Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Maven’s Moments

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Two prominent NHL execs – with no axes to grind – unequivocally tell us who Charles Wang should hire as his next GM. The man in question is Dean Lombardi. When he was Sharks GM, the club improved for six straight years. Dean, wisely, was snatched by the Flyers, for whom he’s one of Bob Clarke’s pro scouts. -Mike Babcock rates a helluva lot more kudos for keeping the Red Wings flying than he’s getting. Ditto for Michael Garnett. The Thrashers third string goalie produced an admirable 10-7-4 mark, keeping Atlanta in the playoff race while Kari Lehtonen and Mike Dunham were sidelined.
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Hanging From The Rafters At Kukla’s Korner

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Report- Mario To Retire

Radio station 104.7fm in Pittsburgh is reporting Mario Lemieux will retire today. A news conference is scheduled for 2pm according to the station. thanks to Tony, a regular reader of KK for passing this on. update 9:36am, via TSN,

One of the greatest NHL players in history is calling it a career. The Pittsburgh Penguins have called a 2pm et press conference where Mario Lemieux will announce his retirement.
update 12:26pm, The Legacy of Lemieux, by Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports

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What’s Next For Arnason

from the Chicago Tribune,

It's becoming very clear, however, that Arnason's temperament is not conducive to being "the man" on a team. "We've tried everything," Tallon said. "I've talked to him, Trent has talked to him, we've been nice to him, we've given him lots of ice time. I don't know what to do." The next move for Arnason might be out of town. Toronto and Florida are rumored to have expressed interest in Arnason, whose $1.2 million contract expires after this season. "I haven't had any feedback from anybody," Tallon said. "We're not in a position to say no to anybody right now. I'm listening to everybody on anything."
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NHL Needs To Promote The Players

from the Morning Call,

Let's get something straight right away — the mission of the new NHL should be all about creating the next Wayne Gretzky. Gary Bettman and the NHL can give us all the reasons in the world for the rule changes they've made — from promoting more scoring, to making a fan-friendlier game, to nurturing a revenue environment where small market teams can compete with the larger ones — but if he wants to reintroduce the league to a broader public, he needs to concentrate all his efforts on one thing: Promoting a superstar for a league desperate for a superstar.
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Hull For Commish

via the Star-Telegram,

Former Star Brett Hull needs to be named NHL commissioner as soon as humanly possible. Why? It's simple. He has something the guy currently holding the position does not. He loves this game. And what the NHL desperately needs after a lockout that served as a virtual eviction from the sporting conscience is a salesman to spread the gospel of hockey. "I mean [Bettman's] office has not done things to intentionally hurt the game," Hull continued. "But, in some capacity, the NHL needs a face that is hockey."

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Laraque Gets It Right

via the Calgary Sun,

"I think it's too much," he said prior to last night's 3-1 Flames win. "Yeah, it's great to have the Battle of Alberta but it's too much. "You'd like the chance to see other teams instead of too much of the same ones. Sometimes it's seemed like they're only team we're playing." "You want a chance to see those other teams and fans do, too," Laraque said

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Would Leafs Move Sundin

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources say Sundin isn't happy in Toronto, but, at the same time, he's not the kind of guy who is going to march into GM John Ferguson Jr.'s office and demand a trade. While the Leafs captain has a no-trade clause in his contract and isn't going to ask to be dealt before the March 9 deadline, don't rule out the possibility of the 34-year-old being moved. Sundin bleeds the blue and white of the Leafs and would be the last one to jump ship. But if Toronto doesn't turn its fortunes around in the next two weeks, then a deal might be best for both parties.
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Buffalo Has Turned The Corner

from the NY Times,

"It's a great hockey city," said Buffalo Coach Lindy Ruff, who is in his eighth season, the longest tenure among current N.H.L. coaches. "To go from where we were at, from being without ownership to getting ownership and out of bankruptcy, we've really turned the corner." "We came out of the gate a very disciplined club, which, I think, put us ahead," Ruff said. "We took less penalties than other clubs." Buffalo's most impressive statistic may be its attendance. The team averaged fewer than 14,000 fans in 2002-3 and little more than 15,000 in 2003-4, the last season before the lockout. This season, HSBC Arena is regularly at or near its capacity of 18,690.
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Keeping A Competitive Balance

from the Mercury News via the Centre Daily Times,

The San Jose Sharks and the team's charter air carrier are the worst violators of the overnight curfew at Mineta San Jose International Airport, arriving after-hours 10 times in the past season and a half, according to city officials. San Jose has issued more than $20,000 in fines and sued the charter service in November 2004 to end the violations, but to no effect. Despite the lawsuit, the Sharks broke the curfew four more times since hockey resumed in October, landing as late as 3:14 a.m. on Dec. 4, airport records show. Sharks President Greg Jamison admitted to breaking the curfew but said it was necessary ``to keep a competitive balance in the NHL'' because there are nights when the Sharks are on the road and return for a home game the following day, while an opposing team is waiting and rested in San Jose.
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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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