Kukla's Korner

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Problems For Columbus

from Sportsnet,

Despite the team's recent struggles on the ice, the Columbus Blue Jackets deny the mood in the dressing room is growing sour. Sources tell Sportsnet veteran defenceman Luke Richardson gave up his captaincy Saturday after being a healthy scratch in the team's 5-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Friday night. However, Columbus president and general manager, Doug Maclean refutes any claim this is a result of a tattered dressing room.
read on

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Konowalchuk Out For The Year

via the CP,

Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Konowalchuk needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right wrist and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday. Konowalchuk suffered the injury in a game against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 21. "Further examination along with an MRI confirmed that Steve has torn ligaments in his right wrist and that surgery is necessary," Avalanche head trainer Matt Sokolowski said in a statement. "We anticipate the recovery time to be between six and seven months."

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Aussies Invade Canada

from the Penticton Western News,

On first glance they look a lot like any other hockey team. Same skates. Same sticks. Same helmets. Very little about them suggests they are anything out of the ordinary. Very little that is, until they speak. The players get out on the ice and start chattering amongst themselves with an accent that immediately brings to mind visions of Crocodile Dundee and The Crocodile Hunter. One suddenly feels compelled to shout aloud, 'The dingo ate me baby!' Turns out this group of players comprises Australia's under-20 national team and they are here to see first hand how Canadians play hockey.

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Fleury Belongs In The NHL

from the Pitsburgh Post-Gazette,

Mario Lemieux believes there is a place for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on the Penguins' major-league roster, and said yesterday that he believes general manager Craig Patrick is trying to figure out how to get him to the NHL. "I haven't talked to Craig about it," Lemieux said, "but that's certainly something I'm sure he's looking at." The problem is not with Fleury's credentials -- he is, by any measure, the top goalie in the American Hockey League this season -- but with his contract: Fleury could earn between $4 million and $5 million in salary and bonuses in the NHL, and that's a financial hit ownership is unwilling to take.

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Goalies Need Protection

from Phily Burbs,

Goalies, like quarterbacks in football, are probably the single most important players in their sport. Which is why the NHL should take a cue from what the NFL did a while ago — namely, find a way to protect these valuable talents. The football brass saw what was happening to its signal-callers: Helmet-to-helmet hits were causing concussions at an alarming rate. Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Steve Beuerlein topped a list of QBs who had their bells rung too many times. So the NFL basically outlawed any helmet-to-helmet contact. The situation is a little different in hockey but the concern level should be no less.

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Hab Not Happy With Refs

from the Toronto Star,

There's all kinds of ways to lose a hockey game and Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien saw several last night. Not that he wanted to spend too much time talking about the frustrating particulars of the Habs' 4-3 overtime loss at the Air Canada Centre. "Guys, I can't answer too many of these questions," Julien said when the post-game queries continued to come back to the evening's refereeing. "You know what that's going to mean and my wallet's not thick enough."

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NHL Poster Boy- Sean Avery

from the News & Observer,

In an increasingly anonymous league -- one that promotes a faceless player in its own commercials -- Avery is providing a welcome dose of animosity. He may be insensitive, wrong and impossible to love, a reprehensible diver and an execrably mediocre hockey player, but the NHL could sure use a few more like him.
read on image

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Luongo To Colorado Talk

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Nearly 10 years after pulling the Dec. 6, 1995 deal with Montreal for unhappy, elite goaltender Patrick Roy that positioned his team to become an NHL power, Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix is closing in on a trade for unhappy, accomplished Florida netminder Roberto Luongo, Slap Shots has been told by a league GM who's been involved with other talks with the Avalanche. The Panthers, like everyone else in the league, love rookie winger Marek Svatos. He, defenseman John-Michael Liles and freshman goaltender Peter Budaj all are earning the league minimum $450,000, and as such have both talent appeal to Keenan and financial appeal to the cheapo Florida ownership.
more (reg. req.) and Larry takes another look at the Saskin mess...

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Primeau May Be Out For The Season

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

There is fear in Philadelphia that Flyers captain Keith Primeau may miss the entire season. It has now been one month since he was elbowed in the jaw by the infamous Alexander Perezhogin of the Montreal Canadiens and suffered another concussion. If the fears are realized, the loss to the Flyers would be monumental.
read on plus Al has a few comments on other NHL topics...

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Draper Frustrated With Only 1 Goal

from MLive,

Sports fans have heard of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but could there also be a Detroit Red Wings media guide cover jinx? If so, then Kris Draper might be the first victim. Draper graces the front of the guide this season as a tribute to his breakout performance in 2003-04, when the career checking-line center scored a career-high 24 goals and won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward. "I'm not going to sit here and make excuses for not chipping in offensively," Draper said. "Come on, I got one goal. There's no reason why I should only have that. I'm not putting pressure on myself to score, but it's something I want to do to help this team."

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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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