Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Adored In Edmonton

from the OC Register via the Santa Barbara News-Press,

Last Tuesday evening, a fellow took a WestJet flight from Montreal to Edmonton. It's an airline with a TV at each seat. The flight coincided with Game 3 of the Oilers-Mighty Ducks series. The plane was full. The fellow looked around, walked up and down. Every screen but one was showing the hockey. The only one that didn't showed ''American Idol.'' Yeah, there are days when you do feel like you're in the wrong country. This series featured teams from neighboring nations, but faraway hockey planets. Orange County, or least a 17,174 person chunk of it, got excited about the Western finals on game nights. Edmonton counted the seconds until faceoff every day. The noise in Edmonton was overwhelming and was produced mostly by human beings. The noise in Anaheim was intermittent and was prompted largely by a scoreboard.

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SCF Start Date

via the Toronto Star,

Nothing has been officially announced, but the television networks have been told that the Stanley Cup final will begin one week from today in either Carolina or Buffalo. Despite the fact that the Western Conference final is over and the Eastern final may end as early as tomorrow, it's believed that the NHL is pandering to the wishes of NBC, who don't pick up the final until Game 3.Under the format, it's believed the final will open with Games 1 and 2 next Monday and Wednesday in either Carolina or Buffalo. The series then shifts to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4, June 10 and 12.
FYI, CBC mentioned either Saturday or Monday as the start date for the Finals.

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They Still Won

from the blog of Ron Francis,

Well, if I'm going to be totally honest with you I must say that tonights game was not at all what I expected. I really thought that after the last game the Canes were ready to make a big statement tonight at the RBC in front of the home fans. I thought they would come out flying and most likely have the game and series in control by the end of the first period. So much for my thoughts. I didn't think the Canes played as well as they are capable of. They seemed to not be skating as well as usual. I'm not sure if that had to do with understanding the importance of winning this game, or having the same thoughts I was having about Buffalo really being in a tough position with 3 top defenseman out as well as a top forward, and having to come to Raleigh for game 5.

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Will JSG Move

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Despite the club's surprising success, Burke will undoubtedly spend the summer looking for ways to improve his roster. One determining factor in how much change comes to the Ducks depends on how much ownership is willing to spend. The team began the season nudging the $39 million cap ceiling, but the savvy Burke managed to pare that down to just over $34 million by the end of the season.... One way Burke could free up payroll space could be trading veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has one season remaining on his contract at $3.9 million. Bryzgalov's strong play during the season and in the playoffs made "Giggy" the subject of trade rumors for months, which aren't likely to die down in the off-season. Several teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, are believed to be in the market for a quality starting goalie and may have interest in Giguere.

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Edmonton Fans Welcome Oilers

from the CP via TSN,

Hundreds of Edmonton Oilers fans jammed the road leading to an airport terminal Sunday afternoon to catch a glimpse of their returning NHL hockey heroes. Welcome to Edmonton - the city that used to be happy to just be in the playoffs but now will settle for nothing less than a sixth Stanley Cup. Mounties worked to keep fans away from the Shell Aerocentre, where the Oilers charter plane arrived. Outside the terminal, hundreds of cars were parked higgledy-piggledy, on grass stretches and along ditches while the throng of 300 fans stretched out over a kilometre.

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Oilers Finally Back In Finals

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

I don't think you can realize the magnitude, the importance of this, us going to the Stanley Cup finals in Edmonton," said Ethan Moreau, an Oiler since late in the 1998-99 season. "That's life there. It's been a long time. I think they're going to appreciate it, they're going to enjoy it more this time around because back in the day it was almost expected," added Moreau, who scored his first goal of the playoffs early in the second period Saturday to tie the game at 1. "This is huge. It's huge for the guys in the room. It's huge for the city, unbelievable for the organization. It is hard to put into words what this means to our team."

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Keep Believing

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

I'm happiest to see it in their faces,'' said coach Craig MacTavish of the first eighth-seed team ever to make it to the Stanley Cup final, the longest longshot of them all. "A lot of times you want something so badly that it's almost anti-climatic when you get it. But this wasn't one of those instances,'' added the coach of the team which now has a chance to become the first team since four rounds of best-of-seven series were introduced to open every series on the road and win the Cup. "I'm really happy for the core guys on the team, the guys who have been through a lot here, never cheated the fans and never cheated their teammates.''
read on KK Affiliate Reebok Edmonton Oilers 2006 Western Conference Champions Locker Room Hat

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Loved To Be Hated

from the Chicago Tribune,

"I deserved most of what I got because I was an instigator," Lemieux said, "but I loved every minute." Lemieux, 40, was a right wing for five teams in 19 NHL seasons. He's now president of the Phoenix Roadrunners of the East Coast Hockey League. "Looking back, those were still good days," he said, "and every now and then I still miss the action." Call Lemieux crazy. He usually was called much worse over a career in which he became known as the NHL's most annoying player. "I'd have guys say, 'You're good enough, why are you always yapping?' But my game was being irritable," Lemieux said. "The booing, the hating, the nastiness, you get used to it."

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The Consequences

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The echoes of Brad Richards' five-year, $39 mil lion max-out deal with the Lightning will not only reverberate throughout the NHL this summer - Lou Lamoriello already is suffering migraines - but will also resound in NHLPA conference rooms as the union continues to ponder reducing the team cap from $8 million to $5 million above the payroll mid-range in order to limit escrow exposure. Proponents of changing the formula to tighten the salary cap are now certain to project dramatic inflation in both the unrestricted market and salary arbitration that will push overall league payroll well beyond the players' allotted percentage of the gross as a result of the bizarre contract restricted free agent Richards received from Tampa Bay. Any overage, of course, comes back to the league via escrow withholdings.
continued (reg. req.)

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On A Run

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The Oilers' run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final has been nothing short of a great story to the City of Edmonton and its fans. For the second time in as many seasons, a Canadian team - from Alberta - will play for the Cup. The fact that this is the Oilers (a team that for so long was synonymous with championship campaigns) makes everything that was old, well, new again. But Saturday's game did not come without its suspense.

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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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