Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Teams Can’t Address Weaknesses

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

How equitable again is the collective bargaining agreement re-entry waivers clause that prohibited the Kings from recalling without prejudice superior AHL goaltender Jason LaBarbera even after both of L.A.‘s top two goaltenders went on injured reserve?
No one should misunderstand, least of all league GMs. The triple-cap CBA is acting exactly as the punitive document it was meant to be. Predominant mediocrity is not only legislated by the hard salary cap, it is enforced by the system that has made trades obsolete.

more... plus Brodeur on bigger nets…

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The NHL Talk

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Earning their tips- Wild tip specialist Mark Parrish says the three players he respects the most when it comes to redirecting pucks are Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth, Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom and St. Louis’ Keith Tkachuk. It’s no surprise then that when asked what he plans to do in the skills contest Tuesday, Smyth said, “I don’t imagine they have a deflections competition.”
Southern discomfort- Is there a worse hockey market than Nashville?
Their exceptional ownership steps up and signs Paul Kariya and Jason Arnott. There’s stability off the ice with the same coach (Barry Trotz) and GM (David Poile) since Day 1.
Yet, on Thursday, when Nashville overtook sinking Anaheim for first in the NHL, an announced 10,927 showed up to watch the Preds’ shutout over Columbus.
What more can this franchise do to embrace the fans? And imagine, the Pittsburgh Penguins could be moving.

more... including why scoring is down…

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No Goody Two Skates

From Joe O’Connor of the National Post:

He is a sports marketer’s dream: a polite, well-spoken, handsome and humble teenager with supreme hockey skills.
He is a sports marketer’s dream: a snarling, sometimes foul-mouthed hockey hooligan who can bellow “You’re f—-ing dead,” at an opponent when he feels wronged.
He is a young man with two distinct sides, and it is Sidney Crosby’s split personality that makes him the most attractive NHL commodity to skate for an American-based team since Wayne Gretzky tearfully bid goodbye to Edmonton for Los Angeles.
“He is exactly the way Michael Jordan was,” says Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp, a Chicago- based sports marketing firm.



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Do You Want Foppa?

Spector at his Fox Sports blog wants to know…

So, if you were a general manager looking for a first line center, would you make this trade? Would you trade away some promising young talent and draft picks and risk sacrificing your team’s future for a quick fix player who’s battling pain and might not even be available for every game and might not be playing at his best? A player who’ll be gone by the summer?
I know I wouldn’t. Would you, dear readers? Lemme know.

more... I vote yes, Hudler and a pick, Wings PP improves and they could always use anothe Swede…

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Miller To Wear Yellow Ribbon Mask

This is a follow-up to the stories posted by Paul 12 days ago and A2Y yesterday.

from the Sporting News:

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and several other NHL players are going to Dallas-Fort Worth airport on Tuesday to greet returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Stanley Cup also will be there (although it would be shocking if Miller broke hockey code and actually picked up the Cup before earning it on the ice).
Also, while visiting with the troops Miller is going to show two new goalie masks custom-designed to honor U.S. and Canadian troops. The masks, designed by renowned sports artist David Arrigo, will be displayed in the terminal during the visit. Arrigo has done paintings for all sports and sporting events. He designed the Canadian mask after a relative of a friend of his was killed in combat in Afghanistan. After seeing it, the NHL asked him to design one with an American theme.
By the time the returning soldiers see the masks at the airport, the masks will already be part of an online auction on NHL.com. They’ll go up on the auction at 3 p.m. Monday. Proceeds from auction will benefit the United Services Organization (USO), the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) and The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund.



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Patrick Roy Facing Assault Charges

from the CP via Sportsnet,

Former NHL all-star goalie Patrick Roy is facing assault charges after allegedly getting into a shoving match following a major junior hockey game in Chicoutimi, north of Quebec City.
Roy, who both owns and coaches the Quebec City Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is accused of hitting an opposing team’s owner.


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Zajac Keeps An Even Keel

from the Winnipeg Free Press:

The transition from living in your parents’ house and sharing a room with your brother to big-time pro athlete with all the trappings can often happen overnight. Ask Travis Zajac, hot rookie with the New Jersey Devils.
The 21-year-old Zajac was worrying about homework and whether his well-used Buick Century would make it through another winter as a student athlete at the University of North Dakota at this time last year.
Now it’s chartered flights, days off in New York City and a bank account that most would covet. But don’t worry about Zajac getting a big head. He’s still an unassuming Winnipegger, his mom is still his biggest fan and he still treats reporters with respect. The latter usually wears off the quickest, but Zajac is one of those kids who realizes how lucky he is and has no sense of entitlement.
“It’s pretty surreal. Most nights I’m playing against one of my heroes. Guys I grew up watching on TV. Joe Sakic or Joe Thornton. It’s been said before, but I have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure it’s real,” laughed Zajac.



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Locker Boxing

from Peter Cheney of the Globe and Mail,

The Age of YouTube has produced new, splintered brands of minor fame—and until last week, hockey coach Dave Gwyn had no idea that his own team was starring in an Internet clip that has put one of Toronto minor hockey’s violent secrets on the world stage.
The footage, tagged “Martone vs. Tric,” shows several members of Mr. Gwyn’s Triple-A team engaging in “locker boxing,” an activity that resembles a gladiatorial combat in hockey helmets and gloves.


youtube link to the video and please note, the language may be considered vulgar…

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Preds Looking For Respect

from the Tennessean,

“I think, unfortunately, it has a little bit to do with our market,” Trotz said. “When you think of Nashville, hockey is not the first thing that comes to your mind. I know I get frustrated sometimes with the Canadian media that don’t give us a lot of respect. They can’t understand that there’s good hockey teams in Tampa and Nashville and Carolina and places like that. I am Canadian, so it does bother me.
” … To me (hockey is) one of the greatest games in the world to participate in and watch, and Canadians sometimes think we are getting the game taken away, but really what we are doing is showing the great game we do have to the rest of the world.
“So from that standpoint, it does bother me that we don’t get the respect, but at the same time you don’t get respect until you win and keep winning and keep proving to people that there is good hockey here, and we are a good hockey team.”

read on

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Plan B Flawed- Is There A Plan B1?

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Gov. Ed Rendell yesterday said the arena deal being offered the Penguins is better than others struck recently in the National Hockey League, but the team has balked at a proposal to share development rights and parking revenues with Pittsburgh casino backer Don Barden.
Another issue that has come up in the talks is $10 million the Penguins may owe Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., which lost to Mr. Barden in the bidding for the city’s casino license.
According to Mr. Rendell, the Penguins agreed to pay that amount if Isle of Capri failed to win the casino license but the team still secured a new arena in Pittsburgh.


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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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