Kukla's Korner

Carolina Looking For Relief

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Charlotte Observer,

The Carolina Hurricanes will welcome the upcoming Olympic break, even if it derails their recent momentum. The Southeast Division leaders need a break. "There's too many games," captain Rod Brind'Amour said Wednesday. "There's no time to just get away from the game."
continued Carolina will get their rest, only three Canes are headed to Turin.

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Sutter Move Criticized

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Darryl Sutter has dropped the ball on this one. The Flames head coach/GM has unnecessarily backed himself into a corner by sparking a controversy his club could do without. Exhibiting the same lack of composure that prompted goalie Phil Sauve to skate the length of the ice for a Colorado catfight Tuesday, Sutter has spent the week lambasting his beleaguered backup in the press.
more

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Allison No Bonus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

One reason why the Maple Leafs have so little room to improve their roster is the $3 million (U.S.) Jason Allison is due to make in bonus money this season. Allison remains a commodity that cannot be traded because of the money and, while the Leafs could add to their payroll and defer some of Allison's bonuses to next year's salary cap, that's not something that appeals to them.
read on

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The Separation Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Now, the goalies pads aren't bloated, their goals against averages are. While Miller, Miikka Kiprusoff, Dominik Hasek, Manny Fernandez and Martin Brodeur (after some terrible struggles early on), are still on top of their games, other former greats, like Jose Theodore, Nikolai Khabibulin and Ed Belfour are doing David Duval impressions. Clearly, as slimmed-down netminders see more and more rubber from more and better angles, we're seeing a separation between the real deals, the great goalies, and the good goalies who were made great by the old system.
more

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On The Bubble

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

When Sports Illustrated boldly predicted last fall that the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs would miss the playoffs this season, the players and coaches in both cities scoffed that the popular magazine didn't exactly have the best record at seeing the future. But here we are, with less than three months remaining in the 2005-06 National Hockey League regular season, and the two teams are fighting for their playoff lives.
continued

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Loonie In Italy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Will the loonie be lucky again in Turin? "We won't know until after," said Trent Evans, the man who started Canada's lucky loonie legend. The coin Evans planted at centre ice of the E-Center at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, where both the Canadian men's and women's hockey teams won gold, spawned the book A Loony for Luck, and dozens of copycat burials of coins in playing surfaces of Canadian teams everywhere. "I think it's enshrined," Evans said."It's going to keep going. It's legendary, I think, at this stage."
read on

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Salei Out With Broken Orbital Bone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the LA Times (reg. req.),

Holding an ice pack to his swollen-shut right eye Friday, Mighty Duck defenseman Ruslan Salei put the best possible spin on his injury. "I feel a lot better than I look," Salei said dryly. "You could say it could have been worse." The Ducks won't have the veteran's services for at least the next several days after Salei was hit above the right eye on a shot from San Jose Shark center Joe Thornton in the first period of Anaheim's 2-0 victory Thursday. X-rays revealed a broken orbital bone above the eye. Salei won't be in the lineup for today's game against the Kings at Staples Center or Monday's rematch at the Arrowhead Pond.

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Ranking The Candidates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

Owner Charles Wang already has made it clear that input from the likes of Gary Bettman and other hockey sages will help determine the name of Mike Milbury’s successor. So, the question is who are the most likely - - and best - - candidates? Here are my choices:
read on...The Maven ranks them in categories, and a surprising long shot is Jimmy Devellano of the Wings...

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Just Wondering

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-The drug results from the testing of NHL players, by all accounts- commish included, were supposed to be in early this week. What happened, did the results get lost in the mail? -While many expected trades to be fast and furious this time of year, it is a smart move to wait until after the Olympics to obtain a player. Most teams want to wait until the last week or so of the trading deadline to pull the trigger. -At the start of the season, many people were dreaming of all six Canadian teams making the playoffs- who thought two teams now scrambling to finish eighth would be Toronto and Montreal? -Many hockey players are good to great golfers- Are golfers good to great hockey players?

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Hurricanes Are Just Starting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Hurricanes' resurgence is extraordinary, not only because it was so unexpected, but because they can only get better. In 2002, when they made a trip to the 2002 Stanley Cup finals, their best player was Francis, aged 40. Now, their best player is Eric Staal, aged 21. They also have their goaltender of the future, Cam Ward, in place (he's 21 as well) and a mainstay on defenceman coming in Jack Johnson, perhaps as early as next season.
more

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