Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Who Is Tom Benjamin

Christy at Behind The Jersey tries to find out what Tom Benjamin is all about...

What first attracted you to the sport of hockey? Again we can blame my Dad. Every Saturday night, it was Hockey Night in Canada. In those days, the game was picked up in progress about halfway through the first period. Dad watched Bugs Bunny with me until HNIC picked up the game and then I watched hockey with him. It was the only night of the week we got to eat in front of the TV. Mom always served burgers. It was great.
read on

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Game 3 Will Be Huge

from the Blog of Ron Francis,

The Canes for most of the first 2 games were the better team, but the series is tied with the next 2 games in Buffalo. The Canes obviously need to win at least 1 of the next 2 games but the pressure would be greater on them to win game 4 if they were down 2-1 after game three, and conversely, the pressure would be greater on Buffalo if they were down 2-1 with game five looming in Raleigh.

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Daunting Task For Ducks

from the Edmonton Sun,

That, folks, is a tough team to beat, and when you factor in the bedlam that will be a jam-packed and jumping Rexall Place tonight, the Mighty Ducks face a daunting task. "When the momentum within a game swings in your favour, the crowd gets behind you and it may affect a decision they (opponents) make," former Oiler Todd Marchant said. "You rush a pass or make a mistake. "It comes down to being focused and being composed. I, generally, like playing in the opposing building. You want to go into an opposing building and take away a win."
more...How bad is it for the Ducks, Roloson has more points than any Duck player in the series... added 8:13am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Never before has Roloson been regarded as one of the league's better goalies with the stick and there's a reason for that. He isn't. It's almost as if along with the glorious puck-stopping abilities he's shown over the past few weeks, he's been so inspired to be valued as a No.1 man that he's started to get creative with his stickhandling as well.

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Report- Chelios Close To Return, Shanahan Wanted Back

from Mlive,

The oldest player in the NHL will be back for another season with the Detroit Red Wings. Wings general manager Ken Holland said on Monday that he's "very close'' to signing defenseman Chris Chelios to a one-year contract.... Holland would also like to re-sign forward Brendan Shanahan -- if the price is right. He earned $2.28 million last season. "If the numbers make sense for him and us, it's a real possibility he could be back,'' Holland said.

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We Need To Grow The Ratings

from Darren Rouvell of ESPN,

"We need to grow the ratings. The NHL knows that, and we know that," OLN president Gavin Harvey said. "We think that's something that needs to be judged over a couple of years." To put those numbers in perspective, more people watched the 13 WNBA broadcasts on ESPN2 last year than the NHL on OLN this year. And NBC's poker series, which preceded the network's NHL playoff coverage two weeks ago, easily outdrew the hockey by more than 200,000 viewers. Still, the playoffs have been and are expected to continue to be very competitive, so the NHL is staying optimistic about the remaining Stanley Cup matchups. "We don't think having small market teams necessarily equates to bad ratings," league spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur said. "Viewership is also about the quality of the game, and the game is in great shape." One of the issues, though, for the ratings is the star power, or lack of it, on the teams still alive.
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Still Waiting

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes' Glen Wesley, Rod Brind'Amour, Doug Weight and Bret Hedican are in that 35-and-over territory of knowing they are in a career's twilight and still hoping for that first Cup experience. Combined, they officially have a total of 64 NHL seasons -- Wesley 18, Brind'Amour 17, Weight 15 and Hedican 14.

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Crawford New King Coach

from the LA Kings,

The Los Angeles Kings have named Marc Crawford as the club’s Head Coach, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today at a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.

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Report- Richards Reaches Agreement With Bolts

via the Tampa Tribune,

The Lightning will announce today at 11 that they have re-signed would-be restricted free agent Brad Richards to a new contract.
update 10:49am, via Sportsnet,
Sportsnet has learned Brad Richards and the Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to a new 5-year deal. Terms have not been released but the package is believed to be in the vicinity of $40 million.
update 11:26am, from the TBL,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Brad Richards to a five-year contract valued at $39 million, it was announced by Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster. Richards’ new deal has an average annual value of $7.8 million.

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Sens Should Sign Hasek

from the Ottawa Citizen,

When the four Big Ms of the Ottawa Senators get down to work this week on improving the team for next season, the first order of business for Eugene Melnyk, Roy Mlakar, John Muckler and Bryan Murray should be Dominik Hasek. While the guy has been put through the shredder in recent weeks because of the injury that wouldn't go away, Hasek has made an offer the club and its fans might not be able to refuse. Despite suspicions the goalie's injury was more in his head than his thigh, and mounting criticism that he let down the team by not being ready for the playoffs, Hasek says he wants to return because he didn't bring the Senators a Stanley Cup championship. And Hasek says the only team he'll play for is the Senators.

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Watching Pronger & Niedermayer

from the Edmonton Journal,

Seriously, would you rather watch Henrik Tallinder and Bret Hedican, defenders for Buffalo and Carolina, respectively, in the Eastern Conference final? Not likely. While Pronger and Niedermayer are making the Western Conference final a fun and educational experience on the tube, up close and personal it's even more impressive, especially for wide-eyed NHL beginners. "Some of the stuff you watch and you think, I can use that. Some of the other stuff you see and you're in awe, and you think maybe 10 years down the road I'll try to do that," Oilers rookie blueliner Matt Greene said of Pronger. "He plays the game with such intelligence it's amazing. He doesn't expend a single ounce more of energy than he has to. It's just professionalism, the way he works, approaches the game and thinks the game." And Niedermayer? "His skating ability definitely elevates his game," said Greene. "He just puts himself in position where he can get back in the play."

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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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