Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Getting Defensive

from the Globe and Mail,

The days of wide-open, run-and-gun affairs at GM Place may be only a memory come the fall, judging by off-season manoeuvring as the Vancouver Canucks reload with emphasis placed on defensive responsibility. That approach may be Vancouver's ticket for returning to the National Hockey League playoffs, but it's a dramatic shift for a team that was once one of the most entertaining, at least in the Western Conference. “We won't have restrictions in offensive play,” Steve Tambellini, vice-president and assistant general manager, noted Tuesday. “The idea will be to have a better sense of commitment to the detail in our own zone. That's how teams in the final four played. It was fantastic hockey.”
read on

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Belfour Wants To Prove “People Were Wrong”

from the Miami Herald,

''A healthy Eddie Belfour does nothing but boost the competitive nature of the position,'' Keenan said. ``In Auld's mind, he's the starter, and in Eddie's mind, he's the starter. If your bullpen is deep, you can have more than one starter.'' Said Martin: ``I see both of them getting a lot of ice time. This was a good risk for the team. If [Belfour] is healthy, he's one of the premier goalies in the league. . . . I think we have a great goaltending tandem.''... A two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's best goalie, Belfour played just 49 games with Toronto last season. ''I love proving people wrong,'' he said, ``and look forward to getting in net and doing just that.''
more

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Wings Close To Signing Top 4 Dman

from the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings, meanwhile, are close to signing a top-four defenseman. Holland wouldn't reveal a name, but it is someone who can play 20 minutes a night, indicating a shake-up to the rotation that finished last season's playoffs. Since the newcomer wouldn't bump Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall or Mathieu Schneider, presumably Brett Lebda, Andreas Lilja and Chris Chelios would rotate as the odd man out.
more on the Wings...and when Holland says "they are close to signing", I would take that to the bank!

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Ultimate Team Commitment

from the Edmonton Journal,

"I haven't gone back in history, but it might be the longest since Wayne's. There's not many contracts of this length out there on any team." The Oilers are gambling that Hemsky, who turns 23 on Aug. 13, will continue to rack up points to where he becomes a 100-point player like Eric Staal in Carolina. "We hope Ales has only scratched the surface of his ability after his breakout year last season," said Howson of Hemsky's team-high 77 points in 81 games.
more

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Feeling Good In Alaska

from NorthJersey.com,

"We have every intention of keeping the team together," Lamoriello said when asked if Gomez would definitely be on the team this season. That's not going to be easy considering Gomez's award increased the Devils' salary cap commitments to within $200,000 of the $44 million cap with restricted free agents Brian Gionta, Paul Martin and David Hale plus a backup goaltender still to be signed. "It's what I wanted," said Gomez, who planned to fly back to New Jersey from Alaska on Tuesday night. "I wanted a one-year, $5 million [contract] anyway. It's all good in Alaska right now."
more

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Athletes Trying To Deal With Heart Disease

A KK & A2Y reader forwarded an article to us from the Wall Street Journal that deals with heart disease and athletes. I am going to point you to Bill at A2Y for the rest of the story but I will leave you with this from the WSJ.

...Other cardiologists wrestle with similar decisions. As a sports-medicine specialist, Paul Thompson has diagnosed dozens of athletes with cardiac conditions too dangerous to let them compete. But as a marathon runner who once qualified for the Olympic trials, Dr. Thompson knows how painful that message can be. He says he has cleared for play athletes whom other cardiologists had benched. "When you tell an athlete he can't compete anymore, a part of him dies," says Dr. Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.

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Gomez Gets $5 Million

via TSN,

An arbitrator has awarded New Jersey Devils forward Scott Gomez $5 million US for the 2006-07 season.

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What Did They Do To The Hall

from Loose Change of the Hockey News,

I had the chance to complete the cycle recently when I once again visited the Hockey Hall of Fame after an 11-year absence (quick hint: last time I was here was on my honeymoon; this time I was the 2006 Edmonton Oilers). To put it bluntly, a lot of things have changed.... But, as I said, things have changed, mostly in the interactive computer realm. Back in 1995, about the only thing computerized was a rudimentary game of PONG against Gump Worsley and that mesmerizing woodpecker that kept dipping its beak in the bottomless cup of water.
read on

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Something Has To Give

from Spector at Fox Sports,

It's rarely a pleasant experience for the player or the team. The player tries to convince an arbiter he's worth far more than what the team is offering by comparing his worth against his peers around the league, while the team tries to justify paying the player far less by pointing out his weak points. Regardless of which side the arbiter decides for, the process could result in lingering ill will between the two sides, which can hang heavy over future negotiations between the player and the team.
continued

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Islanders Accept York Salary

via TSN,

The New York Islanders have accepted an arbitration award and have signed centre Mike York to a one-year contract. An arbitrator awarded York $2.85 million for the 2006-07 season on Saturday. The team had 48 hours to accept or decline the deal. If the Islanders walked away, York would have become an unrestricted free agent. "We respect the arbitrator's decision and appreciate the process that led to the one-year award for Mike, a player we think the world of," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "It was our intention prior to the hearing to sign him to a long-term deal, and it remains our hope to have Mike York in an Islanders uniform for years to come."

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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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