Kukla's Korner

Report- Laraque Done In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Georges Laraque will not play another game with the Montreal Canadiens.

TSN’s sister station in Quebec RDS reports that the club does not intend to play him for the rest of the season and will buy him out at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

Laraque, a Montreal native, signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract in July of 2008 and has one year remaining on his deal.

added 10:32am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,

Laraque, who told TSN he was on his way to practice in the morning when he received the call to meet with Gainey, insists he’s been a good team player and said there were no issues with the team or Martin, whom he believed was behind the decision.

“Jacques Martin doesn’t like me and doesn’t believe in toughness,” Laraque told TSN.

Laraque added that Martin never shared any concerns directly with him and is furious with the Canadiens’ approach based on the emotional issues he’s dealing with following the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the impact this disaster has had on both him and his family.

“Classless,”  Laraque said angrily. “To do this in the midst of all I’m dealing with in Haiti, the timing is awful. I’m not going to sugar coat anything.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Tampa - The Next Phoenix

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In September, I wrote that the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the next NHL team in bankruptcy.  It seems that they are headed down that path.  The team is in default on the loan that they took out with the former owner for their initial purchase, according to Bruce McLeod of the Macomb Daily (a Michigan newspaper).

The current Tampa Bay ownership group was never on strong footing.  Oren Koules, producer of the Saw Movies and Len Barrie, a former NHL player who had real estate in Victoria, BC (and some minority partners) purchased the team in 2008 under the name OK Hockey LLC.  They promptly made some short-sighted but attention grabbing player moves and public announcements which made them very newsworthy figures for a few months.  The moves did not work out and Tampa Bay was quickly reduced from recent former Stanley Cup champion to a team that is struggling at the gate,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Country Comes First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,

Cherry was just getting warmed up when the conversation veered in another direction, one the Post had pursued in a recent article about Hnat Domenichelli.

Domenichelli, a world junior gold medal winner with Canada in 1996, has secured a Swiss passport and a ticket to play for his, ahem, adopted homeland in Vancouver. Citizens of convenience run counter to the Olympic spirit, or so this writer argued. Domenichelli was being selfish, and opportunistic, and doing a paper shuffle to deny a poor Swiss kid a spot on the Olympic roster.

Cherry did not buy that argument. Or he did, and he did not. He said it did not go far enough. He said a “Lefty” writer would never say what really needed to be said: that the problem was not opportunism, but Canada itself.

“It is our multi-cultural upbringing,” he said. “Seriously. You think an American would do that? It is our multi-cultural background. We are taught that Canada is not important. I sound like a racist, because I come out and say we are the best and all that, and somehow I am a racist. There is no way an American would ever do that. It’s your country first, and the love of your country. The only ones that really love our country are the soldiers. Do you think those guys, if they were going to play hockey, that they would play against Canada? Never.”

more from Don…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Keep Or Trade Turco

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Who knows what’s going to happen in the next month or so? Maybe Alex Auld will take over, and the Stars will look to trade Turco. Maybe they will be right on the edge of the playoff race and will feel they have to keep both goalies. Maybe Turco will lead them to the Stanley Cup and re-sign a long-term deal.

(Well, maybe not…)

But the plan, it appears, is to find another goalie. Turco has been shaky for the past couple of years, and there is some concern that Turco does not have the athletic ability at age 34 to win a Cup.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Talking Donations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,

With the horrors in Haiti since the devastating earthquake last week, aid has been pouring in from all over the world to help survivors who have lost everything. From the sports world, it was no different.

The NFL gave $2.5 million. The MLB gave an initial $1 million donation. Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong Foundation gave $250,000.

The NHL? It gave $100,000, or roughly the same amount that the 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert took out of his own pocket….

There’s an inherent problem with the NHL — the people that run it think they are doing a good job of marketing their product in a positive light, when in fact they frequently make the league look foolish.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Anything under three days, take carry-on luggage. Clothes — roll ‘em up and throw them in. I learned from Gary Bettman (commissioner) of the NHL to just hang it up in the shower and let the steam take the wrinkles out.

-Liz Claman of Fox Business Network in a Q & A about the challenges facing working women.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is Toronto’s Goaltending Good Enough?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Gustavsson is called The Monster, but often resembles a lobster when he gets into the pressure cooker of game situations and starts flailing around, over-playing angles or mishandling pucks.

He must be given some leeway for adjustments to a new league, new country and two heart procedures, yet he’ll turn 26 this year.

As good a goalie guru as Francois Allaire is, five months of tutoring has not made Gustavsson a Kwai Chang Caine to his Master Po, snatching pebbles from his hand to show the teacher he’s ready to take on the world. There are technical deficiencies that Gustavsson’s size haven’t yet compensated for, but might with patience.

Toskala’s three-year tenure in Toronto has produced 62 wins. That doesn’t make him a washout, but does nothing to prove the San Jose Sharks were wrong to keep Evgeni Nabokov and deal the Finn here.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bettman Talks Head Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CBC,

“This issue for us is what can we do about what is otherwise a legal check resulting in a shoulder going into a head,” he said. “We have studied it very carefully and extensively.

“We want to get it right. We average 40 hits a game. That’s somewhere in excess of 50,000 a year.

“It’s an essential element to our game. We want to get those hits that make us uncomfortable out of the game. But we want to do this in a very judicious, professional way.”

Bettman cautioned that finding a solution could take time.

“We need to take the time and create a very precise standard, something that’s easily understood and something the players know what to expect,” he said. “Something that the officials know what to call and if necessary Colin Campbell knows how he’s going to discipline.

“We’re looking for precision, not over-legislation. We will have ample time in March and, hopefully, we can come to some sort of consensus.”

more topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Parting Shots

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Rusty, whining, sad, somber, alibi-ridden and riddled with anger.  Chris Osgood stopped 20 of 23 against the Caps and lost.  He lost the game and he lost the one-on-one battle with another mediocre goalie.  More importantly to his immediate, and even long-term, future?  Osgood lost his coach.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Carey Price & Cam Janssen Collide Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Janssen & Hamrlik received 2 minutes for roughing and Blues goaltender Ty Conklin received 2 minutes for going beyond center ice.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+janssen, carey+price

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