Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

What To Do With Fleury

As noted yesterday, the Pens called up two goalies while putting Thibault on IR. What does this mean? from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

It could mean that the Penguins seriously are considering sending Marc-Andre Fleury back to the American Hockey League before he can cash in on some big bonuses. Or it might suggest that the Penguins really don't know what to do with their goaltending.

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Mad Mike

1050 ESPN radio is reporting Mike Millbury will step down at the end of the year. update 11:50am, from the New York Islanders,

At a press conference this morning at Nassau Coliseum, Islanders owner Charles Wang made the following announcements: Steve Stirling has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Assistant coach Brad Shaw has been named interim head coach. Islanders general manager Mike Milbury, upon the naming of a successor, will step away from the GM position and become a Senior Vice President for Wang's sports properties, which include the Islanders, New York Dragons (AFL), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and Islanders Iceworks.
more update 12:44pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There isn't much question who the New York Islanders want to be their new general manager-head coach. In fact, sources close to the Islanders' ownership say the NHL team has set its sights on getting Red Deer Rebel owner-GM-coach Brent Sutter and has already put in a call to the man who has won back-to-back gold medals as the head coach of Canada's national junior team.
more update 2:01pm, from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Thursday's announcement that GM Mike Milbury will step aside as soon as a replacement can be found was greeted in an entirely different fashion. Finally!, they shouted. What took you so long?

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Blog- Back Soon

Updates today will continue around 11:00am today.

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Theo In The Headlines Again

from the Toronto Star,

Former NHL star Theo Fleury made throat-slitting gestures and used obscene language during an altercation with fans in a British Elite Ice Hockey League game on Sunday night, according to a statement from Fleury's opponents. Fleury, playing for the Belfast Giants, was in the penalty box in the second period when fans of the host Coventry Blaze team began yelling at him. Fleury then reportedly tried to get at some of the spectators, earning him a game misconduct.
read on If you want to listen to the seven minute interview The Fan 590 in Toronto did with Fleury yesterday, you can find it on their homepage.

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The South Is Calling

The Tyee,

Head deep into America's south to Huntsville, Alabama, and there you'll find king cotton, a space rocket arsenal and, for young Canadians like Marc Narduzzi, a perfectly logical place to play hockey. You would be hard-pressed, however, to find two more disparate cultures in North America than those of Vancouver and the Alabama city amidst cotton fields. "We're in what you call the Bible belt down here, the people down here are very nice, you get a lot of southern hospitality, but it is the Bible belt," Ross said. "But the weather is warmer."

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Drug Testing Begins Sunday

from the Globe and Mail,

Richard Pound is about to be proven right or wrong. The testing will finally begin on Sunday, when the league's 700-plus players will start sending a message in a bottle as to whether they are clean or cheating. "I know I've been constantly watching what I put in my body," Edmonton Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger said yesterday. "I think this process has us on edge because it's not an exact science. "When you play 82 games, 28 to 30 minutes a game, you need to replenish your system with a protein shake now and again. But you're putting a lot of faith in the company that makes the protein powders. When these products are made, you never know what substances get mixed up or left on the conveyer belt."
read on

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Who You?

from the Delaware County Times,

There he sits on the end of the bench every game. He wears a Flyers sweater, so you know he’s part of the team, but other than that, he’s about as mysterious figure as there is. Meet Jamie Storr, the backup goalie. "I had a midseason review a couple weeks ago and that was the first time (Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock) talked to me," said Storr, who has been the backup for 15 games this season without seeing one second of action. "At that point, he said I was just here in case Niitty got hurt."

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Bonus Time For Ovechkin

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post (Friday edition),

As Alex Ovechkin walked past a television hanging from the ceiling in the Washington Capitals' practice facility yesterday, he stopped, and his eyes lit up. "Hey," he said. "It's me. I made Top Five Plays!" Ovechkin has already achieved one bonus. By scoring his 20th goal on Dec. 23 in a 4-2 victory over Montreal, he earned $212,500. "I know when I score 20 goals, I have one bonus," Ovechkin said yesterday at Piney Orchard Ice Arena, his eyes fixed on the television. "But I don't know how many points I must have for [additional] bonus[es]." He may not, but his agents and the Capitals' salary cap crunchers are certainly playing close attention. The incentives contained in Ovechkin's contract are divided into two schedules: Individual A, which are paid out by the Capitals, and Individual B, paid by the NHL and supplemented by the team.
read on (reg. req.) Ovechkin should become the focus of an NHL marketing campaign plus an ad agency would be very smart to grab him right now, before he becomes too expensive.

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Report- Stirling Fired

via the AP,

The New York Islanders fired coach Steve Stirling on Wednesday night, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official announcement wasn't scheduled until Thursday. An interim coach will be in place before the Islanders' home game against Calgary on Thursday night, and it won't be general manager Mike Milbury, the person told the AP.
update 11:32pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The firing of head coach Steve Stirling by the New York Islanders will spark speculation on two fronts, one short term and one longer term. The short term speculation will now focus on the future of Boston Bruin head coach Mike Sullivan. ...As for the longer-term speculation caused by Stirling's firing, brace yourself for a lot of 'Brent Sutter to the Islanders' talk.

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Memories For Messier

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Mark Messier stood at the podium in front of family, friends, and dozens of pictures of his entire hockey life. This was the day the six-time Stanley Cup champion has dreaded since he decided to end his 25-year NHL career back in September. Messier took the stage at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, one night before his number 11 New York Rangers jersey was to be raised to the rafters in the main arena.

Continue Reading »

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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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