Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Crosby In Canada

from the Globe and Mail,

Sidney Crosby, the No. 1 National Hockey League draft pick from Nova Scotia, plays his first games in Canada as a professional this week, in Toronto and tomorrow in Montreal against the Canadiens. Family and friends are flocking to both sites. The upside to a trip to Toronto — widely considered the epicentre among NHL cities — is it guarantees enormous exposure. In an unusual move, the Penguins will bring their entire media-relations staff in order to handle the crush expected for Crosby. The less desirable side is that a Toronto stop often raises controversies, often exaggerated, and, in this case, fuelled by Cherry's national show Coach's Corner. "There's a lot of controversy with everything you do in Toronto," Therrien said last week in response to a question from a Toronto reporter about Crosby being appointed as an alternate captain. "There was no controversy in Pittsburgh. Eventually, this is going to be Sidney's team. I'm not afraid to say it."
read on

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Hockey 101

from the Durham Herald,

As the Carolina Hurricanes wasted power play after power play against the Florida Panthers Dec. 23, they tested the patience of hard-core and casual fans alike. First the RBC Center crowd resorted to the usual cry: "Shoooottt!" Then the more frustrated resorted to the more basic shout: "Booooo!" At least the fans who have attended the organization's tutorial class, "Hurricanes U," knew what the team was trying to do on those man-advantages. Power-play strategy is one of the fundamentals the organization explains during Hurricanes U, which is part Hockey 101 and part behind-the-scenes look at Carolina's game-day experience at the RBC Center. For $100, the Hurricanes explain everything from the basics (What's icing?), to the intermediate (What's the best strategy for killing a penalty?), to the advanced (How does the salary cap and salary arbitration work?) -- it's all there in a three-part class for fans who want to know more about the game.

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Everything Is Good In Buffalo

from Buffalo Business First,

Approaching the halfway mark for the 2005-06 season, attendance at Sabres games has increased by 2.3 percent. Through the team's first 17 home games, the Sabres have averaged 14,947 fans at HSBC Arena, up 343 from the average 14,604 the team drew during the 2003-04 season. ...The Sabres' success isn't just limited to the turnstiles at HSBC Arena. TV ratings on the MSG Network are up 56 percent this season compared to two years ago. Bill Casale, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery general manager, said business at his downtown restaurant is up at least 15 percent compared to the 2003-2004 NHL season.

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Another Calder Candidate

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Sid the Kid. Alexander the Great. Marek the Anonymous. In much the same way Dwyane Wade was forced to emerge from the shadows of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James two years ago, Colorado Avalanche rookie Marek Svatos is finding it tough to steal attention from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. If Svatos needs a publicist, he might want to consider Avalanche goalie and fellow Slovak Peter Budaj, who has played with or against Svatos since both were about 10 years old.
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Re-thinking The NHL Schedule

"The Eastern teams are loving it and some of the Western teams -- not all -- are questioning it. That's something we're going to have to look at when the season's over and we look at the attendance figures and we look at the numbers."- Gary Bettman on the NHL schedule, via the Edmonton Journal. I sure hope something is done about this. The Wings should be playing the original six teams at least one time in each city. Not playing Toronto is a shame and I am sure the original teams feel the same way.

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Youth Coach In Critcal Condition- Injured During Pick-up Game

from the AP via WCCO,

A retired police officer and youth hockey coach was critically injured by a hockey puck Saturday during a father-son game. Dennin Bauers, 52, was struck behind the left ear by a puck at around 9:30 a.m., when about 20 high school players -- mostly from Duluth Central High School -- took on their fathers at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. He was wearing a helmet, but collapsed and was taken to the hospital.
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WJC- Jackson Avoids Suspension

from the CP via TSN,

American defenceman Jack Johnson will receive no further discipline from the International Ice Hockey Federation for elbowing Steve Downie in the head after Canada scored the winning goal in Saturday's 3-2 win over the U.S. at the world junior hockey championships.

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Panthers Improving

from the Miami Herald,

Call me a schmendrik who is spinning the facts like so many dreidels. But maybe this Panthers team isn't as awful as their autumn. Maybe they just needed time. Skaters who weren't regulars or even with the Panthers in the 2003-04 season account for more than half the Panthers' lineup on a normal night. ...Maybe all they needed was goalie Roberto Luongo to revert to pre-Lockout Luongo. That's what's happened the last eight games, when his save percentage has bulked back up to .946.
read on

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Emotional Ride For Bruins Fans

from the Boston Herald,

If you were a Bruins fan in 2005, even an Academy Award winner like Meryl Streep would have had a hard time capturing your emotional range. Despair, hope, excitement, disbelief, anger -- you probably felt it all through the year. From the lockout of last winter, to the brokered peace of the summer, from the wild days of August’s free agency to the stumbling of your team into last place of the Northeast Division -- and, oh, yeah, the stunning trade of franchise player Joe Thornton -- it was certainly an eventful 12 months (even if there was no NHL whatsoever in the first six).

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Zamboni Explodes

from the NY Post (reg. req.),

A Zamboni ice-grooming machine exploded at a Long Island skating rink yesterday afternoon, sending some 80 people — including many children — slipping and sliding to safety, authorities said. The frightening incident began after an employee at the Port Washington Skating Center — formerly owned by retired Islanders hockey star Brian Trottier — noticed a leak as he changed the propane fuel tanks on the device at about 3 p.m., police and fire officials said.

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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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