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Live From London

from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,

The NFL isn’t the only North American pro sports league that will play a regular-season game in London during the 2007-08 season. The buzz around the rinks is the NHL is preparing to do the same.
According to multiple sources, the Los Angeles Kings will open next season with a pair of games at The O2 in London. The O2 is a state-of-the-art arena scheduled to open with a series of Justin Timberlake concerts in early July. It is operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which also owns the Kings.
L.A. will open its London swing with an exhibition contest before the two regular-season games. The Ducks and Canucks are two teams believed to be in the running to accompany the Kings to Great Britain.

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Going To The Dogs

from the Tennessean,

Martin Erat won’t say how much he paid for his dog, Max, but suffice to say, it’s best to avoid getting into a bidding war with the Preds winger — especially when there is a puppy and a charity auction involved.
It was three years ago at the Predators’ annual fundraising gala that Erat and his girlfriend fell in love with the black lab up for auction. He’d wanted a dog a long time, and this one had him hooked.

more on the Preds and their dogs…

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Wake-Up Call

from the Calgary Sun,

“The hardest thing about that is the whole reason I signed the extension and gave up my free agency was to stay at home and play for Calgary,” said Ference. “To go from that and having a lot of trust in the deal ... it’s definitely a huge glass of cold water in the face of anybody that thinks it’s not all about the business, really.
“It’s definitely a wakeup call. There’s no loyalty when it comes to stuff like that.”
Ference says the hardest part will be leaving all the good friends he’s made on the team behind but still plans to return to the Rockies every summer. At least he gets to bring a friend with him in Kobasew and reunite with a “fired-up” Shean Donovan.


added 7:56am, also from the Calgary Sun,

A dismantling in Detroit aside, Darryl Sutter is convinced his squad is now good enough to win the Stanley Cup.
It better be, because he said he’s done dealing.
“From a management and pro scouting standpoint, we’ve certainly given them every opportunity to be successful,” said the Flames GM yesterday of a team that got deeper late Saturday with his second sizeable deal of the fortnight.


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Be Prepared To Pay

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

League sources say if Senators GM John Muckler is going to pull off a trade at the Feb. 27 deadline, he’d better be prepared to pay a premium.
An NHL executive told the Sun yesterday that with only a couple of teams all but eliminated from playoff contention, the number of GMs trying to improve their clubs could be as competitive as the post-season races themselves.
It’s believed the Senators are targeting Panthers winger Gary Roberts, who would provide Ottawa with a wealth of veteran leadership.


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JD Will ‘Do What’s Right’ for Blues

“We have to do what’s right by the end of February,” Davidson said. “When you have assets, you want to retain your assets. We’re in the mode of assessing all of that. We’re taking phone calls. We have people that other teams are interested in. The only thing that’s changed is that as it gets closer to the end of the month, you get more phone calls. We’re going to explore everything and try to make the right decisions for our team long-term.”
The Blues have had preliminary discussions with agent Don Meehan about a contract extension for Brewer. Meanwhile, the strong bet is that Tkachuk will be dealt before the deadline, as he himself admitted recently.



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Forsberg Wants Vancouver?

From Chuck Gormley at the Courier-Post Online,

Forsberg has told teammates he would like to play for a Stanley Cup contender and many believe his first choice would be Vancouver, where he could be reunited with childhood friend and Swedish Olympic teammate Markus Naslund.
Other teams believed to be seriously interested in Forsberg are Detroit, Montreal, Anaheim, San Jose and the Rangers.
With the Feb. 27 trade deadline just 15 days away, many of those teams would like to know where the Flyers stand with Forsberg.


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Fun To Watch

from the Star-Tribune,

Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra have the ability to do a lot of things on the ice, including send Wild coach Jacques Lemaire to the hospital nightly with a cardiac arrest or two.
“Like you said, they were great on the offense,” a relieved Lemaire said after Saturday night’s 5-4, hold-on-for-dear-life victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. “They made good plays, they used their speed, they got great chances. I appreciate that.”


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Foppa Talk

Roger Millions of Sportsnet is in Detroit today to cover the Flames/Wings game.  Roger was on the pre-game radio show and the topic turned to Forsberg.
Roger feels Peter will end up in with the Ducks- somehow Burke will grab him unless the Flyers get another offer they cannot refuse.
Millions mentioned Forsberg has a home near Anaheim and that may be a selling point for him.

Forsberg did meet with Snider today, but don’t expect any news to come out of the meeting.  What can the Flyers say that won’t damper their short and long term plan for him?
They are much better off keeping everything under their hat, and just pulling the trigger when a deal they like is offered.  That is of course, if Forsberg will agree to waive his NTC.

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Sticky Business

from Evan Grossman at NHL.com:

Nobody gets a bigger kick out of the idea that NHL nets need to go bigger in order to improve offense than today’s equipment manufacturers. With the cutting-edge hockey gear that companies are pumping out quicker than machine gun fire, the idea of bigger targets is just laughable to these guys….
Sticks have been turned into one-piece rocket launchers. Sweaters have morphed into sophisticated, aerodynamic uniform systems that will make players faster, drier and better protected. Skates are turning into composite moon boots that will allow players to skate harder than ever before. Gloves, pads, helmets are all getting lighter and stronger, all combining to create the fastest and most powerful game ever played on ice.

This story leans heavily upon a discussion with Easton Hockey’s Ned Goldsmith.  Mr. Goldsmith and I will be speaking this week for another edition of “The Gearhead.”- George



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You See The Details

By George James Malik

The Red Wings’ open practice revealed a myriad of small details about the players’ tendencies, the team’s work ethic, and in Saturday’s case, the astonishingly long shadow cast by an injury of unknown severity, but there is one fact you must know about the Wings’ transformation from a Bowman-era team to Mike Babcock’s team, and it can be summed up in one word: crisp.

I saw two practices last season, and they were very herky-jerky in terms of pacing.  Babcock had to stop his drills regularly to either explain himself again or to admonish players for their lack of hustle.

This year?

The giggling, hot-dogging, and joke-cracking that form the groundwork for any practice remain, but once Babcock, McLellan, and MacLean explained the next 90-to-180-second drill, the boys got “professional” fast.  Hustle like there’s no tomorrow, skating your brains out while doing a simple cycling drill?  Check.  An innate understanding of not only the technical aspects of what’s being asked, but also the expectations of the coaches in terms of fit and finish?  You bet. 

Continue Reading »

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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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