Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Too Many Russians In The NHL

Russia's Olympic Committee president Leonid Tyagachev expressed his optimism about his country's prospects at next month's Winter Olympics, predicting that Russian athletes could win up to 25 medals in Turin. Talking about the Russian hockey team he mentioned- from the Tehran Times,

It would be extremely hard for Russia to shine in the hockey tournament as 19 of Russia's players were currently playing in the North American professional National Hockey League. "The break in the NHL schedule begins on February 13, while we will have to play Slovakia just two days later," he said. "And it's very hard to predict in what form the NHL sides' players will appear at the Olympic tournament."
So with that thinking, give Italy the gold.

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Forsberg Now Has Abdominal Strain

via the AP,

Esche is slated to start in goal at Pittsburgh on Saturday. He hasn't played since aggravating a groin injury on Dec. 15. Pitkanen, one of the team's best defensemen, also was cleared to play against the Penguins. He's been out since Dec. 6 after abdominal surgery for a sports hernia. Meanwhile, Forsberg, the Flyers' leading scorer, will miss his second straight game with an abdominal strain - the injury originally was thought to be a groin strain. Johnsson has concussion-like symptoms, but the defenseman still might play Saturday if results from his CAT scan are fine.

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Nedved A Flyer

via TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired forward Petr Nedved from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Dennis Seidenberg.
More to come. update 2:47pm, more from TSN...

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How Stories Get Tangled

I am listening to WXYTam 1270 in Detroit, which happens to be the Wings flagship radio station. In their sports update at 2:30pm, they report: The NHL drug testng began last Sunday and already an NHL player is facing a 20 game suspension. Defenseman Bryan Berard of the Columbus Blue Jackets has tested positive for steroids. update 4:00pm, Story now reported correctly, although update reporter called him Byron Berard. update 6:00pm, Oopps. Now reporting a two year ban from international play and a possible 20 game suspension from the NHL.

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The Future Of Ottawa

Interesting conversation Leafs Lunch had with Ottawa GM John Muckler. Muckler was asked what are the plans to sign Redden and Chara, both UFAs at the end of the year. Muckler said if it just comes down to money, he probably will not be able to sign both of them. But if they want to play for a good organization, keep on winning and allow their careers to grow, then thy possibility remains that he could sign both. I am sure there are a few teams that will offer these two defensemen a very good contract, one which Ottawa will not be able to match. Watching this playout in the upcoming months will be interesting.

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Keeping The Lead

Ottawa spends almost half the game playing with the lead. I don't know why, but I thought these numbers would be over 50%, plus you would think more teams would be over 40%. from the STATS blog at NHL.com,

Ottawa Senators 49.1% Detroit Red Wings 42.2% Dallas Stars 39.8% Nashville Predators 39.5%

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Berard Will Offer To Help Athletes

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard, now suspended for two years from international competition after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, has volunteered to help inform other athletes about the consequences of using performance-enhancing drugs.
read on update 12:21pm, from ESPN,
"Last summer, I made a mistake that has resulted in this suspension and while unintentional, I take full responsibility," Berard said in a statement released by the Blue Jackets. "I became aware of the problem after the fact, and for that, I am disappointed in myself. I have learned a difficult, but valuable lesson and want to let everyone know that this is something that will never happen again."
Statement from Ted Saskin. Bill Daly statement.

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Cheechoo Emerging

from the Edmonton Sun,

Cheechoo's claim to fame used to be he was the first member of the Cree First Nations to sign an NHL contract, but with 25 goals when the Edmonton Oilers came calling at The Tank last night, the soft-spoken kid from Moose Factory, Ontario is a well-kept secret no more. "I think a lot of it is the rules," said the modest Cheechoo, who faced the Oilers on a career-high nine-game points streak. "The rules have opened things up more and you get more power play chances here and there."

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Learn Hockey In Nebraska

from the Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska),

The class taught by Professor Reynolds is a little, uh, different. There are no supply-and-demand charts. No homework papers on the Bay of Pigs. No deep discussions about Descartes, unless, that is, a guy named Descartes once played winger for the Maple Leafs. No, Derek Reynolds doesn’t have any of that stuff on his class syllabus. But if you want to learn about Terry Sawchuk and how he had to get 100 stitches in his face because he was the last hockey goalie to not wear a mask, or that they once had to drill a hole in Gordie Howe’s head to relieve pressure on his brain after he got checked into the boards, well, you need a little Hockey 101.
read on

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Mario Lemieux Discusses Future Plans

from the New York Times,

In his owner's box before Thursday night's game here against the Rangers, Lemieux was asked if he wanted to play again this season. "I'm not sure," he said. "I'm just taking it day by day now, hopefully start to feel better, and we'll see." Lemieux, who came out of retirement in December 2000, was also asked if there was a chance he had played his last game. "Well, there's always a chance," he said. "I'm not sure," he said. "The thing that I have now - atrial fibrillation - might be attributed to stress, and I've been getting a lot of stress the last couple of years. But you can't say for sure that's the problem."

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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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