Kukla's Korner

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Hail Sid

from the AP via ESPN,

Sidney Crosby seems almost embarrassed by all the praise coming from his own locker room a day after he took over as the league’s leading scorer.
Pittsburgh Michel Therrien called Crosby the best player in the NHL. And teammate Mark Recchi compared him favorably to current and future Hall of Famers.
“That’s up to other people to decide,” Crosby said after practice Thursday. “Obviously my coach, he’s probably on my side. But I don’t put pressure on myself to be that guy. I want to be my best, and that’s all I try to do.”

read on

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No Problem, No Issue

from the CP via 680 News,

Jeremy Roenick insists everything is fine with the Phoenix Coyotes and head coach Wayne Gretzky says he still wants the veteran centre on the team….
“It’s kind of unfortunate that the media tries to do this,” Roenick told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “Especially with a team struggling like ours, to try and make it worse.”
The 36-year-old Roenick insists “there’s no problem, there’s no issue, there’s no controversy, there’s no animosity, there’s nothing.”


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Ex-Goalie Shoots & Scores- 5 Times

Joe at Hockey’s Greatest Legands found a very unique story…

Last season, in Norway, Garner suffered a horrible groin injury, ripping the muscles right from the bone. Due to the nature of the injury, doctors told Garner under no circumstances was he allowed to perform as a goaltender for at least one callendar year, and then his injury would be reassessed.
The injury has not kept Garner away from hockey employment. In an unusual move, Garner returned to North America and is playing as a forward for the Jacksonville Barracudas of the lowly SPHL minor leagues….
Garner has even scored 5 goals and 3 assists in 13 games. The 6’2”, 225lb goalie has been described as the team’s most consistent forward.


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Teemu Rolling

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,

Teemu Selanne just wants the good times to keep on rolling.
He woke up Thursday morning sitting third among NHL scoring leaders, and more importantly, his Anaheim Ducks were very much first overall in the league standings. “We’re having a lot of fun right now,” Selanne said before boarding a California-bound flight from Atlanta.
“Last year and this year have pretty much been the most fun seasons in my career,” added Selanne. “Right now what we’re doing as a team, it’s just awesome. I’ve been waiting a long time to be on a team like this, where we have a chance to win every night. It’s a great feeling.”


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Will Leafs Clean House

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

By January if Toronto is not looking at a playoff spot or something very close to a playoff spot, I would be surprised if Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson kept his job.
Toronto is a fanatic market when it comes to NHL hockey so there is pressure on Ferguson to win now. If he can’t win now—and that doesn’t end up costing him his job—he has to start laying the foundation for the future because a serious run at a Stanley Cup will not happen with this group.
All those players who are not under long term contracts in Toronto had better not sign the mortgage papers on a new home as the Maple Leafs could start to clean house before the trading deadline.

read on

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LeClair Place On Unconditional Waivers

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The Penguins will formally sever their ties to left winger John LeClair today, and are expected to do it in a fairly creative fashion.
Rather than suspending LeClair, who has declined to accept an assignment to their farm team in Wilkes-Barre, or having him retire, the Penguins apparently will use a fairly obscure portion of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement called “unconditional waivers.”


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from Screen Shots at the Hockey News,

When Blue Jackets owner John McConnell hired Ken Hitchcock to replace Gerard Gallant as head coach in late November, the least he hoped for was for the team to improve on its .263 winning percentage.
The Jackets certainly picked the right portion of the calendar in which to do it. Everyone wants to believe in miracles this time of year. So let’s look at a list of what would constitute minor and major miracles for all 30 NHL teams.
Minor Miracle: Brian Burke responds to reporter’s question with “no comment.”
Major Miracle (a.k.a. Alert The Vatican): Burke acquires Todd Bertuzzi at trade deadline, brings Pavel Bure out of retirement for playoff run.

see the miracle for the rest of the NHL teams…

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Streaks No Matter What

from Scott Morrison of CBC,

In the case of the Maple Leafs, it is a moot point for the moment, but not for Carolina or Philadelphia or St. Louis for instance.
The question before the court of public opinion is, are the Hurricanes and the Flyers, neither of which have won or, of course, tied in their past four games, on a winless streak or a losing streak? Same for the Blues, who haven’t won in eight games and cost a coach his job as a result.
Sounds like a dopey question, but it isn’t.


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Oduya Ended Up In Sweden

from the Star-Ledger,

It could have been a drastically different life for Johnny Oduya had things worked out differently in the divorce. Oduya was 2 when his parents split -- but this was no ordinary breakup where Mom lives on one side of town and Dad on the other. In this case, Oduya's father headed home to Kenya to run a taxi company. His mother stayed in Sweden with the kids. And Oduya grew up playing hockey. "A lot of people's lives could've been different," he said. "Growing up in Kenya would've been a long shot. I've never even thought about it like that. I'm happy about the way it worked out."

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Modano Goes On IR

via the AP,

Mike Modano was put on injured reserve Thursday by the Dallas Stars and missed his fifth straight game because of a lower-body injury.
The move was retroactive to Dec. 4, the night Modano got hurt. The soonest he could return is Saturday at Los Angeles, but that is questionable.
Modano got hurt in the second period of the Stars’ 1-0 victory over San Jose after he scored the game’s only goal on a one-timer during a power play in the first period. Modano has 10 goals and 10 assists in 27 games this season.

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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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