Kukla's Korner

Unlike His Father

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Democrat & Chronicle,

As a father and son should, Sergei Kharin and his oldest child, RIT freshman hockey player Anton Kharin, share a number of characteristics.
Naturally, there is a facial resemblance; both stand 5 feet, 11 inches tall; and while Sergei is a little stockier these days than he was during a nearly two-decade professional playing career, his weight when he was Anton’s age (21) was right around the 175 pounds Anton carries.
But then the two men speak, and after a double take you think to yourself, “These two are as likely to be father and son as Gordie Howe and Alexander Ovechkin.”
“Yeah, I was born in Russia, but I’m American or I’m Canadian; I don’t know what I am,” a smiling Anton said in perfect English minus any hint of a Russian accent.

continued

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The Lingering Result

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jody Vance at Slam,

This is about fighting in the NHL.
Watching Kris Newbury get his grey matter rocked on Saturday night had big impact on this student of the game.
The late game fisticuffs between Newbury and Pittsburgh’s Ronald Petrovicky shook me.
It wasn’t so much the fight itself but rather the result that haunts me today. The fight ended quickly. The visual of Newbury lying on the ice bloodied and unconscious lingers.

read on

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Where’s Zherdev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

A message was sent barely 10 minutes into practice yesterday when Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock kicked right winger Nikolai Zherdev off the ice.
After practice, Hitchcock wouldn’t address the issue other than to confirm it. Zherdev was nowhere to be seen.

continued

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NBC Doing It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press,

OK, we’re like a lot of hockey fans who responded to the Sunday Free Press poll: It’s tough getting over the NHL being on Versus instead of ESPN. It’s like, if a sport isn’t on ESPN, is it really big league?
But cable aside, getting on NBC was a great thing for the NHL. NBC is doing hockey right and constantly trying to improve the product.
Some things we pondered while watching Sunday’s Dallas-Colorado game on NBC and taking down our Hockey Day decorations:
• Are they listening to us? As suggested a couple of weeks ago, NBC subbed in Pierre McGuire for Ferraro as Hull’s debate partner. And it was better.

read on

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Dads Take Flight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings are scheduled to fly from Detroit to Dallas this afternoon, accompanied mostly by dads but also the occasional brother or mentor. The trip concludes with a three-day stay in Phoenix. After last year’s trip, which took the team around Florida, Zetterberg said his dad came away impressed with the hectic schedule of a trip—play a game and then immediately travel to the next city. Brett Lebda’s dad was blown away by something entirely different.
“He said he was surprised at how much we ate,” Lebda said. “He said we’re always eating—whenever we get on the plane, we eat; whenever we get home from pregame skate, we’re eating, or we’re eating breakfast. We’re always eating or sleeping or on the road, and I said, ‘That’s the way it goes.’ “

more

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Blake Changes His Tune

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Frustrated by a goal-scoring slump and worried about contract negotiations and his impending free-agent status, All-Star Jason Blake needed time to think. After taking a day to reflect on his recent comments about possibly leaving as a free agent if the Islanders don’t sign him by the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, Blake yesterday said he didn’t intend to distract from his team’s playoff push or to leave the impression he wants off Long Island.
“I know in my heart that I’m an Islander,” said Blake, who was last to leave Air Canada Centre after practice. “When we’re in a playoff push, I can’t think about the contract. I’ve just got to let Neil handle it.”

continued

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Sundin Plans To Stay In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Calling Toronto his “home,” captain Mats Sundin said he has no desire to leave the Maple Leafs even if it meant a more realistic shot at winning the Stanley Cup elsewhere.
“I think my feelings have been that I really want to stay and be a Maple Leaf,” he said yesterday, on the eve of his 36th birthday but, more significantly, two weeks before the NHL trade deadline.

continued

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Playing The Percentages

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

The Flyers don’t have a chance of getting two first-rounders and a top prospect for Forsberg, but they might get a top prospect and a pick. The amount the Flyers get in return for Foppa will depend on his willingness to remain with the team he goes to. If the team views him as a two-month rental, the price will be low. If he agrees to stay long-term, which he probably won’t—the price will go higher.
If I were a betting man, I’d say the chances of Forsberg getting traded are 70 percent.
The liklihood of signing him to a contract extension before the Feb. 27 trade deadline is less than 10 percent.

read on

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Break Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“In one respect, it’s a bit of a break for him mentally to step back, come to practice and know that he can’t play in the game,” said Murray. “It gives him a chance to be a little bit less intense. It’s hard when you’re playing, you want to keep playing. You want to keep the good habits and (Emery’s) been playing great for us. It’s a factor in performance.
Added Murray: “I think (the suspension’s) heavy. He’s a first-time offender, Usually something like this would be a warning, a fine and a game. I was going to play Gerber (tomorrow), and I was hoping it would be the one game.”

more

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What If…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

What, for example, if the Rangers could get Joe Sakic from the Avalanche as a rental if they also accept Jose Theodore’s $5.3M contract that runs through next season?
What if the Rangers trade for Theodore as a precursor to waiving him?
What if Jim Dolan is willing to pay Theodore $5.3M to play in Hartford next year - the Avalanche sure won’t pay out that cash to a player in the minors, and will thus be hamstrung by the goaltender’s contract - if it means acquiring Offer Sheet Joe?
Wouldn’t that be more valuable to the Avalanche’s rebuilding process than getting a No. 1 in a deal? Wouldn’t it?

Larry also takes a look at the status of Sandis Ozolinsh…

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