Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Flyers Clean House

via the Philadelphia Inquirer,

An era of Philadelphia Flyers hockey has ended. Flyers general manager Bob Clarke has resigned and coach Ken Hitchcock has been fired. The club will announce both moves at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Wachovia Center. It is believed the club asked for Clarke's resignation Friday night. Earlier Friday, Clarke said he took responsibility for how poorly the club had began this season.
update 9:36am, via TSN,
Hitchcock told TSN he learned of his fate early Sunday morning and expects assistant coach John Stevens will be promoted, while Paul Holmgren will take over Clarke's managing duties.
added 9:40am, WIP in Philly will carry the press conference at 10am. update 10:03am, Snider confirms TSN report at press conference. Clarke spoke, felt it was time for him to step back. He said he felt burn-out or tired, was letting other people in the organization make decisions for him. Snider said Holmgren will be interim GM and Stevens coach. added 11:28am, Philadelphia Flyers release,
"Over the last several weeks it has become clear that it was time to make a change," said Snider. "Bob came to me last week and told me that he had decided to resign. I asked him to take some time and think about it, and in the end we agreed that it was time to make a change. This is not easy for anyone involved, but we have to do what is best for this team. “Bob Clarke has been the heart and soul of the Flyers for nearly 40 years,” said Snider. “Bob was the driving force behind our Stanley Cups as a player, and as president and general manager, he built the Flyers into one of the premier franchises in hockey. I will always think of Bob as the ‘Ultimate Flyer’ and there is always a position within our organization for Bob Clarke.”

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Finger Points To Clarke

from the Delco Times,

See, there is no better alternative to Hitchcock right now. So why make him the fall guy? Instead, point the fingers where it belongs -- the general manager and the players themselves. First and foremost this is Clarke’s team. He built it. He made the questionable offseason moves. After the Flyers were exposed in Buffalo during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last spring, Clarke had a checklist of items he needed to correct. A) Improve a slow-footed defense. B) Get quicker, more skilled and yet gritty forwards to improve the checking game as well as the sad-sack penalty kill. C)Find secondary scoring to take pressure off of Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble.
read on

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Commissioner Shanahan

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

A puzzled Brendan Shanahan raised his eyebrow at the suggestion, the same way Mr.Spock did whenever he found something "illogical" on the old Star Trek television series. Shanahan had just been asked whether a position at the NHL's head office was in the cards once his playing days were over -- specifically Gary Bettman's job. Commissioner Shanny. It has a nice ring to it. At least we think so. Shanahan, however, doesn't.

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Trade Talk

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Phoenix GM Mike Barnett is itching to make a deal. Sources say every player on the Coyotes is available — including RW Shane Doan and LW Ladislav Nagy, both soon-to-be unrestricted free agents. Contract talks with Doan before training camp didn’t go well. The Coyotes may also move C Dave Scatchard. One NHL executive on trade talk: “It has heated up a lot in the last 10 days. Teams are starting to get nervous now. They know what they’ve got and in some cases it’s not good enough. My sense is the hotspots are Ottawa, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Those teams could be active.”

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Snider & The Flyers

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Ed Snider, going on 32 years of ownership since the Flyers' last Stanley Cup, should have been more careful what he wished for in giving his unyielding support to Gary Bettman's hard-cap plan to emasculate the NHL's marquee big-market clubs. He should have realized that his franchise required the ability to spend an unlimited amount in order to correct Bob Clarke's mistakes, or perhaps Snider had short-term memory loss that wiped out recollection of follies such as the Chris Gratton fiasco.
continued...plus the Tortorella watch...

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Calling All Hockey Podcasters

By Alanah Downie I've been compiling a list of all the hockey podcasts out there, hoping to create a first-rate master list of all the great work being done by hockey fans. Whether you are personally involved in a podcast, or just a fan who would like to share suggestions, please write me at the link below -- I'd really appreciate your ideas. Once I have it fully compiled I'll publish a catalogue of the podcasts here next week sometime. Hopefully everyone will find something new and interesting to enjoy. Note: I'm looking for hockey podcasts dealing with all levels of hockey, from the NHL to the minor leagues to the international game. Send it all! [Click here to email me] vancouvercanucksoped (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Perreault Drawing Interest

from Louis Jean at Sportsnet,

After undergoing abdominal surgery in the off-season, Yannick Perreault has finally received the green light from doctors to resume his career. It's a well known fact the Senators are among a handful of teams that have shown interest in the face-off specialist. Nashville, Calgary, Tampa Bay and the Islanders have also kicked the tiresNo matter who gets him, Perreault will come cheap. He will sign for roughly $1 million and since the Senators are slim up the middle, they could use the proven veteran who has shown he can still contribute offensively.

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Havlat On IR

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune,

Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat was able to walk without crutches Saturday, albeit with a limp, one day after injuring his right ankle late in the third period of Friday's 5-4 loss to the Dallas Stars. X-rays taken in Dallas after the game did not reveal a break, but Havlat was to have an MRI Saturday to determine whether there is any structural damage to the ankle. In any event, Havlat will be placed on injured reserve retroactive to Friday. Saturday the Hawks called up both winger Brandon Bochenski and defenseman Danny Richmond from Norfolk in the American Hockey League. Players on injured reserve are ineligible to play for a calendar week, meaning Havlat could technically be eligible to play next Saturday when the Hawks host the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

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Groin Strain For Gaborik

via the Star Tribune,

But the Wild has a whole lot more to worry about than one simple loss. With the Wild already playing without checkers Wes Walz and Pascal Dupuis, right wing Marian Gaborik didn't play most of the third period with what the team called a "mild groin strain." One problem, though. There's no such thing as a "mild" groin strain when it comes to Gaborik.

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Visiting Columbus

from Jim Lang of Sportsnet,

The only way to adequately describe my road trip to Columbus, Ohio is to break it down into a number of fun and easy to read chapters. Chapter 4 - "Tim Horton's" - I always wondered what Christopher Columbus felt when he finally discovered America. I experienced much the same sensation when Rick and I discovered a Tim Horton's drive-thru after feeding our game day stories. For the first time in all my travels in the mighty US of A., I was able to get a decent cup of coffee. I can't wait to call my wife. Columbus has an NHL team, Tim Horton's and a Target store. If I ever have to move; I am coming to Columbus.
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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