Kukla's Korner Hockey
You may have noticed the addition of 16 NHL authentic jersey links on the right sidebar of the KK hockey section. The jerseys are Reebok authentic, and most are available in the home, away or alternate style. You can also add any "pro cut" name to the jersey, along with a "C" or "A" if you so desire. Gear up for the Playoffs at IceJerseys.com You can also get 15% off any single item at Shop.NHL.com, a very nice savings and some very good bargains are available there. Interested in NHL Playoff tickets? Then StubHub.com is the place for a great selection of tickets for all eight NHL playoff series. They will also buy your tickets if for some reason you cannot use them. All of the affiliates on Kukla's Korner are hand picked by me, they are not just "network" ads that happen to appear out of the clear blue. Most are geared towards the sports enthusiast and by using the affiliates, it helps me keep KK up and running. I also depend on the commission earned- A full time blogger has to eat, pay for gas, etc... too. KK will of course cover the NHL playoffs beginning the end of this week. Some late nights are in the future, but I will have all summer to recover.
For those HDTV owners who are able to get HDNet, they announced last night they will be telecasting some playoff games. Nothing on their website yet, but I am sure they will post a schedule when the the brackets are finalized.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Changes are on the horizon in Leaf Nation. While Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson is expected to survive any purge once the season officially ends on Tuesday, coach Pat Quinn likely won't be so lucky. There will be a bidding war for Senators D Zdeno Chara in July and already teams are lining up. There is talk out of Boston once the GM situation is settled there -- interim GM Jeff Gorton is a front-runner along with Lombardi and former Hawks GM Mike Smith -- the Bruins are going to make a pitch. Florida and Toronto are both expected to make big offers to Chara, toomore...
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
The debate is raging in Vancouver. Someone must be sacrificed to the hockey gods to appease them after the Canucks missed the playoffs. Who is it to be? Coach Marc Crawford has been on shaky ground for a long time, but general manager Dave Nonis ignored the advice of his confidantes and kept him on. He may not feel comfortable doing so for much longer. Nonis himself probably is safe for a while. He inherited Crawford and likely will be given a chance to make amends with his own man behind the bench. Even though Bryan McCabe is the highest-profile Group 3 (unrestricted) free agent on the Maple Leafs, the team will have to make some difficult decisions regarding other players in the same boat. Or they might have their decisions made for them if the player goes elsewhere while the Leafs dither. Still on the subject of contracts, which is, unfortunately, a way of life in the new artificially regulated NHL, there's an intriguing situation brewing in Minnesota. The Wild, a team which understandably doesn't want to spend much money because it may have an unsold seat some day, must try to come to terms with Marian Gaborik.read on
from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Is the old Steve Yzerman back? The Red Wings' captain thought for a second. He smiled. And then he answered, subtly as always. "You mean the old Steve Yzerman, or the Steve Yzerman of old?" Ah, there is a distinction, a fine one, and in the waning days of the regular season, as the playoffs near, Yzerman is blurring lines and stirring recollections. It's a reprisal disguised as a farewell. Or more likely, a farewell disguised as a reprisal. "Listen, if we go out and win the Cup and I play well, I'd love to come back," Yzerman said. "But there are some physical realities I'm facing, and they're not going away."read on
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets underwent a slow, painful transition in 2005-06. They gained an inkling of what it takes to win. It was the most important development of the season. It took six years, but at least their fans saw some growth. The trick now is to maintain the momentum, or build on it, and the next phase is critical. Like the vast majority of their NHL brethren, the Blue Jackets have a pile of unrestricted free agents, some of them key players. The summer signing season will be merely crazy if half the unrestricted free agents test the market. It might go beyond crazy. Next year, the salary-cap ceiling is expected to rise, from $39 million to perhaps as much as $46 million. The Jackets will have a few bucks — say, $10 million — to fool around with, right? "The cap is a nonissue to me because we cannot afford to go to the cap," MacLean said. "There’s a group (of teams) that can, but there’s a lot of us that can’t, based on sound business principles. It’s the team and the internal budget that has to make sense."read on
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHL's Shipwreck Franchise appears on course to collide with an iceberg (yes, another one), and if that isn't threatening enough news, it's even more ominous knowing that Charles Wang is piloting the ship straight ahead into darkness and danger. Several sources with knowledge of the Islanders' search for a GM have told Slap Shots, a) the owner has commandeered the ship and is essentially conducting the search on his own; and, b) that Wang seems determined to give the job to Long Island native John Weisbrod, a former short-time NBA GM who played hockey at Harvard and who seems to have few qualifications beyond his ability to pull off such a good sell job on the team owner.read on (reg. reg.)
CBC announced last night (or early this morning) some opening round start dates. Both Ottawa and Calgary series will open up Friday and Detroit's first game will be a Saturday afternoon game against now known opponent Edmonton. Game time on NBC & CBC should be 2pm. Thanks to a KK reader for passing this along. I fell asleep after the 2nd period of the Vancouver/Colorado game and missed the announcement.
from the Toronto Star,
Dominik Hasek didn’t look like the world beating, future hall-of-fame goalie who was supposed to start against the Leafs tonight. In fact, during the pre-game skate this morning, Hasek looked very doubtful to even start the playoffs for the Senators when they open late next week.... Hasek, though, cast serious doubts the past two days despite taking to the ice for full workouts. During those sessions, he clearly either refused to drop to the ice to make a save, or simply couldn’t.more Let's go back a couple of years and think what Dom said while with Detroir and nursing a groin injury. If my memory is correct, it was February-March that Dom said he needed some regular season games, something like five games, to get under his belt before the playoffs. We all know Hasek marches to a different beat and went home about that time, knowing full well his health would not allow him to compete at the level he thought he needed to be at. A few of the Wings were surprised by his sudden retirement announcement and thought it was a very strange move to make by their #1 goalie. Dom I am sure learned a few lessons from that, but what is still in my head, is Hasek saying he needed regular season game action in order to play in the playoffs. That has to be on his mind right now, the last thing he wants to do is go on the ice in the round #1 and embarrass himself. Time will tell, but the longer he goes without playing, the chances of course become greater that we may not see him on the ice this year.
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.
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