Kukla's Korner

Come And Get The Lombardi Trophy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Evan Weiner of NHL.com,

Neither Ted Lindsay nor Jean Beliveau will be part of the National Football League’s Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation on Feb. 4 following this year’s Super Bowl clash between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts in South Florida. But the NFL is either knowingly or unknowingly paying homage to Lindsay, Beliveau, and all the other NHL captains who have been summoned by various NHL Presidents and Commissioner Gary Bettman to come on over and claim the Stanley Cup for winning the league’s championship series.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL plans to showcase the Lombardi Trophy in a much more elaborate ceremony than it has in the past.

continued... and if the winning NFL coach puts on a pair of football spikes….

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Dryden Will Be Linked With The Greats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

It is by having his jersey retired that goaltending great Ken Dryden says he will connect to other legendary players in the Montreal Canadiens’ history.
Dryden’s No. 29 is to be raised to the Bell Centre ceiling in a ceremony before the Canadiens game against the Ottawa Senators Monday night.
“The greatest were the stars you saw when you were nine or 10 years old,” Dryden said Sunday. “They looked like they could skate and shoot 100 miles per hour.
“The people with their names on the banners here like (Jacques) Plante and (Doug) Harvey were of a different dimension. You never connect yourself to that.”

continued

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Atlanta ASG Logo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Thrashers,

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman visited Atlanta today to unveil the official logo for the 2008 NHL All-Star Celebration…
“We look forward with great anticipation to bringing the 2008 NHL All-Star Game to Atlanta, the Thrashers organization and their loyal fans,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “This event showcases the greatest players in the world, and also brings a terrific and diverse line up of events and entertainment in celebration of the game.”

more

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Snapping Up History

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Craig MacBride of the Toronto Star:

Standing in a Saturday evening mist outside the south-end service entrance of the Air Canada Centre, Graig Abel smokes a cigarette and watches the traffic on Lake Shore Blvd., waiting for the Maple Leafs game to begin.
Though unknown to the public, Abel’s pre-game smoke – he’s there before every home game, and during most intermissions – is probably the oldest of all Leaf rituals. (Unless, that is, not winning the Stanley Cup counts as a ritual.)
Consider: since 1977 the Leafs have had six captains, 15 head coaches, three sets of owners and hundreds of players, but there has been only one official team photographer – Abel.

continued

 

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A Chip Off The Old Mess

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

Mark Messier’s eyes light up as he talks about the progress his 19-year-old son Lyon is making, playing on the blue-line for the junior Texas Tornado in the North American Hockey League. Some U.S. colleges are starting to look at his progeny.
“Lyon had his first knockout and his first fight the other night ... the old man was proud of him,” laughed the ex-Oilers star whose No. 11 will be raised to the Rexall Place rafters on Feb. 27.
“He caught a guy coming out of his zone with his head down and hit him on the chin with his shoulder and knocked him out. He said, ‘Dad, it was just like (R.J.) Umberger in the playoffs last year (Sabres defenceman Bryan Campbell nailing the Flyers forward)’ ” said Messier.

continued

 

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Subjective Statistics

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Mercury News:

One of the Sharks’ best games this season was New Year’s Eve in Dallas when they chased goalie Marty Turco in the first period and rolled to a 4-2 victory. They were credited with 34 hits, their second-highest total of the season.
Another was Friday in Edmonton when they punished the Oilers in nearly every phase of the game and grabbed a 5-1 win. They were credited with three hits, their lowest total of the season.
This disparity was just the latest example of why you can’t trust the NHL stat sheet.
``With a lot of those statistics, they’re only as reliable as the building you’re playing in, who the statisticians are and who they’re rooting for,’’ said Sharks Coach Ron Wilson, who was startled to learn that Friday’s stat crew gave the Oilers a 21-3 edge in hits. ``To say these guys are neutral at times is stretching the truth.’‘

continued

 

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Oilers Get Serious With Smyth

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe denied that he’s having a pow-wow with Ryan Smyth’s agent Don Meehan in the next little while, but he did admit he’s made “the first serious offer” to keep the free-agent-to-be winger here.
Lowe wouldn’t say how much, but he’s not about to lowball his longest-serving player.
“He’s got a lot of good hockey left in him,” said Lowe, who realizes the dynamics of signing a 31-year-old player are a little different than signing a left-winger in his mid-20s, like Simon Gagne or Alex Tanguay, who just signed five-year deals for $26.5 million.

continued

 

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The American Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald,

You’re tossing and turning in bed one night, when suddenly it hits you like Derek Boogaard driving a cement truck downhill.
Eureka, you’ve found it, you tell yourself. A foolproof way to make the National Hockey League insanely popular in the U.S., from Montpelier to Monterey, from Sarasota to Seattle.
No one can explain it, but said plan has the American networks falling all over themselves to offer billion-dollar TV deals.

continued

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Brisebois Out For The Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Colorado Avalanche,

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that defenseman Patrice Brisebois will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc. Brisebois will be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season.
“After extensive rehabilitation, further examination and a series of MRI tests, it was determined that surgery was his best option to correct this problem,” said Avalanche Head Athletic Trainer Matthew Sokolowski.

 

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Thinking Bigger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the Star Phoenix,

In the old days, smaller National Hockey League draft prospects would stretch the truth as much as possible to reach loftier heights.
When asked about their height, players under 6-0 and their advisers tended to round up by a half inch or an inch to hit the standard. When players were officially measured, they often slipped a puck or two under the heels of their socked feet, hoping to stand taller in the eyes of those making the decisions on their futures.
It’s hardly coincidence that the most common height in team manuals is 6-0.

continued

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