Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Pens Threaten Law Suit

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Penguins forwards Mark Recchi and John LeClair aren't just claiming they have no connection with the gambling investigation that has rocked the NHL the past two days, they have retained a lawyer to confront -- and possibly sue -- media outlets presenting information claiming they were involved. Attorney Bob Del Greco said last night that a Philadelphia TV station, WPVI, the Delaware County Times newspaper and ESPN all have been contacted about stories they published or aired linking Recchi and LeClair to the investigation. WPVI issued a retraction and apology, he said, while the newspaper removed the information in question from its Web site at his behest. "I need to be perfectly clear on this issue," Del Greco said. "Mark Recchi and John LeClair categorically deny any wrongdoing and are outraged that their names have been associated with the 'Operation Slap Shot' investigation.
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O’Ree All-Star Weekend Canceled

from Black America Web,

The labor lockout that forced the National Hockey League to shut down last season is over, but some young aspiring black ice hockey players are still feeling its bitter affects. For the second straight season, the league has cancelled its Willie O’Ree All-Star Weekend, an annual event that showcases talents of players from some of the nation’s minority youth hockey programs in a game named in honor of the man who broke the NHL’s color barrier nearly 48 years ago. The weekend, hosted in a NHL city, was canceled last year because of the lockout. League officials said it’s postponed this season for lack of corporate sponsorship.
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This Round Goes To The Wings

from Sportsnet, Tuesday February 7th,

The word among many who watch this game for a living is that the Wings can be had by a quick team with good goaltending. They face that prototype tomorrow and Thursday. And while there's still a long way to go, those two games should provide a good reference point for all of us... but most of all Wings management.
more...very good read... Guess that quick team with good goaltending had an off night. Wings and Preds go at it again tomorrow and all expect the Preds to come out with more offense. Nasville had only 9 shots after two periods tonight and suffered a 6-0 loss to the Wings. Has anyone noticed Schneider now leads all defensemen with 17 goals?

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NHL Statement On Tocchet

from NHL.com,

Mr. Tocchet requested an indefinite leave of absence from his coaching duties with the Phoenix Coyotes, which Commissioner Bettman granted on the following conditions: * Mr. Tocchet will immediately cease all contact and communication with all League and Club personnel for the duration of his leave of absence. * The leave of absence will not end without the Commissioner's consent. * The Commissioner reserves the right to modify the terms of Mr. Tocchet's leave of absence at any time. "We view the charges against Mr. Tocchet in the most serious terms," Commissioner Bettman said. "We have pledged our full cooperation to the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office. While we are conducting our own investigation, we have made clear to the law enforcement authorities in New Jersey that we will do nothing to interfere with their ongoing investigation."
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Tocchet Statement

from CTV,

"The allegation that Rick Tocchet financed an illegal gambling operation with organized crime is categorically false and irresponsible," said prominent Newark, N.J. attorney Kevin Marino in a statement issued Wednesday. "We deeply regret the attorney-general's precipitous charges and are appalled by the media frenzy. Mr. Tocchet will fight the false charges with the same grit and resolve he displayed during his illustrious playing career."
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CBC May Be Downloadable Soon

from the Globe and Mail,

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. is wondering whether Canadians will pay up for Don Cherry... CBC is negotiating with Google Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. on a deal that could lead to those companies distributing downloadable television content in Canada. As one of the few Canadian networks that owns the rights to much of its programming, the CBC is discussing an agreement that would see programs, including sports, distributed through Apple's iTunes store and a similar Google website.
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Wings Want To Strengthen Goaltending

from Ted Montgomery of USA TODAY,

Mike Babcock has absolutely no confidence in Chris Osgood in the Detroit net, and the Red Wings may be looking to upgrade in goal before the playoffs. Manny Legace has been great so far, but there are still some in the Detroit organization who believe that Legace doesn't have the legs or the stamina to backstop the Wings to a long playoff run. Stay tuned.
read on for more rumors and NHL talk...

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Liberties Taken On Reports

from the Arizona Republic,

Hagerty said the case would be forwarded to a grand jury. He also said there have been numerous erroneous media reports regarding the case, which has gained attention across the United States and Canada because of an alleged tie to Janet Jones, Wayne Gretzky's wife. Jones, according to the Associated Press, placed bets with Tocchet's ring. Hagerty also said some of the reporting from Canada has taken considerable liberties with the facts of the case.
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NHL Looking At European Refs

from Hockey Refs,

Europe’s top officials will be scouted by the NHL in the coming days when the Winter Olympics kick off in Turin. The NHL’s new officiating department under Stephen Walkom is committed to finding the best referees and linesmen – regardless of where they live.
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Other Problems More Serious Than Gambling

from Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated,

But until online gambling is legalized, if a professional athlete wants to bet a game in another sport, what's the big deal? Gambling is not and has not been a problem with major league athletes for decades. It receives far more attention than it deserves. Drugs, guns, assaults, drunk-driving, rape -- all the nether activities that all too often regularly involve athletes are what the leagues should devote their concerns to.
read on update 2:47pm, from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
This is the biggest crisis of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure. He can't allow this to fester. In the wake of the police probe, Bettman has to disassociate the league and its teams from lotteries that are popular in western Canada, find a solution to the Pittsburgh Penguins' future that does not involve casino slot licenses and work vigilantly, in conjunction with the Players Association, to root out any problem among the players.
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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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