Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

OLN Tonight

Appears a few, smaller type, cable companies are getting the OLN game tonight. Cablevision and Dish Network are still being blacked out. I hope OLN and the NHL address this issue ASAP, at least inform the fans what to expect this season.

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A Young Man’s Game

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

The NHL is once again a young man's game. It is speed and skating, and I wanted to see if for myself. So, I took Ween guitarist Mickey Melchiondo's invitation to sit with him during a Penguins-Flyers game, and his season tickets were five rows from the ice. As a thank-you to Mickey, I contacted the Flyers' manager of game operations, Michael Wurman, and asked whether he would play the Ween song "It's Gonna Be a Long Night" at some point. Sure enough, during the first intermission, the song came on, and Mickey, as laid-back as he is, was visibly touched.

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Russians Playing Hardball With Olympics

from Sportsnet,

Imagine an Olympic hockey tournament with Nikolai Khabibulin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhamnov and Sergei Samsanov not playing for Russia. As incredulous as it sounds, it looks like this is where Russia is headed. The Russians - like all other countries that will compete in the '06 Games in Italy - have until next Monday (Oct. 24) to submit a list of candidates to their National Olympic Committee for the '06 Games in Turin, Italy. And the buzz in the international hockey community is that the Russians are seriously considering not having the aforementioned players at the Olympic competition. The Russians are expected to name Khabibulin, Kovalchuk and company to the list of candidates next week but it is doubtful they will make the trip to the Olympic competition. "We will not crawl on our knees asking players to play for Russia," Russian coach Vladimir Krikunov is quoted as saying in Russian newspapers. Krikunov is also quoted as saying, "There is no way Khabibulin is our No. 1 goalie."

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LaFontaine & Gare Will Have Numbers Retired

via TSN,

The Buffalo Sabres will announce at a Monday afternoon news conference that former captains Pat LaFontaine and Danny Gare will become the fifth and sixth players to have their numbers retired by the team.

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Havlat Gets Five Games

via TSN,

The NHL has handed Ottawa forward Martin Havlat a five-game suspension for kicking Boston's Hal Gill during Saturday night's game between the Senators and Bruins. Havlat was not penalized on the play, but the kick was duly noted by the NHL's hockey operations department and the league reviewed the kicking incident late Saturday evening.

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NHL Carnival, 11th Edition

Jes at Hockey Rants did a fantastic job with the 11th Edition of the NHL Carnival. The Carnival seems to be growing with every addition and is a must read for every hockey fan.

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Crosby Goes Retro

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Steve Latin has seen it all in his 27 NHL seasons. Well, until this year. So why was the Penguins’ equipment manager, a veteran of more than 2,000 NHL games, surprised when he came into Pittsburgh’s equipment room at the start of training camp? Sidney Crosby uses a unique two-piece hockey stick with a blade that’s nearly straight. There’s no wicked curve on the blade – it bends only slightly near the toe. “To be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those,” said Latin, who is in his 18th season overseeing the Penguins’ gear. “It seems like every kid coming in the league either has the weirdest-looking hook on a stick you’ve ever seen like a John LeClair or the biggest hook you’ve ever seen like a Jaromir Jagr. This kid comes in – it’s almost like a Dave Keon stick it’s so straight.”

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Scheduling Quirk

The Flyers played on Saturday and don't play again until this Saturday. With the condensed schedule, I am surprised to see this wide of a gap between games. Do any other teams have such a long break on their schedule?

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What’s Ailing The Devils

from the Star-Ledger,

Right now the Devils aren't winning and Brodeur isn't playing very well. He was pulled from a regular-season game Saturday night for the first time since March 13, 2003, and his save percentage is .884. That's a far cry from the .917 percentage he posted in 2003-04. The Devils are off to a 2-3 start, which is why coach Larry Robinson had the team watch video yesterday at Codey Arena instead of enjoying a day off. The team did not practice. "We were looking at our mistakes and what we're doing wrong," Robinson said. "We've got to correct them. If it was just one thing it would be fine. We always pride ourselves on the way we play defense and play in the right position. Right now we're not doing that. The (new rules) should play into our system. The problem is, we're not playing our system. Everybody else is playing our system."

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Diving Must Be Stopped

via the Philadelphia Daily News,

It is one thing when the media is whining about the number of penalties being called in the "New NHL." It's something else when the coaches start complaining, and it should be a hint to the league that it's time to start rethinking how the rules are being enforced. On Friday night, after an overtime win over the Penguins riddled with power plays, Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock flat-out accused Pittsburgh players of taking dives to get calls. That sounded like heat-of-thebattle stuff right after the game, but Hitchcock brought it up again yesterday morning in casual conversation, and it seems like he's really concerned. "I am really concerned about the integrity of the game with all these players falling down," he said. "Guys are just falling down; they know they are going to get the call. Every time you touch them they fall down, and it's comical at times. "It's not on our side; it's everyone. There is some really good stuff in those rules, but the players are taking advantage of some of the aspects with all these calls. You put a stick on a player and they fall down."

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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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