Kukla's Korner

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Just What We Needed

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

Captain Rod Brind'Amour -- a top candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy -- didn't distinguish himself in the agony of defeat. As untold media members waited patiently for a few words from the team captain, Carolina manager of media relations Kyle Hanlin told the hoard that Brind'Amour wouldn't be coming out. Huh? This isn't game No. 7 of the regular season. This is the Stanley Cup finals. The event is covered by hundreds of media throughout North America and around the world. Eventually, after much prompting, Brind'Amour stopped on his way to the shower to address the handful of media members who had later deadlines and could wait it out. When he did speak, he wasn't ready to throw any bouquets at the Oilers. "No, I don't think so," Brind'Amour said, when asked if he felt the Oilers had played better in Game 3 than they played in the first two games.
more...come on, some one make a "guarnSheed"...

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Erik Johnson Relaxed

from the Gazette,

In The Broadmoor Hotel West lobby, Erik Johnson has found peace, for two days at least. He is 18, a few weeks removed from high school graduation. He’s also the projected No. 1 pick in the NHL draft June 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia. At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Johnson is a rarity — a defenseman adept at multitasking, playing well at both ends of the ice. “He’s one of the best prospects we’ve had in a long time,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey senior director, hockey operations.

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Something Was Missing Early

from the blog of Ron Francis,

For whatever reason, they didn't seem to be skating like they can and although the ice wasn't totally tilted in one direction, the Oilers could have been up by a larger # at the end of the 2nd if not for the play of Cam Ward. ...On Mon., I would expect to see more of the way the Canes played the last 25 minutes of this game and less of how they played in the first 35. If that is the case, we will all be anticipating a visit from Stanley to Raleigh next week.
read on

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Goalie Movement

In the 2nd intermission on CBC last night, Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and Kelly Hrudey discussed the goalie situation in the NHL. Hrudey felt Carolina should hold on the Martin Gerber, pointing to the fact Cam Ward is still young and it is still too early to tell what kind of career he will have. He also pointed out if Ward went down with an injury, Gerber would provide the Hurricanes with some stability in net. Duhatschek mentioned there are about a 1/2 dozen teams who need goaltending and feels Gerber or JSG will be headed to Detroit, because both goalies have played for Babcock. He feels the goalie movement depends on what Carolina does with Gerber. Pierre feels Keenan must decide what to do with Luongo. His value will never be higher than it is now, so Florida must decide what to do with him in the very near future.

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Decisions Ahead For Buffalo

from the Buffalo News,

The Sabres almost certainly won't be a major player when the market on free agents opens July 1. With only three NHL players under contract, they'll have too many of their own to re-sign. Many of those players had career seasons and will command substantial salary hikes. Any outside moves the club makes this summer likely will involve cost-cutting trades of players such as backup goalie Martin Biron ($2.128 million) or expensive fourth-line winger Taylor Pyatt ($989,720). They have too many forwards and not enough space to accommodate any emerging players from Rochester. Then there will be critical choices to render on their unrestricted free agents, especially defenseman Jay McKee.

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A Frenzy

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

For two days, the Edmonton-based media built up the Rexall Place crowd into an almost supernatural force leading into Saturday night's highly anticipated Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Virtually every interview during the past 48 hours referenced the intimidating power of Oiler faithful. Would Edmonton draw the necessary sustenance from its rabid seventh man, using the boost of adrenaline from the vocal fans to finally play a complete game? Could the Carolina Hurricanes, especially with young goalie Cam Ward in net, survive the shock to the system that the Edmonton fans were sure to deliver?

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Loud & Proud

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun via the Ottawa Sun,

The Edmonton fans, who had already outdone themselves in creating a loud, proud environment during the three previous rounds, once again took over the singing of O Canada from Paul Lorieau at an unprecedented volume. But what blew everybody away this night was the great gusto the Canadian fans had in singing the U.S. national anthem. Has The Star Spangled Banner ever been sung that loud anywhere outside the U.S.? American writers were suggesting it was certainly the loudest their anthem had been sung on either side of the border this Stanley Cup season. Colour commentator Harry Neale said it had to set some sort of record. "I've never heard so many bad singers. And a lot of people didn't know all the words to The Star Spangled Banner,'' he noted. "But that was something.''
read on...While watching on NBC, the sound cut out during the U.S.A National Anthem for me...

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Would Hitchcock Fit In Vancouver

from Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Ken Hitchcock is a lame-duck coach. The Flyers aren't hurrying to give him an extension. Vancouver still hasn't hired a coach. Hitchcock could ask to be released from his final year and negotiate with the Canucks. That was the buzz making the rounds last week. Players tend not to perform for lame-duck coaches during tough times, thinking those coaches won't be around much longer.
more on few other topics...

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Every Man For Himself Islanders

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

They are no longer the New York Islanders, but rather the I, Me, My Is landers of Charles Wang, who made that crystal clear at the Coliseum on Thursday upon introducing a kitchen cabinet of hockey subordinates including Ted Nolan, Pat LaFontaine, Bryan Trottier, Neil Smith and Mike Milbury. These men are named in no particular order because it is clear there will be no order within the organization, other than when one is issued by the man occupying the top rung of the ladder. "I did all the interviewing, I made all the hires and all these esteemed gentlemen will report to me," said General Haig, uh, Chairman Wang. "This is, after all, my team."
continued (reg. req.)

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Putting Any Controversy To Bed

Q. What did you see on the Ryan Smyth goal? STEPHEN WALKOM: On the Ryan Smyth goal the puck was batted out of the air by the goalie, it bounced off of the Edmonton player, and went into the net. And it may seem basic but that's exactly what happened. Q. I think the Hurricanes were upset, they felt that Smyth went into the goaltender on his own. Did you see any desire of his to hit the goalie without being provoked into it? STEPHEN WALKOM: No, actually the puck was in the air. Smyth tried to knock the puck out of the air with his stick. And at the same time, Ward tried to knock the puck out of the air, was successful in doing so, it bounced off Smyth. Q. The Ethan Moreau one, Mick McGeough lost site of the puck, obviously, do you have any problem with his positioning, what he was trying to do losing the puck there? STEPHEN WALKOM: No, on that play I think every referee when a goalie covers up the puck you are going to blow the whistle. He blew the whistle. He judged it to be a finished play, and then the goalie opened up his legs and obviously the puck was there and was shot into the net. So I was pleased, the guys worked real hard to get into position all night. Q. Ron MacLean had some issue with the way Mick explained it to Ethan, maybe too vocal. Did you see anything like that? STEPHEN WALKOM: No, I have no issue with that at all. I think Mick communicates well with the players. I think the players communicate well with Mick. image Reuters

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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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