Kukla's Korner

Calder Competition For Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette,

But just as Ovechkin had to hold off the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to win the Calder last season, Malkin appears to have some strong competition in 2006-07. One push could come from teammate Jordan Staal, the 18-year-old who beat the odds to stick with the Penguins.
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Progress For Stillman

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Raleigh News and Observer,

As the Carolina Hurricanes' recovery continues from offseason shoulder surgery, he took a step forward that had nothing to do with his physical state and everything to do with his mental state, traveling with the team for Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Thrashers, his first road trip of the year. "It has been tough," Stillman said. "If you're only going to miss a game or two, it's OK. But for me to sit here and know that there are months and months of rehab to be done, watching games is very hard for me."
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Players Cautious to Avoid McCarty’s Plight

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Detroit Free Press,

Many Wings players said Wednesday that his situation shows the importance of knowing who is managing their money and what is being done with it at all times. "If you put yourself out there and put yourself in that situation, there's certainly people that are going to want to take your money," forward Kris Draper said.
Continued

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Malkin Scores

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin became the first NHL player in 89 years to score goals in his first six games, beating Los Angeles goalie Dan Cloutier with a wrist shot 8:29 into the first period Wednesday night. The 20-year-old Russian matched the mark shared by Joe Malone, Newsy Lalonde and Cy Denneny, who each scored in their first six games during the NHL's inaugural season in 1917-18.

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Belfour: “No alcohol involved.”

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

The CP, citing a report in today's Palm Beach Post, is featuring a rebuttal from Eddie Belfour.

"I don't even know why we're talking about it," Belfour told the Post, adding "there was no alcohol involved whatsoever." But the night resulted in fellow Panthers goalie Alex Auld needing stitches. Belfour told the newspaper Auld was hurt later while they were "horsing around" in the hotel lobby. "They have the marble floors there, and they're slippery," Belfour said of the hotel lobby. "We were just horsing around with each other, I dropped my bottle of water and we all slipped. Alex hit his head when we fell down."
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Sabres Work As A Unit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ryan Miller participated in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. Hey Ryan, just wondering, with such an emphasis on offense in the league. So many teams are having trouble keeping it under 3, 3 1/2 goals against. What's been the key to your team's team defense, especially on a team that's known for such wide open play? RYAN MILLER: I think it's just, one, that we have I don't think we’re wide open it appears to be wide open, but we have a responsible man when we're forechecking to allow our defense to interact. We work as a unit. I think that that's the case for our team being wide open, but also responsive. Also in our own zone we do a good job of supporting each other in the shooting lanes. So I think Marty and I definitely benefit from a situation like that.

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Reviewing October

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

National U.S. Television Ratings On Versus Show Big Gains Over 2005-06 The NHL on Versus averaged a .3 national household cable rating and 182,465 total households, up 50% and 22%, respectively, from the same time last year. There have been dramatic increases in key demographics, such as Men 18-24 (up 189%), Men 18-34 (up 40%) and Men 18-49 (up 11%). NHL Posts Second-Highest October Attendance Figure In History Highlighted by Buffalo's 41% increase to 18,690 and Carolina's 29% surge to 17,782, the NHL posted the second-highest October attendance figure in its 89-year history, attracting an average of 16,537 fans.

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LaFontaine Still Helping

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,

LaFontaine continues: "Hockey players spend time on exercise bikes, but we are not built to run and swim. There are times I think I spent 15 years as a pro athlete. I don't need this. But what gets me through training or those moments when you cramp up a little bit is the thought that, okay, there's a greater cause here. Kids are worrying about much more the sore muscles and I'm telling them to keep going." Even in retirement, the man who scored over a thousand points in a brilliant NHL career is still racking up valuable assists.
read on... recommended reading...

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Flyers Keep Hitch Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Delco Times,

The Flyers announced today they have named former coach Ken Hitchcock a pro scout. "I've had some discussions over the last few days with Hitch and I think that it's important that he stay close to the game, stay in the game," interim general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "I am grateful to Mr. Snider and Paul for giving me the opportunity to stay involved in the organization and help whenever I can," Hitchcock said in the statement. "I don't make any secret of the fact that I want to be a head coach again in the National Hockey League, but this is an opportunity for me to help in any way possible by watching other teams play, watching other players perform and helping Paul in the evaluation of other players and other teams."

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Yashin On Fire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Ted Nolan spent his years between NHL coaching jobs as a motivational speaker and it's apparently come in handy so far this season. The New York Islanders head coach has lit a fire under centre Alexei Yashin. ''I'm not too sure what I've done, it's more so what he's done,'' Nolan said Wednesday, trying to deflect any credit.
continued

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