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1st Game In The Bigs

from the AP via Yahoo,

Japanese goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji says he had trouble keeping his emotions in check as he took the ice for the warmup prior to the
Los Angeles Kings’ National Hockey League game against the Dallas Stars.
Fukufuji, who is seeking to become the first Japanese to play in an NHL game, didn’t see any live game action against the Stars but he did get his first taste of what it is like to be part of an NHL club.

continued

update 7:08pm, via the LA Kings,

The Los Angeles Kings have assigned goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji to the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the ECHL, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

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Another Possible Buyer Of The Penguins

via TSN,

According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen, Steelback Brewery owner Frank D’Angelo wants to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins.
D’Angelo, who failed in an attempt to become an owner of a new CFL franchise in Ottawa, thinks he would be a perfect fit to take over the Penguins.
‘‘Steelback beer in Steeltown, what an incredible fit,’’ D’Angelo said told the Ottawa Citizen.

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Watching Crosby

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

The Generation Gap sat in the front row yesterday watching Pittsburgh’s morning skate.
A father wearing a Mario Lemieux jersey flanked by three boys and a girl in Crosby jerseys.
Even the kids, it seems, are with The Kid. A few dozen atom players attended the skate with their coaches and parents and the chants echoed from all over the building: “CROS-by! CROS-by! CROS-by!”

continued

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Neck May Have Been The Problem For Connolly

from the Buffalo News,

Nobody knows for sure because expert opinions vary, but it’s possible Buffalo Sabres center Tim Connolly for months has been suffering from lingering neck problems and not necessarily post-concussion syndrome.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Saturday that doctors diagnosed Connolly with having a disc that was aggravating a nerve in his neck, which could be the source of persistent headaches that have sidelined the center all season. Connolly recently received an injection in hopes of relieving the neck problem and the headaches.

continued

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Overkill

from the Edmonton Sun,

The Edmonton-Minnesota showdown last Thursday for first in the division looked very much like most Edmonton-Minnesota games - awful - until a three-goal third period outburst made everyone forget the emotionless drudgery of the previous 50 minutes.
If the NHL’s goal in creating an unbalanced schedule with 32 of 82 games against divisional opponents was to foster true, blood-boiling rivalries, well, it’s not working. At least not in the Northwest….
Familiarity has not bred contempt. Teams hate playing each other more than they hate each other.
“It’s almost like overkill,’’ said Liles, the diminutive, and likeable Avs defenceman. “The schedule is just goofy. I don’t know if there’s any other way to describe it.

more

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Buffalo “Rock Stars”

from the Miami Herald,

The thought of fans waiting outside the arena for hours would have been considered a pipe dream a few years ago, when the team played in front of a sea of empty seats as it tried to claw its way out of bankruptcy court.
Today, the Sabres are rock stars, flush with cash and short on tickets and merchandise.
Every home game to date this season has been sold out, and the team has the hottest-selling gear in the game.
And how is this for a sign of the times: The Bills, Buffalo’s most beloved band of athletes, can’t sell out their stadium for a game today against the hated Dolphins.

more

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The Talk

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Confirm or deny: The Edmonton Oilers would part with Raffi Torres and a No. 1 draft pick in order to add Tucker to their lineup ... Should Sundin waive his no-trade clause at the trade deadline—and the only way he would do that would be if he thinks the Leafs won’t make the playoffs—don’t be surprised if Anaheim takes a run at the captain. Sundin would have $1.7 million US left on his contract at that time and the Ducks have cap room.

more on the NHL and the Leafs…

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Puck Was In - But No Evidence

from the Vanouver Province,

“I was hoping they’d go upstairs because I saw and I thought it was in,” said Dupuis who was dishing out celebratory high fives to teammates after the play.
“We have the video replay now and I thought they’d call that in. Not a doubt in my mind, not at all.”
Dupuis had basic physics on his side. Even though Luongo was covering the goal line, and the puck was in the air, his mask was clearly in the net when the puck hit him.
But despite more circumstantial evidence than the OJ prosecution team—and the fact CBC later blew up a video still to leave nearly no doubt—the officials in Toronto threw up their hands and said they couldn’t prove what they knew to be true.
“We thought the puck was in but we couldn’t find a picture that showed the puck across the goal line conclusively and that’s our job,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president.

more

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Big Bucks For JSG

from the LA Times,

One important piece hasn’t been addressed. Jean-Sebastien Giguere has an expiring contract in July and would love for General Manager Brian Burke to open a dialogue toward keeping him in Anaheim, where he has tended goal for the last six years.
But with the Ducks off to a historic start and directly in the chase for the Cup, Burke doesn’t want his goalie distracted.
“My general policy here is that we do not negotiate contracts during the regular season,” Burke said. “I’m not saying I never would. But in general, I don’t like to even talk after training camp.”
It means Giguere and his agent, Bob Sauve, will wait and listen when Burke is ready to talk. But the price tag is rising as the wins pile up for the 29-year-old impending unrestricted free agent.

read on (reg. req.)

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It All Comes Down To $$$

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

This a hockey story. But then again, it really isn’t.
As easy as it is to attach a picture of Sidney Crosby to every breathless story emanating out of Pittsburgh concerning the on-again, off-again sale of the Penguins franchise, this is really only about cold, hard business.
Making it about Crosby falsely simplifies a convoluted and speculative tale of gambling, television, bankruptcy, multi-million development projects, arena funding, hand-held communication devices and multi-lateral political intrigue.
Still, for Canadians at least, Crosby is a reason to care.

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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