Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Other Norris Candidate

from the LA Daily News,

Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and ... Lubomir Visnovsky? Anyone compiling a list of the NHL's best defensemen this season can be excused for pausing before scribbling down Visnovsky's name. After all, the third-year Kings defenseman hasn't made much of a name for himself outside of Los Angeles, but that is changing with every solid game he plays.

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Koivu Still Battling

from the Denver Post,

Saku Koivu will take the ice at the Pepsi Center tonight as the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. A little more than four years ago, Koivu wondered if he would ever put on a pair of skates again.
read on

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They Live Hockey

from the Journal News,

To understand why Rosen and Davidson have become one of the most beloved and enduring broadcast teams in New York sports — they are the longest-tenured pair in the NHL, and the second-longest in professional sports — you should see as well as hear them over the course of a broadcast. They are skilled, yes, and insightful, and any number of different words to describe men who are leaders in their profession. But beyond that there is a boyish enthusiasm that never seems to wane. "They just live hockey," said Joe Whelan, the pair's producer on the MSG Network. "They eat it and drink it and that's something that comes across."
read on

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One Big Bust

from the Beaver County Times,

Over the summer, Pittsburgh general manager Craig Patrick was being hailed for putting together a team that was supposed to lift the Penguins out of the dregs and into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Six months later, Patrick's detractors are fuming, and rightfully so. After all, Patrick is in control of a team that was supposed to contend. Instead they have already gone through one coach and are 14 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
more After last night's loss to Edmonton, Pittsburgh coach Therrien went off, via the Edmonton Sun,
“Half the team doesn’t care!" “It’s like ‘Are you going to be happy to play eight minutes? I’m not going to be happy with eight minutes!" “We should take 50% of their salaries because they only played 50% of the time!" “I’m really starting to believe the goal of our defence is to be the worst defensive squad in the league!" “They’re doing the best job to be the worst defensive squad in the league!" “They turn the puck over. They have no vision. They suck! “I’ve never seen a bunch of defencemen suck like this!" “The guys don’t care! They pretend to care, but I know they don’t care!"

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Be Very Careful

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

If there is a lesson to be learned for NHL teams from what has happened in recent days and weeks with Dave Andreychuk and Alexander Mogilny, as well as Vladimir Malakhov, it is quite obvious. Be careful - be very, very careful - when signing veterans who are older than 35 to multi-year contracts.
more I wonder how the Penguins feel about the 5 year, $25 million contract Gonchar signed?

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The NHL Is Back

from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,

Forget the exit polls and speculation, fans are expressing their fondness for the new National Hockey League with their wallets — sending the most powerful of messages. Halfway into the 2005-06 season, the NHL is enjoying unprecedented success at the gate. Expected to struggle with attendance after shutting the game down for a year with a contentious and ugly lockout, most NHL owners instead are enjoying strong showings at the turnstile.
more...long and very in-depth... Here is hoping other national and regional media sources pick up on this type of story. With the Olympics coming up, hockey can take center stage as soon as the Super Bowl is over.

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Dallas Gets Niinimaa

from the Dallas Stars,

Just past the midway point of the 2005-06 NHL season, the Dallas Stars sat in first place in the Pacific Division and one point out of first in the Western Conference. However, rather than standing pat with their roster, the Stars added another solid player to the mix in veteran defenseman Janne Niinimaa. The Stars acquired the 30-year-old defenseman, along with a fifth round draft pick in the 2007 Entry Draft, from the New York Islanders on Tuesday, bolstering the already stout blue line and adding a veteran presence to the locker room. Dallas did, however, have to part with defenseman John Erskine and a second round draft pick in 2006 in order to acquire Niinimaa. But as the sports cliché goes, you have to give up something to get something.

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NBC Olympic Hockey Coverage

from NHL.com,

All 54 games of both the men's and women's hockey tournaments will be seen live on the networks of NBC Universal. This will mark the first time in U.S. television history that the entire Olympic women's tournament will be televised. All Team USA hockey games and the gold medal games, both men's and women's, will be broadcast commercial-free and in their entirety. The women's gold medal game will air live on President's Day, Monday, Feb. 20, on NBC. The men's gold medal game will air live on the final day of Olympic competition, Sunday, Feb. 26, on NBC.
much more You can read the whole NBC press release, covering all of the sports, their plans, etc...and for us HD fans, good news...
Figure skating, hockey, long and short track speed skating, ski jumping, freestyle aerials and moguls, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will all be broadcast in 1080i high definition because those venues in Torino are wired for high definition coverage by the host broadcaster. From those venues where the host broadcaster is unable to provide a high definition signal, a 16:9 signal will be upconverted by NBC. Your local NBC affiliate's digital channel will carry the high definition simulcast of the network coverage.

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Babe “Moose”

from the CP via Sportsnet,

For most Canadian hockey fans, Mark Messier will forever be an Oiler, helping Wayne Gretzky turn Edmonton into the City of Champions. But Gretzky says people cannot underestimate what the Moose brought to Broadway. That's why Madison Square Garden is expected to rock Thursday night when the New York Rangers retire Messier's No. 11 prior to a game against the visiting Oilers. "It's going to be over the top," Gretzky said Tuesday.
read on

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Information From The Maven

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-We hear that the Lightning miss Jason Cullimore enough to consider getting him back from Chicago. -In Vancouver, they’re saying that no ace has been harder hit than Markus Naslund. The reason: More power plays against means he must sit out the Canucks’ PK. And this throws off his rhythm. By contrast, Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic play during all situations. Plus, Markus skates alongside an occasionally distracted Todd Bertuzzi. -It’s safe to say that Sid Crosby is feeling his oats. The naive rookie gloss is gone!
read on

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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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