Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Handzus Could Be Out For The Season

from Darren Dreger at TSN,

Sources tell TSN that Chicago Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus' knee injury suffered in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the St Louis Blues may keep him out of the lineup the remainder of the regular season. An MRI Sunday night showed Handzus tore both the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, but the Blackhawks will seek a second opinion this week. "It's real bad," a source close to the Hawks told TSN.... Adding to Chicago's turmoil will be the absence of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who broke a finger in his blocker hand in the warmup leading up to Saturdays game. Khabibulin is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks, but could be out longer.
continued update 9:30pm, Chicago has released a statement stating Handzus is out for the year.

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Snider Should Resign

from Alan Adams at Fox Sports,

Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider only got it partly right when the NHL team cleaned house on Sunday. On the day when the Flyers announced that general manager Bob Clarke had resigned and coach Ken Hitchcock had been fired, Snider should have gone one step further and resigned as chairman. Clarke may have been burned out as a GM and Hitchcock was likely tuned out by the players, but Snider should have checked out with the rest of them. It would have been the right thing to do.

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Flyers React

from the Courier Post,

"I don't think we tuned him out," Flyers captain Peter Forsberg said. "I think Hitch is a good coach, but sometimes you need change." "Hitch has been trying to get us to play a certain style," Flyers forward Simone Gagne said. "It's a very tough style to play. I've been playing under him for a long time, and I'm just finally starting to understand it."
added 2:40pm, ESPN Sports Nation poll on Clarke legacy with the Flyers and a few questions about Hitchcock.

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Lotus Pose Please

from Andy Juniper at Sportsnet,

In the wide and once manly world of sports, athletes got into shape by chasing women, drinking beer and eating chicken wings. Then came crazy concepts like "fitness." And "nutrition." And generally "taking care of yourself." Well, as if that nonsense wasn't enough, Maclean's magazine reports that National Hockey League players are now - and keep in mind that I'm not making this up - doing yoga. Chris Higgins. Mike Komisarek. Rick DiPietro. Chuck Kobasew. Even Jarome Iginla. Doing yoga.

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The Writing Was On The Wall

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

You knew it was coming, the way the Philadelphia Flyers' train wreck of a season had started with only one win in their first eight games. The question really wasn't so much if the Flyers would clean house, only when it might happen, and how many casualties there would be along the way. The answers came Sunday morning: The two people that mattered most in the Flyers' freefall down the standings are officially out the door. Eight games what could be one of the longest and most challenging years in franchise history, general manager Bobby Clarke resigned after 12 hard years at the helm, while coach Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his duties by owner Ed Snider.

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Palffy Return Doubtful

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Canada.com,

A Slovakian paper says Ziggy Palffy is skating again after quitting because of a bum shoulder. They wonder if he's making a comeback. While his local agent Peter Sykora was amazed when "he left $11 million on the table to retire," Sykora doubts that Palffy will return. "I think he's had enough of the NHL," said Sykora.
much more on the NHL...

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Guess The Hockey Analyst

from the Toronto Star,

What music is on your car stereo? I love Bruce Springsteen, Rickie Lee Jones, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. I like a lot of country and western, which I think comes from riding the buses so much. What music causes you to change the dial? Rap. It's not that I disrespect it, but I don't like hearing people belittle other people and a lot of rap is about that. You're on a desert island with a DVD player. What three DVDs would you want to wash ashore? One would probably be A Bridge Too Far. I studied a lot of World War II history. Rocky I to get me pumped up. And The Sting. My dad took me to see that at the Rialto Theater in New York and I was fascinated by it. If I could have four, it would be Slap Shot....
read on

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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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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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