Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sundin & Everyone Else

from Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,

More than ever before Mats Sundin stands alone, not only as the oldest, richest and most decorated Maple Leafs forward, but as the only sure offensive player on a team clearly lacking in essentials. It is him and no one else. There is no real backup plan. The Leafs can spin this any way they choose in these meaningless moments they call pre-season, but it is ever apparent that this team is a sporting sandwich devoid of scoring meat.

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Pisani Remains The Same

from the Edmonton Journal,

Steve Staios keeps looking for a sign from his dressing room neighbour Fernando Pisani. Bigger helmet? More bling? Any indication that it all went straight to his head. "I was hoping he'd change a little bit so I could get on him," laughed Staios. "Didn't happen. He's still the modest young Italian boy who lives down the street."

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Trouble Ahead For Canucks

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

The people who make a living as professional scouts for NHL teams had some interesting observations upon watching the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night against San Jose. And, after listening to a number of these observations, it became clear there might be a very good reason why this team could have problems scoring and perhaps even defending this year. They have lost a tremendous amount of straight-up physical strength from this lineup.

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Clarke Looking For A Goalie

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Less than 24 hours after the Flyers lost Antero Nittymaki for an extended period with a hip injury, there was talk Clarke made a call to San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. League sources say the Flyers are interested in Vesa Toskala, who is scheduled to make $1.375 million this season and is battling Evgeni Nabokov for San Jose’s No. 1 job. While initial reports indicate Nittymaki could be gone for two months, there are whispers it could be even longer and it’s believed the Flyers want to make sure they have help for starter Robert Esche.
read on

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Elias Normal Again

from the NY Post,

There actually is some good news in this Devils training camp that is overshadowed by Lou Lamoriello's salary-cap quandary. Likely captain Patrik Elias said his first blood test since last season showed no signs of the hepatitis that cost him a half-season last year. "It's back to normal for the first time in more than a year-and-a-half," Elias told The Post. "That's good news."
continued...check out the NY Post's new website too...

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Boynton Deals With Diabetes

from the Arizona Republic,

Nick Boynton vividly remembers how diabetes became part of his life in the summer of 1999, when he was 20 years old and working on his family's farm in Canada a few weeks before his first NHL training camp. "One day I just couldn't get out of bed because I was too tired, and my parents were starting to get (upset) because I wasn't making it to work," the Coyotes defenseman said. "It really just came out of the blue, and I got sicker and sicker."

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Group Toughness

from the Belleville News-Democrat,

Many NHL teams used to rely on an enforcer similar to former St. Louis Blues winger Tony Twist, and some still do. Heavyweights like Georges Laraque of Phoenix and Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk are examples of tough guys who also can play the game. But with the salary cap now a reality, teams are trying to find players whose versatility allows them to do more than pummel someone into submission. "The days of having a one-dimensional heavyweight have passed us," said Blues winger Jamal Mayers, who never shied away from dropping the gloves last season when the situation warranted. "There's very few guys that can skate and perform that role. That's just an organization's decision to have or not have a guy like that."

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All Yzerman

Detroit fans & hockey fans, if you missed the recent interview with Steve Yzerman on "Hockey This Morning" on XM radio- station 204, you just may want to listen (will open mp3 file) to it. Interview is about 17 minutes long, so let it play while reading the rest of KK or browsing the web. Ray Scapinello joined Scott Laughlin and Cam Stewart of "HTM" and is one of the better interview segments I have heard in a long time. Thanks again to the folks at Home Ice, station 204, for providing me with the audio, it is much appreciated.

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Zherdev Deal Within 48 Hours

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets appear close to reaching contract terms with restricted free agent Nikolai Zherdev. "We've had some good discussions," said Rolland Hedges, Zherdev's agent. "We're prepared to compromise. "If they are as well, I think we'll have a deal." NHL sources indicated a deal could be struck in the next 24 to 48 hours. "We've got real progress, which is good," MacLean said. "We have not agreed to terms. I wouldn't say we're close, necessarily, in a lot of respects. "But I would say the foundation is in place where we could get something done if we keep having productive talks."
more Many of you who have been following this know I have stated numerous times Zherdev would be back in Columbus by the start of the season. I have seen this same scenario too many times and 99.9% of them end just like this one will. update 11:52am, via WBNS-10TV,
10TV Sports has learned that the Columbus Blue Jackets have come to terms on a new contract with forward Nikolai Zherdev. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The Jackets will be holding a press conference at 12:30 p.m.

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Stick To Hockey

AO warmed up this afternoon before throwing out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals game. image photo via the AP added 8:06am, Thursday Sept. 28th, Off Wing Opinion has more on this...

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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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