Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Dump The Morning Skate

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

It's the single stupidest thing in hockey -- except, perhaps, for Sean Avery's mouth. It's outdated, unnecessary and counterproductive. The first coach to have the pucks to junk the ridiculous ritual will give his team an immediate advantage. The reason it will take such pucks is that it would provide one more outlet for second-guessing a coach if and when things don't go well. But it still would be the right thing to do.

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Change The Playoff Format

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

"There was a lot of talk (about an expanded playoff format)," said Shanahan, "but we couldn't schedule it because of arena availability." Under the proposal that his committee considered, the top six teams in each conference would automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the seventh-to-10th placed teams would compete in a best-of-three preliminary round, with the winners advancing to the main playoff round. The idea of a "play-in" round was adopted by the NCAA years ago to allow a 65th team to qualify for the 64-team tournament. According to Shanahan, an expanded playoff pool would enhance the playoff races on three different levels.

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CBA Pool Increase By $8 Million

The Charest government is reportedly ready to give the Montreal Canadiens a big gift. La Presse reports that after numerous requests from the hockey team, the Quebec government has decided to cancel the $8-million annual property tax on the Bell Centre. The City of Montreal will reportedly be given the okay to sidestep its charter and apply a special property tax for the Bell Centre. The city has reportedly been told that it will not lose out in the deal; the money will come from Quebec's Treasury Board. Finance Minister Michel Audet tells the paper that the idea is to bring the Bell Centre's taxation level on par with what other NHL teams pay for their arenas.

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Goalies Under Barrage

from Sports Illustrated,

We knew goaltenders would get the worst end of this deal. The NHL wants more scoring, so it opens up the ice, cracks down on obstruction, and chops away at the amount of padding the goalies can use to protect their nets. Everyone -- well, everyone not wearing a mask -- is happy, especially the goaltenders' psychiatrists, whose workload has increased now that they must talk their clients off the ledge on a more frequent basis. "It's just the mental challenge after games and after weeks or months after some seemingly bad games," Stars goalie Marty Turco said this week during an NHL conference call. "There's just nights that I've actually felt like I've played well and let in four or five goals. You just have to let it go."

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NHL Will Play Second Fiddle To NBA On INHD

via HD Sports Guide,

We have learned that the OLN-HD games will be on INHD and not INHD2 for the remainder of the NHL Season. While this is good news for those that do not have access to INHD2, there is a downside. Beginning on December 12th, whenever there is a conflict between an NBA-TV high definition game and an OLN-HD game, the OLN-HD game will be shown on INHD on a delayed basis.

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Diving Debated

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

Colin Campbell, to this day, maintains that over the long course of his career as an undersized pro defenseman, he never took a dive. "I wasn't good enough to dive," he said. "It was all I could do to get the puck out." That kind of self-deprecation, of course, is part of what makes Campbell so likeable and respected in his job as, basically, the man in charge of how the NHL game is played and officiated. He's not always popular, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would tell you Campbell isn't trying his hardest every day to make the NHL better. So, it should come as no surprise that Campbell believes "diving," or pretending to be fouled in order to draw a penalty on the other team, is something that can't simply be ignored.

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Too Much Information

from the CP via TSN,

Philadelphia Flyers left-winger Simon Gagne says that what scares him most are snakes and spiders. Marty Brodeur wears the initials of each of his four children on the back of his helmet when he stops pucks for the New Jersey Devils. Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo's first job was selling shoes in his father's shoe store. Mike Ricci, the long-haired Phoenix centre, cut his locks last summer to play the role of former Montreal forward Elmer Lach in a movie filmed in Canada about NHL legend Maurice (Rocket) Richard. Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby has a yen for Chinese food.

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Marchant Clears Waivers

from TSN,

Todd Marchant has cleared waivers, TSN has learned. No NHL team put in a claim on the 32-year-old centre, who was put on waivers yesterday after the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Sergei Fedorov. Now, the next move is up to Columbus general manager Doug MacLean, who could send Marchant to the minors or could simply leave him on the roster as a non-active player. Either way, Marchant won't be back with the team. His locker has been cleared out and his name plate removed.
update 1pm, Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch changed his tune a bit today. Yesterday he said Edmonton would claim Marchant on the way back up, today he claims it will be Burke at Anaheim who will claim him.

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Beat The Flyers- Get Sent Down

from the AP,

So much for last night's 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Pittsburgh Penguins reassigned goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton affiliate on Thursday. Fleury made 45 saves in the Penguins' overtime win over the Flyers on Wednesday. He was called up to replace Sebastien Caron, who strained a quadriceps muscle last week, but is expected to come off the injured list in time to play Saturday against the Flyers at Mellon Arena.
update 12:18pm, While on the subject of Fleury, this might be a good time to review his contract, which I am sure is keeping him from playing full time in the NHL.

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Bidding High

National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association Hurricane Katrina Online Charity Auction Ths Sidney Crosby Jersey is up to $10,000. Followed by Mario and AO. I do wonder how high the price will go. You have until November 29th to place a bid and it will be interesting to see the bidding going on in the final hours.

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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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