Kukla's Korner

Bright Lights Perfect Fit For J.R.

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Around Los Angeles, "Showtime" is normally associated with basketball's Lakers. But with Jeremy Roenick in town, the Lakers just got a lot of competition for the title. Roenick arrived in LA this season from the Philadelphia Flyers with the goal of making the Kings the team to watch in Southern California. And the best part of this equation is not only does Roenick have the talent and personality to pull it off, but with the improvements made down the road in Anaheim, the Mighty Ducks are going to have plenty to say about who rules the ice in Southern California. Staying in the Hollywood theme, it's like Bette Davis said in All About Eve; "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

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Osgood Happy to Be A Wing Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

After taking his physical Monday, Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood walked outside Centre ICE and started signing autographs for Red Wings fans who had been waiting patiently most of the morning. "It's good to have you back," a fan shouted as Osgood worked his way down the line. Well, Osgood's glad to be back. On Tuesday, the veteran goalie began his second stint with the Red Wings as training camp officially opened. "I'm excited, fired up to be skating with the guys again," Osgood said.

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Traveling With The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

Imagine this: You stop into your local Burger King for a quick breakfast on your way to work. Out of the corner of your eye, you see something big and silver sitting on one of the tables. You think to yourself, "It couldn't be ... could it? Is it? Is that the Stanley Cup? Here?!" A quick glance at the table reveals that it is, in fact, the Stanley Cup, sitting among eight local seniors. Of course, nearby the Cup sat Phil Pritchard, one of three "Keepers of the Cup" who travel all over the world escorting the trophy wherever it goes. On this day, Pritchard took the Cup to 90-year-old Dutch Hiller, of Montrose, Calif. "That's the neat thing about the Cup," Pritchard said. "You never know where it's going to be. There's a different story going on all the time, but that's what makes the tradition what it is, which is pretty cool."

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Sens Have Committee To Handle Whining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Murray is going to run a tight ship. He has asked captain Daniel Alfredsson to form a four or five-man player committee to handle concerns in the dressing room and doesn't want to hear any whining during the year. "We're going to have days during the season where we're going to have off-ice workouts for conditioning," said Murray. "They're all scheduled for the whole year right now and I don't want to hear any complaining about them. I want all complaints handled by the (committee). "If those complaints get to my level, then there's going to be problems."

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OLN Studio Host

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Philadelphia Inquirer (reg. req.),

Look for OLN to announce this week that former Flyer Bill Clement has been hired as one of two studio hosts for NHL games this fall. Mike Richter, Neil Smith and Pierre McGuire are finalists for the other in-studio anchor spot.

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Golden Brett Honors Golden Jet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

As he enters his 20th NHL season, Brett Hull will skate secure in the knowledge he has No.99 behind him. And No.9 on his back. Wayne Gretzky, who will coach Hull this season with the Phoenix Coyotes, confirmed yesterday that Hull will switch from No.16 to No.9 in honour of his famous father, Bobby, early in the 2005-06 season, likely after a special ceremony at a Coyotes home game. The Golden Brett has never worn his father's number while playing for Calgary, St. Louis, Dallas and Detroit in his prolific career. That jersey number was retired by the Winnipeg Jets years ago before the franchise picked up and moved south to Phoenix in 1996. Hull gave away the company secret inadvertently yesterday by skating out for his first Coyotes practice with No.16 on his practice jersey, but No.9 on his red Coyotes home helmet.

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Elias Recovers Slowly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

Patrik Elias showed up for his physical Tuesday morning at Codey Arena in casual attire, flip flops on his feet and a jet-black Beatles T-shirt covering his torso. Obladi, oblada, life goes on. . . Perhaps. Elias is finding his recovery from hepatitis A more akin to another Beatles No. 1 hit: "The Long and Winding Road." There were days this summer when Elias couldn't get up and walk on his own. On better days, he would climb the 20 steps up to his apartment, pausing to gather himself about halfway up the staircase.

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Datsyuk Remains Calm

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Another Russian story this time talking about Kovalchuk and Datsyuk. Pavel says he is letting his agent handle all the negotiations so he can focus on hockey. He says he doesn't have a ciontract with the Wings so he remains in Russia. Read the translation of the article in the comments of this post and if you have a better translation, feel free to post it. Also, Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press chimes in about Datsyuk,

Not to be a wet blanket, but Red Wings fans, party at your own risk. Hockey may be back, but when your best offensive player isn't even on the continent, only a fool pops champagne. Here are two sobering words: "Pavel" and "Datsyuk." Any hockey expert will tell you he's the future of the Wings. And he's not here! He's in Russia, possibly under contract to not one but two teams. Ken Holland, charged with tightening Detroit's belt, has muffed the first lesson of Salary Cap 101: Sign your biggest star. "Pavel signed a contract with Omsk," Holland told me this week, "and then another team, Moscow Dynamo, matched it. His agent has told me ... there's no out clause in the contract. Obviously, it's a matter now of Pavel negotiating ... to see if there's a way that he can get out."
more update 9:25am, Art Regner was on WXYT this morning and thinks Greenstin, agent for Datsyuk is "on the take" and the Russian mob is somehow involved. Regner said Greentstin is trying to convince Datsyuk to stay in Russia while Pavel wants to play for the Wings. Art believes Datsyuk will be back with Detroit by the end of next week.

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Pens Expect To Lose $7 Million

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

The Pittsburgh Penguins expect to lose at least $7 million this season despite a more favorable NHL labor agreement, player salary concessions and a big jump in ticket sales created by adding rookie Sidney Crosby. Owner-player Mario Lemieux said Tuesday his ownership group decided to increase the payroll by about $9 million, from $22 million in 2003-04 to about $31 million, in an accelerated effort to contend for the Stanley Cup immediately. "We've been rebuilding for three years, it's time to put a great team on ice and, to do that, we're willing to lose and we're going to lose more money next year," Lemieux said. "We're prepared to do this to have a chance to win. We feel this is a great opportunity for us."

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Fragile Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Jason Allison missed the first scrimmage with a minor hip problem. Eric Lindros was sent flying by a solid body check during that same scrimmage. Day 2 at the Maple Leafs training camp reminded everyone on hand just how fragile Toronto's chances are of remaining among the NHL's top echelon teams. The two oft-injured centres, brilliant when they're healthy, must stay out of the medical ward this season for Toronto to have any chance. In the media fishbowl that is Toronto, Allison knew his no-show in the team's first official scrimmage of camp would cause a few snickers. But he can't worry about that.

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