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Pens Attendance Up

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Penguins led the way in increased November attendance among individual clubs, followed by Carolina (+26%), Calgary (+24%), Tampa Bay (+24%), Boston (+18%), Florida (+16%), Nashville (+16%) and San Jose (+13%).

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Ripping Thornton

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Had Thornton been a little angrier, played with the kind of ferocity that one usually associates with a captain and one of the highest paid players in the league, there might have been legitimate Cup talk in Boston, not parting shots for a favored son. But that wasn't in Thornton's nature. Never was. In the end, it turned out to be a huge mistake on the part of the Bruins to believe he could be that player, like a Messier or a Stevens or an Yzerman. In fact, in an interview with ESPN.com shortly after signing Thornton to a three-year, $20-million deal this summer, O'Connell invoked those names, suggesting it was time for Thornton to assume that kind of leadership mantel in the Bruin dressing room.
read on

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Bruins Should Blame Themselves

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

As soon as I'm done with this, I will have to battle the irresistible urge to call one of the Boston sports-talk radio stations and whine. ("Long-time listener, first-time caller, thanks for taking my call, hey, I mean, I gotta tell ya, was Mike O'Connell getting consulting advice from Theo Epstein on this one since Theo doesn't have anything to do these days?") It comes down to this: The Bruins are blaming Joe Thornton.
continued from the Daily News,
Most hockey folks thought that would mean one of these three options: fire head coach Mike Sullivan; fire general manager Mike O'Connell; or fire both Sullivan and O'Connell. Instead, the Bruins brass decided to deal away Thornton — the player they inked to a three-year, $20 million dollar contract just 113 days ago — and get what they could for him.
more

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Koivu Out With Groin Strain

via TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens will be without captain Saku Koivu tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre. Koivu, with one assist in the last five games, is suffering a groin injury and the team will call up a player from Hamilton of the AHL. The Montreal Gazette reports that Koivu left practice early Wednesday after feeling what head coach Claude Julien described as "a twinge" in his groin. It's a recurring problem that Koivu has reportedly been been playing through.

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Brule Has Stress Fracture

from TSN,

Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft pick Gilbert Brule suffered a stress fracture of the fibula during Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks, according to MOJO 730 in Vancouver. The 19-year-old centre played just over 11 minutes in Wednesday's contest against the Minnesota Wild but complained of pain following the 3-2 victory. He took a couple of shifts early in the third period and then came out for about 10 seconds just after the midway point of the third and then was done for the night.

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Luongo Chats With Old Coach

from the Sun-Sentinel,

Sunday, less than 24 hours after he allowed four goals on 20 shots in Atlanta, a discouraged Roberto Luongo picked up the phone and dialed his former goalie coach, Clint Malarchuk, in Nevada. Not to talk hockey, Malarchuk said. Just to talk, for the first time since the summer, when coach Jacques Martin replaced Malarchuk with Phil Myre and Luongo found out from a reporter while on his honeymoon. Asked if he was disappointed about Malarchuk's departure, Luongo said, "That's a given. Clint is my very good friend, and he knew me and knew how to handle me. It was disappointing to see him go because we had such a good relationship."
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The Shock Value

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The shock value of a trade like the Joe Thornton to San Jose trade is pretty unbelievable. We knew that the Boston Bruins were in dire straits. Maybe firing the general manager or the coach wouldn't have surprised anybody. We knew the San Jose Sharks were in dire straits, but what we didn't think was that the Bruins would trade the face of their franchise and their number one overall pick from 1997.
more added 9:03am, from the Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe,
Thornton was always a polite and accommodating kid. In my limited dealings with him, I found him both likable and respectful. He was neither duplicitous nor difficult. And yet, as I walked away, I couldn't help but feel something was . . . missing. He was too nice. He simply did not exhibit the killer instinct that elevates a very fine player to a feared and invaluable superstar. He should have been a leader, but he never was. He was too laid-back to fit the bill. Obviously the Bruins have come to the same conclusion.
more

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Keep The Plan In Place (Don’t Fire Me)

from the Palm Beach Post,

The temptation is to nod in agreement or, at least, in sympathy when Panthers coach Jacques Martin says what he says standing in a BankAtlantic Center hallway. "You have to establish a strong base and build on it," is what Martin said Wednesday afternoon. "It's very important for the organization to keep the plan in place." The problem, as Martin understood before taking the Panthers job, is that this seems to be something along the lines of Plan Wilma in the Florida process. The franchise, like the just-concluded hurricane season, must be about to run out of names for its strategies. And whatever the plan is, it isn't working.
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Pat Burns Battles Every Day

from the Toronto Star,

Come the weekend, Pat Burns will saddle his Harley and roar off down the road. But not into the sunset. Not yet. And Monday morning, the former Maple Leaf coach will submit to yet another round of intensive, debilitating chemotherapy. Then he'll come home, likely spend the whole day shivering in bed, vomiting repeatedly. "The stuff's poison, right? After the past year, my body's full of poison. It knocks the s--- out of me."
more

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Jeremy Jacobs Is The Problem

from Alan Adams of Sportsnet,

The Bruins have become and will remain a laughingstock as long as Jeremy Jacobs is in charge. Jeremy Jacobs took the easy way out when the hawkish owner of the Boston Bruins gave his seal of approval on the trade that sent Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks. If Jacobs was at all keen on seeing the Bruins resume their once-familiar role as a Stanley Cup contender, he would have cleaned house. He would have fired the coaching staff, canned General Manager Mike O'Connell, President and alleged elder statesman Harry Sinden and then sold the team and let new blood take over.
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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