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All Mario

TSN pays respect to the Great Mario Lemieux,

One of the greatest NHL players in history has called it a career. The Hall of Famer finishes his career seventh on the all-time scoring list with 690 goals and 1,033 assists in 915 games, while serving as a hockey icon his entire career.
read on The official retirement announcement from the Pittsburgh Penguins and a note from Gary Bettman,
“Mario’s exceptional play earned him accolades. His ability to face adversity earned him respect. His devotion to Pittsburgh and the Penguins earned him admiration. His dedication to hockey – at both the NHL and International levels – earned him the enduring appreciation and thanks of everyone associated with the game. We celebrate his playing career and wish him only the best in the future.”
update 2:20pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
"I don't know how long it will be before we see another Mario Lemieux," said (Sean) Burke. "Now, we've got (Alexander) Ovechkin and (Sidney) Crosby, but I don't think you could ever put them in the class of a Mario. He was so big and so dominant. "Whenever we played Pittsburgh, you were almost thinking, 'I hope he's really not that interested in playing tonight' because you knew, when he did decide to play, he was unstoppable and when he was just OK, he was the best player in the league."
more update 2:30pm, from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
To hell with F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are second acts in America (and Canada), acts even better than the first one, as in the case of Mario Lemieux. There also are, sadly, second retirements.
more update 2:36pm, NHL photo gallery of Mario. update 2:43pm, from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,
Rarely has a player come to define a city the way Mario Lemieux has with Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, the symbiotic relationship between player and city may finally be running its course after a two-decade union that produced a lifetime of memories for all.
continued update 3:10pm, from the CP via Yahoo,
"If I could still play this game I would be on the ice," he told a news conference. Lemieux has retired before. This time, it is for good. "This is it," he added. "It hurts."
read on update 3:15pm, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
This is it for No. 66. He said today that no only can he not play to the level he wants, but that the heart arrhythmia problems he has been battling since December will almost certainly force him to undergo corrective surgery in the next month or two.
more update 3:18pm, from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
As we got the word at NHL.com that Mario Lemieux was going to announce his retirement at 2 p.m. Tuesday, preparations ramped up in a big way. One of the detriments to age is not being able to remember all those fun facts that seemed to be at my fingertips not too long ago. So, as I researched Lemieux's career, I got to his career stats and was surprised.
more update 3:24pm, from Barry Melrose of ESPN,
I really hate seeing great players retire. We all do, no matter the sport. But the NHL has lost some of the all-time best this season. Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens, to name a few. Now, Mario Lemieux.
continued update 4:02pm, from Rich Libero of NHL.com,
It's little consolation, but take some time to reflect on the joy that Lemieux has brought to the franchise -- both on the ice and off. Know that he has faced some of the bleakest moments any human will face. And yet, he has prevailed. Lemieux's retirement may mark a sad day, but it's also a reminder about the frailty of human life, the cyclical nature of success in sports and the bright future that youth and talent can supply. more er="0" alt="image" name="image" width="157" height="185" />

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Buccigross Takes On NBC

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

The camera angles for NBC's NHL coverage are simple and clear. You can see everything and the director is not cut-happy, changing camera angles midstream. The game is too fast for that. The camera is at perfect zoom length. Not too close, not too far. The top line "score bug," as we call it in TV land, is on top of the screen and not the bottom. Sleek and unobtrusive.
read on..along with many other topics...

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Penguins News Conference

via NHL.com, USA viewers can watch the Penguins news conference beginning at 2:00pm. Canadians can view through the NHL Network.

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Rivers To Be A Leaf

According to Leafs Lunch, the Leafs are in the process of acquiring Jamie Rivers from the Detroit Red Wings. Probably a draft choice or future considerations will be headed to the Wings. Looks like the Wings are preparing for the return of Kronwall. update Wednesday, 11:17am, via the Toronto Sun,

One report making the rounds yesterday had the Leafs acquiring journeyman defenceman Jamie Rivers from the Detroit Red Wings. Rivers was in the St. Louis Blues organization from 1995-99, making him a commodity Leafs general manager John Ferguson would be familiar with. But while Leafs scout Craig Button was in Detroit for the Wings-Nashville game last night, Ferguson was quick to deny any transaction had been completed involving Rivers. "That is not factual," Ferguson said.
To be fair to Leafs Lunch, they did say this transaction was going to happen, although it may take a day or two before it is actually made public. update Wednesday 1:26pm, Bill Watters from Leafs Lunch mentioned today that they were told that Rivers would be a Leaf. He then said no matter if Rivers comes, it is a minor deal....They also had Toronto GM John Ferguson Jr, on earlier and nothing was mentioned about this deal.

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The Blues Remain Competitive

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

For a night, anyway, the Blues stopped their suffering and made somebody else miserable for a change. “We were just (manure),” Canucks power forward Todd Bertuzzi told the Vancouver media after the 4-0 loss. ...Most of the veteran players have heard their name in trade rumors. Doug Weight will become a free agent at season’s end, so he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to head to a contender. The Blues hold an option on Tkachuk for next season -– at a budget-friendly rate -– so he could become an even greater trade chip.

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The Maven’s Moments

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-Two prominent NHL execs – with no axes to grind – unequivocally tell us who Charles Wang should hire as his next GM. The man in question is Dean Lombardi. When he was Sharks GM, the club improved for six straight years. Dean, wisely, was snatched by the Flyers, for whom he’s one of Bob Clarke’s pro scouts. -Mike Babcock rates a helluva lot more kudos for keeping the Red Wings flying than he’s getting. Ditto for Michael Garnett. The Thrashers third string goalie produced an admirable 10-7-4 mark, keeping Atlanta in the playoff race while Kari Lehtonen and Mike Dunham were sidelined.

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Hanging From The Rafters At Kukla’s Korner


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Report- Mario To Retire

Radio station 104.7fm in Pittsburgh is reporting Mario Lemieux will retire today. A news conference is scheduled for 2pm according to the station. thanks to Tony, a regular reader of KK for passing this on. update 9:36am, via TSN,

One of the greatest NHL players in history is calling it a career. The Pittsburgh Penguins have called a 2pm et press conference where Mario Lemieux will announce his retirement.
update 12:26pm, The Legacy of Lemieux, by Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports

Continue Reading »

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What’s Next For Arnason

from the Chicago Tribune,

It's becoming very clear, however, that Arnason's temperament is not conducive to being "the man" on a team. "We've tried everything," Tallon said. "I've talked to him, Trent has talked to him, we've been nice to him, we've given him lots of ice time. I don't know what to do." The next move for Arnason might be out of town. Toronto and Florida are rumored to have expressed interest in Arnason, whose $1.2 million contract expires after this season. "I haven't had any feedback from anybody," Tallon said. "We're not in a position to say no to anybody right now. I'm listening to everybody on anything."
read on

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NHL Needs To Promote The Players

from the Morning Call,

Let's get something straight right away — the mission of the new NHL should be all about creating the next Wayne Gretzky. Gary Bettman and the NHL can give us all the reasons in the world for the rule changes they've made — from promoting more scoring, to making a fan-friendlier game, to nurturing a revenue environment where small market teams can compete with the larger ones — but if he wants to reintroduce the league to a broader public, he needs to concentrate all his efforts on one thing: Promoting a superstar for a league desperate for a superstar.

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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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