Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Goalies In Waiting

Something Kevin Allen said a few days ago on Detroit radio got me to thinking. Kevin mentioned the Predators are concerned about the health of Vokoun and they really are not talking about the situation. I believe he has a check-up scheduled late this month and hopefully he receives a green light to begin working out. But what if he doesn't? The Preds feel they are strong enough to compete in the Western Conference, but without Vokoun in net, they will have to depend on Chris Mason again, something they may not want to do. So are the teams that have a surplus of goalies waiting to see how the Vokoun situation plays-out before they start serious trade talks with other teams? Makes sense to me, if Vokoun can't come back, the trade options become much more valuable to the teams holding onto a goalie. If Vokoun does come back, then the teams are in the same position that they are now, so why not wait? What's another few weeks!

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The Cup Touches The Marines

You may remember Glen Wesley took the Cup to Camp Lejeune recently. Great write-up... from John McGourty of NHL.com,

As a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Hurricanes, Wesley was entitled to one day with the Stanley Cup and he decided to spend part of that day with members of Wounded Warrior Barracks at Camp Lejeune. Wesley hoped it would help pay respect and raise the spirits of the wounded Marines and that it did. It was an amazing visit. The Marines joked with Wesley about his injuries and theirs. Some compared the severity of the injuries that he's suffered stopping pucks and being banged into the boards to the injuries they've received from suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices and conventional ordnance.
read on image photo via Marines.mil

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Nolan Stays Out Of It

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

Ted Nolan, still feeling his way around as coach of the New York Islanders, wants it known that he didn't have a hand in the dismissal of general manager Neil Smith. He claims he never even saw it coming. "I was at home when (owner) Charles (Wang) called," the recently hired Nolan told Sportsnet. "He asked me if I was sitting down and I said 'why' and he said he fired Neil. He said it was for philosophical reasons.'"

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Belfour Looking At Florida

from TSN,

Sources tell TSN Belfour is in Florida today working out for the Panthers. If the 41-year-old netminder passes his medical evaluation it is believed the Panthers will sign him to a one year deal that could pay him as much as $1.5 million.

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Replacing Luongo

from the Miami Herald,

If Alex Auld has noticed the pictures, it's hard to tell. A poster hanging at Incredible Ice touts the Roberto Luongo Goalie School, the former Panthers goaltender staring down on those who walk in. Another poster of Luongo in his old Florida uniform sits in the window of the pro shop. Auld spent Monday and Tuesday at the Coral Springs rink, helping coaches by giving guidance to youngsters at the goalie camp. Though he isn't the name player Luongo is, the kids seem to be happy the Panthers' new goalie is there to help. ''Everyone here has been so welcoming, and it's nice to see a positive feeling surrounding the team,'' Auld said.
read on

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Team Chaos

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

One person who surprisingly came to Smith's defense, Wang said, was former general manager Mike Milbury, who has remained with the Islanders as senior vice president but is no longer involved in hockey operations. Wang said Milbury tried to convince him to give Smith more time. Wang said he couldn't wait. "I know it would have gotten worse," Wang said. "When you know it's wrong and doesn't work, you feel it. And I've got to correct it . . . I didn't want this to go on longer in any way. I'm going to fix it and move on. For the fans, I think the last thing you want to do is have any kind of unrest or controversy in the middle of a season. It would be a disaster."
read on

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Are The Leafs Better

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Now that Michael Peca has finally achieved his childhood dream of becoming a Toronto Maple Leaf, the team's roster is set for the coming season. But is the roster good enough to back up Peca's words Tuesday that the Leafs are an “organization that prides itself on wanting to win and [is] really taking every step necessary whenever they see fit to try to provide that for the fans.” Well, maybe. And if you look at the last time the Maple Leafs underwent such a change to their foundation, the answer swings closer to yes.

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Kessel Expected To Sign With Bruins

from the Pioneer Press,

Despite recently informing a Gophers hockey coaching staff member that he intended to return for his sophomore season, Phil Kessel now is eager to sign with the Boston Bruins, insiders say. The Bruins made him the No. 5 overall pick in last month's NHL entry draft. If Kessel signs, which it appears he will do, he is expected to play in the NHL rather than the American Hockey League

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LaFontaine Leaves Islanders

from the CP via TSN,

The fallout continues on Long Island. New York Islanders senior adviser Pat LaFontaine advised Islanders owner Charles Wang on Tuesday night that he is resigning, a source told The Canadian Press.

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“Skate-Goat”- J.R. Plans A Comeback Season

from CBS Sportsline,

"I couldn't get my skates sharpened the way I like," Roenick said in an interview after recently signing with the Phoenix Coyotes. Oh. "Really," Roenick insisted. OK, J.R., but don't they have people to take care of things like that in the NHL? "You would think," Roenick said. "That's why everybody says, 'Did your dog eat your homework too?' -- it's a stupid response to people who don't understand. "But to an athlete, not being able to rely on your equipment is nerve-wracking. I couldn't skate on the skates I was using. Every time I tried to turn, I ended up on my face. It affected my confidence and decision making because you can't play a game like the NHL at such a high level and question whether you're going to stand up or not. "It was enough to almost make me retire."
read on

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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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