Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Great Expectations

from the Pioneer Press,

How they manage higher expectations will be telling. "It's definitely different," said veteran Wes Walz, one of three remaining original Wild players with Gaborik and goalie Manny Fernandez. "We haven't had pressure on us from Day 1," Walz said. "When you come in every year, anything you do good surprises people. Now anything we do good is supposed to happen. It's going to be interesting to see how we deal with it." Fernandez, entering his first season as the undisputed No. 1 goalie, said that despite the additions the Wild must retain their underdog mentality.

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League Getting “Smaller”

from the Journal News,

"It's a game right now where smaller players have a chance to play in this league right now," said Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis, who is entering his 16th NHL season. "Before, people were concentrating on size. As long as he was a big boy, they would take them. But now with the new rules and the speed of the game, a smaller player has a better chance to make the league because they're harder to stop." One year after the NHL returned from the year-long lockout with a host of skills-friendly rules changes, the physical makeup of teams might be changing as well. By cracking down on the clutching and grabbing that had slowed the game down to a grind, the league now affords more space to a player who once might have been undersized. By allowing two-line passes, those same players are also allowed to generate more speed up ice.
read on

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Lightning Have Something To Prove

from the Tampa Tribune,

They're off and puking at Lightning training camp. Around and around they skated, experiments in exhaustion for the sinister lab inside their head coach's head, capped by a delightful 3-mile night run. "We started out on Tortorella time," Lightning GM Jay Feaster said of Day 1. "Our 7 a.m. meeting started at 6:53." There is no time to waste, not for familiar faces, not for all the new faces. The faces from that Cup photo grow fewer and fewer. No matter. Time won't wait.

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Mogilny Unable To Play

from the AP via NJ.com,

Julien won't have to worry about a possible distraction from right wing Alexander Mogilny and defenseman Vladimir Malakhov. Mogilny, 37, was invited to camp after finishing last season in the minors, but his twice surgically repaired left hip is bothering him again and he is unable to play.
more on the Deviils...

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No Dancing For Modano

via the Dallas Morning News,

Your girlfriend, Willa Ford, is on this season's edition of Dancing With the Stars. Are you watching? I was out there Tuesday night and watched it in person. It's pretty nerve-racking when it's live TV. It's a one-shot deal, and you have to hit every move. Can she take down Emmitt Smith? I saw him out there, and I think he was wondering what I was doing. He was pretty calm, but I think when he got off the floor, he was glad it was over. Any chance of a future appearance of Mike Modano on Dancing with the Stars? No, definitely not. That's just not going to happen.

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Thornton & Cheechoo Together Again

from the AP via the Mercury News,

Just a few minutes into the San Jose Sharks' first scrimmage of training camp, Joe Thornton already had Jonathan Cheechoo in his sights. The reigning NHL Most Valuable Player's chemistry with the league's top goal-scorer apparently hasn't waned since the Sharks were knocked out of the second round of the playoffs. Playing together on a line with newcomer Mark Bell, Thornton repeatedly found Cheechoo for shot after shot Friday despite their teammates' best defensive efforts. "Cheech was hitting everything but the back of the net," coach Ron Wilson said. "It's important that we create chemistry, and get it early. We've got to get them up to speed, because they've got a new guy."
more...inlcuding possible line combos...

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Gretzky Goes For $80K

from the American Chronicle,

Seven years following his retirement, the greatest player in the history of professional hockey is still setting records. MINT State, an Illinois dealer specializing in high-grade sports cards has sold a 1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky rookie card for $80,000. The company claims it is the most valuable hockey trading card in existence. Although Gretzky’s 1979-80 rookie cards from OPC and Topps are perceived to be a fairly modern issue and not considered especially rare, the card is the only Gem Mint 10 ever graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and therefore commanded a huge premium.
continued image click for larger image

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KK- Shopping & Reviews Section

Just a friendly reminder- If you are in a shopping mode, please check out the KK Shopping & Reviews section. Some great deals going on now and I do receive a small commission for every sale. That is how I keep my head above water.

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A New Day For Boston

from the AP via CBS4Boston,

"It's a new day," Jacobs said. "We've got a new coach, a new general manager. I think we have credible people in all those positions. Time will tell how good they are." Jacobs, whose son Charlie is becoming more involved in running the team, said he liked Sullivan and O'Connell but realized that the team couldn't go on doing things the old way. Chiarelli takes over a team that signed Chara, one of the top free agents on the market, along with forwards Marc Savard and Shean Donovan. Phil Kessel, the fifth player chosen in this year's draft, is also in camp after deciding to leave Minnesota after his freshman season. "We've got a significantly strong group of new players that I think have heightened the excitement of everyone that works here, everyone that's going to play here," Jacobs said. "It was time for a change."

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Why Bob

from the CP via TSN,

Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis says Bob Clarke's actions in signing centre Ryan Kesler to a US$1.9 million offer sheet make no sense. The Canucks were caught off guard earlier this week when the Philadelphia Flyers general manager signed the restricted free agent to an offer sheet. "Philadelphia didn't do anything wrong in this process," Nonis said Friday at the Canucks training camp. "Bob Clarke is free to do whatever he wants in signing free-agent players. He didn't break any rules, as he's told the world. "But I don't understand it. To sign a player to a deal, at far more than what he would normally sign too, knowing full well we were going to match the offer ... To me that doesn't make any sense."

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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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