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Paul Kukla Kukla's Korner

Published on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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32 Hockey Thoughts Today

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Jack Eichel’s agents aren’t commenting on this one, but I think I see their strategy if this continues without medical resolution or trade: Eichel’s been seeing doctor after doctor in search of support for the artificial disc replacement. The more support they get, the more they will argue it is an acceptable practice and that the new CBA agreement is not meant to prevent what could be seen as a reasonable medical choice. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t predict if that will work, but it’s definitely the basis for some kind of legal challenge/grievance should we get to that point.

- Nikita Kucherov is going to see a specialist to determine the extent of his injury. So we may not get clarity on his situation for a few days. But head coach Jon Cooper said it isn’t as long-term as last year, while Mikhail Sergachev told The Athletic’s Joe Smith Kucherov is “going to get some rest, get ready for the Olympics.”

- According to a couple of sources, Rangers’ coach Gerard Gallant personally called Vitali Kravtsov to ask the forward to consider returning. Kravtsov is in Russia, but several teams say they’ve been told he wants to play in the NHL, not stay overseas. He went home to find a comfortable spot to skate and be ready. Getting him to come back to New York will take some serious convincing, as it’s not his preference. He’d like a fresh start. New York is asking a high price for the 2018 first-rounder, but there’s legitimate interest. It’s a poker game.

- Edmonton is 2-0. GM Ken Holland told Oilers Now propagandist Bob Stauffer “my history in Detroit was when the team was good and we have a chance, I’ll spend.” (Stauffer did specify not a rental, but someone with term or team control.) Probably not smart to make any judgments after two games, though. “If you’re in the top eight and you think you’ve a real chance,” Holland added, “the time is now, we’re trying to take another step.”

- For a second time, Mark Howe is retired. The Hall-of-Famer ended his playing career in 1995 and, after last season, retired as a scout. “I remember asking dad when I was still playing, ‘How do you know when it’s time?’” Howe said Monday. “He answered, ‘You’ll know.’ He was right. It hit me then and it hit me again.” Howe said he wants to spend more time with his partner, Sharon, recognizing that is more important to him now than work. “I’ve been compensated very fairly. I strongly believe in Steve Yzerman and his plan. Steve is the hardest-working guy I’ve seen. He demands the same of others and he should. But I wasn’t just tired, I was burned out. It is time.” Howe went out of his way to praise the Red Wings and the Ilitch family. “They were great to me, and us. To share my father with the rest of the world when he passed made a difficult time very nice.”...

more on Mark Howe plus other Thoughts...


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