Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Winning Is Fun

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Unlike a handful of other players, Vyborny never went batty while trapped in a culture of losing. He never requested a trade, never quit playing hard, never headed back to the Czech Republic.
And now that the Blue Jackets are tasting victory and tracking upward under coach Ken Hitchcock, nobody’s enjoying the success more than Vyborny.
“It’s more fun to go home at night,” Vyborny said. “It’s more fun to come to the rink the next day.
“It’s something new for all of us here, including the fans. We’ve waited for it, a long time.”

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Yzerman Studying Abroad

from the Toronto Sun,

Sitting among the National Hockey League scouts yesterday was Steve Yzerman, who retired from the NHL in July after more than 1,500 games with the Detroit Red Wings. Yzerman now is vice-president of hockey with Detroit and has adjusted well to life off the ice.
“I’m still learning a lot about what goes on behind closed doors with the front office,” said Yzerman, who won three Stanley Cups with the Wings. “I can watch these players, but I don’t know how to project them. That’s what I am trying to learn from our scouts, talking to them about what they look for in a junior that will make a player a good NHL player.”

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What Did You Say Ted

from Newsday,

Nolan’s anger boiled over last night, and it cost the Isles whatever chance they had of coming back in a tight one-goal battle with Ottawa. Reacting to simultaneous minors against Alexei Yashin and Richard Park that gave the Senators a five-on-three power play for a full two minutes at the 12:30 mark of the third, Nolan told referee Eric Furlatt exactly what he thought of the officiating.
Recounting the confrontation, Nolan said, “He asked me what I said. I said, ‘It’s a—call.’ He asked me again, and I told him again. He asked me a third time, and I told him a third time. He asked for it, and I just told him what I said.”

read on

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Murphy Interested In Panthers Asst. GM Job

from the Palm Beach Post,

The search for an assistant general manager to work with Panthers GM and coach Jacques Martin drew interest from one candidate on Wednesday while losing another.
NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, who served as an assistant coach for Martin in Ottawa, said he “would definitely have an interest” in the position.
“Jacques created an excellent situation in Ottawa, and I know that, given time, he’ll do the same in Florida,” Murphy said from NHL offices in Toronto.

continued

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Boogaard Will Just Run Over Opponents

from the Star-Tribune,

Boogaard said he thinks he can’t find a willing combatant because his horrifying uppercut that rearranged the face of Anaheim’s Todd Fedoruk on Oct. 27 has become folklore.
“That just means they’re scared,” Boogaard said. “They don’t want to get hurt.”
Plus, the prototypical NHL fighter is a dying breed.
“We’re not playing a lot of physical teams right now,” Boogaard said. “They don’t feel they need a guy, so I’ll just go out and do whatever I want. I’ll just run them over.”

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Playing With Names

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,

Hockey names can also tangle the tongue or eyes. Trying saying (or reading) Guillaume Latendresse or Antero Niittymaki three times fast. Consider the games between the Rangers and Devils several years ago that featured the following players: Randy Moller, Kirk Muller, Corey Millen, Kevin Miller and Brian Mullen. The broadcasters were fortunate that Mike Millar was with Toronto at the time.

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Rory Ready To Move On

from the Province,

“I’m not disappointed in falling a spot,” Fitzpatrick said. “If I fall a couple more spots that would be even better. That way there’d be no chance of me having to make a decision on whether to play in the game. Then everybody who thinks this is so important and has personal things to say can drop it and move on to the next story.”

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Cloutier On IR

via the LA Times (reg. req.),

Dan Cloutier’s season got a little worse Wednesday, as the Kings put their struggling goaltender on injured reserve with what was called a hip injury.
Cloutier was scheduled to undergo an MRI Wednesday and did not accompany the team to Edmonton, where they begin a three-game road trip against the Oilers tomorrow night. The team will likely activate goaltender Mathieu Garon, who went through his first full practice with the team since suffering a groin injury Nov. 29.
“The soreness…in his hip is affecting his knee,” coach Marc Crawford said. “Hopefully by giving him a week off, will give him time to work through the issues he has and allow him to play at the level we need him to play.”

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The Maven During The Holiday

from Stan Fischler at MSG Network,

• Has there been a bigger stiff all season than Martin Gerber? His three-year, $11.1 million deal has John Muckler hamstrung beyond a reason.
• The downfall of Markus Naslund is no different than that of his countryman, Peter Forsberg – too many injuries. No more, no less!
• Brendan Shanahan sees things clearly and sees them whole, so it’s no surprise that his analysis of Steve Yzerman’s influence is cogent. “Steve displayed to teammates every night how playing both ends can benefit you and not take away from the attention you get for your stats.”

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Who Would Have Thought…

from Deb Kaufman at MSG Network,

In the words of the first (of now many) beauty queens to lose her title thanks to racy pictures, ‘Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for, is the one thing you can’t see.’
Nolan saw something no one else did, and the result has been Yashin’s best play as an Islander and Blake with 20 goals before Christmas.
Hope you all had a Happy Holiday! Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!
The Islanders are already having one - thanks to Garth Snow and Ted Nolan.

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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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