Kukla's Korner

LaFontaine Active In Nolan Hiring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

It appears one of the New York Islanders' most-beloved players was partly responsible for brokering the deal which allowed coach Ted Nolan another shot in the NHL. Sources told Sportsnet Pat LaFontaine, with Neil Smith's blessing, was instrumental in bringing aboard Nolan as the Islanders new coach. LaFontaine is also reportedly in line for a full-time position down the road with the Isles, either as an executive vice-president or, eventually, team president. It was announced that LaFontaine would be hired as a special consultant for now.
continued

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Finally

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Benjamin, Ladies and Gentlemen, the CBA!

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Teen Ranch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Orangeville Citizen,

The sign at the entrance to Teen Ranch, on Highway 10, south of Orangeville, welcomes the Florida Panthers to the Ice Coral and for 18 NHL wanna-be's, the sign may be seen as a beacon of things to come. A development camp put on by the Panthers, is underway at the ranch, for players who have already been recruited and signed by the team in previous junior drafts. From this crop of young hopefuls, the coaching staff hopes the next generation of Panther players will emerge. "It's a chance to get started on some team building and refine the skills from the selection in the last draft," said Duane Sutter director of player development for the team. The goals of the camp include; on and off ice training, team building, nutrition advice and allowing both the players and coaches to get acquainted.
continued

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Reviewing Game 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,

• The NHL should suspend Georges Laraque for his late hit from behind on Carolina’s Andrew Ladd. It was a blatant attempt to injure and has no place in the new NHL. Besides, the removal of Laraque would open the door for Todd Harvey’s return to action and he would be more effective. • When it became obvious the Oilers weren’t going to win, why on earth did Edmonton keep playing workhorse defenseman Chris Pronger? The last thing the Oilers needed was to lose him to an injury in a game that was already decided. Pronger played 11:21 in the second period and finished the contest playing 28:21. The Oilers would have been smarter to rest Pronger late in the third period.
more

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Who Is Georges Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Black Athlete,

He began skating in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at age four. Like most Canadian kids, he loved and played hockey, and his idols growing up were hockey players, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzsky, who at that time played for the team that Georges plays for now, the Edmonton Oilers. Laraque not only played hockey, but football and soccer. His father was a soccer coach in Canada. At age 16, he decided to forget about football and soccer and concentrate on hockey. Unlike most players who grow the infamous beards during the playoffs, he doesn't. But let's get it straight. He doesn't wear dreadlocks.
continued update 4:28pm, The link appears to have been pulled. It was working earlier in the day. Sorry, not sure what happened. image

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Ted On His Way To Being Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Ted Leonsis,

Three years ago I predicted that the Southeast Division would be very competitive and could well be the best division in hockey. It was filled with great young players as well as star players that were hungry, hardworking, key members of well constructed teams. Tampa Bay went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and now Carolina has a 2 to 0 lead in this years Finals. We could see back to back world championships for our division, and the teams are only getting stronger. Atlanta is on the cusp of playoff respectability, Florida is stocked with great young assets, and the Capitals are quickly rebuilding our team.
continued Ted also mentioned how strong the Southeast was in the interiview I did with him about 2 months ago.
He realizes the Southeast division is getting stronger with players like Staal, Luongo, Jokinen, Lecavalier and Kovalchuk and must get his team stronger to compete with them.
added 11:57am, I just discovered KK has been added to the Washington Capitals website along with the hockey blogs Off Wing Opinion, Japer's Rink and general sports blog DCSportsChick. The link is very much appreciated.

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Focus On The Positive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

I've said it before, but Oilers coach Craig MacTavish has to focus on the positives in this game. His team helped set a blistering pace to the game's first 10 minutes, they were hitting and taking the puck to the net. Now, they have to build on that. They've got two days off. Show them that Jussi Markkanen is capable of making that big save but showing some of his work in Game 2. Show them that they can be aggressive. The Oilers have been down 0-2 before (against San Jose) and now we're going to see what they're made of, if they can come back again.
more

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Talking Luongo & Jovo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

The agent for goaltender Roberto Luongo has informed the Panthers his client will sign only a one-year deal this summer, not the long-term contract the team has been seeking. Gilles Lupien said Wednesday that his top priority is securing a no-trade clause in Luongo's contract. NHL rules prohibit no-trade clauses before the year in which a player becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency, which in Luongo's case is July 2007. "We don't want to sign long term and then be traded to somewhere like, say, Columbus, and be stuck there," Lupien said. A league source at the Stanley Cup Final said former Panther defenseman Ed Jovanovski "is very interested" in rejoining the team if he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
read on

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Quiet On Whyte

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Edmonton's often-jubilant Whyte Avenue took on the feel of a funeral procession Wednesday as despondent hockey fans began the long march home after the Oilers lost their second straight game in the Stanley Cup final. Most tried to sound optimistic, but their slow gait and the sombre looks on their faces told a different story. With Edmonton's 5-0 loss in Carolina Wednesday, the Oilers face a 2-0 deficit in their best-of-seven series and the outlook seems bleak. “It's definitely not impossible,” said David Christie, who had flown in from Inuvik, NWT, where he works, to watch the rest of the series with his hometown friends.
continued

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Bizzaro World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The alternative explanation, of course, would be that the Canes were and are five goals better than the pride of Alberta and may well be poised to register the first sweep in the Cup final in eight years. After self-destructing in the final 23 minutes of the series opener, the Oilers fell apart in just about every important area in Game 2 en route to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat. Playing three goalies in the first two games of the Cup final can't be a good thing, and the Edmontonians have found all of Dwayne Roloson, Ty Conklin and Jussi Markkanen to be equally wanting. The terrible trio has combined for a .791 save percentage, just about as bad as you can get.
read on

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