Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Mario Unsure Of Olympics

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Lemieux appeared non-committal on the issue of playing in the Olympics, saying he hadn't spoken to Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky or anyone at Hockey Canada about whether he would play. But does he expect to be there? "I'm not sure," said Lemieux, who captained the Canadians to their first hockey gold medal in 50 years in 2002. More to the point, does he want to be there? "Ah, you know, I think they have to look at who's playing well at the time and who can help the team the most and it's still a little bit early to say anything in that regard," Lemieux said.
continued

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Islanders Lose Bates For A Month

via the CP, Shawn Bates will be out four to five weeks with a strained hamstring, the New York Islanders announced Monday.

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Wing Prospect On A Roll

Of interest to Wings fans... from the AHL,

The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Valtteri Filppula has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending November 20, 2005. In four games, Filppula erupted for 11 points (five goals, six assists) and a plus-9 rating as the Griffins took over sole possession of first place in the North Division in dramatic fashion.

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100 Players Should Not Be In The NHL

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Toronto Maple Leafs senior scout Craig Button, former GM of the Calgary Flames, said this week he thinks there are 100 players currently in the NHL who cannot play in the league. Some of these players have big contracts that make it difficult to weed them out in the short term, although they may see their ice time dwindling. Those without the big contract are more apt to find themselves being pushed unceremoniously from the game.

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NHL POW

via the CP,

Defenceman Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs is the NHL's offensive player of the week after scoring three goals and adding four assists in three wins. St. Louis Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford is the defensive player of the week after going 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage. Also considered for the offensive award were Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vaclav Prospal, who posted seven points (3-4) four games, Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre Turgeon (2-5 in three games) and Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky (2-5 in three games). Sanford, meanwhile, turned aside 68 of 70 shots in two games as the Blues posted consecutive victories for the first time this season. Lightning goaltender John Grahame (3-0-0, 2.00 GAA) and Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour (2-0-0, 1.00 GAA) were runners-up for the defensive award.

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First NHL Game

Lang Whitaker of Sports Illustrated attended his first NHL game,

So, Saturday afternoon I went to my first real NHL game. And what better place to go than Madison Square Garden, the World's Most Famous Arena, to see one of the "original six," the New York Rangers, against the Carolina Hurricanes. Walking into the seating area at The Garden, seeing that huge expanse of gleaming ivory ice, it was a breathtaking sight. Well, it was a mix of the sight and the cold. I was guessing the arena would be chilly, but I also figured by now they'd have a way to cool the ice and keep the building warm. Guess not. What I enjoyed the most about the experience of going to a hockey game was the relative peace and quiet of the game. Go to an NBA or NFL game, and you're assaulted by loud music, flying t-shirts, hopped-up dance teams. There was music at The Garden, but unless you count Sweet Caroline as a club banger, it was like spending an afternoon at a pizza joint with an outdated jukebox. During timeouts (are they called timeouts?) an organ would play, and people would be able to talk to their neighbors. It was as if hockey was saying, Here we are -- love us or leave us. And despite the extended lockout, the fans seem to have come back in full force. They love it.

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Ducks Claim Marchant

via TSN,

The Ducks put in a waiver claim on the 32-year-old veteran centre who was put on waivers twice in the last week by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
update 12:24pm, Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch said he can see Marchant not reporting to the Ducks, he wants to stay in the Eastern part of North America. He said Burke may dangle Marchant as trade bait.

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Surprising Stat

The three teams at the bottom of this stat is surprising to me; Road Game Attendance %: 28. Pittsburgh, 29. Washington and 30. is Tampa Bay. You would think fans would want to see Crosby, Ovechkin and the defending Stanley Cup Champs in action, maybe it is a reflection of the teams they are playing.

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Quarterly Award- Best TV Broadcaster

One of the side benefits of Kukla's Korner is being able to watch as much hockey as I like. I now have a built in excuse; "It is part of my job", but I still get the look of disbelief from a person who will remain unnamed. I have probably watched 70% of the games available on Center Ice, either catching them live or on the DVR. I am very interested in how the game is broadcast and I must say there are a couple of play by play guys who need to pick it up a bit, if I were not a true fan, I just might fall asleep listening to them. On the other hand, a few guys need to tone it down a bit. Then we have one guy in particular who almost sings whenever he anticipates a home team scoring chance. I really enjoy the work done by Randy Hahn, the PxP man for the San Jose Sharks. He knows the game, gives credit to the opposing team, and seems well prepared on a daily basis. His style in even keeled and one I could listen to every day. Doesn't become the star of the game, just describes what he is seeing and does it very well. In making this choice, I eliminated my home team broadcaster Ken Daniels and I also eliminated all Canadian PxP guys for the simple reason I have heard most of them for years and they have an unfair advantage; it is in their blood. I would be interested in your choices, but don't pick your home team broadcaster, unless you have a really good reason.

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Larmer Actions Sounds Alarm

from the Globe and Mail,

When Chris Chelios squawked, it was easy to roll your eyes and say, "Pour some quick-dry cement in this guy's mouth. He's a-l-w-a-y-s griping about something." When Tie Domi screeched, you wanted to dig a hole and bury your head in it. Then when Trent Klatt went off -- Trent Klatt, for heaven's sake, a spare-part player if ever there was one -- it seemed a sure sign all sanity had vanished. But then along came Steve Larmer, a virtuous man and former National Hockey League star. And when he wrote that the National Hockey League Players' Association "had taken a giant step backwards, back to the days of [Alan] Eagleson where a select few made decisions for the group," that's when it became clear: it's time to listen to the squawkers. They have a point.

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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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