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Good For Rem

from the NY Times,

Two and a half years ago, Murray learned that he had cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes neck muscles to contract, altering the posture of the head and neck. In Murray's case, his neck eventually pushed his head so far to the left that it was against his shoulder. As a result, he filed his retirement papers in March 2005. But a year later, on March 5, Murray re-signed with the Oilers, the team he played with from 1996 to 2002. After working his way into the lineup during the last month of the regular season, the 33-year-old Murray has played in every game during Edmonton's playoff run, centering the Oilers' fourth line. "It's been an incredible ride for me," Murray said Friday, a day before Edmonton was to play host to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the finals. Carolina leads the best-of-seven series, 2-0. "It's hard to explain or put into words."
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Targeting Weight

from the Edmonton Journal,

"Every time that he's come back here, it's been a tough situation for him," Smyth said of frosty receptions for Weight since he was traded to St. Louis in July 2001. "I know the fans get on him, hopefully they can continue that. "Nothing personal against Doug, I have a great deal of respect for Doug and the way he plays the game -- great playmaker, sees the ice well and obviously he's got the upper hand right now. "But this is our rink now and it's our turn." If the playoff form chart holds, Smyth may well be right. Edmonton has won every Game 3 in the three previous rounds, including that dramatic triple-overtime victory over San Jose in the much-discussed series against the Sharks, to whom the Oilers also spotted a pair of victories. "If we win (tonight), the complexion of the series changes in a hurry," said winger Ethan Moreau. "That's all we needed in the other series.
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Hockey Is Hockey Again

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

This just in: The new NHL rocks. The action has been fast and physical. Goals have been tough but not impossible to come by. The referees' whistles have been blowing, even in the third period. Hockey has become hockey again. In the event you weren't enamored with the sport before, you owe it to yourself to give it a second chance. You don't even need to appreciate the histories of the individuals involved to be thoroughly entertained by what's been taking place.
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Canes Handle Whatever Edmonton Does

from the News & Observer,

Craig MacTavish is running out of answers. Analogies, he has plenty. With his team down two games going into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals tonight, the Edmonton Oilers coach delved new depths of metaphor to explain why the Oilers not only haven't beaten the Carolina Hurricanes in this series but were shut out 5-0 in Game 2. "Carolina's a little like carbon-monoxide poisoning," MacTavish said. "You don't really sense it, don't sense the fear, but it's lethal. We have a good, healthy respect for them and we have to do some things tactically different. "We threw a lot at them physically and just tried to take the game over, put a lot of pressure on them, take the body and tried to steamroll them and just impose our will and they survived it. They thrived on it."
continued

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Catching Up With The Wings

Making it easy this morning- No contract offer for Legace. Will pursue a contract for Shanahan. Yzerman decision due sometime before training camp. Osgood probably offered a contract. Lidstrom still priority #1. Read it all in Drew Sharp's Paper...

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For The Sake Of The NHL- Send Luongo To Detroit

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press (Saturday edition) via the Mercury News,

The Original Six and a second-generation franchise such as the Philadelphia Flyers have to be the league's strongest teams because they have the name recognition and historical cache necessary for attracting even modest television audiences for later playoff rounds. If that means pulling some behind-the-scenes strings, then so be it. Superstar-in-waiting goaltender Roberto Luongo wants out of Florida. He's likely to sign a one-year qualifying offer that would make him an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007. Luongo is a genuine asset that the NHL can't afford to waste somewhere in the netherworld. The Panthers will likely trade Luongo long before next summer, ensuring they get something in return. And the league should steer him to Detroit.
read on added Saturday 6:51am, link to Detroit Free Press column now available...

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Moving Down South

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

I feel that if the Hurricanes prevail over the Oilers in the Stanley Cup finals, interest in the NHL is going to take a step forward in the southern United States. I think it's hard to hold one franchise responsible for growing an interest level in a sport for an entire section of the United States, but the Hurricanes -- with the Stanley Cup in tow --moving along Tobacco Road, and then on to points south will certainly get the attention of southerners. And while hockey is still kind of a regional sport, it's a mandate of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that the league grow the sport nationally.
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Sitting Down With Grapes

ESPN sat down with Don Cherry this morning,

Some have talked about how there isn't much interest in these Cup finals. What do you think about it? Cherry: In Canada here, we're doing sensational. Yeah, it's a small market. I honestly believe it's going to be very tough for anybody to get a big [draw] on television in the States because a lot of people don't know hockey. Nebraska, Georgia. There's nothing wrong with the game and there's nothing wrong with the way it's being presented. There's just some people in some areas of the States just don't know hockey and they don't care. Do you think it will change in the U.S.? Cherry: I don't think so. It will be very strong where it's strong. There will be some places where hockey outdraws basketball. But like I said, I can't see people in West Virginia picking up hockey.
read on

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Trash Talk

from WFSB TV, Top players on Danbury's minor league hockey team and some of their spouses were allegedly given no-show jobs at trash-hauling companies to circumvent the United Hockey League's salary cap, according to a massive federal indictment unsealed Friday. James Galante, owner of the Danbury Trashers, also is accused of hiding other improper payments to players as housing allowances. "In fact, in the 2004-05 season, this scheme allowed James Galante to pay three key players on the Danbury Trashers a salary of approximately $100,000 each, when the UHL salary cap was only approximately $275,000 for the entire team for the regular season," the indictment states. The Trasher's payroll was actually closer to $750,000, prosecutors said. continued

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Peca & Pronger On An Off Day

Peca and Pronger met with the media today,

Q. Could you both answer the idea of having an extra day mentally and how much having that normal practice would mean in this situation? MICHAEL PECA: I think the extra day allows the coaches, you know, to obviously analyze Game 2 a little bit more, allows them to make the corrections. I think as players we kind of understand and are aware of some of the changes that we need to make, but it is the coaches that are able to break it down and, you know, kind of lay it out in simpler terms for us so we understand it and correct things for Saturday. So the extra day allows them the time to do that a little bit more diligently. Q. What about the mental part? CHRIS PRONGER: Obviously the mental part as well, get the two days, obviously a long day yesterday of flying, still rehashing mistakes and things that can be tweaked and corrected. Obviously using today as the day to go out and implement those changes, you know, try to brush that second game off and get back to focusing in on Game 3 here and not worrying about what has happened in the past and worrying about the present.
continued in the comment section...

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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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