Kukla's Korner

Welcome to the future

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

Well, part of it anyway. After a trip to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, I’m happy to report that hockey’s future is bright. And a good chunk of it is from the WHL, including my hometown boys Sven Bartschi and defenseman William Wrenn.  You may see some of the same players in this week’s pre-season action, so I’d suggest tuning in to their frequencies. Because if a few days in BC were any indication, hockey’s future is secure and they’ll be coming to an NHL rink near you.

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Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink

Preseason is Risky Business

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Red Fisher at the Montreal Gazette:

Frankly, it boggles the mind that exhibition games start so early after the beginning of training camp.

Get this, though: the preseason actually got underway Monday with four games, the first of which took place at 3 p.m. between the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers. Even more startling, in a first for the NHL the teams met in the second half of a doubleheader at 7: 30 p.m. However, both teams have enough players available to play two games. Apparently, no players performed in both contests.

Two more games started at 7 p.m. - the Buffalo Sabres played host the Carolina Hurricanes and the Ottawa Senators faced the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hockey people will tell you that their players are the best conditioned athletes of all major sports. No argument there.

Years ago, players didn’t start skating until the start of training camps. Now, they’re working out shortly after a season ends and all the players are skating in early August. However, contact starts immediately in training camp and cranks up, along with fighting, in the first exhibition…


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brotherly Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From James Mirtle at the Globe & Mail:

What’s rare is two sets of brothers, both on different teams, all coming together in the same game.

Tonight in Toronto, the Maple Leafs will dress Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn in order to get them into the preseason lineup against their brothers, Philadelphia Flyers prospects Blake Kessel and Brayden Schenn, a situation that’s creating a bit of a stir leading up to the game.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson said Schenn requested before the season started that he be allowed to play in this game.

“He was texting, calling me all day, to find out if I’d heard [if I was playing],” Luke Schenn said of his younger brother, who he faced once in the WHL four years ago when they were 18 and 16. “Even though it’s an exhibition game, there’s no question it’s a dream come true.”

read on

More NHL brothers facing off tonight. From NHL.com:

When the Winnipeg Jets host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a split-squad game at 7 p.m., the Jets will have defenseman Zach Bogosian looking to shut down brother Aaron Bogosian, a forward for Columbus.

In that same Jackets-Jets game—the first one in Winnipeg in 15 years—brothers Kris and Ryan Russell will be playing together. Jonathan and David Toews will also share a bench as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Edmonton Oilers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+kessel, brayden+schenn, luke+schenn, phil+kessel

Willie O’Ree to Lead NHL Delegation at Congressional Black Caucus

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

NEW YORK (September 20, 2011)— The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced plans to send representatives and hockey ambassadors to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 41st Annual Legislative Conference, marking the first time the hockey community has had a formal presence at the annual public policy gathering.

Among those in attendance will be NHL legend and Hockey is for Everyone™ Ambassador Willie O’Ree, NHL Vice President of Community Affairs Kenneth Martin, Jr., NHL Network analyst and NHL alumnus Kevin Weekes and local Washington, D.C., youth hockey coaching legend and 2010 Bridgestone Mark Messier Leadership Award recipient Neal Henderson. Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward is scheduled to attend the Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+ward, kevin+weekes, neal+henderson, willie+o'ree

Did You Notice The New-Look Nets?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

Some of the initiatives from last month’s research and development camp in Toronto made their way to the Air Canada Centre for Monday’s pre-season game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators.

Among the changes is a green verification line that runs three and a quarter inches behind the goal-line and shallower nets that feature thin mesh along the top and a clear plastic skirt along the bottom.

The proposed tweaks are intended to make it easier for the league’s video room to make correct calls using instant replay. Some of them could be in use during the regular season.

“We want to get some good information so that we can take it to the board of governors and give them a good demonstration of what benefit it would be,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice-president of hockey operations. “That’s what we’re hoping tonight, that we can get some good footage of it in practical use. We can put this forward.”

