Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Florida Fighting Uphill Battle

from the Sun-Sentinel,

They didn't fathom losing 18 of their past 21 games, having 48 days pass since their last road win, allowing the tying or winning goal in the final minute of six losses and having to deal with problems still unresolved after 31 games. "We're going to continue to work at it," center Joe Nieuwendyk said, "but we shouldn't be talking about the same thing night after night." And there's "a long list" to address, defenseman Sean Hill pointed out after Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Kings. Coach Jacques Martin insisted the Panthers, who didn't practice Sunday, "have to keep building on the good points."
read on

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Blues Set To Unload Lalime

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues' 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Rangers Saturday night may have been goaltender Patrick Lalime's last game in a St. Louis uniform. The team is expected to make a move regarding Lalime as soon as today. The Blues have a few options, including trading the seven-year veteran or placing him on waivers. General manager Larry Pleau would not confirm Sunday that one of those transactions was about to take place.
more update 12:00pm, St. Louis placed Lalime on waivers today.

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Watching The NHL On OLN

from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

Anyway, it had been a long time since I had watched the NHL, so I decided I'd give it another shot. First I had to find OLN. It turns out to be Channel 608 on my DirecTV -- right next to ESPNU! The studio show had all the zip of a tax audit. With no Terry Bradshaw or Charles Barkley in sight, studio commentator Neil Smith, analyzing the Boston Bruins, offered, "I don't think they have good puck management." There was a "Mic'd Up" feature in which the only audio I heard was the Islanders' Mark Parrish saying, "Nice pass, Yorkie, atta boy." The two games I watched were quite good, but the same problem arose that I always bring up to the disgust of hockey aficionados: You all have one intermission too many. Maybe two 15-minute breaks are fine for beer sales at the arena, but, from the comfort of our couches, it gives us one extra chance to surf away to other programming.

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Quite A Collection For Ovechkin

via the Washington Post ( reg. req.),

After the Capitals' loss Friday, Alex Ovechkin sought out Pavel Datsyuk, a fellow Russian and former teammate on Moscow Dynamo. After the two spoke for a few minutes, Ovechkin returned to the Capitals' locker room with Datsyuk's hockey stick, which the Detroit star autographed and wrote "Good Luck" on the blade. Ovechkin said he planned to add it to his collection of hockey memorabilia, which includes 2,000 hockey cards and about a half-dozen sticks from Russian players he admires. He already has autographed sticks from the New York Islanders' Alexei Yashin, the Atlanta Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk, the New Jersey Devils' Viktor Kozlov and the Buffalo Sabres' Maxim Afinogenov, among others. Asked why he only has sticks from Russians, Ovechkin smiled and said: "I don't know. I like how we play."

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Multicultural Coach

from Mlive,

Jim Paek was born in Korea, raised in Canada, played hockey in the United States, and has a daughter born in England. He started playing hockey at age 7 and became the first Korean-born player in the NHL and the first to win a Stanley Cup. He was a teammate of both Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. "I'm doing something I love," said Paek, in his first year with the Griffins. "That's the most important thing. Find something and just go for it. It didn't matter at all that I was Korean. We're a multi-cultural family and it's fantastic. We celebrate a lot of different holidays." Paek returns to Korea every summer to run a hockey school and promote the sport.
read on

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Slim Chance Pens Stay In Pittsburgh

from ESPN,

Once the lease on the Mellon Arena expires in 2007, Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux believes there is only "a slim chance" the franchise will remain in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Lemieux cites the lack of progress toward getting the up-to-date arena for his pessimistic view. "I think we're really running out of time," Lemieux told the paper, his tone laced with frustration. "We probably ran out of time already. It's been unfortunate that the city and the county haven't been willing to work with us over the last two or three years."
read on

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Are Sens And Nolan A Fit

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun

, Can veteran winger Owen Nolan help the Senators? While John Muckler is in no hurry to make changes to his lineup after losing winger Martin Havlat (shoulder surgery) for at least four months, the Senators GM admits that all could change in pretty short order. The Senators are likely to add a body or two for their playoff run and if they're not seriously interested in moving someone from their roster, perhaps signing Nolan, an unrestricted free agent, is a step they should take. Nolan, who is recovering from back and knee injuries that plagued him in Toronto, is getting ready to make a comeback and the word he's ready to sign with an NHL team so he can start playing in January.

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Fix The Schedule

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Star,

For years, NHL teams have been complaining about their schedule. But the complaints do no good. The New York office, which on a good day can dredge up someone who knows the difference between icing and hooking, has decreed that its computer is as capable as a hockey person. It isn't. The schedule has been bad ever since 1992 when Bettman decided that he was smart enough to overturn seven decades of precedent. Now, the computer spits out one-week breaks in the midst of a season that is supposed to be compressed because of the Olympics. A team that has to travel a lot, the Phoenix Coyotes, finds itself going without a road game for a six-week stretch, thereby making the rest of the season a greater grind than it needs to be.

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Thinking of NHL Europe

from the Boston Globe,

By Daly's view, the time could come for NHL Europe. He is not certain about the size or shape of it. He has many questions. But he is certain that it's time to get it on the table for discussion, explore the options, decide whether Canada's game can be a realistic endeavor far east of the Maritimes. ''Right now, we're thrilled we've got the league back up, that we're running again," said Daly. ''But [Europe] is something we can think about now that we have the CBA behind us, and with the partnership of owners and players, we have to explore the revenue opportunities that could come with expanding to Europe.

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Moving Luongo

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

Roberto Luongo eventually will wear his third NHL sweater in six NHL seasons, that much we know. Rumors are rumors, but when they don't go away, they become more than just rumors. Whether they are coming from Florida general manager Mike Keenan or from Luongo's camp, all we need to know is he's headed out of South Florida. And the line to acquire his services already is starting to form.

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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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