Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Confidence In Mason

from the Daily News Journal,

Now that Mason is starting every game, he has clicked into that evasive rhythm all goal tenders are trying to find. His past two starts saw him shut out the St. Louis Blues and slam the door on the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-1 shootout win on Saturday night. Many Preds fans are already throwing in the towel, convinced that any chances for post season success went down with Vokoun. Even my usually knowledgeable WLAC co-host Brent Dougherty says one and done. Sorry naysayers, but if we see the confident Chris Mason we witnessed last Saturday night, there is no reason to think the Preds can't do well in the playoffs. He was that good.

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Circle June 24th For NHL Draft

from the Globe and Mail,

The National Hockey League is moving its annual entry draft to prime time, hoping the appeal of two American stars will pull in a substantial U.S. television audience. Defenceman Erik Johnson of the U.S. national under-18 development team and U.S. forward Phil Kessel of the University of Minnesota are expected to be among the first five selections, with Johnson perhaps going first. The seven-round draft, which will be held Saturday, June 24, in Vancouver, will likely start at 7:30 p.m. EDT and wrap up at about midnight. In Canada, the telecast will be carried on TSN; in the United States, on OLN.

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Malik Out With Shoulder Injury

via the AP,

Marek Malik joined the growing list of injured New York Rangers defensemen Tuesday, aggravating a shoulder injury that sidelined him five games last month. Malik was hurt when he reached for a puck during the Rangers' morning skate in advance of their game Tuesday night against the New York Islanders. Officially the team is calling it an upper body injury. He missed the game as did other top defensemen Darius Kasparaitis and Tom Poti. Kasparaitis sat out for the 10th time in 11 contests due to a groin injury. Poti has been sidelined two games by an undisclosed upper body injury.

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NHL Draft Order

from the NHL,

The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2006 Entry Draft, will take place Thursday, April 20, at 12 p.m., ET, at the NHL's New York office. The Draft Drawing will involve clubs that do not qualify for this seasons Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs. The Draft Drawing result does not affect the draft order for the remainder of the first round and rounds two through seven.

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OLN Official Playoff Plans

Over the last two weeks or so, I have disclosed much of the OLN plans for the playoffs. Here is their official release via NHL.com. Not much new to the readers of KK, but it goes into much more detail and describes their ramped up coverage.

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Barnaby “Wired”

Recently Sportsnet upgraded their website and I noticed they now have an A/V section. The "wired" Barnaby video is very amusing. Matthew wore a microphone during a recent Columbus/Blackhawks game and there are some comments that are priceless and some that are bleeped out. Around the 1:22 mark of the video, Barnaby tells Fedorov to take off the slippers. image

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Begin Out With Sprained Knee

from the AP,

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday that center Steve Begin is out for at least the remainder of the regular season with a sprained left knee. The 27-year-old Begin is hopeful for a return in the playoffs but no specific timetable has been set for his comeback. Begin suffered the knee sprain on April 8 in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

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Semin Reaches Agreement With Caps

via Hockey Fights,

Left wing Alexander Semin has committed to return to the Washington Capitals next season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced. The Capitals and Semin have reached a two-year agreement, beginning in 2006-07.

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The Maven Tour Of The NHL

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-The good news for those who give a damn about the NHL’s welfare is that Gary Bettman has no plans to go bye-bye. The bad news for his collection of chronically vitriolic foes is that the Commish is dedicated to leading the league to new-found prosperity. -And, by the way, how come John Ferguson, Jr. gets no credit for the brilliant goaltending addition of Jean-Sebastien Aubin? The 28 year-old could be a starter for the Leafs next year. -Any player who says this ought to check his contract and paycheck: “I don’t know why we weren’t ready!” Latest to utter this garbage is Ryan Smyth.

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Reminder- Robitaille Retirement At 3:00pm

The LA Kings will be streaming Luc's retirement conference at 3:00pm EST today. A nice tribute to Robitaille from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On draft day in June, 1984, the Los Angeles Kings were so sure of Luc Robitaille's Hall Of Fame potential that they used their ninth pick, 171st overall, to select him from the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Five rounds earlier, with the 69th pick in the draft, the Kings chose what they considered a surer bet - a Minnesota high school prospect named Tom Glavine, who never played a game in the National Hockey League, but went on to have a pretty good major-league baseball career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves.

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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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