Kukla's Korner

Two Week Party

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The parking lot tailgating in Raleigh, N.C., which might precede a Stanley Cup celebration Wednesday night, should be inspiration for the NHL. Make the Stanley Cup finals a party. A bacchanal. A convention. A forum for promotion. A celebration of the sport, and even of a league, that at times seems as if it expects potential fans to be able to offer the correct password at the door. (Imagine NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the remake of "Horse Feathers." He could repeat Chico Marx's line to Groucho's replacement, who is struggling with remembering the password. "You can't come in here unless you say 'Swordfish,'" says Bettman, before adding: "Now, I'll give you one more guess.")
continued

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“Don’t Believe Everything You Read”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

That my friends is a quote from Dwayne, you know the guy formerly known as Eklund. Now if he would only believe what he says. added 4:00pm, Hmmm, Jes at Hockey Rants has a "tough" decision to make.

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Talking #1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch,

"There's a big price that's paid when you're picking (at No. 1)," Blues general manager Larry Pleau said. "But if you're down there, and that is where the franchise is at, you do the things that are necessary to get the franchise back moving in the right direction. And this is one big piece of it." The Blues probably have decided whom they will take with the No. 1 pick. Trading the choice is a possibility. But with the team enduring such a horrific season, and with a new owner taking over soon, the prestige of picking No. 1 is thought to be the crown jewel in the transformation process. But what will the No. 1 selection really mean to the floundering organization, and how long will it be before this player is suited up at Savvis Center?
read on

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Nagy Wants To Stay In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Arizona Republic,

Ladislav Nagy, the Coyotes' primary scoring threat the past two seasons and one of the keys to their plan to rebuild , wants to sign a multiyear contract before next season. " 'Laddy' would like to stay in Phoenix, long term," Matt Keator, the left wing's agent, said Tuesday. Nagy, who notched 56 points and a career-high 41 assists in 51 games last season before undergoing knee surgery, can become a restricted free agent on July 1.

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Devils Coach Compared To Lemaire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

A key question is the style of play Julien will employ in relation to traditional, defense-first, Devils hockey. “The approach of this hockey club is a perfect fit for me,” said Julien. Julien‘s appointment follows weeks of speculation during which names such as MacLean, Pat Quinn, Lemaire and Brian Sutter were bruited about. When all was said and done Julien was Lou’s choice because, as the boss put it, “we have a similar philosophy.” My personal take is that Julien – while not a household name – will make an excellent leader. It reminds me of the hiring of Jacques Lemaire which surprised a lot of people. But when all was said and done, Lemaire turned out to be a winner Julien will be likewise.
more

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Where To Party?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Should the Carolina Hurricanes win the Cup, they'll take a victory lap later around the RBC Center parking lot in a daytime celebration, the city and the Centennial Authority said Tuesday. But Cup fever aside, that idea fell flat for some fans, who thought any celebration ought to have the Raleigh skyline as a backdrop. "If you win the main prize, you've got to have the parade downtown," Jerry Thompson, a fan in Roanoke Rapids, said in an interview. "The arena is really the runner-up venue. That's where you have the parade if you don't win."
read on

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Cherry & MacLean Still Thinking Old Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Don Cherry, the populist voice for those who yearn for the dismissed days of scrums, scraps and unregulated hand-to-hand combat on ice, barked his disfavour. "Stupid rule," he said loudly as passengers boarding an Air Canada flight yesterday morning for Toronto craned their necks to learn the target of Cherry's unmistakeable thundering. That target, although those marvelling at Cherry's celebrity might have been unable to identify him, was league refereeing commander Stephen Walkom.... Cherry and MacLean, the signature voices of CBC's Hockey Night In Canada, refuse to acknowledge the spectacular improvements in the game that have culminated with this rip-roaring, hard-hitting and exciting Cup final between Carolina and Edmonton. That the league has simply ignored each and every one of their complaints has only, it would seem, infuriated the standard bearers for the old NHL more and more.
more added 8:13am, from Willian Houston of the Globe and Mail,
MacLean's railing against the new NHL started before the 2005-06 season began and it hasn't stopped. That's why Campbell asked to appear on the show. He accused MacLean of "killing" the referees. The interview quickly turned into an argument, but it was helpful in illustrating MacLean's preoccupation with officiating and, frankly, the weaknesses of his arguments. MacLean, a former amateur referee, started by knocking a holding call made by referee Bill McCreary on Edmonton Oilers defenceman Matt Greene late in the second period of Game 4. (McCreary spoke out against MacLean, before the playoffs, for his on-going criticisms of referees.) What was Greene supposed to do? MacLean asked Campbell, "let [the opposing player] go by, I guess." No, Campbell said. Greene should have kept both hands on his stick and then turned to establish position. If he couldn't do it, well, he could take a penalty.
read on

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Europeans Want The Cup Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

"Obviously, I want to win as bad as everybody else," said Wallin, who is playing in his second Stanley Cup finals in four NHL seasons, having been with the Hurricanes in 2002 when they dropped the Cup finals to Detroit in five games. Wallin and Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom are good friends, and they've talked about winning the Cup. Now, Wallin wants the experience, not the words. I think it means just as much to Canadian, American as Swede, Czech or Russian," Samsonov said. "It's the ultimate prize. It's a story you'd like to tell your grandkids about." Samsonov recalls the excitement in Russia when Detroit's Russian Five carried the Cup into Moscow for the first time after the Red Wings won the Cup in 1997. "That was a big deal," he said.
more

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J.R Would Like To Play In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune via the Santa Barbara News-Press,

For many, Jeremy Roenick is a symbol of when the Blackhawks mattered in Chicago and were a factor in the NHL. His acrimonious departure from the Hawks in the summer of 1996 damaged both parties - Roenick hasn't been the same player since leaving and the Hawks began a downward cycle that continues. Could a reunion change both their fortunes? Roenick thinks so and said on WGN radio Monday and in a Tuesday phone interview with the Chicago Tribune that returning to the Hawks is his priority. ''One of the places I would love to play is Chicago, absolutely,'' Roenick said. ''Once July 1 comes and free agency opens up, that is one of the first places I would like (agent Neil Campbell) to call.''
continued

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Carolina Prepares For “Stan”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Stanley Cup has an exclusive interview with Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail:

G&M: "Is it true you've had more White House visits than former Prime Minister Jean Chretien?" Cup: "Hey, you're funnier than David Letterman. Did a gig with him once. Nice guy. Good with the lists. I've spent time with three U.S. presidents. Not one knew much about hockey but then again I'm not much into U.S. politics …. Wait a second. That's my cell phone. (Checks caller ID.) No big deal. It's Pamela Anderson. We met a few years ago at a Chris Chelios party after the Detroit Red Wings won. She said she'd dump Kid Rock for me and I said, "Who's Kid Rock?" I hear they split up not long after that."
read on

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