Kukla's Korner

No Trapping Allowed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Off the top of your head, which coaches will have it tough when the new NHL hits the ice in a couple of weeks? Well, Jacques Lemaire, Barry Trotz, Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant, Mike Kitchen and Dave Tippett, right? The trap guys. The no-offense guys. Right? Right? Lemaire, a two-time coach of the year who won a Cup coaching the New Jersey Devils in 1995, has a chuckle at the notion that defensive coaches might be in trouble in what is expected to be a more wide-open NHL. "The people who say that are, I'm sorry, they don't know the game," Lemaire said. "It's a lot tougher to coach defense," added Jacques Demers, who coached the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens to a Cup win and who is now a respected analyst.

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Ellis Wants To Be A Wing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Of interest ot Wings fans... from Niagra This Week,

The future is now for Matt Ellis. After three seasons in the Detroit Red Wings minor league system, Ellis heads to training camp later this month optimistic that his own talent and hard work along with fallout from the National Hockey League's new CBA give him his first legitimate chance at calling the Motor City home. Ellis, who turned 24 on August 31, recently signed a two-year contract with the Red Wings after receiving a qualifying offer from the team in the summer. Last year with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, Ellis had 18 goals and 23 assists in 79 games. Since signing as a free agent in 2002 following four years with the St. Michael's Majors of the OHL, Ellis has worked his way up the Red Wings' depth chart. Recently married, Ellis -- a graduate of the Welland Minor Hockey Association and former winner of the Golden Horseshoe Junior B Hockey League's rookie of the year award -- says he is glad to have the security of a two year deal especially following the uncertainty of last season.

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Atlanta Advancing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

The Atlanta Thrashers have the potential to be not only one of the most interesting teams in the NHL this season, but one of the most improved as well. It has been quite the summer for Thrashers GM Don Waddell, who jumped into the free-agent market and then swung a blockbuster trade. In that deal, Waddell acquired winger Marian Hossa and defenseman Greg de Vries from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dany Heatley. It was a good, old-fashioned blockbuster, a swap that had folks around the NHL going "Wow!"

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Stanly Cup On Tour To Raise Funds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Stanley Cup will tour East Coast Hockey League franchise cities to raise funds as part of the National Hockey League's ongoing effort to assist those affected by the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Details of the season-long tour, which will be coordinated with the ECHL to maximize fund-raising opportunities in such ECHL franchise cities as Biloxi, Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves), still are being formalized. The NHL and NHL Players' Association also will be making significant monetary donations to the effort, complementing activities already undertaken by individual NHL franchises such as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who, in conjunction with the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, the American Red Cross and other organizations collected more than $400,000 for those affected.

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Habs Sign Theodore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the signing of goaltender José Théodore to a three-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Carolina Hurricanes To Host Katrina Relief Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team will host a special “Katrina Relief Weekend” from Sept. 16-18 in Raleigh. The weekend will feature several events designed to help raise much-needed funds for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.

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Pens Sign Odelein

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed free agent defenseman Lyle Odelein. Terms of the contract were not released. Odelein, 37, has appeared in 1,029 NHL games in 14 seasons with Montreal, New Jersey, Phoenix, Columbus, Chicago, Dallas and Florida, recording 251 points and 2,266 penalty minutes. Odelein played in all 82 games with Florida in 2003-04, recording 16 points (4+12) and 88 penalty minutes. Odelein has played in at least 68 games during each of the past nine seasons.

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IIHF President Hopes To Boost Asian Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from China View,

The 2005-2006 ice hockey Asian League, which includes a Scandinavian team, will boost the development of this sport in Aisa, International Ice Hockey President said here on Friday. Rene Fasel told a press conference here that AHL is accepting the Nordic Vikings from Sweden as a special participant in order to improve the level and popularity of the league. The Vikings was started in Beijing by a Swedish financial and event company Nordic Vikings Group. The cooperative program is supported by IIHF and Fasel extendedhis congratulations and hopes for the sport's progress in Asia. "The Vikings' coming would make the league more interesting andadd to its competitiveness. Also, it would facilitate this sport in Asia," said Fasel. "IIHF will support any project that would make our sport more popular."

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Atlanta Inks Dunham

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Mike Dunham, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. "In signing Mike, we have added a solid, veteran goalie with more than 300 games of NHL experience to our club," said Waddell. "This addition is a great complement to our goaltending corps, and gives us the talent and experience in net that is necessary to be successful in this league."
According to the NHLPA, Dunham signed for $750,000.

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New Era For Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The NHL's free-agent frenzy has crawled to a stop as teams get set to open training camp in two weeks and then drop the puck for real in 33 days. Only four transactions were reported Thursday, down from more than two dozen on the busiest August days. "It was active," Blues general manager Larry Pleau said. "There were lots of spots to fill, so you knew it would be active. Most teams are going to have a lot of different faces. For the fans, it will be real exciting." Blues fans may be among those excited about the return of hockey, but the enthusiasm has been curtailed by their team being one of the least active in the free-agent market since it opened Aug. 1.

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