Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The New NHL Standard- Skill

from the NY Times,

"I don't know if we can unravel 20 years of coaching in three months," Walkom said. "I keep saying to everyone and anyone, this isn't about a team, this isn't about a coach, this isn't even about a style of play. This is about the N.H.L. standard. And that's what you have to work to."
read on

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Future Plans For Mario

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Long before Lemieux's heart problems there were questions about his passion for the game. On the ice the 40-year-old icon has been prone to long, lazy turns, errant passes and a strange lack of timing. In Friday's loss to the Sabres, Lemieux whiffed completely on a nice Crosby feed late in the game although he did recover in time to whip a pass to Ziggy Palffy who scored the tying goal. Although one of the finest playmakers ever, the Lemieux-led Penguins' power play ranks 24th. In 26 games Lemieux has managed just seven goals, 22 points and is an eye-popping minus-16. Off the ice, if there was the laissez-faire attitude that many claim permeated the club prior to Olczyk's firing, why didn't Lemieux, who is part-owner of the Penguins, step in to help his friend the coach right the ship? Isn't that what leadership is about?

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Gretzky’s Mother Passes

from the CP via Sportsnet,

Phyllis Gretzky was the glue that held her family together. Gretzky, who had battled lung cancer since being diagnosed in the autumn of 2004, died Monday night. She was 64. ''Throughout my career, she was in the background but she was the glue,'' Wayne Gretzky said at the time of her diagnosis. ''She's always been the toughest in the family.'' The Hockey Hall of Famer and coach of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes took a leave of absence from the Coyotes and from his position as executive director of Canada's Olympic hockey teams on Dec. 17 to fly home as his mother's condition worsened.
more image

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Team USA

from USA Hockey,

On Monday, during a National Hockey League broadcast on OLN, play-by-play veteran Mike Emrick announced the roster that will compete at the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Among those honored, along with such previous Olympians as Chris Chelios, Keith Tkachuk and Mike Modano, are 12 first-time Olympians, including goaltenders Rick DiPietro, Robert Esche and John Grahame, defensemen Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles, and forwards Jason Blake, Erik Cole, Craig Conroy, Scott Gomez, Mike Knuble and Mark Parrish.
more update 9:34pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For weeks now, the only buzz surrounding the U.S. men's Olympic team was created by Jeremy Roenick, the Los Angeles Kings' loveable blabbermouth. Despite a stunning falloff in his play and production this season, Roenick shamelessly lobbied for a place on the team, on the grounds that he and the players of his generation helped build USA Hockey and thus deserved a last hurrah. Sorry JR.
read on update, Tuesday 12:15am, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If American fans were expecting the red, white, and blue to have a younger, generation-next look to it, they will be sorely disappointed. Instead, there is about this U.S. squad a strong sense of deja vu, and USA Hockey officials are crossing their fingers that familiarity will breed an Olympic gold with throwbacks Chris Chelios, Derian Hatcher, Keith Tkachuk, Doug Weight and Mike Modano on board once again. Here's a look at an American squad that boasts an average age of 31.2 years.

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Everyone Is After Crosby

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

In recent days and in contrast to the Christmas spirit or even the basic idea of good will toward young men, Sid the Kid, the heir apparent to the title of Great One in the National Hockey League has been savaged seemingly to the tune of a tirade-a-day by analysts and commentators who seem to be united in their opinion that the 18-year-old hockey player is a mouthy jerk who doesn't deserve his assistant captain's title, a rumored spot on the Canadian Olympic team, a right to protest calls made against him or his team and/or a right to open his mouth regards his former coach or his new coach.
continued I think Kelley is right, and Crosby reminde me of an 18 year old who had the same traits- Steve Yzerman.

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In A Christmas Mood

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 12 Hakans Loobing 11 Dingmans Dinging 10 LaFleurs A-Leaping 9 Gordie Elbows 8 Neelys Knocking 7 Hortons Donuts 6 Boughner Boogers 5 GOLDEN NICKS! 4 Bobby Orrs 3 Pha-neufs 2 Harvey Highlights And a Sawchuk in a square crease.

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Who Coaches The Devils

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

While praising assistant coach John MacLean, Lamoriello made it clear that the former Devils’ star was not under consideration as Robinson’s successor. The key question remains – why type of coach will Lou choose this time around. If he wants a Larry Robinson-type, there’s former Carolina coach Paul Maurice, currently behind the bench for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL farm club, the Marlies, or ex-Red Wings mentor Dave Lewis, a former Devils defenseman. On the other hand, a tough guy possibility would be Brian Sutter the former Blackhawks mentor. Stay tuned.
read on, goes into much detail why Robinson left...

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NHL Gets Kudos For Best Marketing Idea

The NHL was mentioned in Brand Week for having the 12th Best Marketing Idea for 2005. Below is a little snip from the article, you can also view the pdf for a little more info. from Brand Week,

There were lots of bad ideas in 2005, but there were several good ones, too. Dove and Curvation were pitch perfect in their campaigns aimed at “real” women. Miller cleverly suckered Bud into a sparring match while keeping the beer category focused on taste. The NHL made some bold changes and scored a strong comeback. Even the drug industry came up with a winner in Lunesta.

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Win With Experience

from Martin Brodeur and Sun Media via Slam,

I think that it’s important to explain that in order to succeed in a tournament of this scale, it’s necessary to form the best possible team. You can’t limit yourself to the players who happen to have the best statistics at the time of the selection. Naturally there are several young Canadian players who have been standouts at this point in the NHL season. But if we want to win the gold medal, it’s smart to go with experience, the players who have been there.

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Mario Will Go Thru Off-Ice Conditioning Program

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Mario Lemieux’s comeback is on ice, or rather off it – for now. “He’s going to be on an off-ice conditioning program for the next 10 days to two weeks and then he will be re-evaluated after that,” Penguins General Manager Craig Patrick said. “They are going to try to get the right level of medication that he needs. Medicine is not an exact science, so you have to test things and try them. They are in that process now. “We’ll get the right level of medication and right level of conditioning and he’ll be re-evaluated as to when he gets back on the ice.”
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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