Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Datsyuk Tries New Stick

Pavel Datsyuk brought out the new Reebok 9KO stick last night. Notice the holes in the shaft which makes it 20% less wind resistant than other sticks. image

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Lilja Considering The Trade Route

from the Detroit Free Press,

Friday's game against the Wild was Lilja's 13th appearance in 24 games. Lilja told the paper it doesn't seem to matter if he plays several good games in a row, he still doesn't get to play regularly. Lilja said it would be easier to take if he got an explanation, but said he doesn't think he's gotten any. Lilja told the paper there are "political reasons" for the decision not to play him regularly. Asked by the paper what this means, Lilja replied, "I know it sounds strange, but that's how it is." Lilja went on to say that if things remain the same, he may consider asking for a trade in January.

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Leopold Ready To Play

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Five months after becoming a member of the Avalanche, barring an unforeseen setback, the 26-year-old defenseman will put on sweater No. 44 and make his season debut tonight against the Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Leopold, who has been recovering from surgery for a sports hernia, was officially activated Friday from the injured reserve list. "I'm excited to get back out there," he said. "I've been around the guys. I've been on road trips. It's been fun being around, but of course I want to play. I want to get my chance."
read on

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One Tough SOB

from Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press,

...But things have changed for the Detroit Red Wings great. They've changed a great deal from his personal life to his health to his business life. The good news is that after a difficult time, they appear to be changing for the better. "There were some awful times," Howe said this week from his home outside Detroit. "I always thought I was a tough son of a bitch, but I'm on these pills for my heart. You never think you're getting old . . ." Howe is now 78. He holds the record for most games played in the NHL. He's second in goals and third in total points.

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Columbus Now Competitive

from the Calgary Sun,

Don't call the Columbus Blue Jackets a pushover. At least not anymore. Since new head coach Ken Hitchcock was hired last week, the team has lost two one-goal games and defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-3 while competing at a much higher level than they did coming out of the gate with a 5-13-2 start under Gerard Gallant.

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Wanna Do It

from the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

About a week ago, Phoenix Coyotes enforcer Georges Laraque worried that the role of fighters is nearing extinction in the NHL. Well, based on his conduct Thursday night against Los Angeles, it can't come soon enough. While wearing a televison microphone for the game, Laraque inadvertently made a mockery of his chosen art and completely undermined the dogged efforts of those who maintain that fighting has an important part in the sport.

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Around The League

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

•Exactly what did Dan Cloutier accomplish in Vancouver that made Marc Crawford want him in L.A.? It's a question that should have been asked long before they offered Cloutier, who has a league-worst 3.67 GAA and .868 save percentage, that two-year, $6.2-million contract. •From the Life Isn't Fair File: Florida goalie Alex Auld lets in one goal in 125 minutes of regulation and OT over two games, and loses them both: 1-0 in regulation to Atlanta, 1-0 in a shootout to Montreal.
much more

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Whitney Steps Up

from the News & Observer,

Without Stillman, Whitney's role and production have increased in his second season with the Canes. He ranks second on the team, and 15th in the NHL, with 29 points (nine goals and 20 assists). "You could tell, given Cory's status, that Ray came in here with the thought that he was going to be the guy," Erik Cole said. "And he has been. He has been really good for us."

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Wait Until Next Year

from Phil Coffey's Ice Age at NHL.com,

Vancouver's Brendan Morrison is a Michigan man, so folks around the Canucks did a double-take this week when he wore an Ohio State hockey helmet in practice. To those not paying attention, Michigan and Ohio State are bitter college football rivals. So, why the change in garb? He lost a bet to teammate Ryan Kesler, a former Buckeye, on the outcome of the Michigan-Ohio State football game. “I’m a man of my word,” Morrison said. “I said I’d do an interview with an Ohio State football helmet on. We couldn’t find a (football) helmet, so we went with a hockey helmet. I look like a goof right now. I would love to get him in a Wolverines helmet and make him look like a goof.”
read more on the NHL from Phil...

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The Monthly Awards

NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2006) -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, who led all rookies in scoring with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 14 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for November. Malkin edged Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (3-7--10 in 13 games), Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (5-5--10 in 14 games) and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Shane O’Brien (1-7--8 in 15 games). NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2006) -- Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne, Atlanta Thrashers right wing Marian Hossa and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cristobal Huet have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for November.

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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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