Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Yzerman Wrong

from the Ottawa Sun,

Steve Yzerman has earned respect. The Nepean product and captain of the Detroit Red Wings has been a marvellous player, represented his country with honour and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. But he was wrong when he did a rip job on the NHL product these days. "Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great. It's not hockey," he said. Sorry, Steve, but you're in the minority on this one.
continued This by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Steve Yzerman doesn't like the new NHL. Brendan Shanahan is one of the authors of the new style of play. Wonder how that will play out in the locker room of the Detroit Red Wings?

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This Magic Moment

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

There will be no Zen warriors Tues day in Pittsburgh; no scantily clad women in the locker room helping the athletes dress, at least none that we know of. Rather, when Alexander Ovechkin and the Caps visit Sidney Crosby and the Penguins that night in the first above-the-title matchup of the two marquee freshmen, it will be the new NHL's first big chance, for it will present the new NHL with a Magic-Bird moment, as in Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, two people who may have saved another pro sport two decades ago. Hey, Gary Bettman might even be able to identify. For the sake of everyone invested in the league, let's hope Bettman and the NHL do understand that. Let's hope the NHL understands that it has an obligation to promote each of the two magical kids equally, regardless of their respective birth places. Let's hope the NHL understands how important each one of these rookies is to the league's future.

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Speed Of The Game Skates Past Martin

from the Miami Herald,

In a go-go NHL, the Panthers have a no-no coach. For all of Jacques Martin's hockey knowledge, his discomfort with the unrestrained doesn't fit an NHL that now begs players to let their play shout of creativity. It also doesn't fit a Panthers roster built for a game based on an aggressive use of speed, skill and physicality. What this young team needed was tutoring on defensive zone play and an infusion of character. Shackles were unnecessary.

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Avery

from the LA Daily News, "I'm sick of dealing with these blue-collar stiffs," Avery said Saturday. Avery admits what he says probably raises a few eyebrows - "Some of what I say probably isn't what you hear every day" - but he also thinks some people take things way too seriously. If you expect him to conform to fit the way everyone else thinks, you can forget it. "That's completely irrelevant to me," he said. "Their line isn't even on my radar, really." And if pushing the envelope gives him an edge on the ice, he's all for it. "If it turns into a good thing where I can use it against the other team and they're upset at me, then even better," Avery said. "I don't think that when I initially say something, but usually the trickle-down effect plays out. It's the echo system of the NHL and the managers and the owners and all that. I don't know. All I know is I'm just sick of everybody being such stiffs."

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When 50 Was A Real Number

from the Ottawa Citizen,

It was a lot simpler then. Six teams, one Stanley Cup. If a fan wanted to identify the 50-goal scorers, he could start with the players wearing No. 9 on the back of their wool sweaters: Montreal's Rocket Richard, Chicago's Bobby Hull, Boston's John Bucyk. Fifty goals meant something 50 years ago, didn't it? Now the new NHL, with it's jacked offence, dragging hockey out of the dead puck era, is about to destroy the sanctity of the 50-goal season as happened in the NHL 30 years ago.

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Open Your Eyes

from the Toronto Star,

As far as Tie Domi is concerned, the resignation of Steve Larmer from the NHL Players' Association should have the entire rank and file demanding that executive director Ted Saskin step aside. "If that doesn't open everyone's eyes, I don't think anything will," Domi said. Saskin said he didn't agree with Larmer's reasons for resigning, but thanked him for his service. "I find this very unfortunate since he has not received accurate information on recent events and has never discussed any of his concerns with me," Saskin said in a statement. "Steve is obviously entitled to his own opinions and while I don't agree with his stated reasons for his resignation, I certainly respect his right to do so." Leaf goalie Ed Belfour, a former teammate of Larmer's, is certain he's telling the truth. "If Steve Larmer says that's the way it is, I believe it right down to the last word," Belfour said.

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Bettman Talks Drug Testing

from the NY Times,

N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman was asked recently about his views on the legislation currently working its way through Congress that deals with drug testing in professional sports. If that means we have to test our players to prove that they're clean, we're going to do it - which is why we and the players' association in the collective bargaining agreement have agreed on a performance-enhancing random testing program with severe punishments." Those punishments, Bettman said, would be a 20-game suspension for a first offense, a 60-game suspension for a second and a lifetime ban for a third, with no possibility of reinstatement for at least two years. N.H.L. teams play 82 regular-season games.

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NHL Is Now A Wide Open Game

from the Pittsbugh Post-Gazette,

Goals and gate receipts have increased. Fighting has decreased, and ties have disappeared altogether. Yet, as the NHL season hits the quarter pole, not everyone is enamored with the radically altered game. An informal survey conducted Thursday in the Penguins' dressing room quickly produced two men who preferred the old league. Not surprisingly, both make their living trying to prevent goals. "It's not a man's game anymore," said defenseman Lyle Odelein. Veteran goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, whose season goals-against average is bloated to nearly twice his career mark, responded emphatically to a questioner. "Do I like the new game? No," Thibault said. "I liked it better before. Right now, you get a free pass to the net."
read on update, Sunday 12:33am, While at the Gazette, make sure to check out Shelly Anderson's Slap Shots, where you will find information like this:
Some shootout statistics through Thursday: There were 25 shootouts through the first 281 games this season (8.9 percent). Shooters scored on 51 of 159 attempts (32.1 percent). Five shootouts were decided in four shots, nine in five shots, six in six shots, one in seven shots, two in eight shots, one in 16 shots and one in 18 shots. Nashville led with four shootout games, going 3-1. Washington was 3-0. Tampa was 0-3. Detroit and Philadelphia had not been in one.

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Hot Stove Tends To Agree With Yzerman

Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and John Davidson were on the 'Hot Stove' between periods on HNIC. They all leaned towards agreeing with Yzerman comments. They say the refs are calling anything that looks like a penalty and the players would rather have them error on the side of not calling it than calling a penalty when it really isn't. Also, during the Wings game tonight, Yzerman commented again by saying, "just watch the games on TV, even the analysts can't find the infraction on some of the calls." To clarify too many of the people who are discussing this at HFBoards and other forums, Yzerman is not knocking the game and the changes, but said the refs need to bring their judgment into some of the calls, not go strictly by the book even if it looks like a penalty. From Day 1 of the new season, Steve has said there are too many pp opportunities and the flow of the game suffers from it.

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Larmer Resigns From His NHLPA Post

from TSN,

Former NHL player Steve Larmer is the latest to voice his displeasure with the National Hockey League Players' Association, re-signing from his post this weekend after seven years with the organization. Larmer, who played for 15 seasons in the NHL, joins a small yet vocal group of current and former players unhappy with the decision-making process of the NHLPA and the selection of Ted Saskin as its new Executive Director.

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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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