Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bad Situation For Noronen

from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,

Mika Noronen sat on the bench for most of yesterday's pre-game skate, biding his time before finally getting some shots in late in practice. There are only two nets on a sheet of ice, and Martin Biron and Ryan Miller were filling them. "It's a bad situation," Noronen said after the skate. "I'm just hoping they can figure out something and make a move. It's not good for anybody, especially for me because I'm not even in the lineup and I'm not playing. It's almost Jan. 1 and I just want something to happen because I want to play this game again."
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Colin Campbell Wears Many Hats

Is Colin Campbell involved in EVERY decision? via the News & Observer, Despite a protest that went all the way up the NHL's chain of command to executive vice president Colin Campbell, Matt Cullen was denied an assist on Eric Staal's goal Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cullen passed the puck to Staal, who tried to pass it back to Cullen in front of the net, but it deflected off Lightning defenseman Darryl Sydor and went in for a goal. While assists are normally awarded in that situation when there's no change of possession, the goal was ruled unassisted because Staal was passing the puck instead of shooting it -- a little-used guideline that most often is ignored, with the player given the benefit of the doubt. "It's no big deal," Cullen said. "It's their job to get it right, but it should be consistent."

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WJC Ref Issues

from the Toronto Star,

Nicholson is due to meet with the tournament directorate today to discuss a number of matters, including the standard of officiating in this year's tournament. His meeting comes in the wake of Canada's 4-0 win over Norway yesterday in which both teams combined for 160 penalty minutes and produced just 19 minutes and 18 seconds of 5-on-5 hockey... So the question remains: is the world junior championship being hijacked by incompetent officiating or are the officials being held to such a rigid standard that they feel the need to call everything? Nicholson hopes to get those answers this morning. One thing making this issue such an important one is the fact that the tournament is being used as the Petri dish for the Winter Olympics in February. By all accounts, the same standard will be applied in Turin when the world's focus will be on the best players in the world.
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What Will Milbury Do

from Alan Hahn of Newsday (Friday edition),

As of last night, heads hadn't rolled. Trades weren't made. Staying the course appears to be the game plan for now. Some players are anticipating some kind of shake-up -- scouts have been following the Islanders for about a month now -- but most agree the team, at 17-17-2, has the tools to contend for a playoff spot. What's missing is an intangible, critical element known as commitment. "Look around the league and look in the faces of other teams that are winning; the guys that have broken noses and stitches on their faces because they get in the tough areas and take a hit to make a play," said defenseman Brad Lukowich, who has two Stanley Cup rings. "It's time we started to get in the trenches, because we haven't for games, which is unacceptable."
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Redden Best Two-Way Defenseman

from the CP via TSN,

Wade Redden goes about his work on the ice much the same way he carries himself off of it, quiet and unassuming. If he isn't careful, however, his standout play on the Senators' blue-line this season will make it hard to for him to continue flying under the radar of fans outside of Ottawa as he's done for most of his career. The 28-year-old has emerged as arguably the league's best two-way defenceman in his ninth NHL season. Hockey Canada recognized his work with a spot on the Olympic team for the upcoming Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
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Orszagh Signs With Yotes- Must Clear Waivers

via Sportsnet,

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed former Nashville Predators forward Vladimir Orszagh, Sportsnet has learned. Orszagh, who has been playing in Sweden since the lockout, still has to clear waivers as a member of the Coyotes, which means another team -- specifically his former club the Predators -- might swoop in an reclaim the right winger. The deal is reportedly worth $625,000. Orszagh played 82 games for Nashville in 2003-04, scoring 16 goals and adding 21 assists.

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Legace to Grand Rapids

via the Detroit Free Press,

Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace will head to Grand Rapids Friday morning to play one or two games for the Griffins, coach Mike Babcock said after Thursday’s practice. “He’s going to Grand Rapids to try to get himself ready to play,” Babcock said. Legace has been sidelined with a sprained left knee since the day after Thanksgiving, when the Wings played at Anaheim. Chris Osgood, who has won four-straight games, will start against Columbus on New Year’s Eve. The Griffins of the AHL play Friday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs and Saturday against the Chicago Wolves.

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They Love Their Hockey

from MSG Network,

I just returned from a trip to Toronto, where hockey was on everyone's mind and lips. Now Toronto is not my favorite Canadian -- that honor goes to Montreal, with its bilingualism and old architecture that makes you feel as if you were in Europe rather than North America. Toronto is a smaller, cleaner New York City, so give me Montreal any day. That said, any trip to Canada is heavenly for a hockey fan. It's not just the NHL that dominates the headlines. When I turned on the TV in my hotel room upon check-in, the first item that appeared was a commercial for a hockey game to be televised later in the week. It was not an NHL game. Not a game from the World Junior Championships, not even a game from the American Hockey League. No, this was a commercial for an OHL game -- Junior hockey on national television!
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Bowman On the Wings

Scotty was just on Detroit radio and said he feels Babcock will be making a strong push right now to gather as many as points as possible before the Olympics. With a number of Wings playing in the Olympics, he feels some of them may be a little over-extended when they return. Also, Scotty mentioned he has a feeling Yzerman will be a pleasant surprise for the Wings in the 2nd half of the season. He is taking his time getting healthy, not rushing to return to action. He also considers the LA Kings the darkhorse in the West and said Nashville is real and not going away.

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‘Coach’ Tony Stewart

from Kentucky.com,

Tony Stewart will add another accomplishment Jan. 6 to his impressive career resume – hockey coach. Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Stewart, a native and resident of Columbus, Ind., will serve as “Honorary Assistant Coach” of the Indiana Ice against the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday, Jan. 6 at the Pepsi Coliseum, located at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Game time is 8 p.m. Eastern. “I’ve been a big fan of hockey since I attended a Dallas Stars game in Texas several years ago, but having the opportunity to support my hometown team and sit right on the ice will be a very cool experience,” Stewart said.

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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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