Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

What Would Friday Be Like…

...without hearing from Brett Hull! From the Dallas Stars,

What can the league do to try and make the game more marketable on television? They have to market the personalities. They need to get some people on television that will say something and give you a direct point of view from someone who really knows the game. We need a little more "hoop-la". It's not always the game. It's what's around the game these days that will help.
more Q & A with Brett...

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Franzen Signs

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Johan Franzen to a three-year contract. The 26-year-old Swede was eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2008 but the Wings got him signed through the 2008-09 season. "Johan had a very good rookie season in the NHL," Wings GM Ken Holland said in a statement. "He was a big part of our penalty killing, provided us with a physical presence and played very well in the playoffs. Moving into his second NHL season and beyond, we're hopeful he can gain some confidence and increase his contribution in the scoring department as well."

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Making The Best Of The Schedule

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

This arduous "trip" is the NHL's three-year scheduling cycle after the lockout and the dark season. One season down, two to go. At least. So now the trick is to make the best of it, and I mean everyone -- league officials, media, players and fans. That calls for more than ever treating the divisions as rump leagues within the NHL, and at least attempting to play to the "strengths" of this format. Heck, maybe those of us who hate it can be won over.
read on

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On the Hockey Blogs

By Alanah Downie Abel to Yzerman was tired of the August hockey doldrums, so he started a big fight the other day. Now, the Detroit media is in an uproar. (Coincidence? Maybe not.) And speaking of media, at the Toronto Star blog The Spin, Damien Cox fires some shots off at the NHLPA for their association with former player agent David Frost. In Florida, Bolts Mag welcomes new goalie Marc Denis to town, but expects other fans might take a while to warm to him. (Goalies can be a touchy subject in Tampa... and everywhere else, I suppose.) And check out Hockey Analysis where David turns his analytical attention to the world of really stupid trade rumours and those that spread them. Heather of So Very Obsessed is getting hyped about training camp in Boston, and runs down some recent transactions in the Bruins' system. (While you're there, check out Heather's photos -- she maintains a great archive of her own work.) Or if you need more general updates on junior hockey, visit the Junior Hockey Blog for links to a pile of stories that'll keep you reading all day. The Battle of Ontario's Leafs' fan has high hopes for this coming season, specifically: "I’m somewhat optimistic that this year we will be provided with more of a battle and not the “rape and pillage of lower Ontario” that we witnessed last year." There's also a handy summary of the off-season transactions in both cities. Andrew's Dallas Stars Page considers whether Pat Quinn is about to be offered a consulting job in Dallas, and if he is, is this an advance warning for coach Dave Tippett? (IMHO, Pat Quinn getting a job anywhere is advance warning for someone in the building. Be afraid, Tippett.) The Sidney Crosby Show is showing a new Reebok ad which features -- not surprisingly -- Sidney Crosby. And finally, the Acid Queen has a theory about how the Carolina Hurricanes really won the Stanley Cup. Watch the video she links to, then imagine Mike Commodore participating in this ritual. Then spend your entire weekend trying to block that image from your mind. Have a great weekend, all! Updated: Aug.26 10:45 EDT

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Cup Do’s & Dont’s

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Cam Ward went bowling with it, Ray Whitney flew it to his golf course in Victoria and Doug Weight was reduced to tears by it. "I've seen grown men cry many times," said Mike Bolt yesterday. Bolt is one of two full-time Stanley Cup keepers.

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They’re Still Available

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

"I've told everyone along the way that Anson won't be a bargain," said his agent, Pat Brisson. Brisson says the former Vancouver Canucks winger has plenty of patience, even to the point that he is willing to wait beyond the start of training camp or the regular season. "In our game there are a lot of injuries," Brisson said. "And I might get a call on Sept. 20 or Oct. 1 when a team has a player who blew out his knee, and at that point, the price may go up. I mean that Anson needs to be paid what he is worth."
read on...plus Dumont looking at teams primarily based on lifestyle, a city that's a fit for his family rather than just economics.

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Looking At Chara

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The son of Zdenek Chara, a Greco-Roman wrestler with the 1976 Czechoslovakian Olympic team, the new Bruins defenseman is one of the 10 highest-compensated players in the NHL. He began that trek to riches behind his family home in Trencin, close to the Czech Republic border, where his father adorned backyard trees with assorted pieces of exercise equipment. A rope hung from a cherry tree. Two pullup bars were perched high in an apple tree. From the humble plum tree hung a punching bag. By his father's orders, young Zdeno, while on his way to feed the chickens and rabbits, had to execute at least two pullups every time he passed under the apple tree. ``Being around my dad, it helped," said Chara, whose father continued to wrestle until eight years ago, finally retiring at age 47.
much more

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B’s Roster Set - For Now

from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

General manager Peter Chiarelli said yesterday there’s a “high likelihood” that the Bruins will start training camp in three weeks with the players they already have under contract, despite flexibility under the salary cap and the availability of high-scoring left wing J.P. Dumont on the free-agent market. While the club is right up against the $44.5 million salary cap, with an estimated payroll of more than $43 million, it still has wiggle room because of a long-term injury exception the NHL has granted for Alexei Zhamnov, last year’s free agent disaster. Chiarelli said the medical assessment received by the Bruins, and approved by the NHL, is that the 35-year-old center suffered “a career-ending injury” when he broke his ankle on Jan. 10, an injury that still keeps him off the ice, which effectively eliminates his $4.1 million salary for 2006-07 from cap consideration — unless he should make a miracle recovery and return.
read on

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Willie Mitchell Wants A Fun Season

from the Vancouver Province,

"I like having fun," the amiable Mitchell said Thursday following a Burnaby 8-Rinks skate. "When I was in Minnesota, coach Jacques Lemaire always thought he couldn't understand me because I'm always having fun and he's all business. But I also take a lot of pride when the game starts. But around the rink, if you're not having fun why do it? It's a great occupation and it's pretty fun." The fun started at age four when Mitchell first donned the blades. A passion for the game soon developed.

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Wild Spending Spree

from the Hockey News,

“For five or six years I’ve been here, stuff like that never happens with the Wild,” said Gaborik, who scored a career-high 38 goals last season despite missing 17 games with injury. “It’s good to see them do these moves. It’s good for the team, and also they’re showing they want to win.” There’s no doubt the five-year honeymoon, one where expectations were fueled with a stunning run to the Western Conference final in 2003, had ended. Fans and media expected more. So did Gaborik. “I’m tired of going back home after April 15 and watching the playoffs on TV and through the Internet,” said the rising star.

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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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