Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Nash Trying To Carry The Team

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Whatever happened to Rick Nash? Whatever happened to the kid who took the NHL by storm three years ago when, at 19, he became the youngest player ever to win a scoring title? Whatever happened to the junior sensation with Mario Lemieux's size and Brett Hull's finish who GM Doug MacLean was going to build his franchise around after drafting him first overall in 2002?... "He's carrying the weight of the franchise and I think it's affected him -- it's a lot to carry for a 22-year-old," said MacLean yesterday as his team boarded a Calgary-bound plane for tonight's game.
read on

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Rathje Facing Retirement

from the Courier Post,

Bothered by sciatic nerve pain that has limited his mobility for six years, Mike Rathje's 13-year NHL career is on the brink of ending. "You can only take drugs to play hockey for so long," a dejected Rathje said before sitting out Thursday night's game between the Flyers and New York Islanders. "This scenario of me needing medication to play has gone on for the last year. "I am always in pain."
continued

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Where Are The Fans

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

...Or maybe hockey is no more than a passing fad here in the land of NASCAR and Tobacco Road college basketball. Whatever the reason, the RBC Centre - which was packed to the rafters in the spring when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup - was a lonely place last night when the Hurricanes played the Canadiens. The announced attendance was 13,103, but there weren't more than 10,000 people in the arena. I know there is a core of fervent, knowledgeable fans in this area, but there aren't enough to suggest that the NHL will ever be a success in this market.
read on

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Case Building Against Tocchet

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

A year of whispering, waiting and speculation is about to get very noisy and troubling for Rick Tocchet. The twisted walls of justice are closing in on him with the prognosis for his future being anything but encouraging. Tocchet is all but certain to be hauled before a New Jersey grand jury, with his alleged partners in a major league gambling ring ready to sing a tune on him he doesn't want to hear.
continued

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What Was WXYT Thinking!

WXYT, radio voice of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, dismissed the best radio sports producer in the city today. Tom Mazawey, the man with the biggest black book in town, was let go this afternoon by the station due to budget cuts. I know for a fact, Tommy was the glue that held that station together. He wore many hats, went above and beyond his job description, only to be dumped by a company that has no clue on how to manage talent. A word to the Ilitch family- Your contract with WXYT is about to come due for the Tiger and Red Wings broadcasts. This should be sign to you NOT to remain with a station that can't make the proper decision, let alone be heard 30 miles outside of Detroit. A decision like this is mind boggling and should not go unnoticed. added 11:59pm, For those of you wondering who else was let go, it is my understanding Don Swindell was given his walking papers too. He does voice over work and commercial production.

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Glass Shatters- Two Children Sent To Hospital

via the AP,

Two children attending the Ottawa Senators' game against Florida were sent to a hospital for precautionary reasons Thursday after plexiglass shattered in front of them when Chris Phillips checked Florida's Stephen Weiss into the boards. The two children, a brother and sister, and their parents were showered with broken glass Thursday night as the pane exploded into pieces when the Ottawa defenseman drove Weiss into the boards directly beside the right faceoff circle in the Senators' zone 3:12 into the first period. A team official confirmed that the two children, who were sitting in front row seats, had been sent to a hospital by ambulance along with their parents

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Gallant Upset With Criticism

from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,

Gerard Gallant said it upset him to hear players talk about how much better the team became under new coach Ken Hitchcock. "All I know is the system we played this season is the same system we played at the end of last season, when we went 23-16-1, and it seemed to work pretty good then," Gallant said. "I was a good coach then." The Blue Jackets went 5-9-1 this season before Gallant was fired Nov. 13. Hitchcock was hired Nov. 22 and is 1-2-0. Some players have been outspoken since the dismissal, and forward Anson Carter on Monday compared the team's play under Gallant to that of a minor-league American Hockey League team.
more

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Respect in Sport - Training Amateur Coaches

From CBC online,

The Respect in Sport program is an internet-based training course offered free of charge to coaches in all sports. The three-hour-long program, which is done on coaches' own time, will help them identify and cope with issues like neglect, harassment, abuse and bullying. Hockey Manitoba, the organization that oversees amateur hockey in the province, has already made the program a requirement for its coaches this season. Provincial sports officials say over the next year, all other sports disciplines will adopt the training, which will complement their existing coaching certification requirements. "We show them the wrong way and we show them the right way, and our goal is to really just empower coaches to be better," said Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player and spokesman for the Respect in Sport program, on Thursday.
More...

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NBC Thinking About Game Of The Week

Chris Chelios was on Detroit radio this afternoon and mentioned he has heard talk NBC is really gung-ho on the NHL and may decide to do a full season- game of the week type thing next year. Cheli also mentioned marketing is still not where it needs to be. He used the Dallas/Detroit game a few days ago in Detroit, he could not believe how many empty seate there were.

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Stuffing The Ballot Box

The Rory Fitzpatrick campaign continues to grow. Enough said.

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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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