Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Looking Back At Bettman

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...“I mean, there are ways you can get your story out,” said Bettman, “about who these terrific stars are and why they’re great role models and why what they do on ice is as amazing as what Michael Jordan does in the air, when he’s going to slam dunk.”
Bettman concluded: “We’ve got a great product that I think has been underappreciated.”
Sadly, those observations are as true today as they were 14 years ago when he originally said them - which may be the most damning indictment of all of Bettman’s time at the helm.


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Hedican Activated

via the Carolina Hurricanes,

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman Bret Hedican has been activated from injured reserve. Hedican is eligible to play in tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the RBC Center.

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How’s Mogilny

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Sporting News,

On the shelf with a chronic hip problem, one that has very likely ended his career, Mogilny is faced with pondering a future beyond hockey.
“It’s been very difficult,” he said on the phone from the Los Angeles area. “Everybody goes through it. But it’s not easy to be honest. You find a lot of empty space to fill.”
He’s getting paid US$3.5 million by the New Jersey Devils this season, the last year of a contract he signed with the club coming out of the lockout in August 2005.
He’ll be an unrestricted free agent July 1 but highly doubts a comeback in is the cards.
“Never say never, but probably not,” Mogilny said. “I’ll be 38 in a few weeks. . .”


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Shadowing Yashin

from David Kolb at MSG Network,

To the majority of NHL players, the morning of a game is just a routine. Wake up, eat, come to the rink, stretch, hop on the ice for 20-45 minutes, then get back into street clothes and be on their way home, or to the hotel if they are on the road.
To Alexei Yashin, things are very different.
This past Tuesday morning I decided to tag along and bear witness to what the Isles Captain’s routine is like. On this day the Isles would host the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in four years.
So at 10:30 a.m., after Yashin did a bit of stretching, he laced up and hit the ice. Yashin worked on some skills but cut his ice time a bit short, for no apparent reason.


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KK- January Stats

Well folks, it keeps on getting better.
Thanks for your patronage, it is much appreciated.
See previous month stats starting here.


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Stars For January

NEW YORK (February 1, 2007)—Ottawa Senators left wing Dany Heatley,Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for January.


Heatley led all NHL scorers in January, tallying 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 13 games, and posted a League-best +14 rating as the Senators went 9-3-1 and improved to second place in the Northeast Division. Heatley had multiple points in seven contests, highlighted by a four-point performance (three goals, one assist) in a 6-3 victory over Buffalo Jan. 3 and consecutive one-goal, two-assist efforts in wins over the New York Rangers (6-4, Jan. 11) and Montreal Canadiens (8-3, Jan. 13). Heatley finished the month with two points (one goal, one assist), including his sixth game-winning goal of the season, in a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals Jan. 30. The 26-year-old leads the Senators in points (67), goals (31), assists (36), shots (200), even-strength goals (21) and power-play goals (10).

Continue Reading »

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Original 6 Style

from EJ Hradek of ESPN,

I pondered a goalie’s life in the Original Six and thought about which of today’s goalies would make the cut. If there were just six teams, which six stoppers would have an NHL-level job? With a tip of the mask to the Gumper (despite the fact that he rarely wore one), here are my picks from current crop:
Martin Brodeur
The Devils goalkeeper is a stopper for all eras. Brodeur would have loved to play during a time when it wasn’t unusual to start each and every game.


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NHL Denies Approaching Gossage

via Sports Business Daily (paid sub.),

NHL Senior VP/Communications Bernadette Mansur told THE DAILY, “No one from the league office, acting in any official or unofficial capacity, has approached Mr. Gossage, and no intermediary been solicited to do so on the NHL’s behalf. Any assertion to the contrary is a fabrication”

If you are not familar with Mr, Gossage, you can check out the story I pointed to yesterday from ESPN.

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Shanny Rant

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Reading through Shanahan’s carping, we are reminded of the sound Charlie Brown’s teacher used to make. If, as Shanahan has suggested, the referees turn a blind eye to fouls on Jagr because he’s European (or because he used to have a bad mullet), it flies in the face of Shanahan’s own experiences.
It would appear the veteran forward has a strangely short memory when it comes to international hockey diplomacy.


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Love The Sport

This morning, I talked with Dan Wetzel, National Sports Columnist for Yahoo Sports.  He wrote a recent column titled “Unhappy Anniversary” that has received much attention throughout the hockey community.
Dan is in Miami covering the “Big Game” and was glad to speak with me about his views on the NHL.

Dan was born in the early 70’s, raised in Massachusetts and played pond hockey on a daily basis.  He was a huge Bruins fan, attending many a game and lived and died with the Bruins.
He recalls buying SRO tickets to games, which only gave him a view of 1/2 of the ice (he saw the Brad Park goal), and still cherishes those games and times like many of us do.

I asked Dan if he were commissioner, what changes would he make.  Dan responded he is not qualified or as smart as Bettman and those running the game today, but the game that he once loved has lost its luster.
Stars such as Crosby & Ovechkin, should be household names in the United States, but hardly anyone knows who they are.  The default channel for sports in the States is ESPN, and not having hockey on there is a major problem.  Sports fans go to ESPN first, looking for a game and hockey is non-existent on the channel.

Dan loves the game but has questioned Bettman ever since he decided to change the names of the divisions- taking the history out of the game to make it more geographically correct.  He also feel the game now caters to attracting new fans instead of remembering the old fans of the game.  Dan mentioned a thousand decisions made by the NHL has put them in the position they are now in.

Dan Wetzel now lives in Detroit, and occasionally appears on WXYT radio there and claims hockey is way off the radar of sports fans, even in Detroit.  Other sports have taken over the airwaves and it is sad.  He said he talks to his sister in Boston, and it is the same there, just look at the attendance figures for this season.

In closing, my sense is Dan will always be a hockey fan.  He doesn’t get to catch as many games as he used to, family and his job covering all sports are his priority, but in my brief talk with him, I get the impression Dan wants only the best for the NHL.  He wants to see it accepted and embraced by sports fans and the media, just like us.

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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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