Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hockey History

One of the fastest moving professional sports was founded this week in 1917, at a meeting in Canada. At the time, the National Hockey League was made up of two teams from Montreal, one from Ottawa and one from Quebec. There were many changes in the early years, and at one point, the NHL was down to only three teams. The first American team admitted to the league was Boston in 1924. Two years later, the Stanley Cup came under the control of the NHL - the oldest trophy in North America for professional athletic competition.

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PSA- Get A Lappy Shirt

Help give to charity while showing your support of one of the most likable players in the NHL, Colorado Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere (“Lappy”) by purchasing an “It’s All About Lappy” t-shirt. All proceeds from this project, started by a fan in Los Angeles, go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities at Laperriere’s request. In just a few short months, over $1000 has been raised, and shirts have been sent to fans all over the US, Canada and Europe. Visit www.itsallaboutlappy.com for more information.

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One Game At A Time

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

The Flyers want to sign Forsberg to a long-term deal before he hits the free-agent market, but insiders tell Sportsnet that Forsberg is content to take it one game at a time for now. The hesitancy is thought to be a ploy on Forsberg's part to see exactly where the team is going over the next little while. If it looks like it will right itself and become a Cup contender again, well, a long-term deal makes sense, but if the current chaos prevails, it might be time for the 36-year old to play the field. This is likely to resolve itself by the first of the year. If the Flyers are a team on the move, Forsberg will listen to their offers. If not, look for general manager Paul Holmgren to start shopping Forsberg in an effort to get something for him before he's able to walk away.
more... catch other NHL news too, plus an opening feature on Mike Babcock...

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Missing the Senators of Yesterday

Wayne Scanlan in the Ottawa Citizen,

In this season of fan unrest, the Senators and their management are being blamed for everything but the rain in the sky and the results on election night. Second-guessing is rampant, revisionist history is the new curriculum. To hear some people tell it, the Senators would have won a couple of Stanley Cups by now if they had just hung onto a few precious pieces of their talent. The reality of a salary cap world is that all teams are losing players to free agency, forced to choose one player over another.

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Budaj Challenging Theodore

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Though Theodore is being paid like a No. 1 goalie, he has not always played like one. In 13 games, he is 5-6-1 with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .898 saves percentage. Budaj is 4-3-1 with a 2.03 GAA and a .929 saves percentage. One of his losses came in relief after Theodore allowed five goals in the first two periods of an eventual 6-5 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. "Every year is different. I don't try to look at the similarities (to 2005-06) or try to see what's going to happen next," said Budaj, whose GAA ranks third in the NHL. "Right now, coach and the staff have trust in me . . . and I'm very happy I could show them I'm worth the trust. Hopefully, they're going to trust me more and I keep playing as many games as possible."

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Behind the Mask

CBC's Kelly Hrudey, in the Calgary Herald:

Looking back, my No. 1 fault as an NHL goaltender was my temper when I played poorly. I remember in my first year of organized hockey, even at 12 years old, I was ruthless in my own self- evaluation. I had set standards for myself that were unapproachable. I wanted to be perfect - which is a quality - but a little leeway might have been nice. Years later in my pro career, I'm sure it took my wife, Donna, some getting used to when, after a bad game, I would be furious at myself in the car on the way home. Granted, I always calmed down about 20 minutes later.

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The Devils System

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Martin Brodeur first noticed the composition of his New Jersey Devils when the idea came up for a pickup game in practice that would have pitted Canadians against Americans. There was a big problem, however. The all-world goaltender realized there were only a handful of Canadians on the Devils' 22-player roster. (Five, if you're scoring at home.) "We tried to make a game [in practice] Canada versus the United States and we didn't have enough Canadians to play," Brodeur said after his team's 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. "It's tough for us Canadians who pride ourselves at being the best in the sport. We have only [five] guys and that's it."

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Cherry Suggests Trade

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

A couple of hours after Don Cherry told his Hockey Night in Canada audience that a trade out of Ottawa would be in the best interests of the Senators captain, Alfredsson firmly disagreed. "All I can say is I want to be here," Alfredsson told the Sun moments after his contributions to a strong, 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place. "Everybody has a right to their opinion, and he's a well known figure on TV, but I'm not going to take anything from what he says. "I definitely don't want to be traded."

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The Canadian Ducks

from the OC Register,

With Brian Burke in charge, the Ducks are becoming as Canadian as curling, smoked meat and The Tragically Hip. They're even more Canadian than the Maple Leafs. Of the 22 players who have skated for the Ducks this season, four are Americans (Todd Marchant, Ryan Shannon, George Parros and Ian Moran) and two are Europeans (Teemu Selanne and Samuel Pahlsson). The other 16 are from north of the border. The only Russian is goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and there are no Czechs or Slovaks.
read on

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No, Thank You Ted

Ted Montgomery is in the holiday mood, giving thanks...

— The provocative insights of Red Fisher, Stan Fischler and Kevin Allen, among many others in the pantheon of the greatest hockey writers of all time. — The single-minded quest for excellence that Mike Modano has been on since his rookie season. — Most of all, to hockey fans, far and wide. We've endured tough times and came back even stronger than before. Thanks to all of you who take the time to write to me. I really appreciate how you challenge me every day. Please have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

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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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