Kukla's Korner

Bettman- “We Had To Make The Right Deal”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

Commissioner Gary Bettman defended the NHL's decision to lose the entire 2004-05 season Saturday night as opposed to rushing into an agreement that might have saved part of the year but would failed to have fixed the game's most deep-rooted problems. "We knew we were at the stage where we had to make the right deal," Bettman said in a visit with the South Florida media before Saturday's Panthers-Sabres game at the BankAtlantic Center. "That's why it took as long as it did. ... Rushing to get in half or 40 percent of the season at the cost of not getting the right deal would not have been worth it.

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Video Of Hull Retirement Announcement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN (will open in wmp video), Hull announces his retirement from the NHL.

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Hull Retires

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Arizona Republic,

Brett Hull, the NHL’s third all-time leading goal scorer, has played his last game. Hull plans to announce his retirement today at 5 p.m. before the Coyotes play the Detroit Red Wings at Glendale Arena, according to multiple NHL sources. Hull, 41, played five games for the Coyotes this season, but his playing time has dwindled. Coach Wayne Gretzky used him on just 12 shifts Thursday night vs. Nashville. Hull scored 741 goals since joining the league in 1985-86.
update 5:10pm. OLN should put him in the studio, now!!! update 5:30pm, from Sportsnet,
The 41-year-old spoke with Coyotes' management following Thursday's game and said he felt it was time for him to hang up his blades. Phoenix general manager Mike Barnett asked Hull to take yesterday off to speak to his family before making a final decision. Hull did that and today announced to the team his intention to call it quits. Although Hull managed to get himself back into reasonable shape to play, he feels in his own mind, his skills have diminished. Furthermore, he wants to go out near the top of his game.
update 5:50pm, Brett Hull was always good for a quote or a one-liner, here are a few:
Anything that's signed by me on EBay is a forgery and not authentic. Baseball has all the money. Canadian hockey fans... They boo me every time I go anywhere. Because I play for Team USA. Do I catch flak because I'm so much smarter than everyone else? I don't know.
many more... update 8:32pm, The Coyotes will likely get some salary cap relief with his retirement. If Hull signs a Voluntarily Retired List league form - which means he can't return to the NHL for a year - then his salary, minus his the first paycheque which arrived Friday, is wiped off the books for Phoenix. A source indicated he would sign the form.

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Sutton Expecting Suspension Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

For all the verbal barbs exchanged, for all the mayhem on the ice, when all is said and done, the only player who will be suspended as a result of Friday night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Thrashers is Atlanta defenceman Andy Sutton. TSN has learned the NHL had a disciplinary hearing with Sutton on the telephone this morning and will announce a suspension, probably this afternoon, of four games or less.
more update 4:18pm, The NHL suspended Atlanta Thrashers defenceman Andy Sutton for four games for delivering a blow to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker in a game. Sutton won't be paid for the games missed as a result of the suspension, which began Saturday night with Atlanta's game in New York against the Rangers. The $38,775.52 US that Sutton will forfeit goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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“Oh My God, Puck, I Must Shoot”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

That quote from Ovechkin is my favorite of the past week. Check out the rest of the best from Phil Coffey of NHL.com.

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Avery Is Now A Target

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slam,

Many NHLers in the east already were snoozing in the wee hours yesterday morning when Kirk Maltby slammed his fist into the schnozz of NHL bad boy Sean Avery out in Los Angeles. Thank heaven for replays. You can bet there was a collective cheer later in the day from Maltby's peers around the league when they finally had the opportunity to watch the video of the roundhouse left hook that pancaked Avery's nose in the waning moments of the Red Wings' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. His schtick obviously having worn thin throughout the league, Avery has become the most targeted man in hockey.

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Get Used to Games Like This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Well, it might not be hockey, but whatever they're playing out there on the ice, it sure is different. "This is some weird stuff," Keith Primeau said after the long night of whatever-it-is was over. He and the Flyers had built, then lost, a 5-1 lead before finally outlasting the Penguins, 6-5, in overtime. The referees were enforcing the new laws of the game down to the very letter in this one - and then some. If an attacking player fell down in the offensive end, whistle two minutes on the closest defender and let's have us a power play. There were 14 power plays in the game, and more than 25 of the 63 minutes were skated with some kind of man advantage. This made for some wide-open, entertaining play, but it also meant that the value of working hard and building a four-goal lead wasn't what it once was. "I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what transpired," Primeau said. Fine for him, but some of us have to try to explain it anyway. "It's the new NHL. Get used to it," coach Ken Hitchcock said, and that might have to serve as the motto for the evening and maybe for the season.

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Hull Waiting For More Minutes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

With Brett Hull's ice time dwindling, coach Wayne Gretzky reiterated that patience is the best approach for the star, yet aging, right wing to take. Hull, the NHL's third all-time leading goal scorer, played only 12 shifts on Thursday night against Nashville, logging eight minutes, 46 seconds of ice time. "He's one of the elite players ever to play the game," Gretzky said. "As I told him two weeks ago, he just has to be patient. He missed a full year. He's 41 years old.
On a sidenote to Yotes/Wings game tonight, Curtis Joseph has recovered from his injury and will start tonight.

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No Parity In This NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

When it comes to adapting to rules, the hockey coach is a creative creature. Give him time, and he will find a way to manipulate myriad advantages out of the changes introduced to the NHL this season. But will coaches be able to manipulate parity back into hockey? Not likely. It looks like another job for the salary cap, and it might be a few years before that animal brings about something close to balance. In the short term, the cap itself has cut the legs out from under teams that used to be money-rich, but are now relatively talent-poor because they weren't paying attention to the looming changes. In the short term, the gap between the best teams and the worst could be wider this season than it has been in years.

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Attendance Woes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail, Even though the National Hockey League is offering a new, exciting version of the game, the same cities that yawned at it two years ago are still yawning now. While that is bad news for the league office and the people who own teams in places such as Carolina, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix and Washington, it is not for a couple of cities in Canada where covetous eyes are cast on the franchises in undeserving markets.

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