Kukla's Korner

Dallas Stars Bankruptcy

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

While the NHL press releases often give the impression that things have never been better financially for the league, there are actually a lot of franchises in financial trouble ( Tom Benjamin has a good list).  One of the more serious problems is the Dallas Stars. 

The Dallas Stars moved from Minnesota for the 1993/94 season.  Tom Hicks bought the team for the 1995/96 season and they were an NHL success.  They were one of the top teams in the league and won the 1999 Stanley Cup.  They were incorrectly seen as a big market team that was dominating the league in one incorrect justification for the 2004 lockout.  The reality is Dallas is a pretty big market but they hardly qualify as one of the biggest markets in baseball (with the Texas Rangers), how could they be a big hockey market?  If Dallas had not had on ice success, it was quite likely they would have problems with the franchise.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

(Homer’s) one of the few guys that laid down.  He’s a little sensitive, but yet he can stand in front of the net and face slap shots coming at him at 100 miles per hour. Go figure that one out. He’s afraid of needles, but not afraid of pucks.”

-Nick Lidstrom on Tomas Holmstrom having blood drawn today.  Via Red Wings Front.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom, tomas+holmstrom

Byfuglien Meets The Media Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Read the Winnipeg Free Press story from Tim Campbell and Gary Lawless and/or watch the video.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

All Dean Lombardi On Drew Doughty Holdout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Question: You’re now in a holdout situation with Doughty. What kind of update can you give about his status and the negotiations?

LOMBARDI: “Obviously we’re very disappointed that he’s not here. I don’t think it’s any secret, what we think of this player and his abilities and what his potential is. So that’s certainly not an issue, as far as the quality of the player or the quality of the person. We hold both to high regard. That said, a couple things. I don’t want to get into the intricacies what we offered, in terms of the minute details. It’s safe to say that, as far as the big picture within the league, we certainly made him an offer that puts him amongst the top defensemen in the league. Then you look at your team. It’s no secret that he would be at the top of our team. Then, thirdly, even thought I think you know how I feel philosophically about paying for potential, it’s part of the system unfortunately. But the third thing that’s critical to us is the allocation. Where we’re at now, we certainly stretched the limit in terms of paying him amongst the top players in the league, paying him appropriately within the team’s salary structure and, most importantly, being able to keep this group together.

read on

Update 3:48pm ET: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun on Twitter offers this reminder—

Worth noting that technically speaking, Doughty is not a holdout , he’s an unsigned RFA. Not that Kings fan will feel any better.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi, drew+doughty

Blues Ready For A Playoff Push

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

If the Blues can stay reasonably healthy and tap some more of their unfulfilled promise, they could finally make some playoff noise.

The ownership limbo complicated matters, forcing Armstrong to make only short-term moves in free-agency and lean toward short-term contracts on many of his developing players.

But on balance, the Blues appear ready to make their move. Whether they actually succeed will depend on how these questions are answered, in order of importance:

1. Can Jaroslav Halak embrace his goaltending responsibilities and deliver a sturdier and more consistent performance? At times he starred last season, but at times he bled bad goals. The team hopes that better conditioning and sharper focus leads to better results.

2.  Is center Patrik Berglund ready to shine? He progressed last season and starred in international play. This franchise badly needs a cornerstone center to build an offense around. Berglund has the unique size/skill combination to be that player.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL 12 Review Follow-Up and EASHL Club Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Doug Miller


Hey everyone, I know it’s been a few days. Feels like a lot longer for a guy who is so used to writing so often. Anyway, I just had a few things I wanted to add/correct/update from my NHL 12 review. As well as update everyone on how the first few days of KK’s EASHL Club System is going, as well as how the first few days of the first season (September) have been in the EASHL in NHL 12.

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Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ea+sports+nhl+12, eashl

Crosby Can Practice But No Contact

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said this morning that he will practice with the club in training camp, starting with Saturday’s first day on the ice. He has not, however, been cleared for contact, so will sit out scrimmages and contact drills.

“I’m excited to get going,” said Crosby, who was diagnosed with a concussion Jan. 6 and did not play again last season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

It Appears Kovalchuk Wants To Stay On The Left Side

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

He hadn’t talked to new coach Pete DeBoer much. Will he be the first-line left wing?

“We’ll see. Everybody is in the same position when we start,” Kovalchuk insisted. “Last year we were very disappointed. This is a big year this year.”

And what if he is asked to move to right wing?

“We’ll see. Talk to the coach. He knows better,” Kovalchuk said. “I think there were enough experiments last year, don’t you think?”

more, mostly about the KHL tragedy…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

The Training Camps Of Yesteryear

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Walker of he Vancouver Sun,

Stan Smyl remembers returning to the Canucks’ hotel in Duncan one night after a particularly tough scrimmage, only to open the door and find his roommate doing the unimaginable this day and age. Unless, of course, you’ve got an extra $250 bucks to pay for the room cleaning.

“So I walk in my room and the guy is sitting there on the bed with his feet up drinking a beer and smoking,” said the longtime captain and Vancouver’s present-day senior adviser on hockey operations.

“I couldn’t believe it. But that was the era.”

There were also no guidelines limiting the time a team has each day with players - unlike today’s universally adopted “three-hour” rule for contact work - and no fear of repercussions for pushing players to the extreme.

“We’d come in after Labour Day and Al Arbour would skate us every morning without pucks and he wouldn’t be satisfied until guys were throwing up over the boards,” said Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning, who played with the New York Islanders in the ‘70s. “And there was a lot more hitting. Today, you just can’t do that with the players’ association so heavily involved.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canadiens Knew Of Risk When Signing Andrie Markov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

Markov, who underwent his second major ACL reconstruction on his right knee in December, skated on his own in Brossard on Thursday and it was obvious that he’s far from 100 per cent.

General manager Pierre Gauthier acknowledged as much when he addressed the media at the team’s golf tournament Wednesday, but he put on optimistic spin on the situation while preaching patience.

“It’s always a risk when you sign older players, first, and it’s a bigger risk when you sign older players who have had injuries,” said Gauthier, who gave Markov a three year deal worth $17.5 million. “But you evaluate that as a calculated risk, and you also evaluate what your options are. In the case of Mr. Markov, he’s such a professional, such a hard working person,” Gauthier added.

“One of the things that was interesting about his knee is he had absolutely no collateral damage. The ACL was torn a second time, but in a lot of cases with knee injuries there’s something else that’s gone wrong, like an MCL or some cartilage. In his case, it was strictly one band that was ruptured. So we feel pretty good about his prognosis.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov

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