Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Cup Brings Joy

from the Edmonton Journal,

It was, by official accounts at least, an ordinary day in the life of the Stanley Cup. A morning visit to a west-end seniors home. Bowling with the proud and happy Ward family. A public reception at Sherwood Park Arena. But nobody at the Waterford will remember it as just another Monday morning in August. The staff and residents said they haven't had this much excitement on the premises since, well, just about forever.

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Antropov In Shape To Compete

from the Toronto Sun,

Lumbering Nik Antropov never will give the Donovan Baileys of the world a run for their money. But he might surprise those who think he can't keep up on Mats Sundin's wing this season. While coach Paul Maurice is still formulating lines for training camp, expect Antropov to get a week or two with Sundin to show the Kazakh put summer conditioning to good use. "I've never been a fast guy in my life," Antropov said with a laugh. "But I've been working a lot on core strength (through the lower torso) and that's going to help me get in the right position on the ice.

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Fact Or Fiction

from Fox Sports,

These fantasy hockey myths, as I like to call them, often confuse and cloud the minds of otherwise sensible poolies on draft day. Let's take a look at nine of my favorites. 1. There's more goal scoring in the Western than in the Eastern Conference 2. The best goaltenders play for teams in the East
read on...

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The Maven Bets On Manny

from Stan Fischler at the New England Hockey Journal,

• Manny Legace was fingered in Detroit for the Red Wings’ playoff failures. Whether the acquisitions were right or wrong, Legace is history in the Motor City. Yet, we still believe in Manny and apparently, so does John Davidson. The Blues’ decision to sign ML as their top banana in goal was a wise one. It also sets up a neat goalie-counterpoint between Dom Hasek and Legace. Who’s going to emerge with a better year? We’re putting our money on Legace – and Chris Osgood. • Give Olli Jokinen credit; he not only plays like a captain he talks like one too. “I believe this team will be in the playoffs,” says the Panthers leader. “This is the strongest team in South Florida since the Panthers went to the Finals.” Should we interpret that as a slap at Roberto Luongo? Or, maybe Olli likes the Alex Auld-Ed Belfour combo better than anything he’s had before.
much more...

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Fantasy Land

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The frequency of off-season player movement for the NHL has died down over the month of August, with most teams having re-stocked their respective rosters while attempting to remain comfortably below the $44 million salary cap. While the number of traditional-media-generated trade rumors have petered off throughout August, that hasn't stopped the cyberspace rumor mill from grinding on, generating some pretty wild speculation that seemingly has little basis in the realities of the NHL's salary cap world.

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Sports Terrorism Is Just Another Four-Letter Word

The "Evgeni Malkin Situation" has raised more than a few eyebrows on this side of the pond. Allegations of "sports terrorism" and defiant promises to prove the big, bad NHL that it can't "steal our players" have spouted from the mouth of Metallurg Magnitogorsk's Gennady Velichkin, with his bluster booming louder and louder with every new translation of his statements:

"They all like to talk about democracy, the American way and then they shamelessly steal our best players. This is pure sports terrorism," said the Metallurg general director. "Don't forget, Malkin is a young kid, he is still very naive and it was easy for them to get into his head all that stuff about the American dream and how great the NHL is," he added. "The Pittsburgh owners are trying hard to sell the club, and the price would be totally different if they had Malkin. "But you can't just take our best players and expect to get away with it." "We've put so much effort, resources and money into Malkin's development as a player. He was our gold diamond, our prize possession. He had a contract with us, we were building the whole team around him and now he is gone," Velichkin said. "But don't think we'll just sit there and do nothing. We'll go to court to get what we believe is proper compensation."
The drama goes from bad to worse when we hear Evgeni Malkin's stories of passport-stealing team officials and owners' strong-arm tactics which smack of mafia movie material:

Continue Reading »

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Wants & Needs

Spector analyzes the West...

