Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Flames To Retire Vernon’s #30

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail:

For only the second time in franchise history, the Calgary Flames will raise a retired number to the rafters. Goaltender Mike Vernon, who holds all the National Hockey League team's major career net-minding records, will have his No. 30 retired by the Flames on Feb. 6 in a pregame ceremony prior to a game against Chicago, it has been learned. Vernon made 526 regular-season appearances on the part of the Flames, posted a 259-170-13 record, plus a career goals-against average in a Calgary uniform of 3.26 and a .601 winning percentage. Vernon was also in goal for the Flames during their first two trips to the Stanley Cup final — in 1986, when Calgary lost to the Montreal Canadiens and again in 1989, when the Flames turned the tables on the Habs and won the only championship in team history. Many thought Vernon — and not defenceman Al MacInnis — should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that season.
Eight years later, he won it:

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IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame Inducts 12

Guest Submission by Joe Pelletier With the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto inducting Patrick Roy recently, the IIHF class of 2007 announcement flew right under the radar here in Canada. Part of the reason is there are no household names by North American standards. Heck, you'd have to be an old school diehard of the international game to know any of the 9 players who will get their official induction on May 10, 2007.

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Join The Club Mike

from the AP via the Kansas City Star,

Coach Mike Kitchen, whose team finished last overall in the NHL last season and last in goals, thought he wouldn't have to worry about scoring anymore - either on the power play or at even strength. "That's the toughest thing, creating offense," Kitchen said. "I thought with some of the free agents we signed, we'd be able to score goals. We've got to get better, that's all I can say."
more on the Blues...

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A Friendly Reminder

We normally do not see a Wednesday game on Versus, but tonight is different. The Sharks play the Wild at 8pm ET (TSN in Canada). Now if Versus decided to run a little banner ad on KK and other hockey blogs, I would not have to do this.

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Cam Ward Just Sitting

from the CP via TSN,

More than a few eyebrows were raised around the NHL over the past week with John Grahame making three straight starts in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes while Conn Smythe Trophy winner Cam Ward sat on the bench. The question is, will it be four straight when the Montreal Canadiens visit on Thursday night? Only Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette knows for sure and he didn't deviate from his long-standing policy Wednesday of divulging his starting goalie to the media.

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New “Look” Next Season

from Reuters via the Guardian,

The NHL will break with long-standing tradition next season by ushering in a new streamlined outfit that blends fashion with functionality, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday. Bettman said the new-look uniforms, designed over the last two years, will be unveiled at the All-Star game in January. In an interview with Reuters at the National Hockey League headquarters in New York City, Bettman said the players who have tested it so far "have been thrilled". While the new tapered uniforms are fashionable, Bettman said they were designed with the players in mind. "The new uniform takes advantage of developments in new fabrics," he said. "But the change was done not for the stylistic. It was done for performance and safety. It was time. Our basic uniforms haven't changed in 40 years."
continued plus some attendance talk from Bettman...

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Flyers Extend Knuble

from the Philadelphia Flyers,

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have signed 6’3”, 230-pound right wing Mike Knuble to a two-year contract extension, according to General Manager Paul Holmgren. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “We are happy with Mike's play since he joined us. We think that he's got more to give to us in the future. He is not only a good player, he's a good person and a guy that we want in our organization moving forward."

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A Battle Begins

from AgapePress via WDC Media,

A pro-family leader is wondering who's minding the net for the National Hockey League, given its support for a homosexual movie that features an 11-year-old drag queen.... Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute at the Virginia-based Media Research Center, believes NHL officials are unlikely to win any more fans for the League by endorsing this homosexual-themed movie. "They're going to alienate many, many people who take their kids to hockey games," he says. "The NHL has had enough problems in recent years packing their arenas, and this is not going to help them at all."

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Wings’ PR Staff Lacks Common Sense

By George Malik: I just don't get it. The Red Wings just installed a beautiful set of LED displays on their scoreboard, finally updating the video system after using big-screen TVs for almost fifteen years. You'd think that the organization would utilize that scoreboard to at least show some replays, or maybe tap into the rink's Center Ice package to show some highlights from around the league. It can't be that difficult to call down to the Fox Sports truck and ask, "Hey, can we see that last play on the board?" Right? Wrong. The scoreboard rarely shows replays. In the instances of controversial calls, reviewable goals, and even hard hits, fans attending games may as well bring an AM/FM radio with them, because the in-game production crew spends its time telling its rink-side camera crew to do crowd shots. Little kids dancing? You bet. Uncomfortable shots of fans who are told to "make some noise" but are unenthusiastic? Yes, indeedy. Awkward pauses, with the cameras pointed at an empty rink? Of course! It can't be that hard to splice into the Fox Sports feed to show replays on a regular basis. Yes, when we're talking about controversial hits, borderline penalties, or reviewed goals, showing those replays might get the crowd incensed, which steps on the NHL's toes ever so slightly, but isn't getting the crowd worked up the entire point of having that big video screen?

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Over-Divisional Snoozers

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail:

All those Eastern Conference owners and general managers who shot down the idea of introducing greater variety in the National Hockey League schedule should be forced to watch the past four games played between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. This 19-day period, which thankfully ended Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre, featured some of the most eye-glazing hockey since the league was trapping its fans into comas before the lockout cost the NHL its 2004-05 season. So this is the kind of hockey that promotes divisional rivalries, with teams playing their division mates eight times a season? Please. The only thing getting promoted Tuesday night was No-Doz in a 4-1 Bruins win. Even the players looked bored, and this was the best game of the series since the first one on Nov. 9, when the Leafs won 6-4 after the Bruins unaccountably failed to play their neutral-zone trap game. The Bruins, no doubt after much railing by their coaches and heavy fines for the players, ran true to form for the rest of the series.
Any Wings fan can tell you that games 7 and 8 vs. Chicago are like watching paint dry, too... continued

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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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