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Grow Your Beard

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals are encouraging fans to participate in one of hockey’s most visible traditions—the playoff beard. Fans may elect to grow a beard themselves or make a financial donation in support of a Capitals player or a fan who has elected to grow a playoff beard. The Capitals’ Beard-a-thon is an opportunity for fans to grow their own beard and raise money for charity, as all proceeds will benefit Washington Capitals Charities.

Participants in the Capitals’ Beard-a-thon can invite family members, friends and business associates to pledge money for their playoff beard. Some of the participants in the Beard-a-thon are Comcast SportsNet anchors Brent Harris, Chris Hernandez, Michael Jenkins, Chris Miller and Russ Thaler. WJFK 106.7 FM’s John “Cakes” Auville from the Junkies, Chad Dukes from the Big O and Dukes Show and nationally syndicated personality Mike O’Meara from the Mike O’Meara Show will also participate in the Beard-a-thon. Money will be donated to Washington Capitals Charities for everyday that a fan maintains his beard. Fans who do not wish to or are unable to grow a playoff beard can participate by pledging a donation to your favorite Caps player. For more information or to enroll in the Capitals’ Beard-a-thon, log onto beardathon.com/capitals.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hometown Discount

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

One NHL agent thinks the Detroit Red Wings might get free-agent winger Johan Franzen for a salary-cap hit of $3.7 million US a season, which would be a huge hometown discount.

I think it will have to be at least $500,000 more than that a year. Franzen is a scoring machine. He had 28 goals in his final 32 games last season, including the playoffs, and has 33 this year in 66 games. That’s 61 goals in 98 games.

The Red Wings badly want to keep Franzen. They have major cap concerns next season, but not in 2010-11.

“We have $13 million coming off the books then,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. That includes captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s $7.45 million. The Wings would likely try to re-sign Lidstrom, one of the game’s all-time greats at a reduced rate—about $4 million a year. I still think Marian Hossa would take $6.5 million (between Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg’s annual cap hit) in a new five-year deal.

“It’s not a race (to see who signs first),” said Ritch Winter, Hossa’s agent. “Ken has said he would like to sign both Franzen and Marian. So far, Ken hasn’t told us what their price is.”

read on for more NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shero & Burns Should Be In The HHOF

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced new voting procedures beginning with 2010 that will allow the process to be less restrictive and more inclusive, specifically as it relates to female candidates. It’s a welcome change.

But this is the year for the 18-member panel of voters to remedy what in my mind its most glaring omission to date and one that cannot be defended.

This is the year for the committee to elect Fred Shero, the coach who only helped revolutionize the game during the ‘70s on Broad Street, to the Hall of Fame.

This is also the year for the committee to honor the great Pat Burns with election and induction in November so he can receive his plaque and enjoy the tribute he so richly and unambiguously deserves.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fred+shero, pat+burns

Khabibulin Plans To “Just Stop The Puck”

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Nikolai Khabibulin is the most experienced of the Blackhawks and also the most stoic, but the goaltender is as excited as many of his younger teammates about the team’s first postseason appearance since 2002.

“I wish it would have happened sooner, but we finally made it,” Khabibulin said Saturday, one day after the Hawks clinched a Western Conference playoff berth. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Khabibulin, 36, joins Andrew Ladd and Sammy Pahlsson as the only Hawks who have won a Stanley Cup. Khabibulin, who helped Tampa Bay to the NHL championship in 2004, looks forward to using his experience to help the youngest team in the league adapt to postseason play.

“It’s easy for me; I just stop the puck,” said Khabibulin, who has a 31-25 record and 2.27 goals-against average in 57 playoff games. “It’s going to be a little more intense. We don’t have too many veterans here, but we have to make sure guys are not nervous and just stay calm.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Thomas On Avery

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Sean Avery felt yesterday was the perfect time to give Thomas one to grow on - specifically, a smack to the back of the helmet as the Bruins’ No. 1 goalie was stretching his legs during a TV timeout in the third period.

