Kukla's Korner

Belfour Looking At Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Sources tell TSN Belfour is in Florida today working out for the Panthers. If the 41-year-old netminder passes his medical evaluation it is believed the Panthers will sign him to a one year deal that could pay him as much as $1.5 million.

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Replacing Luongo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Miami Herald,

If Alex Auld has noticed the pictures, it's hard to tell. A poster hanging at Incredible Ice touts the Roberto Luongo Goalie School, the former Panthers goaltender staring down on those who walk in. Another poster of Luongo in his old Florida uniform sits in the window of the pro shop. Auld spent Monday and Tuesday at the Coral Springs rink, helping coaches by giving guidance to youngsters at the goalie camp. Though he isn't the name player Luongo is, the kids seem to be happy the Panthers' new goalie is there to help. ''Everyone here has been so welcoming, and it's nice to see a positive feeling surrounding the team,'' Auld said.
read on

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Team Chaos

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

One person who surprisingly came to Smith's defense, Wang said, was former general manager Mike Milbury, who has remained with the Islanders as senior vice president but is no longer involved in hockey operations. Wang said Milbury tried to convince him to give Smith more time. Wang said he couldn't wait. "I know it would have gotten worse," Wang said. "When you know it's wrong and doesn't work, you feel it. And I've got to correct it . . . I didn't want this to go on longer in any way. I'm going to fix it and move on. For the fans, I think the last thing you want to do is have any kind of unrest or controversy in the middle of a season. It would be a disaster."
read on

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Are The Leafs Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Now that Michael Peca has finally achieved his childhood dream of becoming a Toronto Maple Leaf, the team's roster is set for the coming season. But is the roster good enough to back up Peca's words Tuesday that the Leafs are an “organization that prides itself on wanting to win and [is] really taking every step necessary whenever they see fit to try to provide that for the fans.” Well, maybe. And if you look at the last time the Maple Leafs underwent such a change to their foundation, the answer swings closer to yes.
continued

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Kessel Expected To Sign With Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press,

Despite recently informing a Gophers hockey coaching staff member that he intended to return for his sophomore season, Phil Kessel now is eager to sign with the Boston Bruins, insiders say. The Bruins made him the No. 5 overall pick in last month's NHL entry draft. If Kessel signs, which it appears he will do, he is expected to play in the NHL rather than the American Hockey League

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LaFontaine Leaves Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The fallout continues on Long Island. New York Islanders senior adviser Pat LaFontaine advised Islanders owner Charles Wang on Tuesday night that he is resigning, a source told The Canadian Press.

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“Skate-Goat”- J.R. Plans A Comeback Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBS Sportsline,

"I couldn't get my skates sharpened the way I like," Roenick said in an interview after recently signing with the Phoenix Coyotes. Oh. "Really," Roenick insisted. OK, J.R., but don't they have people to take care of things like that in the NHL? "You would think," Roenick said. "That's why everybody says, 'Did your dog eat your homework too?' -- it's a stupid response to people who don't understand. "But to an athlete, not being able to rely on your equipment is nerve-wracking. I couldn't skate on the skates I was using. Every time I tried to turn, I ended up on my face. It affected my confidence and decision making because you can't play a game like the NHL at such a high level and question whether you're going to stand up or not. "It was enough to almost make me retire."
read on

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No More Bad Blood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via 940 News,

To say there was bad blood between Michael Peca and Darcy Tucker following a controversial hit four years ago is putting it mildly. Tucker knocked Peca out of the 2002 playoffs with a low hit in Toronto's first-round series win over the New York Islanders that caused Peca to have reconstructive knee surgery and miss part of the next season. But apparently time heals all wounds.
continued

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Preds-Canes Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Nashville Predators have traded veteran forward Scott Walker to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Josef Vasicek.

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Neil Smith Leaving Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Well, that was quick! from TSN,

Neil Smith is no longer general manager of the New York Islanders. Sources tell TSN the Islanders are expected to make a formal announcement to that effect shortly.
update 3:41pm, from TSN (same link),
The team announced that they have fired Smith and have hired former Islanders goaltender Garth Snow as the new general manager. "I spoke with Garth at length throughout the spring about the general manager's position and he really impressed me with his passion and his knowledge," said Islanders owner Charles Wang. "When the job opened up, the choice was an easy one. Garth knows the league as well as anyone, has an eye for talent and understands how our staff works as a team. Most importantly, Garth is a man of integrity, someone I trust will work hard, be creative and represent the Islanders with dignity."

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