Kukla's Korner

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Reaching 50

from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,

The NHL wanted more goals this season. Well, if the current scoring trend continues, at least 13 players will record 50 or more goals. "Let's hope so," Tampa star Vincent Lecavalier said recently. "It's a fact there's more goals and more opportunities to score. If it keeps up, it would be great to have 10 guys with 50 goals or 20 with 40. "It makes it better for the fans. The more goals they see, the more they enjoy the game and the more they want to see the games." If Lecavalier, Simon Gagne, Daniel Alfredsson, Jaromir Jagr, Dany Heatley, Eric Staal, Daniel Briere, Alexander Ovechkin, Markus Naslund, Brian Gionta, Martin Havlat, Ryan Smyth and Rod Brind'Amour remain on target, the NHL will have its biggest 50-goal club since a record 14 players turned the trick in the 1992-93 season.

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Flames Are Hot

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

They have rattled off a seven-game win streak now, their longest since the 1992-93 season — and they didn't even have to go to a shootout, or to overtime, to accomplish it. Their No. 1 goaltender is on a roll, reminiscent of their run to the 2004 Stanley Cup final and their No. 1 scorer is gradually creeping up scoring charts too. Yes, that would be Jarome Iginla, with 22 points in 20 games, back in the top 20, nestled beside the Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk, and just behind his former centre, the Los Angeles Kings' Craig Conroy.

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Shanahan Gets Grilled Daily

from the Clagary Sun,

The way Brendan Shanahan tells it, he was sitting in a restaurant with teammates, minding his own business while watching Monday's Calgary Flames-Minnesota Wild game. "There was a bad call and suddenly everybody looks at me," explains Shanahan, pausing for dramatic effect. "I said, 'What?' and they all started booing me. "I hope Jarome (Iginla) is getting a lot of that, too."

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Detroit Fans Not Showing Up

from the Detroit News,

Everything seems perfect for the Red Wings, who have started the season 15-3-1, the best record in the NHL. But one key thing is missing in Hockeytown: the buzz. Despite the Wings' long-anticipated return from the NHL lockout, which wiped out the 2004-05 season, a number of season-ticket holders have skipped games and sports-talk radio has been dominated by the Lions' plight. And even the TV ratings have taken a hit.

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Kovalev Out Longer Than Expected

from the CP via TSN,

Montreal Canadiens winger Alex Kovalev had successful surgery on his right knee in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, but team doctor David Mulder said the Russian star will most likely be out of action for six weeks instead of the original estimate of four. "He'll be out between four and eight weeks," Mulder said Tuesday just before the Habs took on the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre on Tuesday. "But six weeks would be a good guesstimate."

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Avery Fined Again

via the AP,

Los Angeles Kings forward Sean Avery was fined $1,000 by the NHL on Tuesday for comments he made after being fined $1,000 for diving during a game. "Mr. Avery's comments showed a complete lack of respect for all those associated with our game, most importantly his fellow players," Campbell said. "Mr. Avery has besmirched the reputation of all NHL players, coaches, general managers and owners who, collectively, have been successful in providing a more entertaining game for our fans." Thirty to 40 players have received warning letters from the league for diving, including Avery on Oct. 19 at Colorado, but Avery is the first to get nailed a second time, which carries the fine. As per the direction of the NHL's competition committee, a group that includes four players, a third diving incident results in a $2,000 fine and a fourth offense warrants a one-game suspension. "We knew it would be one of the impediments to the enforcement of hooking and holding and interference was the diving or the embellishment of those calls to draw a penalty and it was going to hurt our objective," Campbell told The Canadian Press. "We knew this would happen, because players are competitive and they do what they have to do to win the game. So this is how the players and the managers have asked us to do handle it."

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Sergei Fedorov To Columbus

via TSN,

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have traded star centre Sergei Fedorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for gritty checker Tyler Wright and blueliner Francois Beauchemin. The Blue Jackets also acquire a 2006 fifth-round pick in the deal.
more update 7:16pm, Barry Melrose on the trade....
Anaheim's trade of Sergei Fedorov means one of two things: they are either dumping his $6.08 million contract or they think he can't play at a high level anymore. I don't think this trade effects the Ducks as much since they've played most of the 2005-06 season without him as Fedorov battled groin injuries. It's not like he was a scoring threat for the team, and then they decided to trade him.
read on update 7:21pm, Bob McKenzie of TSN chimes in,
There are two things that need to be said about the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim dumping Sergei Fedorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and make no mistake, it was a dump as much as a trade. The first is that the Ducks will now free up about $4.5 million this year and another $4.5 million next season in terms of cap room. That was the primary motivation for a Ducks' team that is tight to the cap.
read on update 7:53pm, via TSN, Doug MacLean, GM of Columbus talks (will open wmp video) about the trade.

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Dunham Out Again

via the AP,

Mike Dunham was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after hurting his groin in yet another injury to an Atlanta Thrashers goaltender. The injury happened Saturday at Carolina, although it is not related to an earlier groin injury that sidelined him.

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It All Starts With The Player

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

The owners are the producers, providing the capital to invest, sustain and grow the game. Fans are the investors and directors, providing the passionate fuel to lift the game to emotional heights and the cash flow to line the pockets for a lucky few. Most media are the PR engine, providing information, perspective and access to augment the joy and pain of being a fan. The media also provide free advertising for NHL teams. Still, none of this works without the player. They are the fulcrum. The actors. The leading men that make or break the show. Their commitment is what defines the game. In almost every hockey issue, you start with the actor.

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NHL Happy With Drug Policy

from TSN,

In light of Major League Baseball's stricter drug policy and past reports of amphetamine use in hockey, the NHL feels that its own policy is adequate enough to address the issue of drug use in professional sports. "We're satisfied that the NHL and the NHLPA have negotiated and implemented an effective policy to deal with and penalize the use of performance enhancing drugs in our sport," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told TSN on Tuesday.

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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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