“Unwritten rule,” Thomas mused, following his 31-stop afternoon and a 1-0 win over the Rangers that led to the Bruins clinching the Eastern Conference regular-season title. “Nothing happens during TV timeouts.”

Like most parts of the rulebook, the TV timeout rule hasn’t been committed to memory by the pugnacious Ranger forward. With Thomas some 30 feet out in the slot, stretching his hamstrings, Avery oh-so-subtly cruised up from behind and smacked his stick to the back of Thomas’s head.

“You look up and see who it is,” recalled Thomas, “and you’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ So it was just reflex.”

read on & just in case you missed the latest Avery episode, watch it here...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery, tim+thomas

How The Panthers Make The Playoffs

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Rangers have three games left and 89 points; Florida has four games left and 87. Florida has to be one point ahead of New York by the end of next Sunday’s Rangers-Flyers game from the Spectrum.

—IF Florida goes 3-0-1 (94 points), Rangers can only go 2-1-0 (93). New York at 2-0-1 knocks out the Panthers.

—IF Florida goes 3-1-0/2-0-2 (93 points), Rangers can go 1-0-2 (93) and make it. A record of 0-0-3 or 1-2 would not cut it.

—IF Florida goes 2-2-0 (91 points), good luck. Rangers would have to go 0-2-1 (90) for Florida to beat them out.

—How about 1-0-3 Mr. Richards? Well that’s 92 points. Rangers could go 0-0-3 and make it in. And they would still have one more win to win the tiebreaker. So, Florida could still get in the playoffs with one win in these final four, but they would need three overtime losses and New York to go 0-1-2 or worse.

more on the Panthers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Need A Quick Power Play Fix

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

“What Is There To Do? And What Is There To Say?”

It once was a top tune — love-song-type on The Hit Parade — but the words also apply to the dear, fond admirers of the Rangers.

What IS there to do?

The Maven will tell you what, as John Tortorella’s troops await the arrival of the suddenly surging Canadiens on Tuesday night at The Garden. Scoring a goal would be a good start; and then, maybe a couple or even three more.

What IS there to say?

That’s easy; find a quick — make that INSTANT — cure for the Blueshirts power play.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Performance Of Biron Will Be Watched

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Goalie Marty Biron says he wants to remain with the Flyers, but his performance down the stretch and in the playoffs probably will determine whether they want him.

A potential unrestricted free agent, Biron is in the final season of a $3.5 million contact. After an inconsistent first half, Biron steadied himself and played solidly before sluggish performances in his last four starts.

Biron, who carried the Flyers into the Eastern Conference finals last year, has a 27-17-5 record, 2.80 goals-against average, and .914 save percentage this season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Wait To See How The Signings Work Out

via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Toronto GM Brian Burke was pounding his chest after signing college UFAs Tyler Bozak (Denver) and Christian Hanson (Notre Dame). The Leafs might want to keep expectations low. On April 1, 2006, Burke signed Cornell G David McKee for Anaheim and gave him a huge signing bonus. He is currently with the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sunday Moring Hockey Thoughts

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Should Darcy Tucker have his contract bought out in Colorado, which is entirely possible, and should he sign elsewhere for next season, also possible, he will become the first player in hockey history to be paid by three teams all at the same time.

• Has there ever been an NHL season with such high quality coaches such as Lindy Ruff, Dave Tippett, Jacques Lemaire, Craig MacTavish and Ron Wilson, all out of the playoffs at the same time?

• Truth in numbers: Four of the top 150 point-getters in the NHL were free agents signed directly out of U.S. college. Their names: Martin St. Louis, Todd White, Dan Boyle and Chris Kunitz. The book on free agents: You have a better chance of signing the next Andy Wozniewski than you have of signing the next Andy McDonald.

more hockey notes mixed in with other sports talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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