Kukla's Korner

Leafs Following All The Rules?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

This is John Ferguson's first real training camp in charge of the Maple Leafs and we suggest a change in title is in order. Rather than refer to him as general manager he should be called micro-manager. There are, at camp, rules for this, rules for that and sign, sign, everywhere a sign: Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign? Pat Quinn was and is a control freak when it comes to the environment of his hockey team. Ferguson is all that and a bucket of pucks. This is supposed to be the new user-friendly National Hockey League. That was the sell, remember. The great new partnership. And now, that we're all back in business together -- players, management, media (quick now, a group hug) -- the goal was to grow this great game of ours in the best interest of revenue, salaries, and circulation. Isn't that what Tie Domi told us? We're all in this together. Only some of us are more in there than others. And in this bold new world, there is never anything quite bold about how the Maple Leafs operate. Maybe they haven't read the league memos or typically, because they're the Maple Leafs, maybe they just choose to ignore them.

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Talking Officiating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stephen Walkom who was hired to run the NHL's officiating department in August, conducted a teleconference yesterday. Read the transcript in full in the comments section of this post. It may clear up many of the questions you have.

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Getting To Know Domi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

"I don't give people too many opportunities. I'm a pretty honest, respectful guy. If you screw me, then usually I don't give you the chance to screw me again." -- Tie Domi He is beloved. He is loathed. He is the most visible athlete in Toronto and the most misunderstood. He has been called a cementhead and a punk; then he shows up with $100,000 in gifts for kids to whom Christmas only is a rumour. During the late lamented hockey lockout he was dubbed a traitor. Or would-be saviour. Take your pick.

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Theodore Salute

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP,

The Canadiens' training camp had not even officially started when goaltender Jose Theodore was embroiled in his first mini-controversy. TV station TQS played and replayed tape of Theodore making a rude gesture, pointing the middle fingers of each hand, during a photo shoot at the Bell Centre on Tuesday. The picture also appeared in local newspapers yesterday. While it cast the Canadiens' highest-paid player in a negative light, Theodore said it was a playful gesture made after team photographer Bob Fisher asked him to do something with his two hands. He said he was only trying to make the photographer laugh. "It was a fun day for everybody and the media were following us around, which is good," said Theodore. "It was funny at the moment, but the way it came out in the media wasn't fair. "Bob Fisher is a guy I've done pictures with for 10 years." Le Journal de Montreal called it "a tempest in a teapot." But Theodore worried it would be viewed around the NHL as one more instance of the local media blowing incidents out of proportion and may put players off playing for Montreal. "I'm sure players around the league will see that," he said. "That's why we have some players who would rather sign somewhere else."

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Joseph Should Have Stayed In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

More than three years after the fact, Curtis Joseph wishes he had never made the decision to leave the Maple Leafs. "Absolutely, in hindsight, it would have been better for me if I had stayed in Toronto," he said this week as he began to rebuild his NHL career with the Phoenix Coyotes. "It's a very tricky question, and there's a lot of things that happened that nobody knows about. But as a friend of mine in business says, sometimes your worst decisions work out the best, and sometimes your best turn out to be your worst."

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Address The Questions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Trent Klatt, who has spent the past 14 years being one of the boys, must feel especially isolated these days. Besides announcing his retirement this week, Klatt has spent the last month doing the unimaginable: Demanding people responsible for the stewardship of his union justify why they haven't followed their own rules. Consider some of the compelling questions he posed in a Sept. 9 email to union president Trevor Linden, who, without consulting the 37-member executive board, sacked former executive director Bob Goodenow, agreed to an $8 million (all figures U.S.) severance package for Goodenow and hired Ted Saskin to a $2.1 million a year contract as Goodenow's replacement: * "Can I ask what sort of research you have done to compare what Ted should earn? ... Would it be wise to get some other opinions?" * "Bob worked his ass off and it took him 15 years or so to get what he got. Along the way he put millions upon millions of dollars into our pockets. Without sounding too harsh here T, how can we compare Ted to Bob when Ted's been on the job for one month?" * "Having said what I just did, the players are happy to be playing, but why wouldn't we just wait and see how the CBA plays itself out? Doesn't Ted have a year or two left on his old deal?" * "I would think that being it is a zero sum game now, we as players would want to see how Ted can grow revenues. Maybe we should find a way to connect his contract to hockey related revenues. Has Ted expressed any specific ideas to you in regards to marketing or growing revenues?"

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Handling The Puck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This may clear up some questions about when can the goalie handle the puck. from the Pioneer Press,

Behind the net, goalies can handle the puck only in a designated area defined by lines that start on the goal line 6 feet from each post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards. Violators will be assessed a two-minute penalty for delay of game. There was confusion between Fernandez and Roloson this week as to how the rule will be interpreted. Can a goalie in the restricted area reach out and grab or shoot the puck? And what about loose pucks just outside the trapezoid; can he smother or poke-check them from the crease? Goalie coach Bob Mason called the league's officiating office to learn the answers. "The puck's got to be in the trapezoid to play it," he said. As for a goalie in his crease, Mason said, "If you're in the paint, you can reach and grab it."

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Nash Suffers Ankle Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash sustained what appeared to be a sprained ankle after hitting the boards feet-first during a scrimmage Wednesday, general manager Doug MacLean said. Nash, who tied Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk for the NHL lead in goals two years ago, was helped from the ice and taken to Grant Medical Center, where X-rays revealed no broken bones, MacLean said. Results of an MRI exam should be available Thursday, MacLean said.

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He Keeps Coming Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

He wishes now he had chronicled his experiences. Not so much for publication, but for his own amusement and amazement and to keep the memories sharp. "In 16 years, you see a lot of players and play a lot of games," Steve Bancroft said of his hockey heritage. "I'm the guy who never quite made it, but I must be doing something right. People keep asking me to play."

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Troubled Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

"It's a different era," said goalie Martin Brodeur. "Both Scotties were a big part of the success of the Devils. We'd all been here for 12 or 13 years and now there is a big change. It will be tough on the ice. Those were two guys who logged a lot of minutes and played really well for us." Head coach Larry Robinson feels the Devils will remain solid on defense with the addition of free-agent defensemen Dan McGillis and Vladimir Malakhov. "I think Malakhov can log some of the minutes Niedermayer put up," Robinson said. "Just look at the guy. He moves, passes the puck and shoots as well as anybody in the league. He just looks confident."

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