Kukla's Korner

Conn Smythe Award Winner Responds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Does this seem surreal to you to be the rookie and Stanley Cup champion? Your emotions right now? CAM WARD: It's unbelievable. Your childhood dream of winning the Stanley Cup has finally come true and all that work you put forth through minor hockey and junior, it's all paid off from today. Q. Talk about the last five minutes of the game. They put a lot of pressure on you obviously. What was going through your mind, talk about the breakaway this that they had right towards the end? CAM WARD: You got to give Edmonton credit. They didn't give up, and they threw everything at us. When you look at the first goal, it was as a bad rebound on my part. A goal that I wanted to take back. You saw the same situation with the second time around, and I was fortunate to make the save. Q. You know the tradition involved of being able to keep the Cup for a day, all that sort of thing. Your wedding day is what day? And are you putting in bids for it? CAM WARD: July 22. Haven't put much thought into it. But probably would make a nice center piece. read more in the comments...

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It Just Feels Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Congratulations Peter. Your thoughts? COACH LAVIOLETTE: You know what, that was probably the hardest game we have played all year. It had to be, because Edmonton did a heckuva job late in the series. They came and played tonight. But our guys were relentless; they never never stopped. Q. When you go back to your upbringing, your grandad's store, what was it that you as a kid had the ability to lead -- COACH LAVIOLETTE: You know what, I got great parents; they are here tonight. Q. Who are they? COACH LAVIOLETTE: They are up in the stands there. And a great family that I belong to back home; these guys are unbelievable. It just feels good.
Q. What are you feeling? GLEN WESLEY: I don't know what to feel. It's unbelievable. It's the best feeling. I have never had -- 18 years to be able to to play the game, very blessed and fortunate. Guys were outstanding. The whole team just played unbelievable tonight. Q. Can you think of moments in the game that you just felt we're playing well -- who did you look for leadership through that? GLEN WESLEY: I think everybody stepped up. Awesome effort.

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Photos Streaming In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Check out some of the photos that are starting to hit the web, including post-game celebration!

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One Questionable Play Addressed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

National Hockey League Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom tonight released the following statement pertaining to a play with 4.1 seconds remaining in the first period of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final:

“With a delayed penalty about to be called by the back referee (Bill McCreary) for a high stick by Edmonton player Ethan Moreau, Oilers' defenseman Steve Staios deliberately bats the puck in the crease, which constitutes control and the play is considered dead. Referee Watson, who was unaware that a delayed penalty was being called, was waiting for a play that would constitute a normal stoppage. Batting the puck by a player in the defensive zone does not constitute a stoppage. Referee Watson stopped play when the Oilers' player covered the puck. He was then informed by Referee McCreary of the delayed penalty, which required play to be stopped at the moment when control was achieved by the batting of the puck by Staios.”
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Re-Live The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A few bloggers were doing their thing during the game, plus TSN had a writer assigned to blogging Game 7. Don't forget to catch the post game interviews...

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CAROLINA HURRICANES - 2006 Stanley Cup Champions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wow, the never ending season is over. Both teams deserve high praise, the NHL is back folks! image added 11:16pm, from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

As Carolina players celebrated wildly on the ice, the Oilers gathered at their bench to await the traditional postgame handshakes, many with tears in their eyes. The game will go down in Stanley Cup lore as one of the most frenzied and intense in history, with the pace just incredible throughout.
read on

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Goaltending Issues For Oilers & Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Even after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers will both have goaltending issues. The Oilers have until July 1 to sign injured Dwayne Roloson or he becomes an unrestricted free agent.... Meanwhile, the Hurricanes' future seems solid with Cam Ward, who might have turned in the best rookie playoff run since Montreal's Patrick Roy in 1986. But tradition says goalies can sometimes struggle in their second season. With Gerber presumed to be heading elsewhere, the Hurricanes probably will be looking for a veteran goalie to replace him.
read on

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A Little Hosting Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Apologies to some of you trying to access KK for the last 1 1/2 hours. The issue looks to be resolved.

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Oiler Fans Buy Canes Season Tickets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Slam,

Hundreds of Canadian hockey fans made the trek south to cheer on the Oilers, who were attempting to become the first Canadian team in 13 years to win the Stanley Cup. Some got great seats with free tickets to the big game by purchasing 2006-2007 Carolina Hurricanes season tickets for $800. Russ Boghean of Ardossan, Alta., was getting into a loud pre-game mood wearing an orange rubber head cover with short spikes. His trip was a Father's Day gift. He and Al Stafford of Sherwood Park, Alta., flew in via Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando. Blake McGrath of Sherwood Park was with them. He'd arrived via Seattle and Atlanta.
more

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How Valuable Is Luongo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

A source close to the Panthers says general manager Mike Keenan has begun the process of investigating what Luongo's market value is. The Vancouver Canucks will provide the most fodder for the rumour mill with Dan Cloutier and Todd Bertuzzi already speculated to be a part of any deal. The Toronto Maple Leafs, desperately in need of goaltending, will most certainly make a play. However, the team that comes up with the magic formula will do so at a stiff price.

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