Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Koivu Has Won Biggest Battle

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Saku Koivu has fought bigger battles than the one he’ll face today at the Olympic Games. The Montreal Canadiens captain has come out a winner in a fight against abdominal cancer, which will help him put today’s gold-medal final into perspective.

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Swedish Wings Cheering From Detroit

from the Detroit News,

Johan Franzen and Andreas Lilja can only imagine what it's like back home in Sweden. The excitement and anticipation for today's Olympic gold-medal game against Finland has to be unreal. "I know people have to be excited about this," Franzen said.
read on

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Sharks Still Have Work To Do

from the Mercury News,

Thanks to a three-game winning streak, the Sharks headed into the Olympic break with a positive vibe. But they are still six points out of the eighth playoff spot, which was not part of the master plan. ``We're aware of where we are; we put ourselves there,'' General Manager Doug Wilson said.
continued also from the Mercury News,
In a move that would prevent the Sharks from losing Vesa Toskala to unrestricted free agency this summer, the team is expected to sign the Finnish goaltender to a contract extension shortly. ``I don't comment on contracts until they're signed,'' General Manager Doug Wilson said.

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What Will Philly Do

from the Courier Post,

With the Olympic break down to its final, climactic day and the restart of their regular season arriving Wednesday, it's decision-making time for the Flyers -- and not a one of them is an easy one. Dilemma: With Primeau's status uncertain and several previously unhealthy players returning to the lineup this week, the Flyers must decide whether they need to upgrade their roster prior to the March 9 trading deadline. Solution: Go for it. With Forsberg signed for only this season and next, the Flyers may only get two legitimate cracks at a Stanley Cup with the world's best player. So why not go after names such as Jokinen, Samsonov and Pittsburgh's Mark Recchi, who has one more year left on his contract valued at just less than $2 million? There's even talk the Flyers might take a crack at Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who is considered one of the NHL's most talented grit players but comes at a price of $3.192 million.

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Gagne Out

from the AP,

Flyers winger Simon Gagne could miss up to two weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee. An MRI yesterday confirmed the injury, which Gagne suffered while playing for Canada at the Winter Olympics in Turin. Gagne had to be helped off the ice after he was upended by Russia's Darius Kasparaitis in the first period of the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

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Who’s Available In Phoenix

from the Arizona Republic,

"No player is untouchable," General Manager Mike Barnett said late last week, "but the core group will stay intact as we move forward." Gretzky recently hinted that his patience with some of the players who have been with Phoenix for a few seasons - presumably forwards Mike Johnson, Mike Comrie and Tyson Nash, and defenseman Paul Mara - is wearing thin based on the team's lack of recent playoff appearances. When asked if Doan, who has been with the Coyotes since the franchise moved to the Valley in 1996 from Winnipeg was among those players, Gretzky said no.
read on

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CBA Needs To Be Tweaked

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The absurd punitive nature of the CBA cap reached new heights — or is that depths? — upon the discovery that the Rangers are now being hit with a daily charge for Chris Holt, who was recalled from the minors on Wednesday so that the team would have two pro goaltenders for practice while Henrik Lundqvist is otherwise occupied playing for the gold medal.
more (reg. req.) from Larry on the state of USA Hockey also from Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),
Mike Bossy not only will be attending the March 4 festivities at the Coliseum in honor of the 1980 Islanders Stanley Cup champions, but is owed a singular apology from The Post for a story two weeks ago that depicted him as holding out for cash compensation in order to appear at the event. ...Because it's simply not true. This paper and this reporter were used. We can only hope that this retraction will limit the damage — if any — to Bossy's reputation.

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Jagr Suffers Groin Injury

via the AP,

NHL scoring leader Jaromir Jagr left the second period of the Czech Republic's 3-0 win over Russia on Saturday night with a minor groin injury and didn't return as his nation wrapped up the Olympic bronze medal. Jagr headed back to the locker room after being injured. He was on the bench in the third but didn't play. He said he doesn't think he'll miss any time when he returns to the New York Rangers. "I hope not," he said. "I didn't feel very well, but it's not bad."

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Trade Deadline Will See Fewer Deals

from the Winnipeg Sun,

"There will be movement but not anywhere near the level we've seen before," said Nonis (Canucks GM). "We had 30 teams together (in Las Vegas) prior to the (Olympic) break and not one deal came out of it. That's unheard of."

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Talking Gold

from the IIHF, Bits & pieces about the two teams involved-

Three Swedes remain from the Olympic gold medal team from Lillehammer 1994, brothers Kenny and Jorgen Jonsson and Peter Forsberg. General Manager Mats Naslund was also a member of the 1994 team. Four Finns remain from the 1995 IIHF World Championship gold medal team, Finlands lone championship in international hockey. They are Petteri Nummelin, Saku Koivu, Ville Peltonen and Jere Lehtinen.
much more from Phil coffey of NHL.com,
"I feel very, very good," Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "This is something we have dreamed about. There are some of us here that were here in 1998 and in 2002 when we had the devastating loss (to Belarus). You don't get these chances often." Lidstrom is one of the NHL's most successful players, having won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, so where would a gold medal rank? "It would be right up there," he smiled.
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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