Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Size Matters For Columbus

from the Columbus Dispatch,

"We’ve changed the look of our hockey club," coach Gerard Gallant said. "We were always a small team before, and we had to find ways most nights to overcome that against the really good teams in this league. It was a big challenge for us. "Now, we’re huge up front. We’ve got plenty of size, and it’s a good feeling. I don’t think we have to worry about getting pushed around by anybody anymore." The Blue Jackets acquired left winger Fredrik Modin (6-4, 220) during the off-season and two weeks ago signed right winger Anson Carter (6-2, 210). Last season, they acquired Fedorov (6-2, 205) and left winger Jason Chimera (6-2, 206). "Big, skilled players are not easy to (acquire)," Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean said. "We’ve managed to add some, but our younger kids have grown up and filled out their frames, too.
read on

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On The Right Path

from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,

Wednesday in New York, deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the NHL’s marketing team will be meeting with a number of high-profile agents to discuss its strategy on how to market the league’s star players. “They maintain they are creating a new direction,” said one agent who will take part in the two-hour meeting. “The players will not be hidden anymore. They’ll be front and center.” It’s about time. For too long, the NHL has been loathe to promote its solo talents, instead trying to sell the league as a triumph of a team concept. But with emerging and engaging talents such as Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the league clearly sees an opportunity to do something it failed to do when Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were at the height of their dazzling skills.

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Jagr Needs To Get Used To Getting Hit

from Lary Brooks at the NY Post,

"The conditioning is not there, and even though I have been skating twice a day, that's still not like games," Jagr said following yesterday's work. "You can only get conditioning by playing in games, so if I could play in both of those games, I'd like to." Obviously no Ranger wants to deliver a blow to Jagr's shoulder that might re-injure the club's presumptive captain, but Jagr needs to take hits in order to learn how the shoulder is going to respond under duress. He's not yet confident in his ability to take a check. "Of course I'm going to worry about it," he said. "It should be OK, but nothing is guaranteed. I don't want to go through the same situation, so that's just natural for me to feel that way. It's going to take time, and I have to get used to the feeling of getting hit. "If you're unable to walk, the first day you can walk you're going to wonder how it's going to feel. You're not going to start running that day."
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Blackhawks Focus On Power Play

from the Northwest Herald,

...High ones. Savard expects the Hawks to have the top power play in the league. "I didn't say it just to say it," Savard said Tuesday at practice. "I believe that we can be. It's up to our guys." The Hawks a season ago cashed in 12 percent of the time with at least a man advantage. The most efficient power play in the league belonged to Detroit, which doubled the Hawks' output of 51 goals. To even reach the middle of the pack, the Hawks need to improve the most integral part of goal-scoring. "Shooting ... the ... puck," head coach Trent Yawney said.

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Obstruction Still A Problem

from the OC Register,

It was the No.1 topic after the Ducks blew a three-goal, second-period lead in Monday's 5-4, shootout loss to the Kings at Staples Center. It likely will be first and foremost on the agenda before tonight's matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, the penultimate NHL exhibition assignment for the Ducks. "We were guilty of some stick infractions that were blatant," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We thought we had that cured, but obviously we did not."

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Twins Don’t Make The Cut

from the Canadian Press:

Twin girls who won the legal right to try out for a boys high school hockey team in Winnipeg have failed to make the squad. Amy and Jesse Pasternak, who had played on community boys teams for years, called their school's girls' team a joke. The 17-year-olds won a human rights decision Friday that allowed them to try out for the boys' team at West Kildonan Collegiate. Both girls learned Tuesday that they were cut from the team.

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Heart Issues

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Two thirty-something NHL veterans - Greg Johnson in Detroit and Steven Konowalchuk in Colorado - have yet to step onto the ice because pre-season physicals turned up some cardiac-related irregularities. This is serious stuff and if we needed any reminder of that, we need only go back to last November when Red Wing defenceman Jiri Fischer almost died on the bench because his heart stopped during an NHL regular season game. Fischer's career is over and the same questions are being asked about the 35-year-old Johnson and soon-to-be 34-year-old Konowalchuk. Sources say Johnson may soon have to announce his retirement, but he is seeking secondary medical opinions to be sure. There's no word on when, or if, Konowalchuk will be cleared to skate again.
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Players Thinking Marketing

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Wed. edition) via the Mercury News,

Schneider would love to see NHL players become more visible and vocal. "We've been accused many times of being boring," Schneider said. "I think the new generation coming up is a much different generation. Just naturally guys are more outgoing, more outspoken. It's more accepted. . . . I think we're to a point now where even us older guys accept the fact that these guys - it's just a different time, a different culture. Kids grow up in a whole different environment. I think that's going to be good for our sport. "I think marketing is the biggest thing that needs to be done. With a new marketing strategy, I think people will really learn to appreciate what the guys are capable of doing on the ice. It's really a graceful sport, and people don't always realize that."

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Webcast Issue

The Flyers and Capitals played against each other tonight and both teams planned to webcast the game... However... from the Phildadelphia Flyers,

The following statements were issued regarding tonight’s planned webcast of the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals game: “Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties that hindered our efforts to broadcast our game versus the Washington Capitals on the internet tonight,” said Flyers Vice President of Marketing and Communications Shawn Tilger. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to those that were anticipating watching our game online.” “It is with great disappointment that B2 Networks was not able to broadcast tonight’s Flyers-Capitals game,” said Greg P. Bell, B2 Networks Owner and CEO. “Our company has always stood behind its product and will work harder to improve the science of broadband broadcasting.”
On the Caps home page...
B2 Networks has cancelled the broadcast due to technical issues.
added 9:46pm, During the first period, Ovechkin got into it!

Continue Reading »

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Niittymaki Suffers Torn Labrum

via TSN,

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki suffered a torn labrum in his left hip during Tuesday's morning practice. "Antero Niittymaki tore the labrum in his left hip today at the morning skate," said Flyers GM Bobby Clarke. "The MRI shows that there is a tear and the MRI will be sent overnight to Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tennessee. We won't know if surgery is necessary until tomorrow afternoon. If surgery is necessary, it will be six to eight weeks before he is back playing."

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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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