The Detroit Red Wings could use another depth defenceman and a replacement for departed winger Brendan Shanahan, listing UFA Krys Kolanos as an intriguing dark horse. Spector's Note: I don't think Kolanos is going to interest the Wings. At this point it seems GM Ken Holland will start with his current roster and bolster it as needed during the season.

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Lacking Toughness

Buck Gleason of the Buffalo News writes this about the Sabres...

It won't be long before teams examine the Sabres' roster and realize how few players should be feared. Really, name a defenseman who's going to keep opposing forwards awake at night. Or name three bruising forwards who would make opposing defensemen look over their shoulders.
Does your team fall into this category, does it even matter in the "new" NHL? added 9:37am, While we are on the subject, from the Hockey News,
A well-timed fight can fire up listless teammates and precipitate momentum swings. As Ottawa Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan divulges, there is a method to the madness. “I fight for my team, not for myself,” said this season’s NHL leader in fighting majors with 19. “I do it to spark emotion, to get the team going if we come out flat or get down a couple of goals.”

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On the Hockey Blogs

By Alanah Downie On my side of the border, HockeyNation looks at the new standards of Hockey Canada, as changes to the rules and arena-specs are implemented across the country at the amateur level -- a huge project. And down south, CasonBlog is predicting that Aaron Ward will be the man the Hurricanes' miss the most this coming season, while speculating on various possible trade scenarios involving Carolina. At Hockey Rants, Jes Gõlbez mentions that Jaromir Jagr just won the 'Golden Stick' award for being The Greatest Czech Hockey Player in all the History of Czech Hockey Players. (Well, something like that!) And On Frozen Pond published a photo of Ashley Judd posing back in 1999, wearing nothing but a University of Kentucky hockey jersey. (Is this 'newsworthy'? Noooo... just a Monday morning gift.) Safe for work, hockey fans. Checking out the excellent The Puck Stops Here over the weekend, I found this interesting statement: "Brett Hull's 1990/91 season was... the best goal scoring season in the history of hockey." TPSH backs up this madness with stats, so head over there and find out how such a thing could have happened. In Vancouver, J.J. at Canucks Hockey Blog points out that Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, the Sedin twins and Dan Cloutier were all hanging out at a local restaurant last week when a surprise special guest showed up. And in Atlanta, Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons breaks down the Vishnevski trade, while worrying about defense this coming season. Hockey jerseys have been a frequent blog topic this off-season, and it has now escalated to the point where Ingmar Bergman Shoots & Scores Photoshopped a customized design for Jerseys & Hockey Love. JAHL also posts on the topic here. (Very cool -- now I want one.) Finally, this weekend I was introduced to what might be the rarest breed of hockey blogger -- a St. Louis Blues blogger! (And not that fake corporate one, either.) So, I'm happy to introduce you to Greg at The Blue Note, if you haven't been by yet. See everyone in a few days! Note: If you write a hockey blog and think that I might not know about you (ie. if you're not on Kukla's blogroll or on my own) don't be shy about dropping me an email.

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Move It…Move It…Move It!!!

from the Morning Star,

Catt works pro hockey players with a tough summer regiment. She laughs at hockey stories she probably shouldn't be hearing, but personal trainer Rhonda Catt is basically just one of the boys in summer sessions. Of course, it's her job to keep the likes of pro hockey players Chris Osgood, Tyler Wright, Stacey Roest, Eric Godard, Matt Higgins and Jason Podollan focused, and let them know when they're talking too much. "It's been fun," said Catt, following 90 minutes of dryland drills at Creekside Park. "We've been training for so long now. It's hard, it's challenging, but it's nice to be able to work with a bunch of individuals that are fun to work with. You are always guaranteed some awesome laughs. It's good too because they challenge each other so they're always pushing each other." Osgood started hiring Catt seven years ago after he figured her way was better than his. "Every year she comes up with new stuff," said Ozzie, a summer Vernon resident and veteran Red Wing goalie.

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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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