Kukla's Korner

It’s Very Slow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Yes, I am around but not much news at all the last few days.

Unless you want to discuss the James Neal/Milan Lucic trade but I don't think you want to do that today.

So, I am going in relaxed mode, if I see something worth posting I will, otherwise going to help a neighbor who had some storm damage yesterday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Said It?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I never got the feeling it was personal against me, and in fact Gary Bettman told me a number of times that he knew that the decision had come down from Dave and ownership and that he had no problem with me.

“Those rumors about Gary blackballing me from the league because of Sakic weren’t true. But there was a lot of resentment against the Rangers. I don’t regret what I did, I gave them my best advice that it wouldn’t work, but I regret that ownership made us do that.”

-Who said it? An interesting read.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Good Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Matthew DeFranks, Stars beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered your questions about the team in a live chat recently. Here are some of the highlights:

Question: Some are comparing this Stars team to the 1999 championship squad. Do you think that's going too far?

DeFranks: Yes. That 1999 team had six Hall of Famers. Comparing the two would be very premature, especially considering that the 1998 Stars team won the Presidents' Trophy and the 1997 Stars team was tied for second-best in the league. This year's Stars are not at that level. But they don't have to outrun the bear (the 1999 Stars), they just have to outrun the others (the 2019-20 NHL teams).

continue for more Q & A, mostly Dallas related...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Patrick Maroon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"I would love to be with St. Louis. I would love to play here again. Me and (general manager) Doug (Armstrong) talk. We've had conversations, and I think it's tough right now. [There are] a lot of restricted free agents right now, and everyone's trying to find their number. The cap really didn't go up. I'm just enjoying it. I'm just going to take the time and really soak it all in. I know I've got a lot left in the tank, a couple years. I've got three solid years I can give someone."

"I'm ready to compete and play for any team that wants me. I'm a guy you can probably use in the locker room, a good veteran guy. I don't really pump my tires up too much, but I feel like I've done a good job of bringing guys together and being a locker room guy. I think anyone can use me right now."

-UFA Patrick Maroon.  Louie Korac at NHL.com has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+maroon

Dress More Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The NHL allows no substitutions for injured players, so the coach who loses a defenseman or two, must fly the plane with his back line manpower seriously diminished. Manpower among the forwards, typically 12 in number to start the night, typically isn’t as impaired when one or two forwards go down. Double shifting or scaling back to a three-line attack can fill the void.

Past practices, finances and sheer bench size aside, the NHL would do well to borrow from the European leagues. Other than Finland, all the professional Euro leagues dress 20 skaters, with coaches typically electing to go with 13 forwards and seven defenseman. By and large, unless there is need to fill in for an injury, each extra sees limited playing time.

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- NHL vs. NBA Culture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN's YouTube page,

Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals) & Sean Monahan (Calgary Flames)  describe the differences in hockey culture and basketball culture in 2019. Fans soak up the pettiness in the NBA, while NHL players are starting to push the limits of the dress code. A snippet from the Cabbie Presents Podcast.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will The Milan Lucic For James Neal Trade Help Either Team?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportnst,

Milan Lucic for James Neal. Two 31-year-old unhappy players who failed to live up to their multi-year UFA deals, swapped in a one-for-one — almost. Because Lucic’s contract presents a more difficult buy-out, the Oilers have tossed in a conditional third-round pick in 2020.

Also, the Oilers will retain $750,000 of Lucic’s salary, marking the end of a long, unsuccessful chapter of Lucic’s career, having scored just 16 goals in his past 161 games....

Neal is a scorer — pure and simple. He doesn’t do much else for you when he’s not scoring. And, for a guy who has scored 20 goals or more in 10 of his 11 NHL seasons, he’s been traded three times now and was left open in the Vegas expansion draft.

That points to character issues, plain and simple.

In Edmonton, however, where Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are starving for a right-winger who can score, can Neal become a 20-goal man once again? If he can, Edmonton wins the trade, as it is unlikely Lucic will see the offensive opportunity in Calgary that awaits Neal in Edmonton.

Because anyone who has watched Lucic stumble through the past two seasons wouldn’t bet you a nickel that he will ever be a top-six producer ever again. All that remains in Lucic’s skillset is size and intimidation, both of which have diminishing value in today’s game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cap Issues For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

Now the Rangers are officially in a bind.

As expected, the club signed restricted-free-agent defenseman Jacob Trouba on Friday to a seven-year, $56 million deal that carries an annual salary cap hit of $8 million. That temporarily puts the Blueshirts into the summer allowance over the cap ceiling of $81.5 million, with just over a month to figure out how to cut some salary.

That could very well include trading Chris Kreider and the one year remaining on his deal at $4.625 million, and continuing to look for anyone willing to bite on the one year and $4 million left for Vladislav Namestnikov. Certainly this also makes things more difficult for the three remaining restricted free agents — Pavel Buchnevich (with an arbitration hearing set for July 29), Brendan Lemieux, and Tony DeAngelo.

It also makes the buying out of defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (two more years at $6.65 million per) and Brendan Smith (two more years at $4.35 million per) a lot more real. If Smith clears waivers and heads to AHL Hartford, then the Rangers would save $1.25 million against the cap.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jacob Trouba Agrees To Terms With The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK, July 19, 2019 – The New York Rangers announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Trouba, 25, skated in 82 games with Winnipeg this past season, registering eight goals and 42 assists for 50 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 58 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2018-19, including games played, assists, and points. Trouba was tied for ninth among NHL defensemen in assists during the past season (tied with Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman), and he also ranked 13th among NHL defensemen in points during the season. Of the 13 NHL defensemen who recorded 50 or more points in 2018-19, Trouba received the least amount of power play ice time during the season (168:52; next lowest was Thomas Chabot – 205:41). In addition, Trouba’s 42 assists were the second-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger this past season (trailing only Morgan Rielly), and his 50 points were the third-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger (trailing only Rielly and Chabot). He also ranked sixth in the NHL in blocked shots in 2018-19 (171).

The 6-3, 202-pounder led the Jets in total ice time (1,876:00), total shorthanded ice time (201:57), and blocked shots, ranked second in average ice time (22:53) and average shorthanded ice time (2:28), tied for second in power play assists (15), ranked third in assists and even strength assists (25), and tied for fourth in points (50; tied with Patrik Laine) in 2018-19. Trouba tallied 35 points (five goals, 30 assists) over the final 44 games of the regular season. He helped Winnipeg advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the past season, and he recorded one assist in six playoff contests.

added 4:05pm,


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Looks Like A Milan Lucic/James Neal Swap Could Happen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 3:39pm,



added 7:35pm, Trade is official...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+neal, milan+lucic

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