Kukla's Korner

Pull The Trigger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vallejo Times-Herald,

In a perfect world, Wilson would be able to wait until the trade deadline before pulling off a deal with the highest bidder. Unfortunately, the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres also have strong netminding tandems, giving teams younger and cheaper trading alternatives. Now would be a perfect time for the Sharks to strike on a deal. Philadelphia and Phoenix are already desperate for help between the pipes, while Boston, Columbus and St. Louis don't have a proven starter among them.
more

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Sabres Face Nolan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

..."If you don't know the direction, you're going to getlost," Nolan said. "If you don't know where to be in certain situations, our team is going to be lost. Everybody has to be going in the same direction. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, know where you're going. You have to figure it out." It was vintage Ted Nolan. He coached in Buffalo for only two seasons but left an indelible mark on Western New York. The Sabres were among the most beloved teams in franchise history under his watch. They were known as the hardest-working team in hockey, a group of rough-and-tumble players - wrapped around goalie Dominik Hasek and, ahem, leading scorer Brian Holzinger - who won the Northeast Division title in 1996-97.
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Where Are The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willis of the Vancouver Province,

In their (Canucks) four-game swing through St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas and Chicago, they played in buildings that were stale, undersold and -- with the possible exception of the between-periods mullet contest in Nashville -- devoid of anything resembling excitement. The Canucks, as things transpired, did just fine with three wins in the five-game road trip, including a 5-0 triumph in the finale at the United Center on Wednesday night. But if you ever sat in the old Chicago Stadium, or the old St. Louis Arena for that matter, you wonder what's happened to the NHL in those markets.
read on

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Battle Heats Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Ottawa Sun,

“You really can’t go out and do that kind of stuff,” Neil said. “You can’t put your team behind — give them the power play and the opportunity. That’s what Tucker wants. That’s where he gets all his points. He just wants to go out and draw a penalty and that’s his job. He’s done it his whole career and everyone knows him and knows what he’s like out there, so you’ve just got to go out and if he’s in your way, you hit him and finish your check and put some numbers up on the scoreboard and that’s how you hurt them the most.”
more...Leafs/Sens play again tonight...

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The Drafting Of Europeans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The IIHF recommends NHL clubs sign on average one new European a season. This would allow European teams to develop solid and star NHL players, while Hockey Canada and USA Hockey could place more players into the NHL. As for developing Europeans in the minor leagues, the IIHF is against it. "When a developing European player is sent to the minors, the necessary polishing of his fundamentals runs a risk of being neglected or lost, while the player is pressured to adopt a game which isn't his," he IIHF says.
read on added 2:35pm, from William Houston at the Globe and Mail,
Don Cherry said it first. And now a study by the International Ice Hockey Federation appears to vindicate the Hockey Night In Canada commentator who's been saying for years there are too many Europeans playing hockey in North America. "Funny how things come around isn't it?" said Cherry Thursday.
continued

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Quit Wayne

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at his Fox Sports blog,

The Phoenix Coyotes are a team in trouble.... Speculation is rampant that management may swing a big trade to shake up the roster, but there’s a much easier solution, one that doesn’t need the moving of players to possibly turn around the fortunes of the Desert Dawgs. Head coach Wayne Gretzky must step down in favor of Ken Hitchcock. That move might not make the Coyotes a playoff contender this season, but it could go a long way toward righting a sinking ship and pointing it in the right direction.
more added 8:57am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The re-assessment of Wayne Gretzky, hockey man, not hockey player, is underway and the early returns are hardly encouraging. There is no questioning Gretzky, the player. Never was anything to question. But there certainly is much to wonder about with Gretzky the coach, Gretzky the hockey executive, Gretzky the Phoenix Coyotes' managing partner.
continued

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Shoulder Not Strong

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The damage keeps mounting, the damage from the shoulder dislocation No. 68 suffered in the final minutes of the Game 1 playoff loss to the Devils last April. Instead of playing with a chip on his shoulder, Jagr appears to be playing with a chip of kryptonite in it. The shoulder is still weak. Nine games into this season, Jagr, who scored 10 goals last year with a two-man advantage and was second in the NHL with 24 PPGs, doesn't have one yet on the power play. He's scored twice overall. You can break down the Rangers' miseries in every way imaginable, but without Jagr able to shoot and without Jagr able to control the puck using his power game, the Blueshirts are playing without a first-line presence.
more

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Is It Real

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Real hockey in Carolina! image

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Disney Looking At NASN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I thought the KK readers in Europe might be interested in this.... via Variety,

The Walt Disney Co. is in negotiations to buy the fast-growing European sports network NASN, which broadcasts live U.S. sports to several countries across the continent. Disney reportedly sees NASN's live coverage of Major League Baseball, basketball, ice hockey, football and college sports as a natural fit with its Euro service ESPN Classics, which broadcasts archive material. NASN recently launched in France, the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic states. Its growing popularity in these territories is partly due to the number of Russian and Scandinavian ice hockey players plying their trade in the NHL.

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The Dodo Bird

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Stars,

Hey Dallas Stars fans, it's Brett Hull here. Here's my next installment of Brett's Bites -- my weekly take on the Stars, and anything hockey. This week I begin by talking about the philosophy on the power play and also answer questions from fans on Jeff Halpern, autograph hounds and my heir-apparent on the "one-timer". Q. People continue to say that the role of the "enforcer" is a dying breed in the NHL, but you played with Kelly Chase, Tony Twist and Dave Manson. Weren't these guys a huge help in your career? A. They were a huge help in my career, but that role is a dying breed. Dave Manson could play the power play and he had a great shot so guys like him will always be there. Tough guys that can play. It's the guys that are slow of foot and don't have the skill to play. They won't be around for very much longer. They will be like the dodo bird which became extinct.
more

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