Kukla's Korner

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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Leafs Saving Money For Nolan Grievance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Could John Ferguson's future as general manager of the Maple Leafs be tied to the results of the Owen Nolan injury grievance against the hockey club? Could be. There are those around the NHL who believe the Leafs cannot win the Nolan grievance, which could end costing the team upwards of $5 million US.

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She Hears Everything

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Lang, a 62-year-old from Morris Plains, N.J., became a hockey fan while growing up in East Boston, Mass. "I learned the game from a family friend who was a sportscaster for the Bruins and Celtics," she said. "He used checkers on a board to explain the positioning of players, and took me to games so I could better understand the role of each player on the ice." That sportscaster, Bill Harrington, would find her a seat close to the broadcast booth so she could wear a headset and hear him call games. "Bill knew that hockey was a tough enough sport to follow," said Lang, petting Laramie as she spoke. "It's even tougher for someone like me, who is blind as a bat."
read on

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Forsberg Out With Sprained Knee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg was held out of the Flyers' game against Atlanta on Saturday night because of a sprained right knee. Forsberg suffered the MCL sprain in the third period of Friday night's loss to Tampa Bay. The Swedish star apparently expected to play against the Thrashers until feeling more discomfort than expected in the pregame skate. "It's sore enough not to play," Forsberg said. "I've never had problems with knees before, so I don't think it's going to be a long-term thing. It's just a little sprain, but it was weak enough not to be able to play."

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Bruins Extend Thomas Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Boston Bruins,

The Boston Bruins have signed goaltender Tim Thomas to a three-year contract, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell.
No financial details were released.

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Tough Time For Gordie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun via the Edmonton Sun,

Speaking passionately about old friends like Bernie Geoffrion, Red Storey and Maurice Richard, the voice of one of the toughest players ever to play the game trails off as emotion wins over the moment. "My wife...," starts Gordie Howe, dabbing his left eye as he struggles to regain his composure, "is making me soft." After leaning on his bride of 52 years for endless strength and guidance, Howe now finds himself virtually without his most trusted winger.
continued

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