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Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Mid-January Hockey Notes

1/16/2022

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, - Ken Holland says he believes in second chances. Maybe math wasn’t his best subject. In the still undetermined matter of the National Hockey League vs. Evander Kane, the latest version in an ongoing series, the signing of the troubled Kane by Holland in Edmonton, or by any other general manager in any other city for that matter, would not represent a second chance for the troubled winger. What chance would it be? Five? Six? Eight? Depends on who is doing the counting. There have been issues over the years with assault, with off-ice behaviour, with decision making, with the law, with team rules, with teammates, with women, those he was married to and those he was not, with gambling, with lawsuits, with bankruptcy, and that’s just slightly brushing the canvas of the challenge Kane brings to whichever team that chooses to sign him, all of that possibly coming after he is suspended again by the NHL/// - The best Canadian players in the NHL this half-season: 1. McDavid; 2. Cale Makar; 3. Jonathan Huberdeau; 4. Nazem Kadri. - Frank Mahovlich turned 84 the other day and it got me thinking: How many wingers in NHL history were better than Mahovlich, who won four Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs and still holds the Montreal Canadiens’ record for most points in a playoff season? My purely personal shortlist of those who rank ahead of Mahovlich: Gordie Howe. Rocket Richard. Bobby Hull. Alex Ovechkin. Jaromir Jagr. Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy. So who am I missing? The next group would include Pavel Bure, Teemu Selanne and Jari Kurri. more on the first topic and other nottes too...

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Is It Really An All-Star Game?

1/16/2022

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet, A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. Nothing to see here. Just a lil dancing. 1. I vividly remember Leo Komarov lonely sitting at his pod at the 2016 All-Star Media Day in Nashville, waiting for a crowd to form and questions that barely arrived. A couple local reporters and the Maple Leafs’ own film crew dutifully spoke with him. But the swarms went elsewhere, and he left the room early. I write this not to shame Uncle Leo. He’s a helluva character, a beauty quote, and was a terrific role player in his prime. What he was not, however, is an NHL all-star. But it didn’t matter that the Leafs were in blatant tank mode that season. In Gary Bettman’s circus of parity, every team must send an all-star rep. In 2022, we have Arizona’s Clayton Keller (tied for 75th in scoring) awarded his second appearance and Montreal’s Nick Suzuki (tied for 159th) awarded his first. Again, nothing against these talented athletes. But Keller’s all-star debut was made during (checks notes) a 14-goal season. Nazem Kadri In other words, we get where Nathan MacKinnon is coming from. “It’s silly,” MacKinnon said, twice. “It's silly. I don't think every team should send a guy. I think it's a silly rule that we have. It's an all-star game; it's not a participation game. Naz is [fifth] in scoring in the NHL, and he's got to get voted in still. So, I don't think that's right.” continued

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