Kukla's Korner

Strachan To Hang Up The Pen

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

Al Strachan's career in sportswriting is almost over. Strachan has been told that his contract at the Toronto Sun will not be renewed. He will be finished on Dec. 31 and says he's planning to retire. Strachan has been a sportswriter, mostly in hockey, for 33 years. He started at the Montreal Gazette in 1973, joined The Globe and Mail in 1980 and moved to the Sun in 1994. He was also the host of a radio show in Montreal in the 1970s and was a regular on the Hockey Night in Canada Satellite Hot Stove panel until last season, when he was replaced with Pierre LeBrun of The Canadian Press. Quebecor has cut deeply into the Toronto Sun sports department. Columnist Mike Ulmer was let go. Reporter Perry Lefko took a buyout and joined the Canadian Football League, although Lefko says he wasn't forced to leave.
continued, including news about the CBC's pitch to retain its NHL rights.

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Chara Blocks Shot - Appears To Be OK

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Bruins,

A minor scare went through Bruins nation, as Chara did not return to action in the second, after blocking a shot in the first period. Following the game, however, Bruins Head Coach Dave Lewis indicated that Chara had asked to play the second period, but the training staff thought it best to ice the area immediately. Lewis let Boston fans breath a little easier when he said that Chara will have a precautionary x-ray tomorrow, but was walking fine after the game.

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Malkin Hurt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Evgeni Malkin was injured during his NHL debut Wednesday night after colliding with Pittsburgh Penguins teammate John LeClair early in the second period. Malkin had just finished making a dazzling pass to LeClair when the veteran winger, after missing a great scoring chance, crashed into the boards behind the net and took out Malkin in the process. The Russian rookie catapulted over LeClair and landed hard on the ice. A hush came over the crowd at Moncton Coliseum as Malkin, the second overall pick behind Alexander Ovechkin in the 2004 NHL entry draft, lay sprawled on the ice for 3-4 minutes. He got up and skated off the ice but was favouring his left arm. He headed straight to the dressing room. There was no immediate word on his condition.
I am sure Pens fans will kep us posted with any updated news. added 8:52pm, How it happened... added 9:11pm, Make sure to check the comments. Pens fans will keep us posted and now are mentioning that Malkin is back in the arena after visiting the hospital. Also, check the TSN link, they will update in that link throughout the evening.

Continue Reading »

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Posible Player Movement In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Western conference players that could be moved during the upcoming season... from Spector at Fox Sports,

Keith Tkachuk — He rejected any notion of a trade last season, but if the Blues have another lousy campaign he might change his mind this time around, especially if the club decides not to re-sign him following this season. His tenure in St. Louis could well depend on the club's on-ice fortunes.
read on

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NHLPA Delivers Good News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The subject of the NHLPA getting money back from last season was touched on at KK a few weeks ago. More information is now available. from the CP via TSN,

Players will be getting a nice little bonus early in the NHL season. The NHL Players' Association informed its membership Wednesday that the league's 700-plus players will receive all of their escrowed payments plus interest as well as additional "shortfall" payments of between 3.5 to 4.5 per cent. Once the final accounting was done on the 2005-06 season it was determined players didn't take up their full share of the 54 per cent of league revenues coming their way under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.
contiued

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More Injuries Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Fargber of Sports Illustrated,

The first thing that fans might notice is that some of the players with bigger curves have problems handling or passing the puck -- the reasons why a handful of general managers were originally reluctant to make a change. Of course, the perception of the bigger curves might change when a rising shot clips a visor-less defenseman's eye and changes that player's perception permanently. For the moment, the Board of Governors' anticipated move is one more reminder that the PA is the only union in the world that does not make safety in the workplace its leading priority. Not to dump all this on the association. Too often, the PA is in tune with its rank and file, which prefers the freedom to choose on the visor issue, picks its helmets based on how they look in the mirror, and tolerates the current icing rule. Actually, the more-liberal curve suits an important part of the PA's constituency: skilled European players who grew up playing under International Ice Hockey Federation rules, which permitted a larger curve.
read on

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Everybody Into The Pool

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The temptation, when selecting your hockey-pool team for the upcoming 2006-07 season, is ponder last year's scoring totals, discover that two players — the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton and the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr — were head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition; and rank them 1-2 again. Theoretically, the problem with this strategy is it flies against the face of recent history. Over the past couple of years, the National Hockey League's scoring champion one seaon, had a difficult time cracking the top 30 the next.
continued...plus their top 200 players for your pool...

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Listen Closely

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The New York Rangers did a recent interview with Brendan Shanahan and I would hope more athletes would read these words carefully...

"There's a certain degree of professionalism that has to do with how you carry yourself on and off the ice. Preparation and things like that," he said. "I was fortunate to play with some great veterans, and now and in recent years, I've been kind of thrust in the position where I'm a veteran player and other young players you notice are kind of looking at you. Some don't want information, but others can't get enough of it."
Brendan also had this to say about the original six teams, and it does make me wonder why many of the Detroit fans were happy to see him leave...
"Just the traditions and the histories of the Original Six are something pretty special," said Shanahan. "When you've got alumni who date way back. In Detroit we had Ted Lindsay or Gordie Howe coming down to our dressing room, and things like that. It makes it really special and it adds to the importance of what we're doing. The other clubs are all developing their own traditions and histories, but the Original Six teams obviously have an edge."
more

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Fedorov Out 4-6 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Blue Jackets center Sergei Fedorov will be out four to six weeks after injuring his left shoulder in an exhibition game, the club said on Wednesday. A team spokesman would not elaborate on the injury. The 16-year NHL veteran, who spent most of his career with the Detroit Red Wings, was injured in the second period of Columbus' 4-1 victory over Buffalo Tuesday night. Fedorov was skating toward the right side of the net when Sabres rookie forward Jiri Novotny came from behind and kicked out Fedorov's left leg. Fedorov was upended and slid into the boards. Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said after the game that it was a clean play and Novotny was not trying to hurt Fedorov.

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Stars Surprise Their Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Dallas fans were in for a surprise (will open wmp video) when attending their first home exhibition game. Very nice and I would be interested if any other teams have done something similar. image

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