Kukla's Korner

Where Did It Go Wrong For Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News Tribune,

Boston fans in a hurry to hang O’Connell -- and perhaps even team owner Jeremy Jacobs -- need to keep a few things in mind about what has gone wrong with the Bruins this season. On the July day when the lockout ended, Jacobs spoke about, "The extraordinary genius," of O’Connell. Jacobs said, "(O’Connell) looks pretty darned bright with what he’s done. He gave us the flexibility to bargain in a more successful way than most teams." Of the several good players the Bruins had allowed to walk away, Jacobs said, "We’ve had to make some tough decisions, but I think they’re going to benefit us." And after the Bruins had signed their share of free agents, Jacobs again lavished praise on the front office, saying it had built a strong club. Analysts across the league predicted the B’s would be among the leading Stanley Cup contenders. That’s the way it looked at the time -- like O’Connell’s team-building had gone quite well.
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NHL Drug Policy Is Flawed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

For a guy who last November prompted outrage from most of the hockey world when he said that as many as a third of the NHLers might be found to be involved with performance-enhancing drugs, Pound, you'd think, would hardly be surprised that there was now a No.1 (Berard) on the charts. But, in a way, he was — specifically because of the apparently huge loophole in the NHL program that, thus far, excludes testing in the summer months. "Summer, that's when people use the HGH and steroids so you get the benefit of it but the stuff's out of your system by the time you come to be tested," Pound told the Star.
read on

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Quinn’s Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

You be the judge, basically the same storyline but headlines tell a different story. from TSN, Ferguson gives Quinn vote of confidence

If a vote of confidence is all Quinn needs, he's getting it from general manager John Ferguson Jr. ''Pat's situation has not changed and it's certainly not a situation that I've broached or brought up,'' Ferguson said. ''We're looking to improve our club, internally and externally. We're looking for ways to turn this club around - on the ice.''
from Sportsnet, Leafs coach Quinn left wondering after 7-0 loss to Senators
General manager John Ferguson Jr. of the Toronto Maple Leafs seemed to put Pat Quinn on the hot seat Sunday, with his silence speaking volumes about the coach's future with the club. "There are a lot of ways we can find to make this team better," Ferguson said when asked directly if Quinn's job was safe.

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They Picked The Wrong Guy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Team Sweden has added defenseman Niclas Havelid of the Atlanta Thrashers to its roster to replace injured Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kim Johnsson. Maybe they thought Havelid was Tomas Holmstrom who deserves to be on the team. For more on Holmstrom, see the Abel to Yzerman blog. imageimage

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Best Yappers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Boys being boys, they still and will forever delight in taking shots at each other. The wittier the better. "There are a lot of guys in this league," says Carolina's Justin Williams, "with smart mouths." For the most part, trash talking is done to throw opponents off their game. It can but doesn't always spell cleverness. Sometimes it's just plain vicious.
continued Top 5 Trash Talkers

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So Many Sticks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Morning Sentinel,

Sticks continue to change as more technology is introduced. Composite sticks -- made of, among other things, kevlar and graphite -- were introduced in the early 1990s, with composite shafts taking the place of aluminum shafts. Most recently, one-piece composites have been introduced, with an eye toward lighter and more durable sticks. With the improvements in sticks, prices have skyrocketed. While wooden sticks still retail for as little as $19, composite sticks can cost as much as $225. No matter what type of stick a player uses, most of them are pretty particular about the make of the stick, the curve of the blade and how they tape both the blade and the handle. Much like baseball players with their bats and their gloves, many hockey players are obsessive about their sticks.
more

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The Red Light Is Off

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Villages Daily Sun,

Chuck Sneddon had the power for more than 50 years. With one push of a button, Sneddon could send an already rabid mob into total frenzy. Of all the officials in all of the sports, nobody - but nobody - can light up the world like the man who flips on the red light when the puck finds the net. And nobody - but nobody - turned on the light for the best that have ever been as many times as Sneddon. He red-lighted Maurice Richard. He red-lighted Gordie Howe. He red-lighted Bobby Hull. He red-lighted Bobby Orr. He red-lighted Wayne Gretzky. For more than five decades, he was the man behind the hockey net during games all the way from the peewees to the Stanley Cup.
continued Does this article bring back memories. Chuck was a cult figure for a group of us growing up during the Olympia Days. Before games the Wings announce the off ice officials working the game, we used to give Chuck a standing ovation everytime his name was mentioned.

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Khabibulin Out With Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune,

Khabibulin had an MRI Saturday, and the Hawks expect him to miss at least four weeks. The team thinks he might have sprained his medial collateral ligament. "It happened early in the game," coach Trent Yawney said. "He played through it, but after [the game] it was pretty sore."
read on

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Trade Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

As the trade deadline and playoffs steadily approach, the Leafs continue to flail, with different factions each approaching a crossroads. John Ferguson Jr. remains a GM in a precarious position who requires immediate success in order to retain his job. Drastic actions are called for in situations like these. JFJ needs to do the taboo. He must trade Mats Sundin.
more

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Let The Rumors Begin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon is getting an itchy finger and don't be surprised if he makes a deal involving G Nikolai Khabibulin, who has been a bust in Chicago. There's talk the Hawks are working on a deal to send Khabibulin to the Oilers. Yes, the Oilers have targeted Washington's Olaf Kolzig and Khabibulin hasn't played well, but Khabibulin might be better if he had a decent team in front of him. The fact the Hawks are awful has only made the situation worse for Khabibulin in the Windy City. Naturally, Chicago would have to take G Ty Conklin as part of a package in return, but Edmonton might be a nice fit for Khabibulin to get back on track and the club has the cap room to make the deal happen.
continued...and as usual for a Sunday, many more rumors...

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