Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Original Six Fading

from the Chicago Tribune via the Mercury News,

They are two words people with longtime ties to the sport deem sacred: Original Six. For many, those words evoke memories of Hull, Mikita, Howe, Richard, Beliveau and Sawchuk, when the sport was concentrated in six cities - Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, Montreal and Toronto. It's fondly referred to as "old-time hockey." But as the years go by, the mystique of the Original Six appears to be fading. Wednesday at the United Center was another example. Despite making their only appearance of the season and perhaps their only showing in the next five or six seasons, the New York Rangers, one of those Original Six teams, failed to fill up the United Center for their game against the Blackhawks.

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U.S. Olympic Roster Trimmed Down

from the CP via TSN,

While the media spotlight in Canada has centred on Wayne Gretzky's Olympic scouting trip this week, U.S. general manager Don Waddell quietly went about cutting down his short list to about 30 players. The Americans are down to 26 skaters and four goalies. ''We have about six guys on the bubble right now,'' the U.S. general manager said Thursday. ''We're going to see all those guys one more time here in the next 10 days.
read on

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Scotty Says Make The Goalie Equipment Smaller

Scotty Bowman was just on Detroit radio and said he has noticed scoring down the last couple of weeks or so. Teams are starting to play more defense and protecting leads. Scotty mentioned the goalie equipment must get smaller. He was watching Hasek on TV the other night and he looks four feet wide. If policemen can wear bullet proof vests and we can't even tell they have one on, then why can't the equipment be made smaller. Not too many even strength goals, he wants to see the winger coming down the boards, fire a slapper from 40 ft. and score. He feels the NHL must meet with the NHLPA and change some rules, the goalie equipment being the #1 priority. Bowman also talked about the goalie situation in Detroit. Until Manny gets back into action, there will be some doubt. His recommendation is wait for Manny to come back and see what shakes out. No need for a trade now. My two cents on the rumor that Legace will be moved in a trade- Hogwash. Manny is a UFA after this year, no team is going to offer a player of much value, and besides, who plays goal for the Wings if he is gone. It makes no sense to move him unless the value offered is too good to pass up. which is not going to happen.

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The Memories Continue

from Jim Kelley of ESPN,

Twenty-five years ago, Mike Ramsey was a 19-year-old American-born defenseman who had just walked out of the Olympic Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., with a gold medal around his neck, a hockey bag full of equipment and a long hike up a hill to get back to his living quarters. Ramsey tells a story of being stopped by a New York state trooper as he began his hike. The trooper was somewhat concerned that such a young kid was hauling off equipment from the arena where one of the most emotional hockey games ever played had just taken place.

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Questions For Mario

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It doesn't help matters that Lemieux has had several episodes of this condition since mid-summer. According to the website The Atrial Fibrillation Page, AF is not something to be dismissed lightly. Once thought to be just a "nuisance arrhythmia," newer medical research uncovered some "devastating complications" including stroke, congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy, all directly related to AF. It also suggested that AF can occur at any age, but its prevalence tended to increase with age and affected men slightly more often than women. Lemieux is 40. If he wanted to play in the Olympics, he would be guaranteed one of the 23 roster spots, of that there is no doubt. But does he have the urge to make a two-week trip to Europe in the middle of a long NHL season, when he might be better off spending the time resting his body?
read on

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Sales Picking Up

from the Buffalo Business Journal,

Rechin, owner of C&T Hockey Products Ltd., saw gross sales fall at his Sanborn business by more than 50 percent, from about $650,000 in 2003 to about $250,000 last year. Employment was slashed from eight to four. The NHL cancelled its 2004-05 season when players and owners could not agree on a collective bargaining contract. With the dispute settled, the custom silk-screened hockey puck and stick business is on the rebound. Sales are expected to reach $450,000 this year. "The NHL strike last year killed us and we really had to restructure," Rechin said.

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Late Night Viewing

from the blog of Nancy Koenig at NHL.com,

I'm always grateful for the opportunity to watch NHL hockey after midnight and can't imagine living on the West Coast, where games hosted here in the East air in the early evening. What would I do without late-night games?
more Ah yes, with a DVR you can actually watch games until about 4am...

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Up Close With McCabe

from ESPN,

In this edition of Facing Off, McCabe talks about his family lineage in baseball, why he isn't an NHL "tough guy" and why he no longer sports a Mohawk. Q: You've had 54 career NHL fights. Who would say is the toughest guy you have fought in the NHL? A: Troy Crowder beat the snot out of me my first year in the league. He put my nose on the other side of my face. I learned in a hurry that I wasn't a tough guy [laughs]. Q: Why would you fight a heavyweight like Troy Crowder? A: I don't know. He hit one of our good players and I just happened to be on the ice. I was young and dumb. Out of my 54 fights, I might have two wins [laughs]. That's not a good average.
read on

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Thursday ‘Moanin’

Has time passed me by? The new NHL fan is so fickle these days and I wonder if I am out of touch or is it the 'Original Six' syndrome? I stand by my team, through thick and thin, influenced by the loyalty the great players of yesteryear showed me. Today I read across the world wide web, Yzerman is the problem, Chelios is too old, Lemieux is washed up, Roenick should retire, Recchi stinks.... To those people who want instant gratification, go follow the NBA, NFL or MLB, where players are more concerned about their next appearance off the playing field instead of worrying about their next shift like hockey players do. When was the last time you saw a hockey player give up on a play like the Detroit Lions Roy Williams recently did? When was the last time you read about a MLB player playing through pain like so many NHL players do on a daily basis? The modern day fan wants to control their NHL player, thinking if they push the right buttons on their touchpad in their brain, the player will perform in 'turbo' mode on a nightly basis. You see, some fans of today have no sense of the history of the game. Names like Orlando Kurtenbach, Caesar Maniago, Camille Henry, Ed Van Impe are unknown to the bandwagon fan. The history of the NHL is so unique and needs to be reflected upon to understand what makes the hockey player of today. My advice to you- Start here and don't open your mouth again until you have read each and every profile. Then, and only then, will you have a true understanding of the greatest game on earth.

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Lemieux Released From Hospital

via the AP,

Pittsburgh Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux was discharged from a hospital Thursday after being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can be treated with medication and should not affect his career. Lemieux, 40, was admitted to an undisclosed Pittsburgh hospital after practice Wednesday, after complaining of an irregular heartbeat -- a condition team general manager Craig Patrick said Lemieux has experienced several times in recent weeks. After being evaluated overnight, doctors diagnosed the problem and told Lemieux he should rest and go on medication. He is expected to take it easy for a week to 10 days, after which the team will determine when he can resume play.

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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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