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Need A Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers’ search for a defenseman will become more serious following yesterday’s setback that kept Marc Staal off the ice with re-occurring post-concussion symptoms.

After coach John Tortorella reported on Sunday that Staal had been “progressing nicely” after experiencing headaches as late as late last week, the coach said yesterday the first-pair defenseman “just didn’t feel good,” upon reporting to the rink in the morning and as such was kept off the ice.

“It’s an ongoing, fluid situation,” Tortorella said of Staal, whose continuing issues seven months after being concussed on a hit from his older brother Eric have alarm bells ringing within the organization. “This is the process we’re going to go through as we try to help him through this.

“We’re erring on the side of caution here. We’re going to be patient with him.”


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

Criticism Over Myers Deal Is Unjustified

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

After years of being vilified for not dishing out hefty long term contracts to keep some of their superstars from leaving, the Sabres are being blasted by a number of hockey writers for pulling out all the stops to win a championship.

That’s how it goes in the realm of sports journalism.  When you aren’t willing to pay to keep your own players you get criticized by the media.  When you do actually pay the necessary price to keep your own players you get criticized by the media.  This just further makes the case that sportswriters have the easiest job in the world.

The latest scribe to board the Terry Pegula bashwagon is Ken Warren of The Ottawa Citizen.  Check out this gem from his piece yesterday as he tries to justify criticism of the Tyler Myers contract extension:

The way I see it, Myers has performed pretty much the way the Sabres had hoped he would after being taken with the 12th overall selection in the 2008 draft. He went back to junior for a year and followed that up with two generally strong seasons in Buffalo.

That’s right, folks.  The Sabres pretty much expected Myers in 2009-10 to jump in and immediately become an impact top pair defenseman and win the Calder Trophy.  In other news, Tim Thomas is coming off a generally strong season in Boston.

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Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink

Pre-Season Start and Swedish Notes

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

The Edmonton Oilers open their pre-season, officially, with two split squad games tonight. Both games start at 7pm MST but one is in Edmonton against the Minnesota Wild and the other in Saskatoon against the Chicago Blackhawks. The people of Saskatoon are in for a real treat, two of the biggest draws for the Edmonton Oilers will be starting their seasons in the SK and not Rexall Place.

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Filed in: | Oil Patch | Permalink

Kings Alienating Doughty Long Term

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

A restricted free agent has very little leverage in most cases.  If they cannot file for salary arbitration there is little that they can do except accept their current team’s contract offer or wait.  In principle another team could give them an offer sheet but this is a difficult task.  There is no point giving a player an offer sheet if his current team will immediately match it, so you must offer a significant sized contract.  Usually it is hard to be in a situation where a team has the money on hand and salary cap space to make such an offer where the player’s current team does not.

The top player in the NHL who finds himself in this situation is Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.  Doughty is a 21 year old defenceman who has already had a Norris Trophy nomination.  The Kings hold his rights until he has played seven seasons in the NHL.  This will happen when Doughty is 25 years old and probably has not played the best years of his career yet.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Hopefully Iginla’s Back Issue Is Not A Sign Of Things To Come

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

It’s unlikely his minor bout with back spasms that has kept him off the ice for two straight days — and possibly a couple more to come — is a signal the 34-year-old is breaking down physically.

Rumour has it he claimed the title of Fittest Flame once again this year.

But there’s a reason the group waiting for word from Iginla on his current status multiplied.

One day, his time in the NHL will come to a close. And it could be something that starts as a simple as back spasm that triggers it.

“I’m not that concerned. But I mean, I can understand — backs are a sensitive thing,” Iginla said when reminded these types of injuries have, in the past, turned from day-to-day to week-to-week issues. “When you get a stiff back — everyone’s had one — putting socks on are hard on certain days.

“Personally, I think it’s gonna be fine. I feel way better (Monday) than I did (Sunday), which I take as a positive.

“I don’t think it will be a lingering issue. I hope not.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarome+iginla

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