Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hello Buffalo

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

A series of little lighted signs greets you in the concourse at Buffalo Niagara International Airport: Enjoy this beautiful season Go Sabres! Is that two thoughts or one? Do Buffalo fans even know the holidays are here amid all the Sabres celebrations since October? They hope the good times run long past New Year's Day. The Sabres are a team with speed, depth and two quality goaltenders. Many of the players developed together within the organization. They know one another's strengths and weaknesses, and they are friends.

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Wild Take On Roloson

from the Pioneer Press,

Manny Fernandez remembers the first time he crossed paths in St. Paul with former teammate Dwayne Roloson last March. "We looked at each other, and we didn't have to say anything," Fernandez said. "We sort of understood that we made our games better by being together." Today, logic tells you that Fernandez will start in goal for the Wild and Roloson will start in goal for Edmonton as the teams tied atop the NHL's Northwest Division meet at the Oilers' Rexall Place. Maybe, maybe not.

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Gretzky On J.R.

from the Arizona Republic,

The Coyotes might be finished with Jeremy Roenick. Coach Wayne Gretzky said Roenick would not play in tonight's game, and possibly more, because Roenick left General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday after learning he'd been scratched from the lineup because of a back injury a few hours before Phoenix's 5-2 defeat. Roenick said he watched at least part of the game while eating dinner in a restaurant in Vancouver, and he was not seen in the Coyotes dressing room after the game. “I treat players like men and they should act like men,” Gretzky said Wednesday. “JR, all and all, has been pretty positive. But the reality is, last night he made a mistake. … There will be ramifications for what happened.”
continued added 9:12am, from the East Valley Tribune,
Jeremy Roenick can see the sun is quickly approaching its setting point on his long, illustrious, controversial and always entertaining career. “End of the (NHL) year, absolutely (I’ll retire),” Roenick said Wednesday at the airport in Vancouver before the Coyotes headed home following their 0-2 road trip. “The way it seems to be going right now, I don’t think anybody would want to give me another chance to tell you the truth.”

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NYR Want Nylander Around

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

But the bargain, if not necessarily Nylander's tour in Manhattan, is almost over. Failing to exercise a team option over the summer of 2005 for what would have been a 2007-08 commitment of $2.28 million - how could they after the contract's first season became a cancelled season? - the Rangers ceded control of the fourth year to Nylander, who has a player's option for $1.52 million for next year. Obviously, Nylander will not exercise the below-market value option. This means the Rangers will have to sign No. 92 to a multi-year contract extension commensurate with the going rate for a successful first-line pivot or risk losing him over the summer as an unrestricted free agent. To that end, the wheels are in motion.
read on

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The Big & Small Battle

from NorthJersey,

The latest chapter of this tall tale was written in the third period of the Devils' 5-1 win at TD Bank-north Garden on Saturday. During a scrum in front of the Bruins' net, Gionta hooked his stick blade behind Chara's left knee and gave a small tug, trying to throw off his balance. Chara reached down, grabbed Gionta's chin strap and started yanking on it from side to side. "There's some matchups you just can't explain," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "It's obvious to me that Chara must respect him a lot to play him that hard. On the other hand, he [Gionta] is a competitor and he's showing him that it doesn't matter what he does. It's not going to stop him."

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Old Stick

from the National Post,

It has survived flooding, frozen ponds, frozen cow patties and a flex test from Cliff Fletcher. And now the world's oldest hockey stick -- worth an estimated US$4.25-million -- is being auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity. The stick's original owner, and maker, was Alexander Rutherford. Rutherford carved the treasure from a piece of hickory wood he found on his family's farm in southeastern Ontario sometime between 1852-56.
continued See it on eBay...

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We’ve Seen It Before

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Okay, let's review. In the past week, we've seen an Ottawa Senators player wave a white flag of surrender, the Detroit Red Wings owner accost a National Hockey League official between periods, and a usually mild-mannered Toronto Maple Leafs coach go off on the refereeing after another discouraging loss. If one didn't know any better, you'd be tempted to say that refereeing was a hot-button topic in the NHL once again. But really, are things any different than they were last month, or last year, or three years ago, or even 30 years ago?

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Predators’ A-Rad Knows how to Celebrate

From John Glennon at the Tennessean:

When he scored his first NHL goal in October, Alexander Radulov launched himself into a plane of Plexiglas and dropped back to the ice shrieking. Six weeks later, he's still bouncing off the walls. As much as Radulov's teammates and Predators fans love his scoring — and he's already posted nine goals in just 17 games — they've become almost equally as entertained by watching the phenom celebrate afterward. Until very recently, when the Russian rookie was told by one veteran teammate to curb his enthusiasm a bit, he commemorated each goal like a kid who'd somehow found a way to combine Christmas morning with the last day of school.

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Kings have Sopel & Tverdovsky back from injury

From Chris Foster, LA Times:

A playoff spot may have moved a little further from the Kings' reach Tuesday, but full strength seemed within their grasp Wednesday. Defensemen Brent Sopel and Oleg Tverdovsky were activated from injured reserve and could be in the lineup when the Kings play the San Jose Sharks tonight. Peter Harrold was reassigned to Manchester, the team's American Hockey League franchise, to make room on the roster. "If they are both in there, then we'll have the defense we had in mind when the season started," Coach Marc Crawford said. "We'll have [Lubomir] Visnovsky and [Rob] Blake leading the charge, with Mattias Norstrom and Aaron Miller, Brent and Oleg."
more... (subscription req'd)

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Tough Times Continue for Coach Gretzky

Grant Kerr at The Globe & Mail writes,

Gretzky surely needed cheering up from the well-rested Pat Quinn and his wife, Sandra, because the Coyotes showed little enthusiasm playing their third game in four nights and fifth in seven. The Great One seldom appears satisfied behind the Phoenix bench these days, even though his team has a 4-3-1 record in its past eight games following a dreadful start to the National Hockey League regular season. Gretzky has a haggard look now in his seventh season as managing partner of the Coyotes, and his second as head coach of the Desert Dogs, who haven't participated in the playoffs since 2002.

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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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