the Olympics made it to the medal round and all five made a good showing for themselves in the games that counted the most.
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Is Niittymaki The Man

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The really compelling development, though, is the emergence of goaltender Antero Niittymaki. Although he and Finland lost the gold-medal game yesterday, Niittymaki was named most valuable player of the tournament. He won the Calder Cup last year for the Phantoms. Now he has carried a team to an Olympic silver medal, pitching three shutouts along the way. If that doesn't sound like a No. 1, Stanley Cup playoff-ready goaltender, what would?
read on

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Olympics Are Worth It For The NHL

from the National Post,

Owners, general managers and a few players have questioned the wisdom of shutting down an already frenetic schedule to pack in eight more games in 12 days. If bitching were an Olympic sport, some National Hockey League types would be gold-medal contenders. It's no coincidence that Bob Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers came out this week to dump on the idea of the NHL risking its best and brightest all for an Olympic cause. The Flyers have consistently looked for openings to dump on Europe's hockey tournament here.
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Out & About

Best sign at the Gold Medal game- "I scored more often than Team Canada." So, now back to the season and, hopefully, continue the roll we ended on. The guys and the fans deserve a little success down the stretch after the season we've had. I'll tell you one more thing, the NHL should think about having a break this long every year. It does wonders for your body and mind. Although some guys might never return when the break is up.= Eric Weinrich from the Kennebec Journal

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Good Sticks, Bad Sticks

from the Toronto Star,

While the puck comes off the graphite stick much quicker, manufacturers still haven't worked out a major defect that often sees the shafts shatter with the slightest impact. Saku Koivu of Finland was the latest victim yesterday and it turned out to be one of the major reasons why he came home with a silver medal and not a gold from Turin.
read on

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Ten Days To Trade

from the Toronto Sun,

After midnight tonight, general managers have until March 9 at 3 p.m. EST to put the final stamps on their clubs for the 2005-06 season, and many won't know which way to go until later next week, thanks to some tight playoff races. The salary cap will put handcuffs on some teams but that doesn't mean trades will not happen. Still, clubs that have little breathing room under the cap will have no choice but to deal players off their roster rather than picks or prospects. Also, with the deadline two weeks earlier than it has been in the past, NHL players will get paid three times afterward. Some teams will be discouraged from going the rent-a-player route, and some will think they're still in playoff contention, so they won't rip up what they have.
more

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Report- Team Sweden Will Stop In Stockholm On Monday

from Pravda,

But the big party is on Monday when the team charters a plane to Stockholm to be celebrated by fans in a ceremony in the capital. That celebration was originally planned for Sunday night, but had to be postponed because flight restrictions from Turin prevented the players from returning to Sweden. "We would not be able to land (in Stockholm) until 1:30 a.m. and that is not reasonable," said Michael Englund, the head of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. The federation originally said the celebration would be scrapped completely as a majority of the players must fly back to North America, where the NHL resumes on Tuesday. "But the boys are ready to do anything to come back home first," federation chairman Christer Englund told newspaper Aftonbladet.
I am not sure how reliable this is. I had heard the team was trying to get there tonight but scrapped the plan. Nothing about going tomorrow but of course things may have changed. From a Detroit standpoint, get back boys as soon as you can... update 9:47pm, According to the Afton Bladet, the gathering of the Sweden team in Stockholm is scheduled for 5pm tomorrow, Swedish time.

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Now That Was Hockey

from Vinny Iyer of the Sporting News,

Thank you, Sweden and Finland. Thank you for showing the rest of the world -- and the NHL -- how to feature entertaining, well-played hockey. Fast skating. Deft puckhandling. Crisp passing. Sharp shooting. Fundamental defense. Clutch goaltending. It's funny what happens when you open up the ice and put a whole bunch of skilled players out on every shift. No goons, no cheap shots, no sideshow fighting. Limited play stoppages.
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Wings Lead Sweden

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

The celebrating in Sweden is no doubt pretty impressive in the wake of Sweden's goal-medal victory over the Finns Sunday. But back in North America, a little burg known as "Hockeytown" has every right to kick back and join in. Why? How's about the play of the "Swedish Wings" in the gold-medal game?
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Sweden Team With Gold

Both pictures are vey HQ and are over 3MB each. Click on the picture for full size. image image

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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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