Kukla's Korner

Bettman Cranks Up Pressure In The Burgh

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Canadian Press:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman warned Tuesday that the Penguins' future in Pittsburgh is uncertain if the Isle of Capri casino chain isn't awarded a license next month to build a slot machines parlour in the city. Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. has promised to build a US$290 million arena to replace 45-year-old Mellon Arena, at no cost to taxpayers or the team, if awarded the license. The other two applicants are expected to provide money toward an arena, but neither would fully fund a new building. "If the Isle of Capri doesn't get the license, we've got a lot of uncertainty to deal with, and it's best for everybody and the franchise that we're not dealing in uncharted and uncertain waters," Bettman said.

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Chara, Lewis Drawing Raves

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via Sportsnet,

As Jeff O’Neill put it, it’s nearly impossible to beat Chara to the outside. Add to the fact that Chara is on the ice for pretty much the entire game and you begin to understand the impact he’s had on the Bruins. Every one of the Leafs admitted it’s no fun playing the Dave Lewis coached Bruins. They are solid in their own end and if they get any kind of lead, they’re more than capable of winning a one-goal game.
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Burnside On Pronger’s Return

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via ESPN,

It was the ultimate hockey betrayal. And so a city bided its time until Pronger's return. And then they let him have it. Boos, placards, all of the usual weapons of antagonism. "Pronger I Hope You Freeze" read one sign. There were others. The worse ones didn't make it into Rexall Place as the Oilers took the high road.
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Scotty…Please Help

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Warning: This one's going to be all over the place. Domestic metaphors, movie references, mind wandering. Crazy, disjointed stuff. Stick with it. A point will be made. The common theme amongst our DD's today? Ted Kulfan/Detroit News "Whether the Wings need one, an enforcer, that is, is the growing question." Khan(!)/MLive "Holland doesn't believe the Wings need to bring in a player for the sole purpose of being their enforcer." Bruce MacLeod/Macomb Daily Tribune "So do the Red Wings need to add an enforcer to keep opponents from taking liberties?" Would we be having this conversation if the Wings were scoring? Nope. But, as we know, this is a chicken-egg-Kocur question. Oh, you need me to explain that? Well, I can't. It is a chicken and egg thing, but I just threw Joey's name in there because we're talking toughness. Confused? I understand.

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Sound Familiar?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Emails continue to pour in tonight regarding my little blog post at NHL.com today. More on the emails tomorrow but I thought you may enjoy this. Did you know Sports Illustrated sat down with John Davidson, Ron Wilson, Brendan Shanahan, Glenn Sather and Don Meehan for a Q & A? Taken from that session...

SI: Is hockey more dangerous or violent than ever before? Davidson: Oh, absolutely. Wilson: I think it's just that the guys are bigger, stronger and faster. Meehan: The players are saying, in effect, that they're concerned about a lack of respect for each other now. SI: Did they ever respect each other? Did Wayne Maki and Ted Green, who engaged in a legendary stick fight in the 1960s, respect each other? Davidson: When Gordie Howe threw an elbow, you didn't see a guy out for two weeks with a concussion. The elbow pads the players wear now are dangerous, and the league has set up a committee to look into equipment. Shanahan: We have to ask whether players are wearing something for protection or more to use it as a weapon. I wear the old-style shoulder pads. I can deliver hits, but I can't run a guy because I have to protect myself. But some guys are getting into football-style shoulder pads -- these pads are more of a weapon. Sather: Everybody says violence is a problem that the league or the governors should deal with. It's never a problem for the players because the agents don't want to push their clients to stop the violence. But the players are the ones who inflict the damage on each other.
You can read on if you wish... One thing though, this sitdown was from the year 2000!!! Things seem to be the same, 6 years later.

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Moose Shot Dead In His Tracks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I knew the day would come when the Bellowing Moose would face stiff competition. Little did I know it would be IwoCPO going toe to hoof with the beast.

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NBC Blasts Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

NBC's "Bellowing Moose", which I've successfully avoided reading until today, has selected your Wings as his target of opportunity this week. Here are some highlights. * A season removed from capturing a second straight President’s Trophy as the top regular season team, Detroit entered this week in the midst of a five-game losing streak (although thanks to the NHL’s new math, it managed to pick up points in three overtime losses along the way), and was suddenly in danger of dropping out of the top eight in the West." At last glance the Wings were 7 points up on Vancouver (currently in the 9 spot) and 8 up on Calgary. Minnesota, Colorado and Edmonton would be in today which means in order for the Wings to miss, at least 4 teams from the Northwest make the playoffs. Ummm...I don't think so. But, hey, that kind of forward thinking obviously isn't the "moose's" style. *In the parlance of the auto industry, the NHL is a league full of sleek sports cars, while the Red Wings are a ’76 Monte Carlo running on leaded gas. Consider Detroit’s 6-2 loss in Nashville Saturday night, where the Predators' oldest player was 32-year-old Steve Sullivan. Detroit had nine players older than him in the lineup. Original. Look at it this way, though, Moose. Nashville has 16 players under thirty. The Wings have 13. The "aging Wing" monikor of years past, while still popular among the truly creative, is less and less accurate. * The Red Wings are playing a new, defensive style of game, trying to limit opposition scoring chances and depend on the goaltending of Dominik Hasek, along with the blueline work of Lidstrom. But more and more often, the once mighty Wings look beatable, and like a lot of other acts from Motown, they look old. Fickle, fickle. Just two weeks ago the Wings were the toast of the league. Now, they're just plain toast. Which is true? Find the middle if you can, then wait for the playoffs.

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Positive Signs For Williams

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

A few days off may be all that's required to get Jason Williams back on the ice for the Wings' next game. Helene St. James Wing Blog

Don’t yet rule out Jason Williams playing Friday night when the Red Wings are at Minnesota. Williams left Monday’s 2-1 victory over Dallas in the second period after suffering a charley horse when he was hit by Niklas Hagman. After the game Wings teammates said Williams was in a lot of pain; but general manager Ken Holland had good news when I spoke to him Tuesday afternoon. “Williams felt pretty good today, much better than we or he thought he would,” Holland said. “He’s come along way since the way he felt last night.”

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Yotes Get A Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN as Breaking News,

The Toronto Maple Leafs have moved their surplus goalie. Sources tell TSN that Michael Tellqvist has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Tyson Nash and a draft pick. Another source suggested there may be a minor-league player from Toronto accompanying Tellqvist to Phoenix, but that the Coyotes are looking for Tellqvist to shore up their inconsistent netminding.
added 2:19pm, link now available at TSN...

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NHL All Star Campaigning - Dallas Getting Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Note: some of the following links open in Windows Media Player. As mentioned last weekend on Kukla's Korner, the Dallas Stars' Ambassador of Fun Brett Hull is promoting his favorite Stars for the NHL All Star Ballot 2007. You've already seen Mike Modano's appeal for your vote, but now you can check out their other candidates: Brendan Morrow, Marty Turco and Sergei Zubov.

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