Kukla's Korner

Time To Move Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Garrett of Sportsnet,

Now don't get me wrong. I like Mats as a person and he has been very good for the Leafs. Like Thornton he has averaged more than a point per game. He has played in seven all-star games and has been selected to the year end all-star team twice. He has been very good but can the Leafs get to that next level with captain Mats as their leader in the playoffs. In the 10 years Sundin has been in Toronto the Leafs have won only seven playoff rounds. That includes those wins over Ottawa! There comes a time when you have to turn the page.
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Clarke Shoots Down Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

If the Flyers are shopping for a goaltender - and the hot rumor is they're interested in Florida's Roberto Luongo - it's news to general manager Bob Clarke. Clarke acknowledged Tuesday night that several clubs have called, one offering a goaltender in trade, especially after the news got out that Robert Esche would be out at least another week with an abdominal muscle injury. But Clarke said Florida is not one of the teams with which he's had conversations. "I haven't spoken with [Florida GM] Mike Keenan in some time,'' Clarke said before the Flyers-Flames game.
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Rangers Applaud The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Daily News,

Steve Rucchin still isn't so sure about the whole thing. What would the folks back home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, say if they saw it? But Rucchin is learning when at the Garden this season, do as the Europeans do. So, somewhat sheepishly, the alternate captain joined his teammates at center ice following Monday night's victory over Minnesota in a stick-raising salute to the fans. "I guess that's what you do when you've got 95% Europeans on your team," Rucchin said, laughing as he rolled his eyes. "I find nothing wrong with it - I mean, the fans are great. Whether it's got a place yet in North America? I don't know."
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Avs Goalie Situation Undecided

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Rocky Mountain News,

After the Avalanche's morning practice Tuesday, coach Joel Quenneville was asked whether David Aebischer or Peter Budaj would start in goal against the Bruins. Quenneville didn't have an answer, saying only, "We're going to announce that (today) just to change things up. We're looking for the goaltending to be better." Later in the afternoon, the Avalanche announced goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik had been called up from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Lowell, Mass., and would be available to play tonight. The Avalanche hasn't said that Aebischer or Budaj is injured, so it's unlikely Kolesnik would be summoned from the East Coast unless a trade - the Avalanche is among the teams said to be interested in Florida goalie Roberto Luongo - were in the works or the Avalanche intended to play the 26-year-old native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
continued

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JSG Assumes He Is #1 Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times (reg. req.),

As Duck Coach Randy Carlyle prefers to ride a hot goalie, Giguere is in an unaccustomed second-string role though he made it clear he doesn't view himself as a backup. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm still the No. 1 goalie here and that's not even an issue," he said after Tuesday's morning skate. "I understand where he's coming from. It would be a really hard decision to put me in the net when Bryz is playing well." Giguere said he and Carlyle have talked recently about his status. One upcoming game he expects to play is Saturday in Montreal, where he was born and still resides during the off-season. "It means a great deal to me," he said in returning to his hometown. "It's not like we're there three or four times a year. [But] I don't want to play just because I want to be ready to play in Montreal. I want to play because I want to play."

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Playing In Memory Of Mom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

"Some kids don't experience the love and support from their parents," the Canadiens defenceman said yesterday during a lengthy interview, his voice cracking often with emotion. "But I saw first-hand the sacrifices and how she took care of us. There won't be a day that goes by during which I won't think about her. "She's in heaven, looking down and smiling." Komisarek's mother died last Tuesday, more than 10 months after she learned she had pancreatic cancer. She was 51.
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Knock On Wood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

According to manufacturer CCM, Modin is one of 42 players, not including goaltenders, using all-wood sticks. That means of 540 skaters eligible to play on a given night (18 on each of 30 teams), just 7.8 percent use wood. Some use wood blades on the end of composite sticks. The rest use one-piece models made of materials such as Kevlar, graphite, fiberglass, carbon fiber and rubber resin. They are lighter and manufactured more consistently because they are made with molds. It also is believed they produce a more accurate shot because their rigid blades reduce the variables inherent in more-flexible wood. And they're colorful. Lightning players have used sticks that are red, blue, orange and yellow. One model appears to reflect different colors off a shiny metallic shaft.
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Bouwmeester Play Improving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel,

TV analyst and Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin, who has at times been critical of Bouwmeester's play not matching his talent, said he's seen the most improvement on offense. "He's really moving the puck up the ice," Potvin said. "He's got that ability that very few people ever have and he's using it better. You see him go in deeper, you see him go behind the net. His game has improved at least 50 percent based on the fact his game doesn't stop in the neutral zone anymore. That's where I've seen the biggest improvement. And a lot of that is confidence."
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Slumping Recchi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Mark Recchi could pretend he doesn't notice it, but the truth is that it's pretty tough to ignore. Anything that swollen and ugly usually is. And while it's not a bruise or a welt, it definitely is a sore spot. It's Recchi's plus-minus rating of minus-19, the worst of any NHL player going into last night's games. "You don't like to see that," Recchi said. "It's almost embarrassing."
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Bill Daly To Advise NFL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

An interesting guest will be on hand for today's meetings: National Hockey League executive Bill Daly, the league's chief legal officer. Daly will discuss the NHL's recent year-long lockout, which eliminated the 2004-05 season. Daly is expected to tell football executives to make a push to keep the current labor system, which includes a salary cap and unrestricted free agency after four seasons. Upshaw found it interesting that Daly would be a speaker at today's Management Council meetings. "I don't see anything that Bill Daly could do to contribute to where we are," he said. "It's not relevant in that the NFL owners aren't in the same place as the NHL owners. We're not talking about franchises on the brink of disappearing."
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