Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/24/05 at 02:15 AM ET
Kent Carlson weighed nearly 300 pounds last year when he started skating in a Concord men's league. It was the first hockey he played since quitting the game in 1989. Saturday night he'll be back in uniform, one of 16 contestants in the "Battle of the Hockey Enforcers," a pay-per-view hockey fight tournament on ice at CN Centre in Prince George, B.C. Carlson is the oldest combatant, two years older Byers, 41, who is second on the card in seniority. Half of the contestants are in their 20s. All but two played or currently play professional hockey, four — Carlson, Byers (Bruins, Sharks), Jason Simon (North Stars, Sharks) and Link Gaetz (Islanders, Coyotes) — in the NHL. "These kids are animals," laughed Carlson, not a tinge of self-doubt in his voice. "Some are still hoping to get into 'The Show.'" The event has been the cause of some controversy, Prince George coming under fire for agreeing to host it after Lowell, Mass., Minneapolis and Winnipeg turned it down. Hockey purists say events such as this give the sport a black eye. Fanatics say the more black eyes, the better. Why participate? "I miss competition," Carlson said, before adding a more pragmatic reason: "I need the money."
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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.
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