Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blog- Appointments Again

I will once again be away from the computer until 1:30pm or so today. Updates will continue around that time.

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A Dark Secret

from the London Free Press,

But the thing Ron Ellis couldn't handle, couldn't check and couldn't skate into the ice was his own dark secret -- his battle with depression. Ellis played for 15 years in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won a Stanley Cup in 1967. He was one of the best two-way players the Maple Leafs ever developed and played a key role in the now revered 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series. Yet as he sat in his car in an underground garage in Toronto for an hour, two hours, sometimes three hours at a time, unable to find the strength to move from that car, none of his accomplishments mattered. Depression had stopped Ellis cold.
read on

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Escrow Talk

via Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),

Second-quarter escrow deductions from players' paychecks will remain at the first quarter 12 percent, with the possibility the amount will be reduced as soon as the middle of the month, according to an advisory posted by Players Association Executive Director Ted Saskin on the union's internal website, The Post has learned. "We will . . . be discussing [with the NHL] lowering the escrow as early as mid-December, when the current year's revenue estimates come in," wrote Saskin. "While under terms of the CBA, adjustments to the escrow percentage is only based on payroll levels throughout the season and not on revenue, it is clear that revenues are much stronger than [the $1.803B] anticipated and we will discuss lowering the escrow rate if the revenue rate justifies doing so."

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Our Work Goes On

from Helene Elliot of the LA Times,

Stephen Walkom, who hung up his whistle to become the NHL's director of officiating this season, said he is seeing players and referees adjust to the new anti-obstruction standards. That's taking into account that 40 penalty shots had been called through Sunday's games, one more than in the entire 2002-03 season and 17 short of the total for the 2003-04 season. "This is a big change in the hockey culture, because officials have let this go for the last 20 years and players have had it coached in them for the last 20 years," he said. "So our work goes on. "We've done another DVD for our guys of real-game footage — holding, and hooking and situational contact," Walkom said. "Anything that can help us call the game to the best of our ability every night, we're using those tools, whether it be video reinforcement or just self-reinforcement."
read on (reg. req.)...and don't forget about bug me not....

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The New Prototype

from the London Free Press,

For a guy who just had a lot more work piled on him, E. J. McGuire is remarkably upbeat. The head of the National Hockey League's central scouting department is charged with picking gems from the passing hockey parade and advising all 30 NHL teams which ones he and his staff deem the best prospects. Suddenly, a lot more little jewels are popping up. Little is the operative word. Even for defencemen. The removal of the red line this season, along with the serious clampdown on such impeding fouls, has created a revised prototype for the ideal defenceman.
continued

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Kings Nearing Panic Mode

from the LA Times,

Maybe it is too early to push the panic button. But if there is a "seriously concerned" button around, the Kings may need it heading into tonight's game against Toronto.. Just two weeks ago, the Kings had the third-most points in the NHL, one point behind Western Conference-leading Detroit, after a 6-3 victory over St. Louis on Nov. 22. Since then, the Kings have been in freefall, losing five of six games, including the last four, and are sixth in the Western Conference, with Edmonton and Colorado gaining. "We just need to get back to working hard and playing our system," Roenick said.
more (reg. req.)

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The Code

from the Ottawa Citizen,

One aspect of the NHL game that the penalty crackdown will not be able to deter is "The Code," an unwritten rule that, once broken, comes with a violent, underlying message: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Certainly, those watching the Ottawa Senators-Los Angeles Kings game Friday night at the Corel Centre saw The Code broken more than a few times and the consequences for doing so subsequently delivered. The good thing for Senators fans these days is that, when their players are being tormented, they eventually become the tormentors.
continued

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Edmonton Goaile Situation

from the Edmonton Journal,

We have to decide what we're going to do," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We're certainly watching the goalies a lot more in practice than we did when we had two. There's more competition. "If you're a goaltender here right now, you know you're in a competitive situation, from No. 1 to No. 3." As it stands now, Jussi Markkanen is No. 1, and Mike Morrison has moved in behind him in Conklin's absence. "I haven't sat back and said, 'Whatever happens, happens.' That's not my personality," said Conklin. "I'm just trying to stay confident that things are going to turn around. "But a lot has been made that my confidence was terrible. It wasn't that bad," he said. "I was frustrated that the season didn't start out exactly how I planned; I just wouldn't agree that my confidence was wrecked."
read on

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Come On Fish, Keep Going, Keep Going

from the Detroit News,

Colucci described Fischer's coloring as ashen grey. "We then started our emergency procedure," Van Zant said. "Between breaths, I was trying to talk to him 'Come on, Fish. Keep going. Keep going,' " Szuber said. After the initial compressions from Plagens, Colucci decided to cut Fischer's jersey and pads. "I didn't think we were getting good enough compression because he was going through pads that are pretty thick," Colucci said. Fischer was hardly responding. "He had some agonal breathing (barely able to breathe)," Colucci said. "He had his mouthguard still on. I was trying to position his face, neck and head to get the airway open, and that's when I grabbed his mouth guard and took it out of his mouth I didn't want him to aspirate on his mouth guard."
more...the article highlights the people who helped save Fisher's life and you realize how close he was to death...

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A Little Bit About AO

A Q & A from Russian Hockey Digest with Alex Ovechkin.

Why didn’t they make you a captain of Washington? A. Ovechkin: No, no, no! There is nothing to discuss about, I’m a new player in the team. The captain should be a leader of the team. And, actually, my English is still not that great…
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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