Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Forsberg Leaves The Door Open

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

“If they want me back, I’m going to hear from them and I would consider it,” Forsberg said at a hastily called press conference during the second intermission of the Flyers’ 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at the Wachovia Center.
“I liked it here. I had two of the best teammates I could ask for in Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. I think we fit each other perfectly and it’s really sad to leave them. If I was to look for a line in the future, I would love to play with them again.”
The Flyers did everything they could to get their 33-year-old captain to re-sign for three or four years. Teammates pleaded with him, as did Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, team president Peter Luukko and team chairman Ed Snider.

read on

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AO Slumping

from Capitals Insider,

Alex Ovechkin is officially in a slump. The score sheets say so. My eyeballs say so, too….
At this point, Ovechkin is going to need a few multiple goal games to match the 52 he scored as a rookie. Because he’s fallen four off last year’s pace.

more... Both Sid and AO slumping, NBC showcases them this Sunday, somebody needs to break out soon…

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Add More Speed

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Regier’s escape from this little jam is ignoring Buffalo’s biggest weakness and embracing its greatest strength. The Sabres can be an intimidating, suffocating force when three lines are flying. Throw out four sets of burners when Afinogenov and Tim Connolly come back, and opponents will be begging for the door.
That’s what Regier needs to remember in the days ahead while straying from conventional thinking. The best way to overcome their weakness at this point isn’t by adding more aggressive forwards but adding even more speed, putting the pedal to the metal and wearing down opponents that way.


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Take A Break

from the Edmonton Journal,

It’s a 24/7 job being an Oilers fan. Any fool can see that, and I passed that ineptitude test long ago.
But, with the Oilers away for a fortnight that will either be a marathon of hope or a journey of despair, what’s needed, it seems to me, is respite. Could be for a day, a night, a week, might be as brief as skipping a period of the out-of-town broadcast to walk the dog, for the true believers among you.
But it’s important. For the love of Gretzky, look away, take a backward step, take a breath, get some perspective.
Begin living today the experience of daily life without the Oilers this spring. It will be better that way. Wean yourself off the hockey fix, if you can.

read on

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A Good Chance Bertuzzi Stays With Florida

from the Palm Beach Post,

Todd Bertuzzi appears to no longer be a candidate for a trade. The latest setback in his rehab from back surgery means Bertuzzi will play at most three games before the deadline, and unless he scores hat tricks in all three, nobody is going to offer more than a conditional draft pick. That’s not enough.
By holding onto Bertuzzi for the rest of the season, Martin gets exclusive negotiating rights with him until July’1. And again, unless he excels beyond expectations in the 20 or so games he plays, it’s hard to imagine any team looking to offer Bertuzzi more than one year at, say, $3 million to $4 million plus incentives. He loves the weather and relative anonymity of South Florida; there’s a good chance he’ll be back.

more Panther player talk…

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600 For Joe

via the Denver Post,

Sakic became the 17th NHL player to reach 600 goals with his five-point performance, leading the Avs to a victory in which they overcame 2-0 and 4-2 deficits. His empty-net goal with 9.9 seconds remaining put the game away and his name higher in the record books.
“An empty-netter isn’t the prettiest one to get (600), but it still feels pretty good,” Sakic said. “What it all means, I don’t know, we’ll figure that out some day. But it was just nice to have that put the game away. We needed to win here and we did.”

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Rental Rates Go Up

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

“I talked to (Flyers GM Paul) Holmgren (Wednesday) night,” said Ducks GM Brian Burke before the game. “We were in there right to the end. We could have Forsberg on the ice right now, but there were certain things I wouldn’t do.”
Burke is now expected to immediately turn his attention to St. Louis and forward Keith Tkachuk, who can play either centre or wing and, like Doan before he signed and Forsberg, is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer.
“But you can’t change your price tag just because another team made a deal,” said Burke, “and the price of rental players is going up.”


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Broken Wrist For Afinogenov

via the Toronto Star,

Buffalo Sabres forward Maxim Afinogenov will miss six weeks after breaking his left wrist and rookie Jiri Novotny is out indefinitely after aggravating a left ankle injury last night.
“It’s going to make things a lot tougher. We’re going to have to dig in,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the team’s 2-1 win over Edmonton. “You’ve got to grind your way through it.”


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Stop Calling Toronto

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

...But if the NHL doesn’t want to become about as relevant as Australian rules football, it could at least try not to appear so darned clueless and aloof. The elimination of its mysterious “war room” in Toronto would be a good place to start.
Having a play in Columbus “go to Toronto” for review creates the image of league officials who take themselves too seriously. Their intentions are good — they probably have more high-def TVs than Circuit City in the NHL offices — but fans in the stands and at home only see a ref on a 1960sstyle telephone waiting for orders from a secretive tribunal.

read on

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JR On The Move?

from the Arizona Republic:

With the Coyotes fading from playoff contention, other teams keep calling regarding possible trades.
Many calls are inquiries about players with significant playoff experience.

Roenick said he hasn’t given up on the Coyotes making the playoffs this season, but if it becomes clear they won’t make it and another team in better playoff position comes calling for him, he’d be OK with a trade.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Roenick said. “I’m on a one-year deal, anyway. . . . I’d definitely be up for a (Stanley) Cup run.”



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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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