Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Army Visits Avs

from the Denver Post,

In hockey, the words "warrior," "battle" and "tough" are tossed around all the time. At the end of Avalanche practice Tuesday, 12 U.S. Army brigade members who recently have been in battle walked into the team's dressing room. A mutual admiration society developed, as the Army personnel took pictures with their cellphones and gathered autographs, and wide-eyed Avs players asked what it was like in Iraq. "For us, it's an honor to get to meet them," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said. "These guys risk their lives protecting us."
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No To Expanded Playoffs

from the Daily Times,

Not content with having to spend a certain amount of money in the new NHL in order to compete, miserly owners who care about the bottom line more so than the Stanley Cup, are looking for a way to spend closer to the salary floor (currently $21.5 million) all the while being able to reap in the benefits of additional funds from postseason play. In other words, don’t overspend to compete, just be good enough to hang around .500 or just below it and then make the playoffs and gamble on a surprise run that will capture the imagination of an unexpecting fan base. And if it doesn’t work, hey, at least you didn’t lose any money, right? You know what that attitude breeds don’t you? Yep, another financial chasm in a league that can’t afford one. There’ll be your perennial contenders willing to spend right up to the cap to try to win a championship. And then there’ll be the bottom-feeders who will try to use this pathetic tactic to play a game of macroeconomic chicken.
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Jagr Must Step It Up

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Jagr has gone 14 straight games without a power-play goal — and in that span the Rangers have gone 9-for-80 with the man-advantage, which might make them champions in a two-team division with the Devils, but not much else. Plus — oh, nothing like piling on the team's MVP, is there? — Jagr has scored only one power-play goal in his last 18 games and two in his last 24 after getting nine in the opening 13 matches. Not that there's any intent to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but six of Jagr's 11 total PPG's have been scored with the Rangers owning a two-man advantage.
read on (reg. req.)

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Impressive Compuware

from the Toronto Sun,

Well coached and well mannered, Detroit Compuware is well on its way to making an impression in the GTA. Its minor midget team is among the contenders at the Toronto Marlboros International Holiday Classic, one of the most heavily scouted showcases on the busy minor hockey holiday slate. When scouts from virtually every corner of North American hockey catch a glimpse of Compuware, they see a team that skates well, moves the puck, isn't afraid to flex its muscles and features solid goaltending. Compuware's founder is Peter Karmonos, whose name is synonymous with hockey -- at all levels -- in the U.S. The minor midget kids are coached by Randy Paquette. Every kid, except for Ohio native Nick Wawrzyniak, hails from Michigan. A total of 17 players were born in 1990, two in '89.
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Canadiens Hope To Avoid Record

from the National Post,

If the Canadiens lose to the Lightning tonight, it will be their 10th straight loss on the road -- a mark set in 1926, the season when the club left the Mount Royal Arena in November to settle into the legendary Forum, which they would share with the Montreal Maroons until 1938, when the Maroons went bust. The Forum would seat only 9,300 then. Between Jan. 16 and March 13 of 1926, the Canadiens lost 10 straight on the road. The 2005-2006 edition can achieve immortality by tying that mark tonight in Tampa and they can break it Friday night against the Florida Panthers.
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Sale Of Blues Getting Closer

from TSN,

Bill and Nancy Laurie finally may have found a buyer for the St. Louis Blues. The Lauries on Tuesday signed a letter of intent to sell the Blues and the Savvis Center's operating lease to General Sports and Entertainment, LLC. A multi-faceted sports and entertainment firm, General Sports and Entertainment was founded in 1998 by Andrew D. Appleby, the former senior marketing executive of the NBA's Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. During his 12-year career with the two groups, Appleby helped develop concepts aimed at maximizing luxury suites, signage and sponsorship initiatives.
image more Info on General Spots and Entertainment.

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Kessel Leads On The Ice

from Yahoo via the CP,

The talent he brings to the U.S. team competing at this year's world junior hockey championships has scouts loudly speculating Kessel will be the first player taken in this spring's NHL draft. For all the buzz he creates Kessel is quiet and unassuming. The 18-year-old University of Minnesota freshman barely speaks above a whisper. His answers are short, punctuated by head nods and body movements. Don't expect Kessel to make a rousing dressing room speech or fill reporters' notebooks with brash predictions.
read on

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All Therrien

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Formerly the coach of the Montreal Canadiens, who were 77-91-22 during his tenure, Therrien has been described variously as blunt, an "in-your- face" disciplinarian, a no-nonsense leader and a teacher of the game. Therrien, the man tapped to salvage the season, answers questions from Post-Gazette reporter Robert Dvorchak. Q. You also named him an assistant captain at a tender age. What went into your decision? Therrien: I really believe that this is a new beginning for our team. He's one of our best players. I don't think it's pressure. I want him to learn. Eventually, it's going to be Sidney's team. Sid has some good veterans to work with. He's a young kid, but sometimes those young kids have new ideas.
read on

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Stan Is Back

from The Maven of MSG Network,

-Little Known Jason Spezza fact: Mario Lemieux took Ottawa’s ace to dinner last summer after a golf tourney. Mario’s “step-it-up” pep talk got through to Jason. Goalies have suffered migraines ever since! -This may be a reach, but in Vancouver, Mattias Ohlund’s game is being favorably compared with Hall of Famer Denis Potvin’s. The Canuck is definitely underrated and underappreciated in the East. -One of these years, Don (Grapes) Cherry will retire. A top candidate to replace him is Glenn (Motormouth) Healy, the Islanders’ hero of 1993.
read on

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Crosby Wearing Bullseye

from the Toronto Sun,

Open season on Sid the Kid began Nov. 16 when he had two or three teeth broken by Philadelphia Flyers' Derian Hatcher. No penalty was called, except on Crosby when he came out of the medical room and was roughed up by Hatcher again and yapped to the referee. With his needle now pushed firmly into the red, Crosby took control of the game and won it in overtime. But Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock chirped about him diving and Peter Forsberg chided him for not being rugged enough to take the pounding he can expect all his career. Whether the Flyers were just indulging in mind games or not, others began chiming in. Buffalo Sabres announcers called him a crybaby and Cherry groused that he wielded too much influence, though Grapes' feud with the Crosby camp goes back to junior for Crosby's alleged hot dogging and snubbing Cherry's junior prospects game.
read on

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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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