Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Goalie Issue In Toronto

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Let's face it. Raycroft was given the starter's job in the pre-season without actually earning it, and for 23 starts he has been allowed the opportunity to convince fans and his teammates he's worthy of the No. 1 role. But it just hasn't happened. It might still, but it hasn't happened yet. After defying the experts with their elevated play for six weeks, the Leafs have become extraordinarily collapsible, outscored 14-2 in the third periods of their last five games.
more

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Where’s Marian

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

There's major concern about Minny RW Marian Gaborik. As reported in the Sunday Sun, he may have suffered a setback with a groin injury that has already forced him to miss 19 games and wasn't on the ice with the club at practice Monday. "I was surprised he wasn't there and I don't know when he will be," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire.
more on the NHL, including a bit on Yashin...

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What Will Lou Do- Part 2

from the NY Post,

In less than 11/2 seasons, the Devils' salary cap victims already include Dan McGillis, Alex Mogilny, Grant Marshall and Jeff Friesen. There's liable to be at least another, soon. Defenseman Richard Matvichuk says he's almost ready to make his season debut from summertime disc surgery. But before he does, Lou Lamoriello will have to clear another $1.3 million in full-season salary to stay under the cap. Matvichuk won't be in the lineup when the Canadiens visit the Meadowlands tonight, still on Long-Term Injury status that allows Lamoriello to replace his salary on the roster, until he's ready to return. Matvichuk thinks he's ready now.
continued

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The Mouth That Roared Joins NBC

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

NBC will announce Wednesday that Brett Hull is joining its National Hockey League telecasts. Hull, one of the best (and most outspoken) Americans to play the game, will join Bill Clement and Ray Ferraro in the studio as an analyst. "I just think he's going to really stir it, and that's going to be fun," said Sam Flood, NBC's executive producer of hockey telecasts. "And we've got the outdoor set [the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York]. It will be fun putting this guy on the ice between periods." NBC pursued Hull early last season after he retired. He declined the job, but Flood got in touch with him during the summer.
continued added 9:28am, NBC Sports official release...

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Increase Ratings- Start Fighting

from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,

Fact is, at least by my eye, the game is far too polite for Americans en masse to appreciate. All of 15-20 years ago, the NHL was afraid Americans would shun the game because of fighting. So, out went fighting, and the ratings ... and the ratings ... uh, and the ratings? Isn’t it time to give Americans what they want? Heck, look at what they do watch. High on the list is the whole reality-TV genre, and the more vulgar, the better. Lock someone in a glass box, and have snakes slither over their chest, and hairy spiders tap-dance across their forehead, and look out, the ratings rocket will launch.
more

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#16 Goes To The Rafters

from the St. Louis Blues,

During his heyday with the St. Louis Blues, Brett Hull was good for a goal a game along with maybe a gripe or two, his outspoken nature matching a knack for finding that perfect spot to unleash his slap shot. “He wasn't your prototypical hockey player in a sense that he was very colorful, he spoke his mind, he loved the game and he was very opinionated about it,” said close friend and former teammate Wayne Gretzky. “He was honest to a fault.”
continued image pic via Reuters

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Sabres Merchandise Still Hot

NEW YORK (December 5, 2006) – For the second straight month, the Buffalo Sabres were the top-selling team in the NHL.com store. Sales of Sabres merchandise, including men’s, women’s and kids apparel, were up approximately 1000% in November compared to last year. Overall, sales of NHL-licensed merchandise on NHL.com were up more than 51% compared to last November.

Continue Reading »

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Canucks Head To Sick Bay

via the AP, Vancouver

Canucks forward Taylor Pyatt will be out two to four weeks with a shoulder injury and defenseman Sami Salo could miss seven-to-10 days with a nerve injury in his shoulder. Fourth-line forward Rick Rypien will also miss six to eight weeks with a partially torn groin muscle. All three players were hurt in Monday night's 4-0 loss to Edmonton. The loss of Pyatt and Salo hurts a team that is last in scoring, averaging 2.07 goals-per-game. The Canucks have been held under two goals in five of the last six games and scored more than two goals twice in the last 16 games.

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No Movement = Good News

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

For a league with a history of shooting itself in the collective foot (the lockout, expanding into South Florida, those Art of War commercials), sometimes progress is marked by changes that don't take place. And so it was that after much gnashing of teeth and late-night politicking, the National Hockey League's board of governors agreed Tuesday to maintain its current schedule setup. That doesn't mean it won't change down the road -- a system that sees teams play eight games against each division opponent is almost certain to change after next season, if not this offseason. But the NHL resisted the temptation to make a knee-jerk decision to modify the schedule and will instead let it play out over the full three-year period envisioned at the end of the 2004-05 lockout.
continued

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Talking The NHL

I am trying something a little different tonight. Join the KK Skypecast tonight to talk about tonight's games and discuss the NHL. The Skypecast will last for 3 hours so feel free to join in. update 7:57pm, the Skypecast is now over. It went ok, it is still in beta so they have a few issues to work on.

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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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