Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Johnson Excited With Trade

from the LA Times (reg. req.),

Johnson is a skilled offensive defenseman, who was nurtured in the United States Development Program. He had 10 goals and 22 assists in 38 games with Michigan last season. "I think it's unbelievable to maybe get a chance to play with Rob Blake," Johnson said. "The guy is going to the Hall of Fame, and I could be in the same locker room with him. This is just an exciting day for me." An NHL source familiar with the situation said that Johnson would be willing to sign with the Kings after his college season. "We don't have a specific timetable, but we'll look closely at this in March depending on how he develops," Lombardi said.

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Casino Sponsors Florida Panthers

from the Miami Herald,

The Panthers were the first professional team in South Florida to have an entire season ''presented by'' a corporate sponsor. Now, they are the first to have a season financially linked to a casino. The team recently announced the Seminole Tribe of Florida and its Coconut Creek casino would sponsor its 2006-07 season. Even though the NHL has publicly stated its disdain for illegal gambling, it has allowed teams to align themselves with legal gaming facilities such as Indian casinos and parimutuel facilities. The Panthers also have a sponsorship agreement with Hollywood's Mardi Gras greyhound track. ''The only prohibition by the league is against sponsorship by casinos that operate sports books,'' said NHL spokesman Frank Brown, who added he couldn't recall another NHL team having its season sponsored by a gambling entity.
read on

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Clarke Calls Them Out

from the Daily Times,

...It was at that point that Clarke decided being vague wasn’t the appropriate tactic to get the message across to his players, so he decided to point fingers at specific groups of players. "If you ask me, on our defense our most competitive and best defenseman has been (Derian) Hatcher from day one," said Clarke. "But some of these guys should be competing a lot (gosh) darn harder than they have been in training camp and it might cost them at the start of the year. "(Nolan) Baumgartner is one of those guys that has to play better. He is what he is. He’s on the bubble. Just like (Denis) Gauthier and (Randy) Jones and (Freddy) Meyer. Jones and Meyer haven’t shown me very much for guys who should be fighting for a job. They haven’t shown the same fire that it’s going to take to be a regular on this club."
more

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Be Like Kipper

from the Edmonton Sun,

Sitting in his stall after the morning skate, Josh Green looks over at Roberto Luongo and immediately thinks of Miikka Kiprusoff. Green, who played for Calgary during the 2003-04 season, saw first-hand day-after-day how much Kiprusoff means to the Flames and their fortunes. The Vancouver forward sees the same in Luongo, the Canucks prized goaltender acquired this past summer via trade. "In my mind, he and Kipper are up there as the best," Green said yesterday. "I can't score on either of them in practice. I keep the pucks I score with on him."
continued

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Ted Leonsis Says

from an interview in the Washington Post,

The team has been quick to embrace new media formats, such as podcasts and blogs. What advantages do you see in them? Three things: One, if you are writing a blog, and you are religious about it, and you are updating every day or every week, you are obviously a great fan, and we need to reward great fans. Two, the blogosphere is important because bloggers communicate with one another, and they show up very high in search engines. Third, the traditional media are having to cut expenses. Some of the big-city newspapers, thankfully not ours, aren't even allowing reporters to travel with the teams. Are there any blogs you recommend? Bleating From a Caps Nut, DCSportsChick, Off Wing Opinion, Japers' Rink. Those are good ones locally.
more (reg. req.) from Ted on the Caps...

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Minus 82

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

Every hockey season, he checks the newspaper or goes on-line to scan the player statistics from the night before. He is not looking for goals or assists. He has no use for penalty minutes. His category of choice is the plus-minus rating, the measure of a player's defensive worth. Even now, 32 years after laying claim to a record the National Hockey League doesn't acknowledge, Bill Mikkelson is drawn to the number that defines his career, a number so incomprehensible it reads like the temperature on Neptune. “How did you do it?” he is asked. “How did you end up at minus-82?”
continued

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Wild Must Win

from the AP via MSNBC,

Minnesota, entering its sixth season, must make the playoffs. Pavol Demitra, Mark Parrish, Keith Carney and Kim Johnsson weren't brought in to sell tickets, because the Wild already do that well enough. "We're not fooling anybody in here,'' said Walz, a 36-year-old center who is one of only three players who have been on the Minnesota roster since the inaugural regular-season opener. "We know that with the changes that management has made, it's a different feeling in this room. There's no question about it.''
read on

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What Is About To Unfold

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

How can the Devils deal with their payroll problems? Are the Penguins about to pack it up? And will anyone, anywhere, ever take the New York Islanders seriously again? These are some of the things hockey fans are wondering about as the NHL season prepares for its new season, but there are many other intriguing storylines about to unfold in the weeks and months ahead. Here's a dozen that bear watching. 1. The Devils made themselves do it: And no one is feeling too sorry about the predicament GM Lou Lamoriello has created for his team under the salary cap. The famously astute New Jersey boss got in over his head last year because of some ill-advised signings, and now the Devils are going to pay for it.
continued...and 11 more things to watch...

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Two Sides To The Trade

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The initial reaction is that the Hurricanes got fleeced when they sent defenceman Oleg Tverdovsky and the rights to Johnson, who was the third overall pick in the 2005 entry draft, to Los Angeles for defenceman Tim Gleason and centre Eric Belanger. And if Johnson, who is obviously a blue-chip prospect, turns out to be the next Dion Phaneuf, well, then Sept. 29th will be a day Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford comes to regret. But anyone who thinks Gleason and Belanger are no more than a bag of pucks, think again. This transaction is not nearly as lopsided as some are making it.
read on

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Cynic’s Guide

I will give you the question and answer, you figure out the team...

Why They Won't Win The Stanley Cup: Because their defense and goaltending is about as solid as the Cheese Whiz on a Geno's steak. Why They Won't Win The Stanley Cup: Because it isn't 2048 yet. Worst Case Scenario: The power play stinks again, the team falls out of the playoff picture, and trade winds literally blow over (player name would give it away).
Ok, now that you have the picture, you can continue to read the The Jester's Quart Guide to the East, or something like that...

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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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