Kukla's Korner

World Cup ‘08? Discussions Today On NHL Participation

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Representatives from the NHL and the Players' Association were scheduled to meet with IIHF president Rene Fasel on Tuesday to discuss the agreement that runs out at the end of the season. But the most pressing need for the NHL and its players is to decide how to proceed with the World Cup of Hockey, the Little Orphan Annie of international competitions.
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Smyth Hurt In Last Seconds Of Game Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Shocked. Uncalled for. Dangerous. Those were some of the words Edmonton players were using after their star, Ryan Smyth, was taken down late in the Oilers' 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. With 28 seconds left in the game, Smyth gingerly skated off the ice after taking a knee in the leg from Colorado's John-Michael Liles as Smyth tried to skate past him on a breakaway along the boards. Liles was called for kneeing. The original diagnosis was a charley horse. "I don't know," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said when asked of Smyth's condition.
update 9:55am. from the Edmonton Sun,
"That was a pretty dangerous play on Liles's part," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "Obviously a desperation play on his part. "If Smytty gets by him it's going in the back of the (empty) net, but it was a pretty dangerous play." The very early diagnosis is a charley horse and Smyth might not miss any time, but it's hard to tell moments after a guy hobbles off the ice. "You don't know how it's going to swell up." said MacTavish. "And it's going to be awfully painful."

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Talking Winnipeg & Quebec City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The National Hockey League has not given up on one day re-visiting Canadian markets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and, way down the road, will examine a second team in the Toronto area. Fielding those questions was new Hockey Hall of Fame builder Harley Hotchkiss, an executive with the Calgary Flames and chairman of the league's board of governors. "I think we have an obligation (to see if those markets can work)," Hotchkiss said yesterday. "There were great fans in those cities to support those teams. "Speaking as a Canadian our team had some great games against the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques."
continued

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Tuesday Deep Digging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Quite a bit to choose from this morning as all the Deep Diggers seem to be active and chipper. Helene St. James spoke with Chris Chelios recently, who naturally said he considers his age a "black cloud hanging over my head" and that he hates the idea that his 44 years is the first thing people think of. Kirk Maltby said opposing fans do all they can to remind him. Helene St. James/Free Press

"It seems to happen a little more in the Canadian cities. I think it's just because of the way he plays against some of the teams that we've seen a lot of over the years; it seems there are always signs about his age and how old he is and whatnot. I think it motivates him a little bit in the overall scheme of things, to keep prolonging things. I think he gets a chuckle out of it. When he sees a new sign, he kind of applauds the guy or girl that did it."
Speaking of Canadian fans and signs, this is my favorite picture from last year. image

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Report Seems Outdated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV,

While a study of NHL data finds teams that fight have a better chance of winning, a hockey author notes that was in the old NHL. "I'd like to see this study done again in another five to seven years," Stephen Cole, author of the Canadian Hockey Atlas, told CTV.ca on Monday. Former NHLer Mike Gardner was even more skeptical, saying: "I think you could probably do a study too that a team that ate spaghetti at a pre-game meal is more likely to win than a team that eats chicken."
continued In case you missed the study that is being referred to, you can check out an article from earlier in the day.

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The List Grows: Holmstrom Out Too

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Joining the Wings suddenly expanding list of injured players? Tomas Holmstrom. Hasek due to play more than expected, as well. MLive/Khan(!)

Niklas Kronwall (groin), Tomas Holmstrom (groin) and Chris Osgood (hand) didn’t practice Monday in Vancouver and, according to Mike Babcock, won’t dress Tuesday against the Canucks. Babcock said none of the injuries is significant and expects all three to be ready for Friday’s game in Calgary. Forward Josh Langfeld, recalled from Grand Rapids, will make his Wings debut Tuesday. Babcock said Dominik Hasek, who’ll aim for his third consecutive shutout Tuesday, might play more games than planned because he’s not getting much work in his starts (averaging 20 shots against).

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Corporate Leadership?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yeah, I got spun up when I saw it too. The NHL has created, seemingly out of the blue, a leadership award and named it after Mark Messier who, according to their public release, "many believe to be the greatest captain in hockey history." I'm not one of the many. And neither are you, if you're reading this here. But, whether he is or isn't may not be the question. The more interesting issue could very well be just where the heck this award came from. According to the release, one leadership award will be given monthly and another yearly. Keep that "yearly" item in mind.

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Pointing At The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Maven at Hockey Journal,

*Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who often seems more consumed with harassing Ted Saskin than earning his millions playing hockey, is about to have the challenge of his “Look, I’m Rich” career. With Edmonton a mediocre 8-8-1 and trying to prove that its trip to the Finals last spring was no fluke, it’s now up to pseudo-union-expert Roloson to lead his club. Otherwise Rollie goes down as yet another vastly overpaid netminder, who always seems to be beefing about something rather than appreciating what he has. *Speaking of the Salary Cap, we haven’t heard a single player beef about the new system that the union had so vociferously fought; until Trevor Linden, Bill Guerin and Vince Damphousse wised-up the NHLPA. …
more from Stan Fischler... while on the topic, did you know The Maven has a blog?

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The Return of Grampa Pinhead

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You know by now that the idea of writing about the NHL at large scares me. So I leave that to Grampa Pinhead. Opinionated, often cranky and certainly willing to debate should you choose to take that step, I'll bring you his viewpoints whenever he sees fit to provide them to me. ------- Tonight Buffalo (14-1-1) at Carolina (9-6-3) Montreal (8-4-3) at Ottawa (6-9-1) San Jose (13-5-0) at Los Angeles (5-10-4) and I get Philadelphia (3-11-2) at Pittsburgh (7-6-2) In spite of all their efforts and improvements, VS (OLN) continues to suck. No wonder I am having a little problem getting into hockey this year.

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Gallant Gone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Gerard Gallant of his head coaching duties with the National Hockey League club, President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. MacLean will meet with the media in the press conference room at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday at 10 a.m. prior to the club's practice. Media parking is available in the service yard, located next to the loading dock on the northwest side of the arena. "I am extremely disappointed to announce that Gerard Gallant has been relieved of his head coaching duties with the Columbus Blue Jackets," said MacLean. "He has shown tremendous dedication to our organization over the past six-plus years and worked as hard as he could to help our team be successful. Unfortunately, we have not gotten off to the start we expected this season and while there are always a multitude of factors involved, we felt a change was needed."
Update 7:06pm, A coach is expected to be named tomorrow. Let the speculation begin. Update 9:20 pm, TSN is speculating that while assistant coach Gary Agnew will be named interim head coach, he will not be permanent replacement and there will still be a search for a new candidate.

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