Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Merry Christmas From Strachan

A few months ago, the talk was Al Strachan would no longer be with the Toronto Sun come January.
In his column about the Leafs game yesterday, this was his last line…

Merry Christmas. And goodbye.

Love or hate Al, he will be missed if indeed this is his last Sun column.

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Fitzpatrick Campaign A Joke

from Sun Wire Services via the Ottawa Sun,

“The big thing Rory, if you’re watching, they’re not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you,” said Cherry.
Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean defended the campaign, saying it made for a cute story. He said fans are simply voicing their appreciation for Fitzpatrick, a concept Cherry strongly refuted.
“They never saw him play, how could they say he’s an all-star?” asked Cherry.


added 1:17pm, from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

The NHL needs to step in here. It needs to find away to allow Fitzpatrick out of a dilemma he didn’t create and it needs to restore some sanity to its voting process.
Anything less and Commissioner Gary Bettman will be viewed as presiding over a farce.


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NYT Covering Hockey

A KK salute to the New York Times- Has anyone else noticed the Times coverage of hockey has picked up in the last two months or so?  I wonder what or who is behind that decision?

via the NYT, (Steve) Nash was a bit more jaded about the slap-punch Denver’s Carmelo Anthony threw at the Knicks’ Mardy Collins.
“Typical N.B.A. punch,” Nash said. “In hockey, your own team would beat you up for that.”

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Problems Exist

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The hard cap was supposed to solve everything, remember? But Slap Shots has been told there are serious financial issues within the Nashville ownership group. Indeed, according to a pair of sources, the Predators may soon become a candidate for relocation to Kansas City.
The hard cap was supposed to solve everything, remember? But now it’s the schedule that’s supposedly to blame for pockets of empty seats just about everywhere, so the league might dramatically realign again.

read on

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The Fight Is Almost Gone

from Thomas Stinson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Fred Shero, whose barbarous Philadelphia teams of the 1970s helped transform the NHL into a nightly search-and-destroy operation, was once asked if the game’s natural grace was being compromised by his marauding Broad Street Bullies.
The late Flyers coach was not amused.
“If they want to see pretty skating,” Shero replied, “let ‘em go to the Ice Capades.”
Three decades later — and 1-1/2 years under a new set of rules designed to let the boys skate — the NHL is still dealing with Shero’s legacy. How much physical play is too much? How much brawling is gratuitous? What do the fans want? Shootouts or sutures? Hat tricks or hemorrhages?

contiued (reg. may be req.)... good read…

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Watching The Stats

from the New York Times,

Not so long ago, the N.H.L. paid practically no attention to statistics. Beyond goals, assists, penalty minutes and goals a netminder allowed, the league kept track of nothing. Players’ reputations were made and broken almost entirely on subjective grounds because there were virtually no objective measures to go by….
But starting in the mid-’80s, the N.H.L. began paying closer attention to statistics, and the league has become more and more conscientious. Shots, saves, plus/minus and other important numbers were tabulated, enabling more educated assessments of player performance.

read on

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Nichol Deserves More

from Alessandro Nicolo of Blog Critics,

Spacek lay on the ice for several minutes and appeared to be thankfully all right. The NHL subsequently handed Nichol a laughable nine game suspension. I realize I’m a “non-essential” (to steal TSN’s Pierre McQuire’s jargon) but nine games seems to be a tad low — especially in light of what the NHL just went through with Bertuzzi — and Marty McSorley before him. And Gary Suter (recall his vicious crosscheck to the face on Paul Kariya) before him and Dave Brown’s horrible assault on Tomas Sandstrom of the Rangers (in a similar incident to Suter’s) before that.


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A Little Trade Talk

Are the Sens planning a move and will Sundin waive his no-trade clause?
Check out Spector for the scoop…

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Higher Nets

from Slam,

If, indeed, the National Hockey League decides to go to an enlarged net to juice up scoring, they would do better to leave the posts six feet apart and do the enlarging by moving the crossbar a few inches higher than the standard 48 inches. The reason rests with the evolution of the butterfly style among goalies during the past 15 years, a style that has made the lower part of the net virtually impregnable.

more (about 1/4 down the page…)

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Carlyle Believes In Hard Work

from the LA Times,

He is stubborn.
He is intense.
Most of all, he knows the game. How a player thinks.
Honesty and hard work are the currency he values, even if it’s expressed through the use of a choice four-letter word or two.
“Hard work is no big deal in my mind,” Carlyle said. “I’m expected to work hard. If a player comes to me and says he’s working hard, so what. Everybody has to work hard. That’s a norm.”

read on (reg. req.)

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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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