Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bruins Talk

from the Patriot Ledger,

Can this group be saved? Chiarelli has to figure that out - fast.
Unrestricted free agency beckons for Stuart, who despite a recent slump to minus-12 remains No. 2 on the defense depth chart. Chiarelli faces a tough call if Stuart remains unsigned near the deadline, and the Bruins are still in the playoff race: Can he swap Stuart for a defenseman of equal stature?...
Left wing Marco Sturm presents a similar quandary - although not quite as urgent as Stuart’s. Sturm can almost count on being traded at the deadline if he doesn’t pick up his production (12 goals in 42 games), and some think Boyes (26 goals as a rookie last year; 8 so far this season), his status threatened by rookie Phil Kessel and several prospects in Providence (American Hockey League) might not survive the deadline, either.


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Predators Loyal Fan Base- 10,000 People

from Joe Biddle of the Tennessean,

The Predators have a core of loyal fans that numbers no more than 10,000 fans. Corporate support has been noticeable by its absence. The Preds currently rank No. 24 of 30 NHL teams in average home attendance at 14,516 a game.
While the Titans have had players in the news for a variety of legal embarrassments, the Predators have been model citizens. Still, Nashville wraps its arms around the Titans and ignores the Preds.
I thought winning and making the playoffs would change that. It hasn’t.
Leipold has been saying all the right things, claims he has no intention of selling or moving the team.
But if this trend continues, Leipold will have no choice. He loves the game, but Nashville hasn’t responded in kind.


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From The Toronto Projects To The NHL

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

But as Glen Metropolit left Toronto to play hockey in British Columbia 12 1/2 years ago, the future was murky.
But his upbringing was clear, providing mom’s concern: Could a kid raised by a single mom in the projects of Toronto make it on his own? She just wasn’t sure.
She should have been.
When Metropolit, 32, talks about his childhood, it’s done so matter-of-factly that it almost doesn’t sound like a big deal. He grew up in a part of Toronto called Regent Park. The slums.

read on

thanks to a KK member for the heads-up!

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The Gatekeeper

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun:

Teams have won Super Bowls with average quarterbacks, they’ve won World Series with an average pitcher or two in the rotation. Some NBA teams have even won titles without a good defence lawyer.
But nobody gets close to Stanley in this day and age without an outstanding goaltender.
What used to be the most important position in hockey is now, thanks to the new NHL, the most important position in all of sports.


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He’s Already Great, Just Not Gretzky

from the Arizona Republic:

It’s being dubbed The Great One vs. The Next One.
Granted, that corny billing sounds more like a boxing match than a hockey match, but those attending tonight’s first game pitting coach Wayne Gretzky and the Coyotes against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Jobing.com Arena may want to save their ticket stubs.

Gretzky, the opposing coach, is not looking forward to watching Crosby play in person tonight.
Gretzky, the hockey fan, can’t wait.
“Every 15 or 20 years a real special athlete jumps into the NHL,” Gretzky said. “What he does as a player is truly just really wonderful. He’s a Steve Nash kind of player. He makes everybody around him better, and he works hard every shift. You can talk about talent and vision of the game, but a lot of time great players don’t get enough rewards for how hard they work; and if you watch him play, he works as hard or harder than any player in the league.”



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Satan Talk Not True

from the On The Islanders Beat, a blog at Newsday,

With only a month left until the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, rumors are bound to proliferate as they always do. But Islanders coach Ted Nolan found one speculative report published recently in Ottawa particularly troubling. The report suggested Nolan is embroiled in a feud with winger Miroslav Satan, wants to trade him and is angry that Satan is invoking a no-trade clause to block any deal.
Nolan just shook his head in wonder when asked about the report privately after this morning’s skate. “Satan is one of the nicest gentlemen I’ve met in the NHL,” Nolan said….
Somehow, it doesn’t seem surprising that the report came out of Ottawa, where the Senators’ general manager is John Muckler, who did not get along with Nolan when both were in Buffalo and Satan was a rookie with the Sabres.

more on the Islanders

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Hossa Leaves Game With Knee Injury

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Marian Hossa hobbled off the ice with an injured left knee early in the second period of the Atlanta Thrashers’ game against the New York Islanders on Friday night.
Hossa was tripped by Islanders defenseman Freddy Meyer and slid into the boards behind the New York goal

update 9:33pm, Hossa back on the ice!

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Niedermayer Foot Not Improving

from the LA Times,

Just as two linchpins of the Ducks’ defense corps are set to return to the lineup, the team will likely lose Scott Niedermayer — at least for Sunday’s home game against the Dallas Stars.
Niedermayer, who has been nursing a stress fracture in his right foot but hasn’t missed a game yet this season, said it may be some time before he is back in skates.
After seeing a foot specialist Thursday, the Ducks’ captain said his injury isn’t improving.
“It may be another week or so,” he said, casting doubt on whether he will play Wednesday when the Ducks host the Phoenix Coyotes.

continued (reg. req.)

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Turco- Quick Thinker

from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,

While some goaltenders refuse to even talk on the day of a game trying to be as focused as possible for one of the toughest jobs in sports, Turco spent the week wearing a mike and earpiece to try to let the fans in on just what goes through the mind of a player in this perilous, can’t-win position. And there he was just over one hour before the All-Star Game in Dallas sitting in the press lunch room with his dad, Gino, chatting away about all things hockey.
“I don’t want to think about what happens to me out there on the ice ... until I have to,” Marty laughed. “All-Star Games tend to be a graveyard for goalies and I’d just as soon not overthink for this one. It’s like night and day’s difference from the regular season. It’s get-in and get-out without much damage for one period without every getting comfortable with zero warmup, except for the starting goalie.”

read on

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Stanley Cup Champ vs. European Hockey League Champ

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

The NHL’s All-Star Game is gone until next season, but International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel is angling to put on a different battle of the stars: The Stanley Cup champion vs. the best team in Europe.
“We must have a club championship – the winner of the Stanley Cup against the winner of the European Hockey League,” Fasel told The Hockey News in an interview with Paul Romanuk. “It is a must for the NHL and it is a must for us. It is a must for the hockey fans and for the game of hockey. Hockey needs it on both sides.”


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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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