Kukla's Korner

Bad Canadians?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,

It’s a week after Canada left, and Buffalo is only now feeling safe enough to begin unboarding the windows and crawling out of the basement.

That’s the impression left in an out-of-left-field attack on Canadian honour by a columnist at the Buffalo News.

In purple tones, the piece – entitled “Disillusioned by Northern Neighbours” – paints Canadian fans as bunch of boozed-up hooligans who streamed over the border like the Visigoths advancing on Rome.

Among the damning criticisms: we don’t wait to turn right on red; we say “eh”; we like to take a drink; the Rogers Centre is ugly; we tip only two bucks on a $25 bar tab; someone punched someone else at a game.

Oh, Buffalo. We rescued your tournament from local apathy and crushing irrelevance and this is the thanks we get?


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wjc

Take This In Consideration Before Complaining About ASG Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Brendan Shanahan tweet,

Without mentioning teams/players, the answer is yes. NHL was approached by certain players thru their GM. Battling injuries & need to heal.

What I would have liked is a player like Pavel Datsyuk, selected to the team then replaced due to injury. 

Datsyuk is scheduled to return right around the time of the All-Star Game and probably would have opted-out even if he happens to play a game or two before the break.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Team Grades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With the first half of the season in the books,

Scott Burnside (East) and Pierre LeBrun (West) evaluate each team’s performance:

New Jersey Devils
Summary: By far the worst team in the NHL, the Devils featured a league-worst minus-55 goal differential at the time of this writing and were poised to produce one of lowest point totals in franchise history. The worst part is there are few signs things will improve any time soon. Why would Zach Parise ever sign a long-term extension here? And if the soon-to-be restricted free agent won’t sign, president and GM Lou Lamoriello is faced with having to trade the franchise’s most important asset. Netminder Martin Brodeur is a shadow of his former self, and there is precious little help on the way via prospects. In short, the ugliness is just beginning for this once-proud franchise. Grade: F. Trending: Down.

Calgary Flames
Summary: GM Darryl Sutter finally got the boot, but it appears the kind of change the Flames really need isn’t in the offing. Interim GM Jay Feaster recently announced on “Hockey Night in Canada” that he would not trade captain and franchise player Jarome Iginla. From this vantage point, that doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to properly rebuild this squad, you begin by trading away your most valuable asset to kick start the process. Iginla is still a bona-fide star and teams would line up for him. Markus Naslund, Mats Sundin, Saku Koivu and Ryan Smyth were all icons in their respective Canadian NHL cities, but all moved on. It can be done. If the Flames aren’t willing to move Iginla and star goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in order to properly rebuild the team, Flames fans are in for more suffering. Grade D-minus. Trending: Down.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tuesday, you can bet that every Auger call will be evaluated on the Canucks bench, and by Canucks fans watching at home. The league may consider the Auger-Burrows case closed already, but in reality, only an incident-free game tonight can bring full closure.

-Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail.  More as Stephane Auger referees his first Canucks game since the Burrows incident, one year ago today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stephane+auger

Wellwood Signing With The Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Kyle Wellwood, ex of KHL, is signing a one year contract with STL. Will have to clear waivers.

added 2:06pm, from Dan O’Neill of the Morning Skate at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“It’s someone in which we do have some interest, but we haven’t signed him or done anything like that yet,” Armstrong said. “I don’t know where that information came from, but we’re on our way to Anaheim now so we’re not going to be signing him today.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+wellwood

Your NHL All-Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A complete list at the All-Star section of NHL.com.

added 11:33am,

NEW YORK (January 11, 2011) – The National Hockey League today announced the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies who will join fan-voted top six Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, in Raleigh for the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend festivities. 

The 42 All-Stars will play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the RBC Center.  Each team will be comprised of 3 goalies, 6 defensemen and 12 forwards and will have one captain and two alternates to be chosen by the players and announced next week. The 12 NHL Rookies, along with the 42 All-Stars, will participate in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Sat., Jan. 29 at the RBC Center.

      Below are the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies: 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2011+all-star+game

Leafs Trying To Improve The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Nonis says he and Burke have bigger issues than contract extensions, namely possible trades.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen the next 30 days around this league,” said Nonis, adding he and Burke talk up to eight times a day. “Those are the things we have to be ready for as we get toward the (Feb. 28) trade deadline.

“You’re always going to get people who are throwing you deals that just don’t make sense for the long-term health of the team. They might make sense for us today, but they don’t help us really for our long-term solution. You get some that make some . . . not necessarily offers, but discussions about players and where they might fit. Those seem to be picking up, but finding the right fit is very difficult.”

Burke has said he’s less interested in draft picks than players and prospects who can be part of the solution.

“You still want to be mindful of the age of the asset,” said Nonis. “It’s not necessarily players that can help this week. It’s more players that can fit in, and have a group grow together. That’s been the goal from Day 1, to get that group together as soon as possible.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Picking an All-Star Team, Especially this Year, Isn’t Easy but, Hell, I’ll Do it Again Anyway

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

It’s never a cinch to select the rosters for an All-Star game in any sport and, with a bizarre “fantasy draft” format for this year’s NHL midseason showcase and the game’s first six participants already selected via fan balloting, filling out this season’s All-Star pool of 42 has some added challenge to it, to say the least.

For starters, dividing things by conference is no longer a provision, as the remaining 36 All-Stars named today will go into said pool along with the elected top-six for a field of 42. With that in mind, and factoring in at least one representative for every member club, there will be notable omissions, no matter how this list is put together, or by whom.

Nevertheless, always one to face a challenge head-on, in keeping with my annual tradition (whether an All-Star game has been played or not), I’ve put together my own list of mid-season honorees, complete with a set of 12 rookies to be featured in the skills competition at All-Star Weekend, as the NHL Hockey Operations department will do later today.

(For clarity’s sake, I’ve already accounted for the fan selections.)

Deep breaths, everyone. Here goes nothing, with a few explanations afterwards…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

TSN Radio?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Cable sports channel TSN is seriously considering starting its own sports radio network to challenge the FAN 590 in Toronto and the rest of the country, The Globe and Mail has learned.

The challenge would ratchet up the corporate rivalry between Rogers Communications Inc. and CTV Inc. for the sports audience in Canada. The FAN is owned by Rogers, and TSN by CTV Inc.

“Will there be a branded TSN radio coming up soon? I’d say we’re looking at it for sure,” TSN president Stewart Johnson said. “It could be a matter of a branded content as opposed to a branded station, or it could be making better use of our guys. … But it’s a possibility.”


Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tsn

30 Thoughts A Day Late

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I missed this yesterday (under the weather and feeling blah this morning too) so here are some highlights from Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts…

• What have we learned so far this season? If you really want an important piece, be proactive. James Wisniewski, Dwayne Roloson, Jamie Langenbrunner - already gone. Don’t know how much more the Islanders have to deal, but the Devils are definitely open for business. Also: very few teams are willing to take on salary. (Columbus and Toronto are exceptions.) That’s going to make it tougher on cap-strapped Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit and Boston. The Blackhawks and Bruins have a surplus of picks, too.

• Mike Commodore’s situation is a perfect example of the challenge of being a GM in places like Columbus. (Not a shot at the city, which is really underrated, it just doesn’t have a big NHL pedigree.) If you really want a free agent, you must overpay. In 2008, Scott Howson saw Commodore as a guy who can make a difference, which proved true when he played a big role in getting the Blue Jackets to the playoffs for the first time. Now, they want to get rid of him, and he’s still owed almost $9 million US. Same with Kristian Huselius (benched Saturday) and Sammy Pahlsson.

more plus some concussion talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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