Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sharpshooter

from the Miami Herald,

When he shoots, he usually scores. Nathan Horton recorded his first hat trick since his days in juniors Tuesday as the Panthers pounded Nashville 7-3, scoring the three goals on six shots. Wednesday, the 20-year-old Horton found himself the NHL leader in shooting percentage, with his team-leading 14 goals coming on only 49 shots. For those math majors, that means Horton scores almost 29 percent of the time if he takes aim at the net. Not too shabby.
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Looking Back At The Heritage Classic

from the Montreal Gazette,

Once was enough, Theodore said after practice - indoors - yesterday. "I'm really happy I did it once, but I wouldn't look forward to doing it again. It was a one-shot experience," he said. "It's going to be a little warmer playing the Oilers inside. A lot fewer fans, though." Theodore and his team prevailed in the Heritage Classic game, 4-3, but it was a long, bitterly cold night. "I had to go to the bench on every faceoff to put my gloves up to the heater. I couldn't catch anything. I couldn't feel the puck, so when I got a shot, I knew it wouldn't hurt me," Theodore said. Montreal defenceman Craig Rivet's memories were also running hot and cold yesterday as he recalled the NHL's great outdoor showcase. "Talking about how cold it was that day maybe made it colder than it actually was," Rivet said. "I remember playing at that temperature when I was 10 years old on an outdoor rink in Thunder Bay and I'd be out there from 8 in the morning until 8 at night, with spotted times in the heated shack. "It didn't bother me then. I don't know why it bothered us with heaters on the bench.
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Once Every Three Years- Come On!

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

I'm not sure what the NHL is thinking. The idea is to bring the game back to the fans. We all love the new rules. But no one I know thinks the NHL is bringing the game to the fans when they're taking away the Canadiens from fans in Western Canada.'' The Edmonton-Calgary rivalry is arguably the best in hockey. But did anybody ask either franchise if they'd rather have two extra games against each other at the expense of seeing the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs two out of every three years? That's the deal. One visit by five teams from one division in the East a year. One visit by five teams from another division the next year. One visit by the five teams from the other division the year after that. The idea is to add "rivalry games.'' So far, the effect in these parts has been to dilute rivalry games and make fans feel too many degrees of separation from the East to bother watching games on television anymore.
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New CBA Hurts Pens

from the Globe and Mail,

It's quite the irony. The deal that was supposed to have been the salvation of small-market hockey franchises and their fans may actually have made it easier for one of those teams to cut and run. And the player who was supposed to have led the renaissance of a dying club may in short order wind up as the poster boy somewhere else. A year and three months back, the National Hockey League went to war with its players and eventually won a glorious victory, shoving a collective labour agreement complete with salary cap right down their throats.
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Enough bertuzzi

from the Philly Burbs,

Bertuzzi, who tonight makes his first appearance in Philadelphia since the much-documented on-ice assault case involving Colorado's Steve Moore on March 8, 2004, still hears it from the stands just about everywhere he plays. Peter Forsberg, who played for the Avalanche when Moore was injured, says it's time to move on. "I think so,'' Forsberg said after Wednesday's practice. "It's been a long time. He had a lot of time suspended. You could argue was he suspended long enough because he had the year off (for the lockout). But I think it should be over. It was a bad incident, he felt bad about it. But things have to go on.''
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All Hail Canada

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

Once again, Canada has saved the National Hockey League. There may be a bit of poetic licence in play there, but it is the strong Canadian attendance, combined with the strong Canadian dollar, that has spearheaded the NHL's resurgence, a resurgence that probably will result in an increased salary cap next season. As a result, when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association executive director Ted Saskin met here yesterday, they did so amid a sense of optimism for the league.
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Goodbye Ed Olczyk

from TSN,

In the wake of last night's 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Pittsburgh Penguins have fired head coach Ed Olczyk and his assistants, Joe Mullen and Randy Hillier. Michel Therrien, who had been coaching the Penguins AHL farm team in Wilkes-Barre, will take over the coaching duties. Sources told TSN that Therrien's entire staff at Wilkes-Barre will join the big club. An official announcement is expected on Thursday, and Therrien will lead the team's practice.
more from Sportsnet,
Early Wednesday afternoon Olczyk met with Penguins GM Craig Patrick and discussed many things team-specific, but Olczyk told Sportsnet Patrick never let on he was about to lower the boom.

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The Brothers Niedermayer

from the NY Times,

But as much as Scott, who is 32, and Rob, who turns 31 on Dec. 28, are relishing the experience, they realize who cherishes it most: their mother, Carol. "It's nice that she can come down and see both of us in the same city," Rob Niedermayer said with a chuckle after a recent game. "And she doesn't have to choose sides anymore. I think she's really enjoying that." Carol Niedermayer did not enjoy all the attention she received during the 2003 Stanley Cup finals, in which the Devils faced the Mighty Ducks, after she revealed that she was rooting for Rob to win his first championship. Much to her chagrin, Scott won his third Cup with the Devils, who defeated the Ducks in seven games.
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Saskin Meets The BOG

from the CP via TSN,

Ted Saskin was invited into the lion's den Wednesday evening and had the attention of all 30 NHL owners. While Saskin told owners that players were generally happy with the new NHL and the way the game was being played, he did have some CBA concerns to share with them. At the forefront was the way some clubs have sent players to their AHL affiliates between NHL games to save a few thousands dollars. And then there's the issue of players being buried in the minors if they earn more than $75,000 US because they would have to clear re-entry waivers and would likely be picked up by another team because only half of their salaries have to be paid.
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Rumblings From Melrose

from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

The Good One player that has stepped up for Detroit is Mathieu Schneider. He is getting more ice time and he's playing as good as I've seen him in his career. Schneider is also tied with Toronto's Bryan McCabe for the league lead in goals among defensemen. Chris Chelios and Nicklas Lidstrom have also played well. The Bad The New Jersey Devils have had salary cap troubles from Day 1. They've also had trouble with the new NHL from the get-go. No one on the team can score consistently outside of the gritty Brian Gionta. No one is great on defense anymore. They don't play fast.
more of the good, bad and even the ugly...

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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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