Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Player Development Takes Time

Steve Wozniak of the South Bend Tribune,

Marc-Andre Fleury was supposed to be the savior of Pittsburgh hockey when he was drafted first overall by the Penguins in the 2003 NHL draft. But rather than let the teenager develop further in junior hockey, the Penguins threw him to the wolves in desperation for an immediate winning turnaround. And the wolves, of course, ate him alive, pummeling the overwhelmed rookie and sending the Penguins to another losing season in 2003-04. [...] Pittsburgh realized it had made a mistake in trying to rush perfection, with then-general manager Craig Patrick saying, "We thought it was best for him to go back to his junior club, considering our circumstances, and put him in a situation where he's got a chance to win some championships."
continued on matters of the NCAA and NHL draft

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Secrets Of The Summit Series

Another fine submission from KK member Joe Pelletier.

Almost any Canadian over the age of 40 can tell you exactly what he or she was doing on September 28, 1972. That day Paul Henderson scored the winning goal at 19:26 of the final period of the 1972 Summit Series to give Canada a 6-5 victory over the Soviet Union. For a moment Canada stood still and then, as the red light flickered behind Vladislav Tretiak, a nation's hearts filled with joy--and relief. "Here's a shot. Henderson makes a wild stab for it and falls," legendary television announcer Foster Hewitt breathlessly described. "Here's another shot...right in front. They score! Henderson has scored for Canada!" As Hewitt's words described "the goal heard around the world," millions of Canadians danced and hugged in a scene that was reminiscent of the celebrations at the end of World War II. Never has a single sporting moment given so many Canadians a sense of unparalleled nationalism. To say that the story has been told a million times would be a gross understatement. September 2002 marked the 30th anniversary of the famed series. The story was probably told a million times in that month alone. Like most great stories, there are always bits and pieces of the story that escape into obscurity.

Continue Reading »

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Answers Don’t Come Easy In Boston

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Coach Dave Lewis keeps looking up at the scoreboard, as he has for much of this forgettable young season, and we can't help but wonder if he's looking for an ad for a cheap flight back to Detroit. Twelve games into this all of a sudden not-so-new NHL season, the Bruins are 4-6-2 and the sole occupants of 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

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School Kids Keeping Canadian Soldiers’ Spirits Up

For those of you who haven't been there, Afghanistan is not the most pleasant locale these days. Students attending Holy Trinity Catholic School in Guelph, Ontario are well aware of that and doing what they can for Canadian Soldiers supporting the Global War on Terrorism. Via the Guelph Mercury News,

All 394 students at Holy Trinity Catholic School are writing letters and crafting drawings for Canadian troops in Afghanistan so they'll receive them in time for Remembrance Day. John Mifsud, 13, keeps the troops up-to-speed on the NHL season and the Raptors' season, which recently kicked off. "They might want to know about their favourite team. . . . They might not have the channel there," he said.

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Higgins Out Six Weeks

via TSN,

Montreal forward Chris Higgins will miss six weeks of action to heal a suspected sprained left ankle. The Canadiens' scoring leader, who has eight goals and five assists in 13 games, is scheduled to see a doctor today. He has to wait for swelling to abate for a proper diagnosis to be made.

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Kolzig Glad He Stayed In DC

Remember at the '04 deadline when Olaf Kolzig was rumored heading pretty much everywhere but Jersey? He does. And he's happy he wasn't dealt. From Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

"You can ask for a trade and go to a contender. You are not guaranteed to win," said Kolzig, who was almost traded to Ottawa at the deadline in March, 2004. "Your odds improve dramatically in the short term, but you also lose a little bit of stature as well. I've been here 17 years now. I've built up some status in the organization and when you get traded you lose that. I just thought: 'You know what, it's a rarity for guys to start and finish with the same team. Why not try and win it here with the team that drafted you?' I think that would be the ultimate if we could do it in the next three to four years."
More from Bruce Garrioch, including what he expects to come out of the GM meeting.

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Bill Daly Is The Real Deal

While at the Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon yesterday, I had the opportunity to chat will NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for about five minutes. I walked away thinking if Gary Bettman ever decided to leave the NHL, Bill Daly should walk right into that position, with no questions asked. In my conversation with Bill, I first thanked him for returning every email I have sent his way regarding clarification on NHL questions I have had along with KK readers. We also discussed the game itself and how it has settled in nicely, especially after recalling all of the questions many of us had a year ago at this time. He seemed sincere about the reaction of the fans who visit sites like Kukla's Korner and knows it is so important to retain the core hockey fans and keep them as happy as possible. A funny moment at the luncheon was a Detroit TV sports anchor approached me about interview opportunities with the "NHL bigwigs". I told him the best interview would be with Bill Daly, he looked at me and wanted to know who Bill Daly was. I just shook my head and walked away. My NHL.com blog regarding the Lester Patrick Award is up at NHL.com if you care to read it.

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Nolan Calls Out Islanders

from Newsday,

"That was worse than a clunker," Nolan said of the Islanders' second straight home loss that dropped their record to 6-6-2. "The most frustrating part was that we seemed to quit. You can get 'outskilled,' but when you quit, that's another story. "When they got up 3-1, we looked like we didn't want to fight back . . . We played so well in Jersey that we thought it was going to be easy."

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HDNet Now Available In Canada

Rogers Cable Communications Inc., today announced a carriage agreement with HDNet to distribute the channel as part of its high definition programming line up. "We're thrilled to be launching HDNet in Canada on Rogers Cable," said Mark Cuban Chairman and Co-founder of HDNet. "This launch means that Canadian viewers will now see the highest quality HD programming around, including original programming, investigative news, great original movies and hard hitting sports." HDNet NHL Hockey Schedule

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Give And Take

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

If the Maple Leafs either miss the playoffs or go out early, their fans can then switch their allegiance to the team they help the most -- the Nashville Predators. In Gary's Game, the idea is that if you build a strong team, you get penalized. The effects already have been seen in Colorado and Philadelphia, and are showing signs of having their impact in Detroit. Thanks to the salary cap and the revenue-sharing, the National Hockey League's successful teams are penalized.

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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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