Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Phildadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers are light years away from the team that, at the end of August, was considered odds-on favorite to win it all. If forced to predict how long they'd last in the playoffs right now, I might say two rounds, at best. The Flyers of today are a leaderless group, riddled by injury, and depleted to the point that in some games, like Saturday's loss to the Islanders, five of their top forwards played last season in the AHL, juniors or both.more
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If sports fans across the continent are asking, "Did you see that?" in response to the theatrical, 15-round Shootout at the OK Corral on Saturday that ended with Marek Malik's dazzling between-the-legs move that flummoxed not only Olaf Kolzig but everyone else in the joint, you can bet the executives at the TV networks can't be too far behind. Which means — and you can take this to the bank right along with the owners' share of the players' escrow fund — that it is only a matter of time before, a) NBC and whoever has the NHL's cable rights in a couple of years insist that the shootout become part of the Stanley Cup playoffs; and, b) the league acquiesces in exchange for reasonable rights fees. Honestly, it's the next logical step in the progression, isn't it?read on (reg. req.)
Reading and listening to a daily diet of trade speculation about star goaltender Roberto Luongo has become almost entertaining for the sharp-witted veteran executive. That being said, he is finally responding to the rumours, that arguably his greatest asset is on the block. "I have never had any discussion with regard to trading Roberto," Keenan told Sportsnet.more
from the CP via Canada.com,
Many Canadians go to their local outdoor hockey rink to skate and live the dream of scoring that winning Stanley Cup goal. But this quintessential slice of Canadian life in wintertime is slowly melting away because of global warming, says a collection of young environmentalists.read on
PJ Swenson at Sharkspage has a post entitled "Real World Czech Republic, Stanley Cup edition". A must read for any hockey fan. To wet your whistle a bit...
I think the real significance of this story hit me after one all-nighter in the Czech town of Pisek. As dawn approached, I found Lightning player Stan Neckar lying on his back on the cobblestone sidewalk near a 14th-century bridge, the oldest in the Czech Republic. Two baguettes served as pillows beneath his head; he was hugging the Cup to his chest.
Despite the team's recent struggles on the ice, the Columbus Blue Jackets deny the mood in the dressing room is growing sour. Sources tell Sportsnet veteran defenceman Luke Richardson gave up his captaincy Saturday after being a healthy scratch in the team's 5-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Friday night. However, Columbus president and general manager, Doug Maclean refutes any claim this is a result of a tattered dressing room.read on
via the CP,
Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Konowalchuk needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right wrist and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday. Konowalchuk suffered the injury in a game against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 21. "Further examination along with an MRI confirmed that Steve has torn ligaments in his right wrist and that surgery is necessary," Avalanche head trainer Matt Sokolowski said in a statement. "We anticipate the recovery time to be between six and seven months."
from the Penticton Western News,
On first glance they look a lot like any other hockey team. Same skates. Same sticks. Same helmets. Very little about them suggests they are anything out of the ordinary. Very little that is, until they speak. The players get out on the ice and start chattering amongst themselves with an accent that immediately brings to mind visions of Crocodile Dundee and The Crocodile Hunter. One suddenly feels compelled to shout aloud, 'The dingo ate me baby!' Turns out this group of players comprises Australia's under-20 national team and they are here to see first hand how Canadians play hockey.continued
from the Pitsburgh Post-Gazette,
Mario Lemieux believes there is a place for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on the Penguins' major-league roster, and said yesterday that he believes general manager Craig Patrick is trying to figure out how to get him to the NHL. "I haven't talked to Craig about it," Lemieux said, "but that's certainly something I'm sure he's looking at." The problem is not with Fleury's credentials -- he is, by any measure, the top goalie in the American Hockey League this season -- but with his contract: Fleury could earn between $4 million and $5 million in salary and bonuses in the NHL, and that's a financial hit ownership is unwilling to take.more
from Phily Burbs,
Goalies, like quarterbacks in football, are probably the single most important players in their sport. Which is why the NHL should take a cue from what the NFL did a while ago — namely, find a way to protect these valuable talents. The football brass saw what was happening to its signal-callers: Helmet-to-helmet hits were causing concussions at an alarming rate. Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Steve Beuerlein topped a list of QBs who had their bells rung too many times. So the NFL basically outlawed any helmet-to-helmet contact. The situation is a little different in hockey but the concern level should be no less.more
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 firstname.lastname@example.org