Kukla's Korner

Leafs Address Numerous Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of Canada.com,

After missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the 1997-'98 season, Ferguson is confident off-season changes will bring about Toronto's return to post-season play. Among the litany of moves, Maurice is the new coach, while former Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft was acquired from Boston to bolster Toronto's goaltending. "We identified a number of areas we wanted to address and we've certainly done that," Ferguson said. "Paul Maurice brings us a new direction, a new voice. "On defence, in addition to bringing back both (Tomas) Kaberle and (Bryan) McCabe, who would have been unrestricted (free agents), we've upgraded with (free agents) Pavel Kubina and Hal Gill."
more

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Report- Johnson A Wing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN the Detroit Red Wings have signed centre Greg Johnson for a second stint with the NHL club.
Any Wings fans shaking their heads and asking why?

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A Russian Journalist On Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MosNews,

A Russian journalist said Evgeni Malkin is in the process of obtaining a visa to travel to the United States and could be already in the country. But whether Malkin plays for the Penguins this season apparently will come down to legalities and money. “I think he’s in the process of getting an American visa or he’s already there,” said Slava Malamud, who works with the Moscow-based Sport Express, the largest sports publication in Eastern Europe. “He could be signed with the Penguins in two weeks,” said Malamud, who is based in Washington and just returned from Moscow after writing about Malkin’s contract situation with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
added 7:06am, from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
This much was known yesterday, less than 24 hours after Malkin took his passport and bolted Magnitogorsk's training camp in Finland: He is in North America, likely in the United States, huddling with his advisers and contemplating his next move. Most definitely, Malkin wants to play in the NHL. Most definitely, his agents, Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry, want him there, as do the Penguins. But Metallurg is just as determined to keep its signed asset as it is to see the NHL pay more than $200,000 (U.S.) for the rights to Russia's best players. In other words, this is a power struggle of political proportions and Malkin has put himself smack in the middle. Why he would do that and how he's done it are questions without definitive answers, only opinions.
more

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How Greg Spent His Summer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Fourth Period,

There have been some shocking headlines during the summer for the NHL — economically, electronically and especially Edmontonally. I could have written 10 comprehensive columns this summer... or I could have spent the last few months pounding six packs of microbrews and trying to win the Cup on NHL '94 with every team in the Wales Conference. I chose the latter, so here's a digest-style look at 10 Historic Headlines from the NHL Off-Season: 9. I Expect Dominik Hasek to Play 25 Games Next Season Five in the regular season, 20 in the post-season, which is really the only reason the Red Wings signed the brittle backstop. You could put a blindfolded Norm Maracle in there for 70 games and Detroit's still going to skate away with the President's Trophy. Hasek? He's there for the next four rounds. He's now the hockey equivalent of El Duque.
read on...much more to take in...

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Court Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Reuters via Yahoo,

Russia's Metallurg Magnitogorsk will go to court to seek compensation from Pittsburgh Penguins after the sudden disappearance of their best player, Evgeni Malkin, the Superleague club's head said on Sunday. "We're all in shock," Gennady Velichkin said after Malkin, Pittsburgh's number one pick in 2004, secretly fled Metallurg's training camp in Finland on Saturday just days after agreeing a new contract with the club. "The players, coaching staff are also very upset because for four days Malkin was training with the team and suddenly he is gone without saying a word to anyone," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.... "They all like to talk about democracy, the American way and then they shamelessly steal our best players. This is pure sports terrorism," said the Metallurg general director. "Don't forget, Malkin is a young kid, he is still very naive and it was easy for them to get into his head all that stuff about the American dream and how great the NHL is," he added.
read on

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Bothered In B.C.

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

Coming up with a list of the 10 most loathed figures in sports is difficult, because whom you despise really depends on where you live. We wanted our list to be made in B.C., so we asked Province readers who they love to hate. They responded enthusiastically. Taking their comments into consideration, we've determined Public Enemies No. 1 through 10: 9. Mark Messier Today, Messier's years with the Canucks seem like a night of hard drinking. You remember feeling pretty good at the outset. You remember waking up at the bottom of a septic tank. You have little recollection of what transpired in between. That's probably for the best.
read on...also making the list were Don Cherry & Gary Bettman...

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Moving On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

You may remember Jordan Smith, the Ducks prospect who suffered a serious eye injury. from Maine Today,

Pink salmon have started their run in the St. Mary's River Rapids, reports Jordan Smith. He didn't try to hide the excitement in his voice. "This is my first summer off since I was 15," said Smith, speaking from his parents' home in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. "I'm doing lots of fishing. I'm doing the fun things I couldn't do before. I'm really taking it easy." Easy times do follow hard times. Smith believed that would happen, even as he stayed awake at night last winter, rethinking the moment in a hockey game that changed his life.
continued

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The Malkin Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

KK is trying to get to the bottom of "Where is Malkin!" Ken Holland has no idea where he is, or does he? image Ovechkin should know where his buddy is! But he says he has not heard from him. image I think AO is pulling our leg, the camera doesn't lie. image At one point yesterday, Malkin had to be restrained- who was he going after? image Could it be? Malkin exiting the plane after taking the red-eye! image

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Another Sport For Lecavalier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Has Vinny found another sport to play? image picture via Reuters

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Where Is Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Has Evgeni pulled a Sergei and gone AWOL? According to an article in a Russian newspaper and translated at Lets Go Pens, he has! update 4:49pm, from Reuters via the Guardian,

Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins' number one pick in 2004, has fled from his Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk days after agreeing a new contract, local media reported on Saturday. News agency Itar-Tass, citing a source within the club, reported that Malkin had disappeared from Metallurg's training camp in Finland. "Malkin secretly left the club, taking his belongings and his passport," the source said. Metallurg officials were not immediately available for comment.
continued

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