Kukla's Korner

Pre-Season Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,

As an antidote to Sundin rumor fatigue, I offer my pre-labor special power rankings, fully acknowledging that they will undoubtedly change dramatically once Sundin decides whether he loves this game or not.

1. Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings are the New York Yankees of the NHL. You can hate them if you want, but they have more talent than other team by far. The only caution is that there was another pro sports team in Detroit that was supposed to march to the title this summer and that didn’t go as planned.

2. Montreal Canadiens: This team may score 280-plus goals this season. Mike Komisarek is one of the more underrated players in the league. I didn’t like Bob Gainey’s decision to turn over the goaltending to Carey Price last spring, but I think he will be ready this season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Vishnevski Will Play In Russia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said today that Vishnevski has cleared waivers and that the 28-year-old defenseman will play in Russia in 2008-09.

“He expressed a desire to go back to Russia for personal reasons and I respect that,” Lamoriello said. “We didn’t want this to develop into a situation September, so we placed him on waivers now and this will allow him to go play there.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vitaly+vishnevski

Bogosian Wants To Play Like Chelios, Learns From Bourque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Ferda at the Hockey News,

Zach Bogosian would like to pattern his game after fellow blueliner Chris Chelios.

“He’s a warrior and a leader,” the Thrashers prospect said of Chelios. “He’ll do anything it takes to win.”...

At Cushing, Hall of Famer Ray Bourque was an assistant coach who took notice of, and helped guide, Bogosian. Realizing Bogosian’s potential, Bourque decided to put him on the ice against the opposition’s best, most experienced forwards.

“Bourque taught me to be deceptive with the puck in the offensive zone to throw the forwards off,” Bogosian said. “He also said to learn to play defense first, then the offense would come later.”

Bogosian did just that. He worked tirelessly on his defensive game and sure enough the offensive skills naturally followed.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+bogosian

The Russian Machine

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Japers’ Rink,

...yet another Alex Ovechkin gameshow clip, this time one that involves giant Bill Clinton and Gary Bettman dopplegängers and ends with Ovie in a speedo and knee-highs.

Watch the video at Japers’ Rink…

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

For The Love Of Foppa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Casper Star-Tribune,

She had a passion for Peter Forsberg.

That would be hockey player Peter Mattias Forsberg, who spent most of his professional career with the Colorado Avalanche.

When the lady found out sports memorabilia dealers Kim and Tim Attaway had a photo for sale autographed by said Mr. Forsberg, she was overcome.

“She got down on her knees, and we thought she was really having a heart attack,” Kim says. “We were very frightened. We were thinking about calling 911 because she was grabbing her chest and she was screaming and she fell on the floor.”

continue if you are interested in sports memorabilia talk…

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

All John P. McConnell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

In his first public comments since he assumed majority control of the Blue Jackets, John P. McConnell sat down with The Dispatch last week for a wide-ranging interview.

Q: How stable is this franchise?

A: We are the most stable we’ve been. Everybody now is pushing in the same direction. But we still have a lot of work to do. The first thing is to put a competitive team on the ice, a team that wins and a team that people want to come watch. I think we’re there now, if not very close to there. We’ve got to get the building full again. That’s priority No. 1, and then we’ll whittle off the issues as we go.

Q: How important is it for this franchise to keep Rick Nash under contract?

A: Obviously Rick is the center of our franchise. He’s extremely talented. He’s developing his leadership skills. We would like this to be his team and his home for his NHL career. It doesn’t always work out that way, but hopefully that will be the case.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+p.+mcconnell

Hockey Words

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star,

“He made a tape-to-tape pass then turned around and tapped his tormentor, who turtled.”

Makes perfect sense – if you’re a Canadian hockey fan. If not, you may need The Complete Hockey Dictionary, which has sport-specific definitions for tape-to-tape, tap, turtle and every other term that prolific Ontario-based author Andrew Podnieks could uncover.

continued

The book is available at Amazon.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Meszaros Still Unsigned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“Right now, asking me if he’s going to be in training camp, the only answer I can give is I’m not sure. But we’ve still got a lot of time and we’re fully focused on trying to get a deal done,” said Meszaros’ agent, Gerry Johansson.

“Our No. 1 priority is to get a deal done with the Senators. That’s where Andrej wants to be. I’d say at this point, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to get a deal done, but I can’t tell you that we’re close. We’ve still got work to do to make this happen.”

Summer-long talks between Meszaros’ camp and Senators GM Bryan Murray to get a deal done have been fruitless despite hours of discussions.

It’s believed the Senators have offered a contract in the range of $3.5 million (all terms US) a season on a long-term deal, but Meszaros is likely looking at something closer to the $4.5 million per year that Shea Weber received on a three-year deal with the Predators this summer.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+meszaros

Stay In Or Opt Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

If it decides to terminate the deal, the NHLPA must notify the league of that intention by May 18, 2009. According to Kelly, he plans to wrap up his 30-team tour by late November and then promptly hand over the voting results to the board for review in December. On or about Jan. 1, some 4 1/2 months prior to the deadline, the NHLPA plans to inform the league whether it will opt out.

“We’ll notify the league as soon as possible,” said Kelly. “We don’t want to drag this out.”

Unlike the contentious days leading up to the 2004 lockout, and the many months of vitriol and rancor that followed, union members have voiced little opposition to the salary cap system in place now for three seasons.

read on and some NHL bits too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Positive Thinking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Rome News-Tribune,

The voice of the Atlanta Thrashers, Dan Kamal, spent a few minutes Friday at the Palladium for the Rome Exchange Club’s weekly luncheon and held a question-and-answer session with club members about the NHL team….

“It’s winning that sells, and I think that’s why we’ll bounce back and be a more successful team this year,” Kamal said.

Kamal said that with a new coach, John Anderson, a minor league coach with four championships under his belt, and a young team that was promoted from the minor leagues, the team will have a chance to make it to the playoffs or further this year.

“This team is going to be under the radar this year,” Kamal said. “And I believe we have the goaltending to be champions this year.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+kamal

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