Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Frustration Setting In

Letters pour in to the Columbus Dispatch,

Mr. Stein: Many fans would say the original Blue Jackets were the least talented of the Jackets’ teams. They also gave a scrappy, consistent effort. The original team was never booed. This year, the jeers are becoming more pronounced. We get the same early season story every year: 1. most talented team in Jackets history; 2. unexplained consistent lack of effort at home; 3. special teams out of sync; 4. road woes. Will this year be like others, when the Jackets begin to play well after they have dispassionately played their way out of a chance to make the playoffs? Maybe what is needed is more back-checking instead of hanging at the offensive zone blue line, fewer toe-drags and end-toend rushes, more shots on goal and going for rebounds. Maybe making a crisp, simple pass that gets to a teammate is better than a behind-the-back, through-thelegs, no-look pass that is stolen. For a team looking for its identity, winning needs to be the goal, not making a highlight reel.
more

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The “New” Look

from Terry Frei at the Denver Post,

The Avalanche on Friday was the latest team to try prototypes of the more form-fitting jerseys, due next season from Reebok, as company representatives make the practice-rink rounds. The jerseys were plain, without logos, numbers or anything else, and they didn't look significantly different than previous models. So this is no "Spiderman"-style revolution, but more of a tweaking that includes fabric that sheds water. "It's a more aerodynamic look," Milan Hejduk said. "I guess they think it might increase the speed? I didn't feel much different, though."
read on for bits on Theodore, Drury, Hartley and more...

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Just Like A Canadian

from Dave Fry of the Washington Times,

Canadians are proud and protective of hockey, a sport they consider their national heritage. Praise lavished on athletes born outside the country is rare and guarded. All of which makes the Alex Ovechkin phenomenon somewhat hard to understand. The youthful Russian is treated like a rock star whenever he comes to Canada, be it Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto in the east or Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary in the west. It is hard to understand, that is, until the connection finally clicks -- the Washington Capitals' left wing plays the game like a Canadian, physically, skillfully, in a determined manner and with a decided flourish. To a Canadian, he just as easily could have been born in Moose Jaw instead of Moscow.
continued

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Drop Em - Or Not

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

Do you wanna go? Or do you have to go? Does a player have the right to opt out of the whole culture of fighting in the NHL? Or if you put on a sweater in this league are you fair game no matter what? When does a player have a choice in whether or not he drops his gloves? And should he be subject to a beating whether he wants to fight or not?
continued

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Heavyweight Vs. Shoot-Out Specialist

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Canada.com,

Scotty Bowman isn't so sure teams shouldn't be dressing a shootout specialist as their 12th forward now, rather than a bodyguard. Sluggers are getting only five minutes a game, anyway. "On this team (Detroit), you have a player, (Jiri) Hudler, who was third in scoring in the American League last year, playing only 13 minutes a game. But he's good in a shootout situation, and the worst you can do is also put him on the second power-play unit," said Bowman.
more on the NHL world...

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Who Goes Where

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• Part of the reason D Brian Leetch remains on the unrestricted free agent market is his asking price. The talk is the Leafs are ready to bring him in at $500,000 (all terms US), but he's seeking $1 million. • If the Sharks are going to deal G Evgeni Nabokov, they can't do it without his permission. Nabokov has a no-trade clause in his contract. • The Kings are looking to move D Lubomir Visnovsky.
more

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Ott Breaks Ankle

via the AP,

Dallas Stars centre Steve Ott has a fractured ankle and will miss the next two months. He is scheduled to have surgery Monday. ''Steve will be sorely missed because he has done a good job at the little things,'' Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. ''It's tough to see that happen to him.'' Ott got into a fight with Los Angeles defenceman Tom Kostopoulos midway through the second period. It appeared Ott fell awkardly after he was hit by Kostopoulos.

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Cap May Hurt Penguins

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It's almost comical that the Penguins, of all teams, find themselves boxed in by the collective bargaining agreement that was allegedly crafted for the benefit of small-market, low-revenue franchises such as Pittsburgh, but instead, and in fact, discriminates against every hockey team and operation in the NHL.... Slap Shots may have had trouble with trigonometry, but even we're smart enough to be able to calculate that it will be impossible for Pittsburgh to construct even the semblance of a complete team if the Penguins wind up paying 60 percent of the cap to max contracts going to Crosby, Malkin and Staal, either through arbitration or to keep them from defecting as 25-year-old unrestricted free agents.
more

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Tallinder Re-Breaks Arm

from the Associated Press:

Buffalo Sabres defenceman Henrik Tallinder has a broken left arm and the club said he will miss up to two months. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Sunday. Tallinder was hurt in Buffalo's 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night, and missed Buffalo's 5-4 shootout loss to Atlanta on Saturday, the Sabres' first of the season. It is the same arm he broke in a collision along the boards in Game 3 of last season's Eastern Conference finals against Carolina. "It's tough," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I'm disappointed for him because he was playing real well for us, and now the same thing happened. I know how frustrating it is."
continued

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Phoenix - Perreault Close

via Darren Dreger of TSN,

Sources tell TSN veteran centre Yanic Perreault is close to agreeing to a one year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. Perreault, believed to be fully recovered from abdominal surgery, previously turned down contract gestures from both Chicago and the New York Islanders

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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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