Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/18/05 at 08:34 AM ET
Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts began their hockey careers as birds. Nieuwendyk was an Owl. Roberts was a Wren. "We were little kids, 5 years old, playing in the same league" in Whitby, Ontario, Nieuwendyk said. "Every team was named after birds," Roberts said. More than three decades later, Nieuwendyk and Roberts have evolved into snowbirds. As the Panthers' first two post-lockout free-agent signees, they flocked to Florida for the winter, bringing shared leadership skills and complementary playing styles. Panthers coach Jacques Martin, who had Roberts in junior hockey and Nieuwendyk in the Olympics, talks about the "commitment" and "professionalism" they bring. Nieuwendyk and Roberts, both 39, talk about the intelligence and teaching ability of Martin and his staff. "If everybody buys into the system and is disciplined, then that's going to give us much more chance of winning some hockey games," Roberts said.
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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.
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