Kukla's Korner

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Yashin, Islanders In Nosedive

from Newsday,

Nolan previously indicated his frustration with Yashin’s ability to play through a knee injury, leading to a scoreless streak that coincides exactly with the Isles’ slide to 19-19-3. When a Yashin turnover led to a goal by Erik Cole and a 2-0 Hurricanes lead 37 seconds into the second period, Nolan benched the team captain the rest of the period.
“You look through the whole league, and your best players have to be your best players night after night,” Nolan said after the game. “That’s the price you pay to be an elite player. It just comes with the territory.
“Yashin is a premium player, so he’s got to play like that. That’s not adding any pressure on his game, except the facts are the facts. He’s got to play a little bit better, and we’ve got to support him.”

more

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Yotes Close To A Trade

via the East Valley Tribune,

The Coyotes are being cautious to ensure Boynton doesn’t suffer a setback, but they are also stalling a little while they decide what to do with the extra defensemen they will have when Boynton returns. Phoenix is carrying seven blue-liners on the active roster and would assign a player to the minors only as a last resort, Gretzky indicated, meaning a trade is in the works.
Phoenix came close to trading a defenseman within the past few days and the deal could still happen, according to a source close to the team.
Keith Ballard, Zbynek Michalek and Ed Jovanovski are considered untouchable, and the Coyotes would be reluctant to deal veterans Derek Morris and Boynton as well.
That leaves Travis Roche, Matt Jones (both unlikely) and Dennis Seidenberg, who was a healthy scratch for the four straight game Sunday.

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Chicago Benches Their Captain

fromm the Chicago Tribune,

Sporting a team-worst minus-10, captain Adrian Aucoin was a healthy scratch Sunday. “His game has slipped,” Savard said. Signed after the lockout to a four-year, $16 million deal to be a force on the power play, the defenseman has just two goals and nine points this season. In 63 games since joining the Hawks, he has three goals and 15 points.

more on the Blackhawks…

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Not Dropping The Gloves

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

It was not exactly a storybook ending for the homecoming of Ottawa’s Ben Eager unless, of course, the book is being written by The Brothers Grimson.
Eager, the Flyers’ feisty rookie, was kicked out of yesterday’s 6-1 loss to the Senators after he opted not to fight Ottawa tough guy Brian McGrattan in the waning minutes, preferring to let the point of his stick make his point.
Eager speared McGrattan in the gut, leading McGrattan to characterize Eager as a “coward.”

continued

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Jagr Feeling Small

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Jagr doesn’t talk about the shoulder that he himself damaged in a supreme moment of folly in the Game 1 playoff blowout loss to the Devils. He doesn’t make excuses. But when cross-examined by The Post on Thursday, he reluctantly admitted, that, yes, there’s a problem.
“It isn’t injured, but it isn’t strong and I can’t do the work I have to do in order to make it stronger because of all the games,” Jagr said. “I’m almost 10 pounds lighter myself than I was last year because I couldn’t do anything over the summer. I feel small, and that’s not my game.
“And don’t forget, when they did the surgery, they tightened everything inside the shoulder, so I don’t have full range of motion. If I could do three or four hours of work on it a day, then maybe it could get to where it needs to be. But I can’t, because then I wouldn’t be able to play….

read on

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Crosby On His Side

via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Recchi carried the puck down the right side and threw it toward the net, where Crosby—sliding on his left side—managed to not only get his stick on the shot, but to get it over the outstretched right leg of Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist.
“I told him that if I had known he was falling like that, I probably wouldn’t have passed it,” Recchi said. “But obviously, he’s a special player.”

video of the goal…

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Czechs Feel Ripped Off

from the Czech Business Weekly,

The continuous exodus of young hockey players to North America’s National Hockey League (NHL) has been draining the pool of home-grown talent and decreasing the competitiveness of the Czech national hockey team on the international circuit….
In contrast to local football clubs that eye players’ trade with foreign clubs as a source of hefty income, hockey clubs are crying foul over the transfer plans between Europe and the NHL….
Although the new contract was disadvantageous, Czech clubs agreed not to object to it, said HC Pardubice general manager Zbyněk Kusý, who also works as the Czech national team’s general manager.
“We’ve been ripped off by the NHL, but it’s better to get something than nothing, which would happen if we didn’t agree to the draft,” Kusý said.

more

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Minimum Wage

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

Dallas forward Stu Barnes is part owner with Olie Kolzig of star Canadian junior goalie Carey Price’s Tri-City Americans. “We may have to give him a raise from $75 a week to $85,” joked Barnes of the serf’s wages junior players are paid. “Actually, we also have the rights to (Jonathan) Toews and Jack Johnson. Would be nice if they decided to leave school and play for us.”

much more in Matheson’s “Hockey World” column…

 

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Tucking Darcy In

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail:

Those whose livelihood depends on figuring out what players should be paid say a three-year term for [Darcy] Tucker makes sense. They also say that on the open market he should get an annual salary between $3-million and $4-million, probably somewhere in the middle. Anything over $4-million would be too much, these tall foreheads say.
Ferguson, though, has to know by Feb. 27, if not before, whether he can make a deal with Tucker. That is the NHL’s trade deadline and Ferguson will be looking to make a deal, given that the Leafs and almost everybody else in the Eastern Conference is in the playoff hunt.

continued

 

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An All-Star Yellow Ribbon

from the London Free Press:

Trooper Mark Wilson’s death in Afghanistan has inspired a special piece of art that’s being passed among elite NHL players and may become part of the upcoming all-star game.
Sports artist David Arrigo, a friend of one of Wilson’s relatives, was hit hard by the October death of the London soldier and inspired to design a military-themed goalie mask.
“It just sort of pushed me—this is going to be my addition to thanking the soldiers,” said Arrigo, who has done work for years for the NHL, NFL and other pro sports leagues.
“(But) I didn’t want this piece to be about any one person—it’s more about all the soldiers in Afghanistan.”

What could have been a quiet tribute, however, is getting much more attention thanks to the contacts Arrigo and Wilson’s cousin, NHL photographer Dave Sandford, have throughout pro hockey.
The pair are in discussions with at least one goalie to wear the mask in Dallas on Jan. 24 during the all-star skills competition or in the all-star game.

continued

 

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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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