Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Plus/Minus

My own version of the +/- system at my blog on NHL.com.

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On the Hockey Blogs

By Alanah Downie This feature disappeared for a while but now I'm back from vacation and ready to roll. From now on, this column will be published every Tuesday and some Fridays.

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To start, here is Mike Chen's view of the preseason-- that it's a lot like Vegas and what happens in preseason stays in preseason -- the results mean nothing. (Man, I think everyone has more fun in Vegas than I do.) But probably the Wicked Bruins Fan would like to argue with this perspective, since her team is steamrolling everyone in sight at the moment. At Sweet Tea, BBQ and Bodychecks, the Acid Queen just urges everyone to get a grip -- it's only the preseason and we all need to chill out. On another subject, she also points out that the Hurricanes jumbotron at last Friday's game was urging fans not to heckle the opposing players. (Dear Carolina Hurricanes: Is this hockey or golf you're promoting? Geez.) And over in Vancouver, The Pink Seats has some thoughts on the love life of one particular ex-Maple Leaf. If you want something a bit fun Jerseys and Hockey Love is showing some of that love to a few Zambonis. (Not as kinky as it sounds, but you can dance to it!) And at the Army of the Ohio, Michael asks, “Is it just me or is ESPN actually showing a little more acknowledgement of the NHL recently?" (I don't watch ESPN but my impression was that they were more interested in this sort of crap than actual sports. Are things changing at ESPN, hockey fans?) I discovered a new blog this week (via the Battle of Ontario) called Scarlett Ice -- a Sens fans who's becoming concerned that maybe Alfredsson, Redden and Schaefer are "overusing" their groins. (Oh my...) And speaking of groins, the ladies of Hot Oil would like you to register your vote for the last man standing. (I don't think I need to elaborate here. Just go vote against Roloson, okay?) At Sidearm Delivery, Brushback has put together a photo collection of the ugliest jerseys you have ever seen. Seriously horrible, horrible designs -- so bad, I'm guessing a few of them are hugely collectible and expensive. (Personally, I really want to get my hands on the Utah Grizzlies, Jean-Marc Pelletier '04-'05 Halloween jersey, featured towards the end of the post. Take a look and tell me you don't want it, too.) Finally, here are some entertaining Hartford Wolf Pack videos (with thanks to Brushback for pointing them out at his blog) produced by the team's marketing gurus. The one below is a poke at one of their rivals, the Providence Bruins, and I seriously think the NHL's teams could learn something from the minor leagues about having a sense of humor in their marketing. (Note: Clicking this image will open WMP. And be sure to have the audio on, or you'll miss that Saturday Night Live feeling...)
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Don't forget, this is the time of year for hockey pools. Head over to The Common Fan and join some of their free hockey pools. And be sure to check back here at Kukla's Korner tomorrow when we launch our own TCF hockey pool adventure and maybe win a great prize this season! Catch ya later.

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All Hockey Talk

from the Tyee,

When Vancouver writer Michael McKinley got the call, the request was a dream. Write an encyclopedic history of hockey in Canada. The deadline was a nightmare. McKinley produced it in just three months in the spring of 2005. At least he had the support of an enormous team of researchers working on the current 10-part CBC documentary series, Hockey: A People's History, produced by CBC genius Mark Starowicz (head of the documentary unit, and creator of As It Happens and Canada: A People's History). The Tyee talked to McKinley last week, at one of an unmentionable coffee merchant's ubiquitous downtown cafés. On the best non-fiction books about hockey From an inside point of view, there's [Ken Dryden's] The Game. I think Net Worth is up there, because it made us take a cold-eyed look at some of our hockey heroes and the professional world they played in. In the end, the heroes often emerge as even more heroic because of the knavish owners and managers they had to survive.
more

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Roenick Wants To Avoid Limelight

from the Arizona Republinc,

Jeremy Roenick is back with the Coyotes after a five-year absence, but, in some ways, he has no interest whatsoever in picking up where he left off. In other words, Roenick doesn't want to be the face of this team again nor its marquee player. "I've been there and done that," Roenick, 36, said Monday. "We have some pretty good names and faces on this team and some young, talented stars and soon-to-be stars. I want to come here and just play. I don't need any of the hoopla."
continued

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Still Tough

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

So, now that Brashear wears a Washington Capitals jersey, who is the Flyers' go-to-the-mat guy? If coach Ken Hitchcock is to be taken at his word, there isn't one, and there isn't going to be one. "We're going to be team tough," was his answer yesterday. "If someone goes after one of our players, there will be lots of people who will deal with the issue, lots of people on our team that will do that. We're not going to run and hide from any of that stuff. "It's a new NHL," Hitchcock said. "You have to be able to go on the ice and play the game. And if you can't play the game, what good is it?"
more

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It Is A Family Affair

AO's linemate and family...

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Bunched Up East

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

While it is safe to say the Toronto Maple Leafs have improved, they still have not escaped the great grey area in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference. This is a list of seven teams — eight if you're not sure about the Buffalo Sabres — that could finish anywhere from sixth to 12th in the final standings. Aside from the Leafs, the teams are, in alphabetical order, the Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning. All of them, save the Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes, made improvements here and there, but there are still too many question marks for any of them to vault into the conference's top five.
more

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K & K

from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

They’ve been lumped together as the best of the Special K Kids, but rookie forwards Phil Kessel and Petr Kalus — both of whom appear to have cracked the Bruins’ season-opening lineup — are actually quite different as hockey players. Kessel is lightning fast with a fearsome hair-trigger shot and a flamboyant style, including offensive skills not often seen in a kid his age (he turns 19 next Monday). Kalus, also 19, is cut from more of a blue-collar cloth, an aggressive forechecker with something of an edge to his game, who skates his wing reliably and is hard to knock off the puck. Both survived yesterday’s cutdown from 36 healthy players to 24, and it’s likely both still will be around after any last-minute roster tinkering.
continued

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A Different Goalie

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

The Blackhawks are seeing a new Nikolai Khabibulin in goal during their 5-0 start in preseason games. They're also going to see a new backup for him once the regular season begins on Oct. 5 in Nashville. Khabibulin is much better prepared for this season than he was for the last one, which followed the season-long NHL lockout. Khabibulin felt the pressure of signing a four-year, $27 million contract and missed 10 games with a pulled groin and 12 with a sprained knee. ''He looks really good and more poised in the net,'' coach Trent Yawney said. Khabibulin, who helped Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004, feels like a new man. ''I feel more settled and a little quicker,'' Khabibulin said. ''I had more practice before training camp, and that's helped.''
read on

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Jagr Cleaed For Practice

via the AP,

Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr has been cleared to practice for the first time since undergoing surgery on his dislocated left shoulder nearly five months ago. "We got a very good report from the doctor," said smiling New York coach Tom Renney after the Rangers lost 5-2 to the New York Islanders in a pre-season game last night. "He is ready for a full practice and everything that is involved with that." When pressed on whether that included contact drills, Renney repeated that the star forward can participate in all forms of practice. When Jagr might be able to play in a game will be determined by Renney and the rest of the coaching staff. Jagr will need to build up his endurance and practice time before taking the next step.

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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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