Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Captain Speaks

Steve Yzerman was on Detroit radio this afternoon, talking about the Wings, the NHL and the Lester Patrick Award he is receiving on Monday. Steve mentioned the NHL game is still in transition. The removal of the red line has opened up the game and he really enjoys the bigger offensive zone, and as Steve mentioned, all done without increasing the ice surface. Still feels the enforcement of the calls is too tight. He compared some calls to an NBA game, you know, where all the players are looking at each other about the call that was just made. He believes the NHL enforcement of the calls is too extreme and the physical play has been taken out of the game. He also states if the refs start backing off on some of the calls, a league wide panic may set in again, claiming the game is going back to the old ways of calling penalties. He does hope the game evolves into letting the players somewhat decide the outcome of the game. Steve believes the Wings are improving as a team. Even though their stats may no show it, the Wings are a tougher team to play against and the shots allowed per game is very low, which translates into success during the playoffs. He believes the younger talent is starting to blossom, mentioned Franzen and Lebda are beginning to show what they are made of. He is honored to be receiving the Lester Patrick Award. Credited the Red Wings organization for making the game much more popular in the Michigan area and feels he is accepting the award on behalf of the Wings. On a side note, I will be covering the Lester Patrick Awards in Detroit on Monday. Stories will appear at KK and at NHL.com next week.

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Whatever You Say John

"I think it's good we are getting out on the road for an extended period of time with the Xs and Os and all the teaching we have done and the time we have spent trying to teach our team concept. I think when you go on the road and are together with no wives, no babies, no girlfriends, no boyfriends or whatever it may be, you end up being together, and that's where your chemistry starts coming together in the locker room." -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella
more quotes from Phil Coffey's "Quoteworthy" at NHL.com

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Frustration Setting In

from the AP via TSN,

Peter Forsberg wasn't going to let his temper get him in trouble twice in one night. The Philadelphia Flyers captain says he was so angry after Thursday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay that he left the arena without talking to the media to avoid a possible fine for criticizing officials. "You want to win the game; you're so close," Forsberg said. "We battled back and it could have been a huge win. It's pretty frustrating. "I don't usually criticize the refs, but it's tough when you try to do your best and you don't get a fair chance."

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Leave It Alone

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

If you accumulate all the things teams say they need, the Detroit Red Wings would play 150 games a season and criss-cross the continent twice a week, while the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes would only be asked to play about 20 games. All at home. Fact is, regional and divisional rivalries are still the best way to build the game, but you have to give them time to percolate. People often recall the wonderful days of the Original Six, and those teams were competing against each other a dozen times or more a year. And suddenly eight is too many?
more...plus attendance problems in some cities...

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Ron Francis Joins The Canes

from the Carolina Hurricanes,

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Ron Francis has joined the Hurricanes front office as Director of Player Development. In his role, Francis will work with and assess players in the Hurricanes system and report to Director of Pro Scouting Marshall Johnston. “Ron’s knowledge of the game of hockey and his experience as a player go without mention,” said Rutherford. “Having Ron in this role will be a true benefit to the players and the Hurricanes organization.”

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Tricks Were a Treat in October


But there is more to examine than just an increase in the number of hat tricks, a rarity in the days of the neutral-zone trap and the clutch-and-grab NHL, which seem like a distant memory. It's the type of hat tricks that happened in October, and the timing of them, many dramatic, many just outright amazing, that is especially noteworthy.
Continue reading

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The Resurging Islanders

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

How about this as the National Hockey League's biggest early-season surprise story: One month into the season, while nobody was looking, everybody's choice for laughingstock-team-of-the-year, the New York Islanders, quietly became a respectable club. Yes, those are the Islanders, holding down sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, thanks to a 4-1-1-1 home-stand that ended this week and helped them overcome a disastrous 1-3-1-0 start on the road.
continued...plus injury talk and the reporting of such injuries...

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Red Berenson Gets Deserved Recognition

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

There are so many reasons why Gordon "Red" Berenson is deserving of the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. He has won a Stanley Cup and a World Championship as a player and two NCAA titles and the NHL's Jack Adams Award as a coach.... "You're a young kid when you get there and many kids are away from home for the first time," said Philadelphia Flyers left wing Mike Knuble, who played with Shields and Ward. "Berenson is a father figure to you and he doesn't baby you at all. He runs the program like an NHL team. He flipped it around from a great school with a so-so hockey program to a great school with a great hockey program....."
read on image

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The Cost Of Youth Hockey

from Vern faulkner of the Esquimalt News via Goldstream News Gazette,

What was once the Canadian dream for every young boy has been restricted to the rich. That's the view of some in the hockey world, who suggest that if hockey authorities don't make changes quickly, only kids of wealthy families will be able to pursue college or professional hockey.... All those travel costs add up quickly, too. Parents of MML kids have to be rich to play- very rich, given that some estimates for a season's costs peak at $10,000. By comparison, fees for players on Island junior B teams range between $500 and $1,000.
read on

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Lewis Needs Time

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Since signing on in Boston, Dave Lewis hasn't forgotten everything he's learned in two decades of coaching, It only seems that way. Despite a major injection of character and talent over the summer, Lewis' Bruins are struggling in the early going. Lately, it's like they've taken a page from the Red Sox handbook. It's not just that they lose, it's that they trick the fans into thinking all is well right before they slip spectacularly on the banana peel.
continued...plus the NHL sent out "diving" letters recently...

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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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