Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Early Surprises

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News via ESPN,

The NHL is chock-full of surprises already this season. Here are my top five: 5. Alexander Semin, goal machine. Most prognosticators expected a Russian-born sophomore NHLer to lead the Washington Capitals in scoring all season. But it wasn't Semin, whose best goal output came in 2004-05 with Lada Togliatti.

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One Issue At A Time

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

It just seemed like everything about the Penguins' future had to be decided this week when, in reality, only one issue was at stake: Staal's immediate future as an NHLer. And given how well Staal has played, how hard a decision was it really? "I mean, the kid has three shorthanded goals," one NHL general manager said. "And they don't even have a rink." The point the GM was making, of course, was that in these ever-changing times, the present matters most and the future is too tough to contemplate because it may be drastically different. Particularly when it comes to the NHL, a league that has turned itself inside out and upside down over the past 15 years.

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Questioning Ovechkin

Ask AO... give it your best shot. Remember the more unique the better. Think outside the box!!!

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Nonis Correct & Wrong

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Funny how it goes. Vancouver Canucks' general manager David Nonis was both right and wrong on Monday, in comments he made to a British Columbia Chamber of Commerce luncheon that made everyone in the National Hockey League sit up and take notice. Nonis was right to criticize the unbalanced schedule on two levels: How unfair it is, in terms of travel to Western Conference teams; and how the schedule isn't as fan friendly as it should be, in an era when the league still needs to make marketing inroads in some of its fringe markets. But Nonis was wrong to dump all over the new system of free agency, adopted by the NHL as part of the last collective bargaining agreement.

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Quoting The Hockey Blogs

By Alanah Downie Two weeks in a row now, I think it's safe to say that the regular “On the Hockey Blogs” feature has been renamed and will continue in this format. A collection of quotes by bloggers from this past week, with links to their stories. Check out these blogs and others that show up every Tuesday. This week's collection features 10 quotes and story links. Please enjoy.

"How bad are the Coyotes? They can even drag down the reputation of the Great One. Indeed, it's like everything that touches this franchise turns to crap." Hockey Nation relives the nightmare that is the Phoenix Coyotes while rejoicing in the fact that at least fans of the Winnipeg Jets, while still missing their old team, at least don't have to endure the current horror.

Continue Reading »

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The Belfour Incident

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

For a real goaltender controversy look south to Florida, where the Panthers are trying to slam the door shut on an incident in which one of their goaltenders, former Leaf Ed Belfour, was admittedly responsible for having their other goaltender, Alexander Auld, taken to the hospital for several stitches over his right eye in the wee hours last Friday. Belfour is no stranger to wacky incidents involving late nights, early mornings, bars and the police, all of which were present when a night out for a group of Panthers at their hotel on Long Island, N.Y., turned sour. Nor is it unknown for him to have a prickly relationship with the other goaltender on his team.

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The Goalie Mask

from John Bishop at BostonBruins.com,

Halloween is the perfect time to talk about masks -- specifically goalie masks. Starting in goal for your Goulish Gremlins, Jason Vorhees. It might be a little sad to the noble wearers of such equipment that perhaps the most famous goal mask of all time belongs to the fictional malicious malcontent of the Friday the 13th movie series, Jason Voorhees. And it's his modified facial protection that has scared more moviegoers than just about any accoutrement, that is probably the most recognizable piece of hockey equipment of all-time.

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Arnason Steps Up

from the Rocky Mountain News,

As recently as a week ago, an Ottawa Sun report labeled it the "worst trade deadline acquisition" in Senators history, referring to the March 9, 2006, deal that fetched Tyler Arnason from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a prospect and a second-round draft pick. Ouch. Eight months later, based on his play with the Avalanche in the first 11 games of the season, Arnason could be forgiven if he smirked just a little bit about that derogatory critique.

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Don’t Expect Hitch In Phoenix

from the Arizona Republic,

Gretzky vehemently denied rumors that former Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock would soon join the Coyotes in some capacity. "The only thing I've said to Ken was to come out and spend a few days with me and get away and play some golf and watch some hockey out here if he wanted to," Gretzky said. "As far as him coming on board with us, (the answer is) unequivocally no."
more on the Yotes "hard" skate yesterday and Roenick wants the team to come together... added 11:42am via the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It is looking more and more likely that Hitchcock will end up behind the bench in Phoenix, with Wayne Gretzky moving upstairs.
Someone is wrong!!!

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Hatcher Must Go

from the Trenton Times,

And like the Mets, who saw Mays retire after the 1973 season, the Flyers need to let Hatcher go. It won't be an easy pill to swal low. Hatcher is only 10 games into the second season of a four-year, $14 million contract he signed after the lockout. Putting him on waiv ers -- where he likely would go unclaimed -- would save the team $3.5 million against the salary cap this year. The hard choice comes this summer. The Flyers can let Hatcher spend the next two seasons skating for the Phantoms, or they can buy out the remaining two years of the deal. That move would save on Comcast-Specta cor's internal budget, as the team would only have to play two-thirds of the remaining $7 million. But the cap hit would be about $1.17 million a season for four seasons, as under league rules that remaining two-thirds amount stays on the cap for twice the remaining life of the contract.

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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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