Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Good & Bad Bettman

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

So compared with the wreckage that went before, Bettman is practically Pete Rozelle. He has ruled with an iron hand, he had definite ideas and a definite direction and no one can say that he hasn’t been busy commishing all along - although the league would arguably be better off if it had operated without a commissioner all these years.
Bettman’s tenure has been a mixed bag at best: on the plus side of the ledger are the entry of NHL pros into the Olympic Games, the crackdown on clutching and grabbing, the long overdue move to a shootout to decide games that are tied after five minutes of overtime and, above all, the much touted Collective Bargaining Agreement under which the league now operates.


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Lack Of Support For Khabibulin

from the Chicago Tribune,

“It has been a better year [personally], but we always want team goals too,” Khabibulin said. “We’re not where we want to be right now so it’s everybody’s fault, mine included.”
While he has had some clunkers this season, including a stretch at the United Center that was particularly rough in late December, Khabibulin mostly has given the Hawks an opportunity to win nearly every night.
“We haven’t given [Khabibulin] enough support,” Hawks general manager Dale Tallon said.


added 9:42am, Check out Spector for some trade talk, including Khabibulin may be available…

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Pens Close To A Deal

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Penguins apparently have cut a deal with public officials to finance an Uptown arena that would keep the team in Pittsburgh, a state senator said Wednesday.
“I’m hearing that a deal could be made any day, which makes me suspect it’s all about crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” said Sen. Wayne Fontana, a Brookline Democrat who serves on the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, which would own the arena. “I don’t know that there are any major hurdles left. It’s all just little things.”
Fontana said he expects officials to announce a deal today or Friday.

Other reports state there may be a snag in a deal, so it is still sitting on pins and needles time for Pens fans.

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Flyers Must Adjust

from Jack McCaffery of the Delco Times,

The game began with 10,000 seats still empty, then ended, amid boos, in another Flyers loss. Happy now? Isn’t that what everybody wanted? And if not everybody, too many? Didn’t the know-it-alls yell for years that in order for hockey to thrive, it had to be Euro-ized? Wasn’t it said to be oh-so-necessary to remove the violence and the red line from the game, to allow the figure skaters to do their figure 8s—and 9s, too?


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Luongo Keeps On Playing…

from the Province,

While the man in question has yet to express any concern over his working conditions, Canucks’ fans have started to experience an unease over the demands placed on their franchise goalie.
This could be because they’re aware the Canucks will only go as far as Luongo takes them.
It could also be because they’re aware the Canucks are violating several of the province’s labour laws in their employment of the goalie.
Thus far this season, Luongo has played in 48 of the Canucks’ 52 games and his next day off doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon. This means Luongo could play 78 games this season, which is one game short of Fuhr’s NHL record set in ‘95-96.


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Taking A Chance

from Kevn Allen at USA TODAY,

A record 25 deals involving 40 players were made at the March 9 deadline last season, but factors could limit the number of deals. Counting injury callups, the Flyers, Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils are over the $44 million cap. The San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning have less than $1 million remaining.
But salaries are prorated for cap purposes, meaning a team acquiring a player at the deadline will have to count only 40 days of his salary against the team cap. For example, a team acquiring Forsberg will count about $1.25 million of his $5.75 million salary.

much more... inlcuding GM comments…

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San Jose Stay

from Inside Bay Area,

Like many Bay Area visitors, Philippe Boucher and his friends have packed a busy schedule into their current trip.
They did some sight-seeing in San Francisco. There was a group dinner at a Santana Row restaurant here in San Jose. The wives went on a shopping-and-winery tour. And the guys made sure to take in a couple of Sharks games. In a manner of speaking.
Boucher and his Dallas Stars teammates will be playing the Sharks tonight for the second game in a row at HP Pavilion — a quirk in the NHL schedule that has had them encamped in San Jose since Sunday night.


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What A Bunch Of Malarkey

from the Associated Press via ESPN:

Brendan Shanahan isn’t the captain of the New York Rangers, he’s just the guy who sticks up for him.
Shanahan ripped NHL officials Wednesday night after the Rangers’ 2-1 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs because of what he feels is prejudiced officiating against captain Jaromir Jagr.
“I don’t know what the deal is,” an angry Shanahan said. “Guys hit him late, guys hit him high, guys hook his hands. He doesn’t complain. He just goes out and plays and plays and plays. The referees just seem to have a different set of rules about the way people get to play against him.
“Not since [Slava] Fetisov came over from Russia have I ever seen a star player get ignored by the referees, and I know the reason why they were ignoring him back then.”

continued...inlcuding Mike Murphy response…


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PA Estimates Middling Escrow Payments

from the Hockey News via TSN:

Although players aren’t expecting the escrow windfall they received last season when they actually got money back, the escrow payments they make this season, if any, will likely be below 10 per cent.
The league and NHL Players’ Association recently decided to leave the escrow for player salaries at 10 per cent for the third quarter of the season. The escrow is considered and adjusted, if necessary, at each quarter of the season.

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Berard Activated

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated defenseman Bryan Berard off Injured Reserve, team President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. Berard is expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s game at Edmonton.

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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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