Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Former Wing Kocur Being Sued

from the Detroit Free Press,

A former manager of a bar in Fenton owned by ex-Red Wings Joey Kocur and Dave Lewis claims in a lawsuit that the bar condoned and promoted lewd behavior, public nudity and underage drinking. Wanda Richardson alleges that she was forced to resign from Joe & Lewie's Pentaly Box Sports Tavern in August after confronting other employees at the bar about what she described as out-of-control, drunken and lascivious behavior.

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Your NHL Players Of The Week

from NHL.com,

Los Angeles Kings forward Craig Conroy, who tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) and posted a +5 rating in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, October 23. Detroit goaltender Manny Legace, who led the Red Wings to three victories and recorded a 1.30 goals-against average and one shutout, has been named the League's Defensive Player of the Week.

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Around The Rink

Around the rink, ESPN style takes us on a tour with many of the ESPN hockey experts. For example, Barry Melrose checks in with this-

This week, I am looking for an answer to one question: are the Predators for real? They're 7-0, but I am waiting for them to play one of the West's best teams, like Vancouver or Detroit. Against those teams, we'll see if Nashville is a pretender or contender.

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Lang Has The Hands To Lead The Wings

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

A sports report was playing on a TV over Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland's shoulder when I asked him what it was that he liked most about veteran center Robert Lang before he traded for him just before the March trading deadline in 2004. "The best assets Robert has are great hands and a big body -- and he's a very, very smart player," Holland said. Then he smiled and added: "With the way the rules are now, he is exactly the kind of player you want down deep -- from the faceoff circles to the goal line, where a quick shot, a quick creative decision can often result in a goal with the time and space that players now have in our game."

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Iginla Playing Like Lady Byng Candidate

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

A victim of the new NHL that has sacrificed intensity and physicality for scoring and speed, Iginla has done little to demonstrate the grittiness that has long fueled the game's most complete player. It wasn't until late in Thursday's win over Edmonton that the Flames captain has shown any sort of emotion, slamming his stick on the glass as he loudly protested an unwarranted penalty call handed to him thanks to Jarret Stoll's dive. Truth is, he didn't even deserve his two minutes -- something the Professional Hockey Writers Association will have to consider when voting. Other than that, Iginla has not registered the type of hits or passion that has long pumped him, his teammates and Flames fans up.

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Gimmicks Deciding Games

from the Toronto Sun via Slam,

"All of us are in favour of not having the grappling, the hooking, the holding," Quinn concedes. "Nobody wanted that. Where it is right now, in spite of everybody saying 'Oh, I love the new game,' I don't love the new game. I don't think it's hockey. It's special teams situations and we've got gimmicks to decide games. "It's totally different. You're not going to see the physical playoff style if everybody is afraid of penalties. So far, we've won our games on special teams and we've lost our games on special teams. Five-on-five is like the dodo bird."

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Dominating Dom

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

For all the naysayers and worrywarts out there waiting for a part of Hasek to go creak or watch him turn into a washed-up old guy, it simply hasn't happened. "I'm not surprised one bit and I wouldn't call what he has done a surprise," said Senators GM John Muckler. "This is exactly what I expected when I signed (Hasek) to a contract. I know what kind of talent he is and what kind of athlete he is. I know how hard he works. "He's been very good. He's come in here and shown that he wants to get the job done. We're talking about a guy here who is on a mission. He wants to show he's one of the elite-level goalies in the NHL and he wants to win a Stanley Cup. That's why he is here."

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Talking Attendance

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Commissioner Gary Bettman has made appearances in which he has declared that sweeping changes in rules, rink dimensions and goalie equipment have resulted in a faster and reinvigorated game, and that attendance across the league is the proof. Suggesting otherwise is just "looking for a negative story that isn't there," Bettman said. "All of our franchises will be fine," he said. "Everybody associated with the game is delighted we're back and things are as positive as they are." Let's examine that for a second. Attendance is down in Washington, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus and Chicago. Washington has had three crowds of less than 11,000 in the 18,277-seat MCI Center, with a low of 10,002 vs. Tampa Bay on Oct. 16. And no matter what the teams do, there will be lots of games at Buffalo, New Jersey, Florida and other cities that will be way below capacity.

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Chocolate For Breakfast

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

Alex Ovechkin's mornings used to begin with a cup of hot tea and a ham and egg sandwich prepared by his mother. But that changed Monday when Ovechkin's parents, Tatiana and Mikhail, returned to Russia after a month-long stay in Washington to help their 20-year-old son get accustomed to life in a foreign land. "When I wake up now, I don't have breakfast," Ovechkin joked yesterday. "I try to make something, but it's no good."I just go to Starbucks and eat chocolate." It's probably too early to begin handicapping the Calder Trophy race, which no Capital has ever won. But the rookie of the year award shouldn't be handed to Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby just yet -- especially if Ovechkin continues to score at, or even near, his current pace.

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Hartley Is An Embarrassment

from the Toronto Sun via Slam,

Bob Hartley is quickly becoming an embarrassment to the new National Hockey League. At a time when hockey is doing its utmost to put on a happy face, Hartley's worst instincts are dragging the game back to its Neanderthal past. Soon, the talented but ridiculously inept Atlanta Thrashers, may have to make a decision on their coach's future. Don't be the least bit surprised if there is league pressure to remove Hartley from the Atlanta bench. Atlanta players are being suspended for actions the coach could easily put an end to.

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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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