Kukla's Korner

Thrashers New Defensive Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Tiller at the ICEMAN Bloggeth,

Coach Anderson referred to this more confrontational style of defense as “mongoosing” the opposition.

This came as welcome news to me after last season watching quite the opposite take place. Too many times the Thrashers blueline corps looked more like attendants at a turnpike tollbooth than NHL defenders. Worse, once “working” their way into the zone they were there long enough to file for Homestead exemption while Atlanta’s defense engaged in a brand of play that was dubbed Whack-a-Mole by, as you may recall, our own Sara.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tucker In A Comfort Zone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,

In search of a soulmate ever since his brother-in-law Shayne Corson packed it in, Darcy Tucker may have found the answer in the mountain air of Colorado. After giving up his head coaching role when Joel Quenneville came aboard, Tony Granato is back as bench boss of the Avalanche and played a huge role in enticing Tucker to Denver….  Unless Joe Sakic returns, it could be tough for the Avalanche to make the play-offs. But surrounded by veterans such as Ryan Smyth and Adam Foote, at least Tucker will be in the company of like-minded warriors.

more NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+tucker

No Shock Here

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,

The e-mail from Szymon Szemberg from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that came last Thursday was very simple and very to the point. The planned IIHF get together in New York on September 4 dissolved or in Szemberg’s words. “That meeting is cancelled or possibly postponed.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: iihf

All Mike Green

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rod Oracheski of 411mania recently interviewed Mke Green of the Washington Capitals…

RO: Now that the Capitals surpassed some external expectations by reaching the playoffs last year, what is the feeling around the team going into next year? How close do you believe you guys are to contending for the Stanley Cup?

MG: Well, just getting off to a good start. Last year we had to fight so hard to even make that playoffs it was like we were dead when we got there. If we can get off to a good start and be in the running halfway through the season, not make it so hard on ourselves, I think we’ll be a lot better for going on a run.

RO: A lot optimism in Washington revolves around last year’s 65-goal scorer, Alexander Ovechkin. What is it like playing with him? Exactly how much does he impact the culture of the team both on and off the ice?

MG: It’s ... I mean you know, everyone knows. He’s the best, or one of the best players in the league. Yeah, anything can happen when he’s on the ice. He’s one of those players that can win you games and it’s just a good thing he’s on our team.

more, plus Rod also interviews Georges Laraque and some other NHL topics too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

O’Neill Thankful For Tryout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

Asked if he is a bit calmer and—how best to put it?—a bit more mature than when he left Raleigh in 2005, O’Neill smiled.

“Oh, yeah, that’s for sure,” he said.

(Jeff) O’Neill also said he’s in better shape. He said he began working out this spring at a fitness center in Toronto that specializes in training hockey players.

“I skated and worked out last season,” he said. “Obviously, that’s nothing compared to an NHL season. But [the training] helped me prepare for coming down here.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+o'neill

You Have To Experience It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn Merrithew of the Bugle-Observer,

My excitement mounted as I stepped off the train at Union Station, which is only minutes from the temple to the hockey gods.

You see I have always loved hockey, you might even say I live and breath it. In my younger days, I laced up the skates and played the game in subfreezing weather on ponds and outdoor rinks. I continue to play these days, just in another form – ball hockey.

For as many years as I can remember, I have also sat before the television on Saturday nights to watch Hockey Night in Canada with my dad, cheering on the red, white and blue of the Montreal Canadiens. Now I cheer for the red, white and black of the Ottawa Senators.

Nothing could prepare me for the feeling a true hockey fan experiences upon their arrival to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Words cannot describe it, you have to experience it.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+hall+of+fame

Mitchell Ready For Leadership Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Nudged by coach Alain Vigneault, (Willie) Mitchell is committed to setting an example this offseason, trying to take a step forward into the leadership void created by the departure of Canuck mainstays Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden….

Mitchell hasn’t had much time for leisure this summer. He said he took just one fishing trip. He started skating regularly in July in Minnesota, his earliest ever start, and already has ramped up his off-ice training to five days a week.

“It’s not easy and it’s not fun,” Mitchell said. “This isn’t exactly the most enjoyable time of year for hockey players—you’re running stairs and doing things where you’re almost passing out. That’s not fun.

“But No. 1 for me is to get ready to have a great season and if I do that it’s really going to help this team. I’m not happy with how last season turned out. No one can be.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Richardson Hopes To Play One More Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Luke Richardson wants to play one more season in Ottawa.

But whether the Senators can accommodate the 39-year-old defenceman remains to be seen….

Richardson, who made $500,000 (all terms US) last season, is ready to go to camp without a contract, but with the Senators already committing more than $48 million under the $56.3-million salary cap for 2008-09, there might not be much left in the kitty for the 19-year NHL veteran.

Richardson pondered retirement in the off-season, but wants to give it one more shot.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luke+richardson

Hey Kid, Want To Play Goal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

One minute late Monday morning, the 13-year-old house league goaltender was laughing with his friends, taking off his equipment in the dressing room after a hockey camp session at the Bell Sensplex.

The next minute, he was back on the ice, facing shots from the Ottawa Senators’ Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Chris Phillips, Shean Donovan, Anton Volchenkov and Jason Smith and several other National Hockey League players.

“I was undressing and a guy just came running in and said, ‘We need a goalie,’” Christian said after his 90-minute whirlwind taste of life in the big leagues. “There were three other (goalies), but their stuff was already off, so, I guess, well, they picked me.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Berard Gets Tryout With Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen at Mucking and Grinding,

Former Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Mark Popovic became the latest NHL player to be lured away by the new Russian Super League, agreeing to play for St. Petersburg next season for approxately $1 million….

Bryan Berard, unable to secure a contract from any NHL team, has agreed to attend the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp on a tryout basis. Berard, whose career was derailed several years ago when he was blinded by an errant stick, played last season for the New York Islanders

more

added 4:36pm, from the Delco Times,

“Bryan has been around a number of years now (and) he has been a good defenseman for quite some time,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “I’m excited about Bryan’s willingness to come here on a try out. It will certainly pick up the competition level of what is going to take place in training camp anytime you can add a player like him.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+berard, mark+popovic

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