Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Brothers Johnson

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Today would have been another chance for the brothers Johnson to catch up. Last summer, Greg signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings, who will face the Blues tonight at 7:05. But a heart condition, detected during a preseason physical, forced Greg to retire from the NHL at age 35. Today, he lives with his family in Detroit.
“With Greg in the league, I always felt like he was there looking over me,” Ryan said. “This year, it almost felt weird the first couple of months not having him there. I’ve definitely felt like I’ve been playing a little bit for him this year just because I know how much he loved the game. I feel like I’m carrying a little bit of extra something with me this year.”

read on

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Bettman Won’t Back Down

from Ed Willis of the Vancouver Province,

Bettman remains impervious to any criticism of his administration or the game’s direction, as the commissioner again demonstrated during a 40-minute presser in which he said absolutely nothing of interest.
He would, in fact, tell you the male-enhancement product is a natural for the NHL because it represents, er, growth ... and strength ... and upward mobility.
Actually, when asked about the NHL’s relationship with Versus, Bettman said: “We like the treatment we’re getting from Versus. They’re very NHL-focused in terms of their telecast. Their intermissions are about us, not about everything else in sports.”


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What Teams May Do

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The NHL’s 30 general managers will travel to Naples—Florida, not Italy—in 10 days to play the Deal or No Deal game with the clock ticking on the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
Who’s buying? Who’s selling?
Here’s a quick look at the NHL field, and what teams might do…
They’re looking for a big rental winger (they like Fred Modin) to presumably play with Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald and a No. 4 or No. 5 defensive-type blue-liner. Their problem: they have no draft picks in the first round (the Oilers have it) or the second round.

read on

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Talk Heating Up

Trade talk is heating up and Spector is on it today…
Early mornings and late nights will be his M.O. for the next 19 days…

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What Could Have Been

from the Globe and Mail,

“I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance in Toronto that I got in Chicago,” Sullivan said. “At the time with Pat, there wasn’t room to grow. Toronto had a good team that made the playoffs for the next [five seasons]. In Chicago, there was ice time to learn and you knew you were going to play every day.
“I was young. There were some nights I deserved to be in the lineup [in Toronto] and there were times I didn’t deserve to be in the lineup. There was the idea that [Quinn] liked bigger players, but I feel that if I was able to produce on a regular basis, I don’t think my size would have been a concern.”


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Fight It Or Die

from the Toronto Sun,

For a man who has battled two cancer procedures in the past three years, former Maple Leafs coach Pat Burns is well on the road to recovery.
Yet when he talks about his seemingly never-ending scrap with the deadly disease, Burns considers the experience as black-and-white as the spiffy tuxedo he was wearing at the Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner and Auction in support of Easter Seals Kids at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last night.
You either fight it to the best or your ability.
Or you die.

read on

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Silly Rumor

from the mailbag of Wings beat writer Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“With Sergei Samsonov getting released, do you think the Red Wings will pick (him up). If not, where do you think he will end up?’’—Ken
He wasn’t released, he was waived and no team claimed him because of his hefty salary (he signed for two years at $3.5 million per season last summer) and lousy performance. The Canadiens can keep him on their roster or send him to the minors. The only way I see any team trading for him is if it can dump a salary in return on Montreal. The Wings don’t want him and don’t need him. They need a top-six forward with some size and grit and there will be far better choices available at the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

more on the Wngs…

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Devils Interested In Stuart

from the NY Post,

According to sources, the Devils are trying to win the Brad Stuart sweepstakes. The Bruins are believed to want to trade their defenseman now, rather than waiting until the Feb. 27 deadline.
For the Devils to pull off that rental deal, they will likely have to do better than the package they’re said to be offering - David Hale, recent showcase Rod Pelley and big Barry Tallackson.

read on

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Pain is Part of the Job

By Arnie Stapleton, via CBS4 Denver,

Karlis Skrastins, on the verge of breaking Tim Horton’s NHL record for durability by a defenseman, has never shied away from pucks or pain.
A life of bumps, bruises and breaks attest to the 32-year-old’s all-out style. He’s constantly dropping to the ice or skating into the shooting lanes to block shots for the Colorado Avalanche.
“Pain is part of our job,” he said.
Skrastins is set to break Horton’s nearly 40-year-old record Thursday night against Atlanta when he plays in his 487th consecutive regular season game.


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Lalime Back to the NHL with a Shutout

From the Associated Press, via Chicago Sports,

Patrick Lalime stopped 34 shots in his season debut to earn his first shutout in almost three years as the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 Wednesday.

Lalime hadn’t played an NHL game since last April after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk in September. However, he was 3-1 with a .930 save-percentage during a recent conditioning stint in the AHL, and it carried over with Chicago as he made his best save on Trevor Linden’s power-play tip midway through the third period.

more (may require registration)

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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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