Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paths For Expansion Teams

from the Daily News Journal,

Barring a total collapse, the Nashville Predators will be the first of the National Hockey League's latest expansion franchises to make the playoffs two consecutive seasons. Of course, two of the four teams have yet to make it even once. The Minnesota Wild were the first to get there. They did so in 2002-03 and staged an unlikely, unforgettable run into the conference championship series. The Predators made it the following season and are poised to do so once again this time, following the lockout that canceled 2004-05.
read on

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Timestamp Issue

FYI, my posts are timestamped an hour earlier than they should be. I am investigating this issue... update 10:26am, Now fixed.

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Hard Work Ahead For Sabres

from the Buffalo News,

How the Sabres landed in this defensive quagmire is like debating Chicken v. Egg. Their goaltending hasn't inspired much confidence, but the skaters aren't exactly helping the situation. "It goes hand in hand," Ruff said. "Most teams feed off their goaltender. We understand they need to be better. At the same time, the team needs to support them better. "We can't give up some of the opportunities we gave up. If they've had a tough one go in, they need to know the next three or four shifts that the team in front of them is going to work their tail off to let him get his feet back underneath him, or go out and score a goal to get it even right away."
read on

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Ricci’s Contract Extension Kicks In

via the Arizona Republic,

Center Mike Ricci's contract has been extended for another season. Ricci, 34, has a clause in the two-year deal he signed in the summer of 2004 that automatically lengthened the term one year once his minutes played this season surpassed a predetermined, undisclosed total. Ricci has played in 70 games and is averaging nearly 13 minutes per contest

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Cool, Collected Joe

from the Rocky Mountain News,

The "C" just below Joe Sakic's left shoulder is serving as a multipurpose initial. Captain, sure. Also try cool, calm, collected and clutch. As the Western Conference playoff race enters the final turn, few players are playing better than Sakic, the Colorado Avalanche's ageless center.

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What Are Canes Waiting For

from the National Post,

Perhaps Jim Rutherford is too busy clearing out space on his mantle for that Executive of the Year trophy. Perhaps he was too busy trying to lowball 2005 draftee Jack Johnson into giving up his college career at Michigan and jumping to the Hurricanes. Whatever it is, the Carolina Hurricanes president/general manager needs to get on the ball and stop procrastinating. He must sign coach Peter Laviolette to an extension, and the time to do it was yesterday.

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Milbury Talks To Players- They Still Lose

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

He may be a lame-duck GM, but Milbury is still employed by owner Charles Wang, who, as Milbury told the players, was owed an apology for their no-show performance against the Penguins. This kind of move doesn't reflect confidence in the motivational skills of interim coach Brad Shaw. Now that the playoffs are no longer the focus, the franchise's impending overhaul has returned to the front burner. Milbury's appearance sent a confusing message to the players and might do the same around the league, where there is already skepticism as to whether he will truly no longer be involved in hockey operations.

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Questions Waiting For Gretzky

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Wayne Gretzky did not make the overnight trip with the Phoenix Coyotes here as the clock sprang forward Saturday night. "He went back to Phoenix. He has an issue with his family,'' said Coyotes media relations man Rick Braunstein. Gretzky? An issue with his family?
read on

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The Greatest Hockey Team

from the Toronto Sun,

Uh oh! Get the crying towels out ... get the conspiracy theorists going ... get a new commission to investigate the state of affairs!!! Yes, Canada could become quite the country of confrontations as its hockey fans face the reality that we are no longer No. 1 in international hockey. You see, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) came to the conclusion that Sweden is the better men's hockey nation in its world rankings. I discovered it in the IIHF's newsletter Ice Times.

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Remembering His Grandfather

I was watching the Sens/Caps game last night and noticed Washington goaltender Brent Johnson's mask. On the back, he is honoring his grandfather, hall of famer Sid Abel. Nice touch Brent. Sid's #12 hangs from the Joe Louis rafters and he was the center of the famous "Production Line". After his playing career, Abel was the Wings GM/coach and finished up his hockey career in the radio booth. I ams sure Sid would have said something like this about his grandson's shutout performance last night, "Brent, he are a good player, Bruce." updated 3:55pm, Well, at least to me Sid looks like Jack Nicholson. A reader pointed the picture looked alot like Jack, and so it is (see comments for more details). image image added 11:09am, While on the topic of Sid, Abel to Yzerman found a nice piece about some of the Wild players paying tribute to Yzerman.

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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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