Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Give Me That Stick Back, Kid

via the LA Times,

When it comes to breaking sticks, few players are as accomplished as Atlanta Thrasher left wing Ilya Kovalchuk. The Russian can easily go through 100 to 200 in an NHL season. And each one that Kovalchuk snaps causes Don Waddell, the Thrasher general manager, to count the cost. Waddell can't do anything about sticks that break, but, as he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "the only thing I cringe at is when a player hands a $160 stick to a fan … if it's a stick they can still use, it's just too valuable." Atlanta's stick budget soared from $75,000 in 2000 to $360,000 in 2004.

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Snag In Orszagh Contract

from the Arizona Republic,

"The only possibility for Orszagh to leave (Swedish team Lulea) would have been if his contract would have expired at the end of this year," Szymon Szemberg, the International Ice Hockey Federation's director of information, told Swedish newspaper Expressen. "However, it expires at the end of the season. "This transfer will not be accepted by either the IIHF or the NHL, (and) he will not be able to play for the Phoenix Coyotes under any circumstances until next season." Coyotes General Manager Mike Barnett declined comment.

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Impacting The Game

from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,

While lawyers tried to untangle the mess in the board rooms during the NHL lockout, two men forged ahead with creative ideas to improve the on-ice product once the work stoppage was over. And for that reason, Brendan Shanahan and Colin Campbell top CP's list of the 10 people who made the biggest impact on the NHL game in 2005. 1. Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings: His hockey summit from a year ago came at a time when the union and owners were at each other's throats with no end in sight... 2. Campbell, NHL's executive VP and director of hockey operations: Strangely enough, the man who has worked the longest hours on improving the game and endured the most heat from GMs and media alike doesn't seem to get nearly enough credit for his role...
more, including,,,,Sidney Crosby/Alexander Ovechkin & Gavin Harvey (who?)...

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Bad Situation For Noronen

from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,

Mika Noronen sat on the bench for most of yesterday's pre-game skate, biding his time before finally getting some shots in late in practice. There are only two nets on a sheet of ice, and Martin Biron and Ryan Miller were filling them. "It's a bad situation," Noronen said after the skate. "I'm just hoping they can figure out something and make a move. It's not good for anybody, especially for me because I'm not even in the lineup and I'm not playing. It's almost Jan. 1 and I just want something to happen because I want to play this game again."
read on

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Colin Campbell Wears Many Hats

Is Colin Campbell involved in EVERY decision? via the News & Observer, Despite a protest that went all the way up the NHL's chain of command to executive vice president Colin Campbell, Matt Cullen was denied an assist on Eric Staal's goal Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cullen passed the puck to Staal, who tried to pass it back to Cullen in front of the net, but it deflected off Lightning defenseman Darryl Sydor and went in for a goal. While assists are normally awarded in that situation when there's no change of possession, the goal was ruled unassisted because Staal was passing the puck instead of shooting it -- a little-used guideline that most often is ignored, with the player given the benefit of the doubt. "It's no big deal," Cullen said. "It's their job to get it right, but it should be consistent."

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WJC Ref Issues

from the Toronto Star,

Nicholson is due to meet with the tournament directorate today to discuss a number of matters, including the standard of officiating in this year's tournament. His meeting comes in the wake of Canada's 4-0 win over Norway yesterday in which both teams combined for 160 penalty minutes and produced just 19 minutes and 18 seconds of 5-on-5 hockey... So the question remains: is the world junior championship being hijacked by incompetent officiating or are the officials being held to such a rigid standard that they feel the need to call everything? Nicholson hopes to get those answers this morning. One thing making this issue such an important one is the fact that the tournament is being used as the Petri dish for the Winter Olympics in February. By all accounts, the same standard will be applied in Turin when the world's focus will be on the best players in the world.
more

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What Will Milbury Do

from Alan Hahn of Newsday (Friday edition),

As of last night, heads hadn't rolled. Trades weren't made. Staying the course appears to be the game plan for now. Some players are anticipating some kind of shake-up -- scouts have been following the Islanders for about a month now -- but most agree the team, at 17-17-2, has the tools to contend for a playoff spot. What's missing is an intangible, critical element known as commitment. "Look around the league and look in the faces of other teams that are winning; the guys that have broken noses and stitches on their faces because they get in the tough areas and take a hit to make a play," said defenseman Brad Lukowich, who has two Stanley Cup rings. "It's time we started to get in the trenches, because we haven't for games, which is unacceptable."
more

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Redden Best Two-Way Defenseman

from the CP via TSN,

Wade Redden goes about his work on the ice much the same way he carries himself off of it, quiet and unassuming. If he isn't careful, however, his standout play on the Senators' blue-line this season will make it hard to for him to continue flying under the radar of fans outside of Ottawa as he's done for most of his career. The 28-year-old has emerged as arguably the league's best two-way defenceman in his ninth NHL season. Hockey Canada recognized his work with a spot on the Olympic team for the upcoming Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
read on

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Orszagh Signs With Yotes- Must Clear Waivers

via Sportsnet,

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed former Nashville Predators forward Vladimir Orszagh, Sportsnet has learned. Orszagh, who has been playing in Sweden since the lockout, still has to clear waivers as a member of the Coyotes, which means another team -- specifically his former club the Predators -- might swoop in an reclaim the right winger. The deal is reportedly worth $625,000. Orszagh played 82 games for Nashville in 2003-04, scoring 16 goals and adding 21 assists.

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Legace to Grand Rapids

via the Detroit Free Press,

Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace will head to Grand Rapids Friday morning to play one or two games for the Griffins, coach Mike Babcock said after Thursday’s practice. “He’s going to Grand Rapids to try to get himself ready to play,” Babcock said. Legace has been sidelined with a sprained left knee since the day after Thanksgiving, when the Wings played at Anaheim. Chris Osgood, who has won four-straight games, will start against Columbus on New Year’s Eve. The Griffins of the AHL play Friday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs and Saturday against the Chicago Wolves.

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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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