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PA Controls Their Destiny

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

This is the beginning of the end not only for Ted Saskin, but of the whole cozy relationship between the NHL puppet-masters on Sixth Avenue in New York and the NHLPA marionettes on Bay Street in Toronto.
This is the beginning of the end of this sad chapter in players association history, during which the union has operated as a company shop.
Nearly two years after enemies within betrayed their fellow union members by directly engaging in conversations with league negotiators with the express purpose of undermining then-PA executive director Bob Goodenow, the players are seizing control of their own destiny.


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“Gump” Passes Away

from TSN,

Hall of Fame goaltender Lorne ‘Gump’ Worsley passed away on Saturday. He was 76.
Worsley played 21 years in the NHL with New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars.

More on the Hall of Famer at Legends of Hockey.

added 1/28/07, 8:26am, Make sure to check out KK contributor Joe Pelletier’s story on Gump.



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Tougher Questions

from the Chicago Tribune,

“There are always five or six guys who aren’t putting out,” Savard said Saturday, one day after the Hawks lost 3-1 to Nashville for their 10th consecutive loss.
“I work them, I show them, I talk to them, but it has to come from within that locker room. As a coach you get tuned out if you keep harping on stuff. We need everybody playing hard and playing good.”
Savard said it’s not the same five or six players every night who float through games—which might be a bigger problem. If it were the same players, they would be easier to identify and dispatch in the off-season.
Savard suggested the media should hold players more accountable.
“Why don’t you ask them?” he said. “Why is it always about (owner Bill) Wirtz or about (GM Dale) Tallon or the coaches all the time? I’m not upset. [The media] has a job to do. You give it to me, that’s fine.”


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Koivu Get The News

from the Montreal Gazette,

But yesterday, he talked in paragraphs, happy to expound his feelings after it was revealed the cancer that ravaged his body slightly more than five years ago is gone. Koivu passed a five-year remission test last Monday, at the Montreal General Hospital, while his teammates were enjoying the second of four days off for the all-star break.
The significance of the news was monumental, as it would be for any cancer patient. That part of the examination was conducted on a machine that bears his name, after the Saku Koivu Foundation raised a portion of the $8-million price tag, made it more significant.
“The doctor said it’s gone - and I hope to God it never comes back,” Koivu said following a 70-minute practice. “It has been five years. The cancer’s gone. I’m like everyone else. I don’t have to think about it anymore. Five years, for me, means a lot.”

read on

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Thrashers Bloggers Catch A Game

The Falconer of “Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?”, was part of a group of Atlanta Thrasher bloggers who attended the NYI/Atlanta game last night…

Once we got down to the press conference area, I was amazed at how tiny the room is. There is a podium with nice team backdrop (which is what you see if you watch the press conferences on the Thrashers website). In front of the podium are about 10 chairs and then at an angle were another 8 chairs. They had us bloggers stand and sit in the angled chairs. We were also joined by one of the team owners and his friends and/or family. The reporters for the AJC, AP and local radio sat directly in front of the podium and Hartley strode to the podium. Hartley pauses looks over at us in the angled section and says “Wow, the second balcony today!” and then adds, “It is like church.”

much more

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Wings Have Room For Foppa

from the Detroit Free Press (Sunday edition) via the Mercury News,

“We’re looking for forwards,” Holland said. “I like our skill and our depth on defense; I like our skill and depth in goal. I’d like to be a little deeper up front. We would like a little more physical presence in the lineup. I’m hoping at the deadline to add a player or two to get more depth.”
Unless the Wings experience significant injuries over the coming month, which would affect the $44-million cap, they will be able to take on nearly $8 million in face-value contracts. That means there’d be room for Forsberg’s pro-rated $5.75-million contract, plus an additional player.
“A lot of teams would be happy to get him and we’re one of them,” Lidstrom said. “We all know what kind of player he is so he would add a lot to our lineup.”

added 1/28/07, Detroit Free Press link now available

added 1/28/07, 8:08am
, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It doesn’t appear that today’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche will be a clash between Peter Forsberg’s former and future clubs.
Unless someone can convince the Red Wings that Forsberg’s surgically repaired right ankle can improve significantly over the next 30 days and he’ll be able to slip on his skate with no discomfort.


added 1/28/07 at 9:24am, from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

It would be right up there with seeing Baltimore Colts great Johnny Unitas in a San Diego Chargers jersey, or famed Bruins legend Bobby Orr in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform. Peter Forsberg in a Detroit Red Wings sweater would look odd, all right. To Avalanche fans, it would be downright ugly, probably unbearable.
But there are some in NHL insider circles who believe it might just happen.
“I think Detroit is the front-runner to get Forsberg,” said NBC and TSN of Canada hockey analyst Pierre Mc- Guire. “I think (Detroit general manager) Kenny Holland is going to offer a player and a first-round pick for him.”


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Ranking Brodeur

from Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif of the New York Times,

His performance also revived the discussions usually heard around playoff time: that Brodeur is the best goalie of this era. It is hard to argue with the evidence: three Cups; game-in, game-out consistency through 13 seasons; exemplary conduct on and off the ice. But is he really the best?
His main rivals for those laurels would have to be Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek. Roy had four Stanley Cup championships to his credit by the time he retired in 2003, two with Montreal and two with Colorado — one more than Brodeur.

more & other NHL topics…

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Oilers Help Fraser Make Due Sans Equipment

from the Edmonton Sun:

No luggage, no problem for Kerry Fraser.
Although he arrived for last night’s Edmonton Oilers game without a single piece of equipment - including his skates and jock strap - the veteran referee made it to centre ice for the opening face-off thanks to an incredible effort behind the scenes.
“The (Oiler staff) was phenomenal. They bent over backwards,” said Fraser in his dressing room after the tilt.



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Osgood Suffers Broken Finger

from Ansar Khan at Mlive,

Wings goalie Chris Osgood has a broken finger on his right hand. Coach Mike Babcock said it’s not a serious injury—it’s not displaced—but it’s not a day-to-day thing, either. It happened in the warm-ups prior to Friday’s game in St. Louis and he played through it.
Dominik Hasek and Joey MacDonald are battling the flu, but both practiced Saturday and should be able to dress today against Colorado (who’s left?).
Kris Draper, Robert Lang and Valtteri Filppula—all battling the flu—practiced and will play Sunday.


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Kessel Not Some Young Punk

from the Boston Herald,

Less than a month later, he was back playing NHL hockey. Let the critics chew on that, Kessel must have thought.
“I feel like I’ve answered them,” said Kessel while watching the All-Stars practice. “What I had to deal with and what I’ve gone through, I think it shows I’m pretty mature for a young kid, and hopefully they’ll look at me like that and not some young punk.”
With the team sputtering, coach Dave Lewis moved him up from the fourth line to play with Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm, with an occasional shot to play on the first line with Marc Savard and Glen Murray.
“It’s been good,” said Kessel of his time with Bergeron. “Obviously, he’s a great young player also, he has a lot of skill and he wants to win. He goes out there and he tries his hardest every night, and you can tell how bad he wants to win each game.”


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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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