Kukla's Korner

Canadiens Hanging On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Montreal will try to get back on track in road games Monday night in Washington and Tuesday against the New York Islanders. Then the Canadiens come home for consecutive meetings with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and Saturday. The Leafs, 5-2 losers to the New York Rangers on Saturday, are tied with the Islanders for 10th place, both five points behind Montreal with 16 games to play.
more

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Witt A Fit For Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

"That's why we brought in Brendan," said Preds centre Mike Sillinger, another veteran acquired in-season for his experience. "A guy who'll add some leadership and some toughness back there." The group of quick, mobile blueliners was doing fine before Witt's addition but Predators coach Barry Trotz says having a fiery role model will help the others mature. "I think he's going to be a tremendous asset for us," said Trotz. "He plays with an edge and I think that the other guys see that, see how effective that is. It's positive reinforcement for a young guy."
more

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Cherry vs. Pound

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Ottawa Sun,

Don Cherry got to put Dick Pound in the hot seat on CBC's Coaches Corner last night. Cherry remained calm, but asked the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency several pointed questions about his allegation that one-third of NHLers take performance enhancing drugs. "You're a good guy, and you're pretty smooth. It's almost like you're a lawyer," Cherry said. "But how can you come out and say one- third and not have any proof? What you've done is tarred 700 guys out there."
more via CBC, Watch (will open real player video) the two on Coaches Corner...

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Canes Raising Ticket Prices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Hoping to capitalize on their remarkably successful season, the Carolina Hurricanes will raise ticket prices next season for the first time since 2002-03, dangling priority for playoff tickets in front of potential customers. With the exception of the club level, season tickets will cost between 5 percent and 17 percent more next season, with a discount given to those who make a deposit by the end of the month. Walk-up prices will receive a similar boost, although the too-often empty corner sections in the lower bowl will be $10 cheaper.
continued

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Gaborik Dazzles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press via the Duluth News Tribune,

When Marian Gaborik touches the puck, a buzz instantaneously shoots through Xcel Energy Center. Everyone anticipates something special. And Gaborik, who is playing brilliantly these days, usually delivers. Here's something to think about: If Gaborik hadn't missed 17 games — and labored through a dozen others — because of an early-season groin injury, he surely would be on pace to score 50 goals. Imagine, a card-carrying member of the "check 'em dizzy" Minnesota Wild scoring 50 goals.
read on

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Twins Named After Drake

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Belleville Nes-Democrat,

Millstadt has never produced an NHL hockey player -- but the small town does have a pair of twins named after St. Louis Blues forward Dallas Drake. Chris Wessel thought long and hard before deciding to float the idea to his wife, Trish. According to their ground rules, Chris controlled naming rights if the twins were boys and Trish would provide the names for twin girls. Autumn and Cassandra were the girls choices that never got off the bench. Dallas and Drake Wessel were born Sept. 1 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Like their namesake, they were bald and missing teeth.

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Whispers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

There are whispers that Pittsburgh GM Craig Patrick, who is expected to be fired at the end of the season, is going to wind up taking over the Bruins. Senators assistant GM Peter Chiarelli has also been listed as a possible candidate to replace GM Mike O'Connell when he gets fired. There's plenty of talk the Isles are going to buy out C Alexei Yashin at the end of the season. He has $34 million (all terms US) remaining on his contract, but a buyout would be $22.5 million payable over 10 years.
more NHL talk... update 8:42am, also from Garrioch,
Milbury attended a meeting of NHL team presidents last week in New York and was telling anybody who would listen that he didn't get fired ... he received a promotion. Though owner Charles Wang has a long list of candidates to replace Milbury, the word is Mad Mike is trying to play a role in the hiring because he wants to make sure he remains in control. "I'm not sure anybody in their right mind would want that job with the Isles," an NHL executive said yesterday. "Mike Milbury is going to keep his hand in everything you do."
more

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Pens Will Lose $7 Million

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Beaver County Times,

In a season of enormous underachievement, the Pittsburgh Penguins will apparently meet one preseason expectation. Team president Ken Sawyer said last week the franchise remains on track for the $7 million operating loss Mario Lemieux projected in September. ...But after shedding millions throughout the year, a $7 million loss is still "in the ballpark," according to Sawyer? That suggests either they're not being truthful, or they're woefully bad businessmen. Or possibly both.
more

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Hard Work Paying Off

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

"Having a year off mentally and physically it was good," Shanahan said. "But it also required some work. When you're not 23 anymore you kind of work a little harder to stay ready. "I think the lockout really benefited some players. But you had to go into it with a plan. Not playing was enough of a rest, but you couldn't just be inactive. ''I think for guys who stayed active, worked out and stayed ready, it benefited. For other guys who didn't do anything, it kind of hurt."
read on image Shanahan at age 14 or 15, via CBC

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Report- Escrow To Be Returned To Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Regardless of the dynamics behind the decision, NHL Players Association chief Ted Saskin acted wisely in deferring discussion of the payroll band issue until the union's meetings, which are scheduled for July 10-12 in Whistler, B.C. It's a start for Saskin - who, we've learned, told the Blackhawks last week that all escrow deductions will be returned to the players this year and, what's more, that the league will owe the union approximately three percent of the revenue, which in turn would be divvied by the membership.
more (reg. req.)...including Jacques Lemaire and Fredrik Modin...

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