Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blues Upset With Ilitch

from Mlive,

"We have more of a concern about the owner of the Detroit Red Wings going down to escort the officials off the ice to their dressing room during the (first) intermission," Davidson said. "That defies the spirit of the game. We think as an organization that that was wrong. A Hall-of-Fame owner decides to have a conversation with the officials during a game. It's our opinion that's not right, and we hope the league addresses it." The league spoke to Ilitch on Friday and an NHL official said the Blues are blowing the incident out of proportion. Wings general manager Ken Holland declined comment on the matter.

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It’s A Trap!

By George Malik TSN's Darren Dreger delves into the recent accusations that the NHL's crackdown on obstruction has weakened:

Over the past few weeks a number of NHL coaches and managers have observed what they call a "shift" in how the game is being called. Some are being even more specific by saying less is being called now than prior to last month's general manager's meeting where the topic was openly discussed. The brain-trust inside the NHL's hockey operations department grimace at the mere suggestion the league is backing off the standard. Statistically, penalties have declined marginally compared to last year and so has goal scoring, by less than half a goal. Is this a big deal?

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Isles Get Serious About Filling Seats

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News:

The organization is offering a special program to anyone who purchases a 6- or 23-game package in the next few days. Next week, those fans can meet Islanders legend Mike Bossy and get his autograph, get a tour of the Islanders locker room from an Islanders player, have their picture taken with injured captain Yashin, spend some time talking to general manager and former Isles goalie Garth Snow and visit with Nolan in his office. Who knows how many people will put out the cash for the packages for those special privileges. Isles fans have been burned in they past. They are probably waiting for the other shoe to drop on this team. There has been excitement surrounding this team recently. Peter Laviolette seemed to have things turned around but that devolved into chaos soon enough. Now there's Nolan and his followers wearing the orange and blue. He is making the most of his second chance for sure and he should win his second straight Jack Adams Trophy if he can keep it up. Consecutive coach of the year awards - with a decade in between.

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Pens’ Partner May Ride Fast Track To Success

from the Pittsburgh Business Times:

Financial analysts based in eastern Pennsylvania continued on Thursday to favor Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.'s bid for a Pittsburgh slots license. The Susquehanna Financial Group LLP, which is based in Bala Cynwyd, outside of Philadelphia, says new information on traffic issues faced by the Forest City Enterprises/Harrah's Entertainment joint venture, which wants to put a casino in Station Square, did nothing to change its opinion that Isle of Capri is the front-runner. Isle of Capri's plan calls for a casino in the lower Hill District, as well as putting aside $290 million toward building a new arena for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

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The Next Big Thing

from the Burnaby News-Leader: Charlie Hodge is a busy man.

Hodge has been scouting for the NHL since 1979. Before Tampa Bay, he was scouting for Pittsburgh and before that, Winnipeg. He’s been all over North America, recommending names like Dave Babych to the Winnipeg Jets in 1980 and Andrew Ference to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1997. Some recommendations have been pat-on-the-back worthy, while others turn out to be hide-your-face shameful. “I don’t know if you need any particular skill to be a scout, basically you just hope the guy you recommend continues to develop after he’s drafted,” he said. For every game, Hodge prints off each team’s lineup from Rinknet.com, isolates the priority picks and looks at the teams as a whole. He familiarizes himself with each player’s age – the older, the younger – and he highlights the “futures” and the “don’t exists”. “Three guys don’t exist on Kamloops; they’re already drafted,” he said.

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Atlanta Thrashers in Flames

From Karen Rosen at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

To make each Thrashers game Atlanta's hottest experience on ice, Rick Lambright and Andy Ulanowski bring the fire. The brothers-in-law operate the high-flying twin bird heads that spew 20-foot flames during introductions, after every Thrashers goal and whenever the NHL's rules allow them to fire up the crowd. They are also in charge of this year's new pyrotechnic effects at Hawks games. "We try to throw as much flame in the game as we can," Lambright said. Lambright, 50, of Kennesaw, and Ulanowski, 52, of Dallas, Ga., are certified pyrotechnicians who are as comfortable setting off fireworks as working with firebreathing birds. They provide the Atlanta flames for the 21st century.
Continued... (may require subscription)

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Another Staal Decision

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Jordan Staal sat out last Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers after playing fewer than eight minutes in their previous outing against the Montreal Canadiens, a mostly understandable development for the only player from the draft class of 2006, apart from the Boston Bruins' Phil Kessel, to jump directly from junior to the National Hockey League. With very few exceptions — and Staal's teammate with the Penguins, Sidney Crosby, is the most prominent recent one — this is the normal developmental pattern for teenage hockey players. By the start of the third month, the pace and the standard of play tend to ramp up across the board in the NHL.
continued... plus tidbits from around the NHL...

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Drake Gets Two Games

TORONTO (Dec. 8, 2006) – St. Louis Blues forward Dallas Drake has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of delivering a hit to the head area of Detroit Red Wing defenseman Brett Lebda during NHL game #415 on December 7. The incident occurred at 14:57 of the first period. No penalty was assessed on the play. Drake, who was suspended for two games in October, 2005, is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and forfeits salary based on the number of games in a season (82), rather than the number of days (187). He will forfeit $26,829.26. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Drake will miss Saturday’s game against Columbus and Dec. 12 against Chicago. He will be eligible to return Dec. 13 at Colorado. image

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The Hype Is Building

via the NHL,

Information researched by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. • Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin played against each other four times last season. Crosby (3-6-9) and Ovechkin (3-3-6) scored points in each of those four games, and they scored a goal in the same game twice (Jan. 25 at Pittsburgh, Feb. 11 at Washington). The Penguins won the first three meetings of the rookie phenoms and the Capitals won the last game (Mar. 8 at Washington). • Alex Ovechkin played his 100th NHL game on November 17. Ovechkin had 64 career goals through that date, matching the sixth-highest total at the 100-game mark for any player in the modern era. (since 1943-44, when the center-ice red line was introduced). Most goals through 100 games: Teemu Selanne (84), Maurice Richard (80), Mike Bossy (76), Dino Ciccarelli (69), Eric Lindros (67), Pavel Bure (64), Joe Nieuwendyk (64), Alex Ovechkin (64).

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The Devils Just Win

from Linda Cohn of ESPN,

"I get it, Linda, once a Ranger fan, always a Ranger fan," Parise said. "Despite the ups and many more downs, fans like you just don't switch your allegiance, no matter how many more Cups we win." As the words poured out of his mouth, I felt a change. The agitation was turning into appreciation. Now, if only New Jersey residents would experience the same. If you're afraid of roller coasters (Rangers) and prefer a steady ride at the top (Devils), then this team will provide all the thrills you need. If he was head of team marketing, how would Parise sell this Devils team? "I can only look at it from an athlete's perspective, and I would say, 'What more do you want, this team wins!'"

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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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