Kukla's Korner

Everyone Goes To The Net

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Now, with the NHL clamping down on some of the defenceman's best means of deterrence - hacks, slashes, crosschecks and punches to the back of the head - it's open season on goalies. "Guys are braver, they know they don't have to take the abuse anymore,'' said Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco. "There have always been crease crowders, but now we've got all these brave new souls who never entered that twilight zone before. "But it was inevitable, I guess. One guy gets there by accident, who hasn't been there for years, and says this isn't so bad.''
more

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Greg Johnson Dealing With Heart Condition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

"I saw or talked to five different doctors — everywhere from the Mayo Clinic to the Cleveland Clinic — and not one doctor would clear me to play,'' Johnson said. "All five of them had the same diagnosis, that I'd be crazy to ever step on the ice again.'' So now Johnson, 35, finds himself dealing with a wide range of emotions.... "I think that Detroit — maybe because of Jiri Fischer or whatever — pursued things a little more in depth, to see what was going on instead of passing it on as an athlete's heart.'' Maybe more than anything at this stage, so soon after his involuntary retirement, Johnson still feels frustration.
more

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They Meet Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Perhaps their eyes will lock briefly. Maybe Brooks Orpik will offer Erik Cole a quick nod on the ice, and then size up the Carolina Hurricanes wing for another check, but that's hockey. But there were no new vows this week to balance the scales tonight, no apologies and no calls for old-school retribution. "I can't speak to the other guys in the room, and it's not a sentiment we've addressed," Cole said Thursday night. In his first public comments after the injury March 8, Cole said the league had left the door open for Orpik's worst punishment to come "when he plays us next."
read on

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Now What Lou

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

Lamoriello already is believed to be right at the cap, thanks to the payroll discounts afforded by the Long-Term Injury exemptions granted Alexander Mogilny, Jason Wiemer, Richard Matvichuk and David Hale. Hale and his $600G salary are on conditioning assignment at Lowell, and the initial three-game allowance runs out tomorrow, although the league can be expected to grant a one-time, two-game extension that would run through next weekend.... Lamoriello's dilemma will be deciding if a player like Matvichuk is worth dumping another player or two. Would keeping both Brooks and Hale be worth waiving or trading Brad Lukowich, who was solid in his two games back from his ankle injury? Would Matvichuk be worth bidding farewell to someone like Sergei Brylin? These are the issues facing Lamoriello, and teams with helpful cap room are vanishing quickly.
more

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Equity’s What The Lockout Was All About

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik: As one peruses the Forbes report on NHL franchise values, something stands out immediately--21 of the league's 30 teams made less than $5 million in operating income, and most barely broke even--before taxes. The Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils lost over $5 million apiece, and yet their teams experienced 21% and 19% increases in value, respectively. Why? Larry Brooks, love him or hate him, was right about one thing: the NHL's owners don't get make their financial hay from gate receipts and operating profits. It's all about equity.

Continue Reading »

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Game 1 To Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I know. This is Bubba's year. It's his division. This is finally the season he waddles to the top of it and stays there for decades, establishing the dynasty in America's Mid South that we knew was coming down the pike. It's got to be frustrating for Barry Trotz, the Nashville faithful and the 6 Pred fans outside the Nashville area. Just when the geniuses were certain the Wings were ready to fade into mediocrity, they do the unlikely. I'm not talking about winning one game, or even 8. What we may be seeing is a philosophical transformation. First, the game...more deep ruminations (sorry Bubba..."thoughts") later. Andres Lilja and Brad Norton scratched. Lilja may never see the ice again in Detroit. I'm serious. Well, not completely serious. But considering the type of defense the Wings are playing, I can't imagine Mike Babcock is too willing to make even the slightest blue line change unless he has to (which he might...see below).

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: central, hasek, hudler, lang, lidstrom, maltby, schneider, zetterberg

Bye Bubba

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Update 2120 CST: Mike Babcock said Kronwall had a slight groin strain prior to tonite and it apparently flared up a bit. They held him out of the third as a precaution. Babcock says he should be fine for Tuesday. Wings take the first of an eight-game season series from Little Brother Bubba. A few details tonite, with a full game recap tomorrow morning * Dominik Hasek's second consecutive shutout, third on the year and 71st of his career. * Wings and Hasek haven't allowed a goal in 153:28 * Wings goals: Lang (5), Lidstrom (3), Cleary (4, EN) * Three Stars: Hasek, Lidstrom, Chelios * Wings now lead Bubba by 4 pts in the Central. Scary news: Kronwall didn't play a shift in the third. Neither the Wing tv or radio announcers have mentioned his absence. NHL.com scoresheet ESPN game recap

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  Tags: babcock, kronwall

HHOF Worthy Or Not

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illiustrated,

Here's a look at the key NHL players who will become Hall of Fame eligible during the next three years, and their chances for induction. Let's also look at some players who are already eligible but have yet to receive a call. The Hall requires that players be retired for three seasons, and a maximum of four can get in during any given year. Al MacInnis He'll get in for sure, but not on the first ballot. Scott Stevens He'll very likely get in, but not on the first ballot. Luc Robitaille He'll get in, but not on his first try. Phil Housley He'll probably get in, but he doesn't deserve it.
many more players...and you can read why Brian thinks some will make it and some won't...

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Flyers Crash & Burn

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Associated Press via TSN,

Peter Forsberg really is sick of losing. The Flyers captain and former NHL MVP skipped practice with the flu and might miss Saturday's game against Buffalo, leaving Philadelphia without its best player against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams. Even with a sniffle-free Forsberg in the lineup, the Flyers have been the worst team in the league this season. While Philadelphia wasn't picked as a legitimate pre-season Stanley Cup contender, no one could have predicted this dramatic freefall to the bottom of the standings.
Continued

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Full Mailbag

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Phil Coffey of NHL.com had his hands full this week answering some of the fan mail he received this week. Take a step back and read some of the comments and questions, then ask yourself if you fall into the same category. If you do, take another step back, have a laugh, then enjoy the game.

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