Kukla's Korner

Columbus Not That Bad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

But Hitchcock isn’t some guy spinning a cocoon around his rear end. He didn’t construct this mess; he inherited it. While he doubtless agrees with some of the scouts’ characterizations — the general weakness of the defense corps, for example — he doesn’t think the Jackets are as far away as some of the scouts do.
“But are we far away from being a playoff team? No, not at all. As we sit here, there’s a fivegame difference between us and the New York Rangers, who were picked to win it in October.”
The simple phrase “Wait until next year” feels like a punch in the gut to most Blue Jackets fans. They want to believe. But they have been told so many times that next year is the year that they have tuned all that nonsense out.

more

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No Jagr In Shootout- Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers captain did not shoot for the sixth consecutive time after two initial misses because he previously told Tom Renney he does not feel confident enough to participate in the one-on-one showdown in which the great ones generally thrive.
It is unimaginable that Jagr, battered and bruised though both his left shoulder and psyche must be, would not demand to go. It is beyond belief that he would not demand the opportunity to have the game on his stick, if for no other reason than to prove himself unafraid of failure to his teammates.

read on

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Avs Are Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

It ain’t happening.
The NHL insists there are 21 games remaining on the schedule for the Avs to get their act together.
But the hockey season ended in Colorado on Thursday night, with a 4-3 loss to Minnesota.
Since moving to Denver in 1995, dark days have been few and far between for the Avalanche.

continued

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Sturm Will Stay In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Boston Herald:

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who has made deals in recent weeks that improved his team both now and in the future, was close last night to another: signing winger Marco Sturm to a contract extension.
The Bruins were, according to a well-placed source, “very close to signing him. All that’s left is the dotting of the i’s and the crossing of the t’s.”
Yesterday morning Chiarelli confirmed that the B’s want to keep the 28-year-old Sturm, who has been on fire with seven goals in eight games going into tonight’s match with the Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum. There had been widespread speculation the Bruins, as they had with free-agents-to-be Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, would try to trade Sturm and not risk losing him for nothing in July.
But Chiarelli said his intention all along has been to try to hang on to Sturm, who has 19-10-29 totals and a minus-19 in 53 games while earning $2.1 million.

continued

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Blues To Offer Brewer Extension; Tkachuk And Guerin Remain Available

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Members of the Blues’ management staff met Thursday at the team’s practice facility in Hazelwood, and after several hours of deliberation, club president John Davidson said that no trades involving Bill Guerin or Keith Tkachuk are imminent.
“We’re exploring (options),” said Davidson, who noted there wasn’t much talk Thursday because several NHL general managers were traveling after three days of meetings in Florida this week. “We went over the stuff that (Blues general manager) Larry Pleau brought back ... talked about all the different scenarios.”
Whether Davidson decides to deal before Tuesday’s NHL trading deadline - and it’s still very likely he will - the Blues are reportedly on the cusp of offering defenseman Eric Brewer a contract extension.
The extension probably will be a multiyear offer worth at least $4 million per season but not exceeding $5 million. If that doesn’t satisfy Brewer, 27, the Blues might consider putting him on the trading block before Tuesday’s deadline.

continued

 

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Laraque Deal On Table

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Arizona Republic:

Coach Wayne Gretzky scratched enforcer Georges Laraque from Thursday’s game and afterward hinted that Laraque may be dealt before the NHL trade deadline on Tuesday.
“We haven’t really got to a point where anything is imminent, but obviously we’ll explore everything,” Gretzky said. “He’s a good young man, it’s just sometimes things don’t work out and right now maybe (a trade) is the best situation for both sides.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins need a tough guy to protect young playmakers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Don’t be surprised if a deal between Phoenix and the Penguins comes down soon.

continued

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The Reported Greg Johnson Signing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Earlier today Snapshots at Mlive picked up on this little bit of information from the Sports Network…

In team personnel news, Detroit picked up a former Predator for the upcoming stretch drive when it signed veteran center Greg Johnson on Monday. The 35- year-old had spent the previous seven seasons with Nashville and ranks second on the Predators’ all-time list for games played.

We both did a little investigation on this signing, and found it to be false.  A pure hatchet job by Sports Network.
You can read more about it in the KK Forums...

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The No-Trade Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Korolyk decides to stay in Russia… see Spector...

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All Hell Breaks Loose In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sabres/Sens going at it, goalies, etc….

Biron and Emery went at it, Peters then took over for Biron, wrestling all over the ice.

Earilier Chris Neil hit Drury, drew blood.  Lindy sent out his big boys, went after Spezza, and off we go….

Ruff actually went into the area between the benches, yelling at Murray.  Looked like Crawford and Bowman all over again.

added 9:22pm, from the CP,

Sabres co-captain Chris Drury was helped off the ice with a severe cut across his forehead, sparking a major melee during the second period of Buffalo’s game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
All 12 players on the ice, including both goaltenders, were involved in a five-minute brawl that eventually involved both coaches yelling at one another at the benches.
Both goalies, Ottawa’s Ray Emery and Buffalo’s Martin Biron, were ejected as was Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters. Officials handed out 110 minutes in penalties, including 63 against the Sabres.
It all began 5:07 into the second period with Buffalo up 3-2 and after Drury was bowled over by a blind-side hit by Ottawa’s Chris Neil. Drury had just snapped a shot on net from the right circle when Neil, without slowing, hit Drury from behind.
The hit knocked Drury’s helmet off and sent him flying. Drury lay on the ice with blood flowing from his forehead, while Sabres rookie Drew Stafford fought Neil, both receiving five-minute fighting penalties.
Neil, however, was not penalized for his hit on Drury who, after being helped up, made his own way to the locker room. The Sabres had no immediate update on Drury, who had scored his 33rd goal earlier in the game.

more

added 11:03pm...

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Panthers News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On Frozen Pond,

The big news in Pantherland is that Todd Bertuzzi won’t play tonight, and probably won’t play Saturday either. That means he will not have returned to play in a game after his back surgery before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. EST trading deadline. One might deduct that Florida probably won’t get much in return for an unproven Bertuzzi, so the bet is dude stays right where he is.
Also hearing Gary Roberts wanting an extra year tacked on to his contract if he is traded is slowing any potential deal. Me thinks JM wants to resign both Todd and Gary for next year and, at least in Todd’s case, beyond. Keeping those two around will help in that.

more

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