Kukla's Korner

Watching From Above

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

Captain Alexei Yashin had arguably his best camp as an Islander. Relaxed, affable and appearing comfortable among his teammates, No. 79 has impressed the new coaching staff with his behavior on and off the ice. "I thought he did his part," Nolan said. "We talked about him coming into camp this year in pretty good shape, and he did that. Just his demeanor around the room ... what I see are some great things, and he's doing a good job for us." * Nolan doesn't say much to his players, and until yesterday had not been on the ice with them for a single practice, as he's evaluated from above. Players have said that while he doesn't say much, his words are educational and enlightening, "and we're like, 'Right on,' " one said..
more (reg.req.)

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Panthers Support Bouwmeester

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Miami Herald,

Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was charged with a DUI in his native Edmonton, Alberta, earlier this summer, something he said he wasn't proud of on Thursday. ''Obviously it was a lack of better judgment,'' Bouwmeester, 22, said. ``You just don't do that. I'll deal with it and be done. What's done is done.'' Bouwmeester, officially charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08 percent, was arrested on Aug. 12. ''As an organization, you stand behind your player,'' Panthers coach and general manager Jacques Martin said. "He realizes he made a mistake. You learn from it and you move forward. There's nothing we can do. If he needs help, the organization will support him. There is no judgment on him because of that. It can happen to most people.''

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Again, Zherdev Will Not Be Traded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean, a big fan and regular reader of the Sun, called your humble hockey writer yesterday to take issue with a report about restricted free-agent W Nikolai Zherdev. While MacLean maintains another team held contract discussions with Zherdev's Ottawa-based agent Rolly Hedges -- despite Hedges' denials -- MacLean wanted to send a message. "I hold his free-agent rights for the next five years. The Zherdev camp seems to believe that he's going to get traded and I'm not going to trade him.
more...plus some Sens talk too...

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A Helping Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nunatsiaq News,

Nunavik is gung-ho on a plan to use hockey as a way of keeping the region’s kids in school and out of trouble. Joé Juneau, a 38-year-old university-educated engineer, Olympic gold medalist and former NHL player, is giving the region a hand with its new, hockey-based “Nunavik Youth Development Plan.” Over the next few months, Juneau and the Kativik Regional Government’s recreation department will set up an ice hockey program for Nunavik that meets Quebec Ice Hockey Federation standards. They’ll qualify trainers and train local hockey players, five to 16, and then organize teams and tournaments.
continued

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Anaheim Will Win The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

In the Western Conference, I feel there were five big winners over the summer, and another club -- Chicago -- which while declared a big winner by some still has to prove to me that it was one of the teams in the West that made the biggest strides in seeking improvement.... Can you imagine a team trying to overcome a one-goal deficit to Anaheim in the last five minutes of a game when neither Pronger nor Niedermayer is coming off the ice. No other NHL team can boast two defensemen even close to the caliber of Pronger and Niedermayer. The Mighty Ducks were also able to re-sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who along with Jean-Sebastien Giguere gives them incredible depth in the nets. All in all, a masterful job done in the offseason by general manager Brian Burke. Anaheim is my preseason pick to win the Western Conference
more

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Malkin Out With Dislocated Shoulder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

An examination today confirmed that Penguins center Evgeni Malkin dislocated his left shoulder in a collision with teammate John LeClair during an exhibition game in Moncton, New Brunswick, last night. There is no prognosis for Malkin's return to action and he will undergo further examination next week. Also, right winger Mark Recchi has a broken left cheekbone, but it won't necessarily be a lost-time injury.
If you missed the video of Malkin going head over heals, here it is.

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Jagr Status For Opener In Doubt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

Jaromir Jagr's shoulder has kept him out of training camp scrimmages and preseason games, and now the Rangers are admitting they cannot say with any certainty that their top player will be available to play when the season opens two weeks from tonight. Asked if he was sure Jagr, who underwent surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder on May 11, would be ready to play when the Rangers open the season Oct. 5 against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden, Tom Renney couldn't say yes.
continued

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Future Ideas For Russian Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Moscow Times,

Hockey team owners and government officials are pushing two competing visions for restoring Russia to its pinnacle of gold medal greatness. The Russian Hockey Federation wants to reinvest in the country's hockey program -- training and aggressively recruiting young, talented players, while making the sport more entertaining for fans. The Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports, meanwhile, envisions a Euro-Asian hockey league that would initially include former Soviet states and eventually encompass Finland, Sweden and other European countries.
continued

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The Game Needs More Canadian Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams at Fox Sports,

It's time for the National Hockey League to bite the bullet and high tail it back to Canada. It's not that the NHL is on life-support in the United States. Far from it. It's alive and well, for the most part. There are a lot of solid markets in the U.S. and youth hockey is a growing sport in parts of Texas, California, Florida and Arizona. The vital signs are good. But the NHL should play to its strengths and move a couple of franchises north of the border. The NHL has nothing to lose and much to gain by going back to its roots.
continued

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Sykora Cares About His Shot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

A day seldom goes by without Petr Sykora calling his stick rep at Easton. And when he isn't on the phone discussing subtle adjustments, he's tinkering with his weapon. He calls it a hobby. Others call it time well spent. "I tried to block his shot twice today in practice, and twice it went right by me," said Oilers rookie defenceman Tom Gilbert. "He is so accurate."
continued

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