Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Banging The Big Red Drum

By George Malik: The Red Wings have made some great strides over the past month. The broadcast that Fox 2 produced earlier this month was tremendous. It broke away from the stale recycled clips from Red Wings Weekly that the FSD production crew sees fit to use over and over again for a month as pre-game, intermission, and post-game content. Instead, we were treated to at least one player interview per period, multiple post-game interviews, multiple interviews with the coaching staff, and a fascinating game-long feature on the insides of the Red Wings locker room, something that we in Detroit have (for better or worse) never seen before The broadcast teemed with an enthusiasm that's lacking from the FSD broadcasts, and gave us a sense that, at least when the game's on Fox 2, we'll get some locally-produced must-see Red Wings television. While the Wings mentioned it offhandedly during a road game, the arena is finally getting rid of the 3x3 blocks of big screen TVs from 1989, and it's replacing them with LED displays. That's a substantial investment in making the in-game experience better, which is encouraging. It's not charging less than $15 for parking (that's a real deal-breaker), but it's a good start back on the right track. The Wings also made Henrik Zetterberg available for an autograph signing at Hockeytown Authentics this past Monday that simply required the donation of a working smoke detector with batteries for low-income families in Detroit. In years past, they'd simply mention that it was smoke detector time, and that the player involved had signed a jersey and a puck which two of the however many people who donated at the rink could win in a raffle--which they did this year as well--and left it at that. Progress is progress, especially when it's for a good cause.

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A New Era In Pittsburgh

from Shawna Richer of the Globe and Mail,

Much has changed since last year. Not only do the Penguins have two of the best young players in the game, they added quality role players in forwards Dominic Moore and Jarkko Ruutu and defenceman Mark Eaton (out several months with a broken wrist). Marc-André Fleury is the No. 1 goaltender and has a fearlessness he sometimes lacked last season. "We've got a confident mentality now," Crosby said. "We know we can win those close games that maybe we wouldn't have last year. Last year is forgotten." They have a new owner — billionaire Jim Balsillie, the co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion. Dana Heinze, the new equipment manager, lured from the Lightning, remodelled the dumpy, outdated dressing rooms. Lemieux's No. 66 banner hangs from the ceiling of Mellon Arena. A new era has arrived.

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Russian Rookie Rips Sens

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Alexei Kaigorodov might have shied away from the heavy hitting (okay, any hitting) on the ice here, but the former Senators forward threw some pretty good punches in the newspaper once he was back home. His targets: Senators GM John Muckler and coach Bryan Murray. Kaigorodov, who arrived in camp touted as the Senators' potential second-line centre, said he was "deceived" by Muckler and had "no communication" with the coaching staff.

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It Won’t Happen Again

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell was assured by league officials that the violation of league rules on Saturday regarding the use of video replay will not happen again. In the first period of Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Canadiens, video goal judge David Taveroff could not get the attention of on-ice referees to inform them that he wanted to review whether a save Thrashers goalie Johan Hedberg made on Sergei Samsonov's shot was actually a goal. Because of a mechanical failure from Taveroff's booth to the ice-level officials, a faceoff and eight seconds of play occurred before the timekeeper blew the siren to get the referees' attention. The play was subsequently reviewed.

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Not Suitable For All Viewers

I am watching the Flames/Oilers game tonight on CI, and this comes up during the first intermission (the hosts are talking about the Staios signing today). Notice the print!!! image

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Good News For Ortmeyer

vai the New York Rangers,

Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that right wing Jed Ortmeyer has been cleared to start non-contact practice. Extensive medical testing has shown that Ortmeyer has fully recovered from a pulmonary embolism that was diagnosed on August 13, 2006.

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Arnott Out Up To Six Weeks

via the Nashville Predators,

The Predators announced Tuesday that center Jason Arnott is expected to miss three to six weeks as the result of arthroscopic knee surgery he is scheduled to undergo on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Arnott, who is currently fourth on the team in scoring with 16 points (7g-9a), left Monday night's game in Columbus early in the second period of play with a leg injury. He did not return. Arnott flew to Nashville for an evaluation of his right knee Tuesday, at which point it was determined that surgery would be required. In other injury news, winger Josef Vasicek, who also left Monday night's game early, has returned to Nashville with back spasms. Forward Alexander Radulov was recalled from Nashville's development affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, on Tuesday. To make room on the roster, defenseman Mikko Lehtonen has been placed on injured reserve. Lehtonen was diagnosed with a concussion as the result of a hit to the head by Pascal Dupuis in the Thursday, Nov. 16 game against Minnesota.

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No One To Fight

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,

"If you can't skate and play, you just stopped your team from having four lines," Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday. The Wings, as a result, don't have a traditional enforcer. "The league's flying out there," Babcock said from Detroit. "And if you think you can play three lines, I think you're wrong. I myself could be wrong, but I don't think you can. I think your players all should be able to contribute." Are the Wings worried when they face a opposing team with an enforcer? Not really. Just ask Laraque, the NHL's most feared fighter. "Teams are discovering that if you don't have a fighter, it doesn't matter," said Laraque. "If you play a team with a fighter, even though your team doesn't have one, does it matter? What's he going to do? Who's he going to fight?..."
read on

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The Nolan Influence On Yashin

Alexei Yashin took part in a tele-conference today...

Q. Could you just talk about what the arrival of Ted Nolan has meant for you personally and for the team? ALEXEI YASHIN: I think it's a great impact on the team. What happens is we’re kind of having a learning process, learning his systems, learning the way to prepare ourselves for the game. It's really been terrific for everybody because we really concentrate on what we have to do on the ice. He teaches us what to do with the system. It's what already said, prepare ourselves. He gives us a lot of rest so we make sure we are ready to play every night. Q. I saw a story where when he met you, he was impressed with what a quality guy you were. Did you sense you had good chemistry, that he was going to have great trust in you and believe in you? ALEXEI YASHIN: Again, I am who I am. I’m glad some people see something special in me. Again, it's always kind of great when you have a connection, especially with the coaching staff, right away. It seems like it's been going well. I hope I can play as well as I can to help the team to be successful and help Ted to build something great here.

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Foppa Talk

As Spector points out at his Fox Sports blog, there is talk Forsberg may be traded within the next 24 hours, Unlike some bloggers who throw out outlandish trade scenarios, the source of this rumor has a good history of reporting these types of trades.

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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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