Kukla's Korner

Lidstrom Still Has His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Nicklas Lidstrom didn’t win his seventh Norris Trophy in 2009-10. The upside of that was it prevented the geniuses who organize the NHL’s awards ceremony from spelling his name “Lindstrom,” the way they did two years ago.

The downside was those who voted for the award – a group of which this writer is a part – passed on the chance to recognize Lidstrom for quite possibly the most brilliant season of his Hall of Fame career.

Lidstrom posted his lowest offensive totals since the lockout this past season and the fourth-lowest production of his 18-season career. But those who watched his game closely point out Lidstrom was every bit as brilliant at both ends of the ice as he has been at any point in his tenure as an NHL player


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

Once upon a time you dressed so fine…

Blog: KK Members Blog By The Upper Canadien

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?

Training camps are a mere five weeks away, and yet numerous NHL veterans remain unsigned, actively searching for work in a league that has priced them out. While the current CBA has seen salaries skyrocket at the top of the league, the middle and bottom-end players have been pinched. Though it’s difficult to have any actual sympathy for folks making millions to play a game, the facts are undeniable: record setting long-term contracts for the Kovalchuks, Luongos, and Keiths of the world, while solid NHLers such as Bill Guerin, Paul Kariya, Andy Sutton, Eric Belanger, Marty Turco and Jose Theodore remain on the sidelines. Sure, these guys may be past their prime in many cases – but they still make a difference. Unfortunately, if Mathieu Darche is available and willing to play for $500k, or a rookie at $750k, why sign a 3rd or 4th line plugger like Belanger for $1.5 or $2 million?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: cba, free+agency, jose+theodore, lee+stempniak, marc-andre+bergeron

Stanley Cup Memories

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

Every weekday throughout July and August, the NHL Network-U.S. will air a special series, “35 Years of Stanley Cup Clinchers, 1975-2010.” Fans can watch a re-broadcast of Stanley Cup-clinching games from season’s past with a chance to vote for their top five contests. Those top five games—Fans’ Choice Encores—will air from Aug. 23-27.

Here is the schedule for August 2-6:

Monday, August 2- 1995: Detroit at New Jersey, Game 4

Tuesday, August 3- 1996: Colorado at Florida, Game 4

Wednesday, August 4- 1997: Philadelphia at Detroit, Game 4

Thursday, August 5- 1998: Detroit at Washington, Game 4

Friday, August 6- 1999: Dallas at Buffalo, Game 6

read on for more on each game…


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The ‘Next’ Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Gilbertson at Slam,

After adding Taylor Hall to a stockpile of offensive prospects that also includes world junior hero Jordan Eberle and skilled Swede Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, the Oilers are being billed as a future force to be reckoned with.

Jonathan Bernier finally seems ready for stardom, giving the Kings a hotshot puck-stopper to complement an up-and-coming core featuring sniper Anze Kopitar and blueline ace Drew Doughty.

The Coyotes and Avalanche have stashed a cache of young weapons, while sharpshooters Steven Stamkos and John Tavares are trying to author turnarounds in Tampa Bay and Long Island, where they’re not yet legal drinking age.

But the Capitals seem closest to sipping champagne from Lord Stanley’s mug.

In an era when the best way to rebuild is undoubtedly to hit rock-bottom and load up on long-term investments, Leonsis’ squad has been there, done that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Talking Marc Savard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Douglas Flynn of NESN,

For a guy who has led the Bruins in scoring in each of his first three seasons and was still the club’s highest point-per-game producer in an injury-plagued campaign last year, Marc Savard sure has a lot of people willing to pack his bags, drive him to the airport and send him on his way.
Despite agreeing to a cap-friendly seven-year deal in December with a full no-trade clause for the upcoming season, Savard has been the subject of countless trade rumors this offseason. While he enters August still a member of the club, the rumors continue to persist, largely because even with Savard on a relative bargain deal, the Bruins remain in need of further cap relief….

The reality is that the Bruins might very well have to part ways with Savard if they want to keep Bergeron and Krejci around long-term and eventually move Seguin to center. But is now the best time to explore those options?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We would have loved to go to the Flyers, but it’s not happening.”

-UFA goaltender Marty Turco.  More on Turco from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

The Key Question For Stan Bowman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

The question, and a legitimate one at that, is whether Bowman & Co. can replicate the depth and versatility that clearly made the difference this season. Bowman thinks they have what it takes to make up the difference. And this is his best point:

‘‘My key guys definitely haven’t reached their peak yet,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are 21 and 22 years old. They’re still getting better. You could say the same things for [Brent] Seabrook and you go on down the list. They’re going to be better a year from now than they are right now.

As for replacing the Ladds, Steegers and Byfugliens ...

‘‘You have to have guys grow into it,’’ Bowman said, ‘‘Remember, it was a process for those guys to get to where they were at. You don’t just snap your fingers and get that depth. But the first step is giving them the opportunity. We have some young guys, new faces, but they’re excited about the challenge. They have some great players they’re playing with, so that’s going to make it a little easier for them.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Don’t Have To Be Fluent In French To Be A Canadien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

Under the headline “He shoots, he scores,” Journal columnist Richard Martineau attacked Ted Bird for writing on his Bird’s Eye View blog at ctv. ca that the Canadiens’ Andrei Markov doesn’t need to learn French after recently becoming a Canadian citizen. The blog was followed by some anti-French comments from readers.

Wrote Bird: “It’s like this: Markov pays his taxes in Quebec, but as a National Hockey League player, even in Montreal, he lives and works in overwhelmingly English-speaking circles. He doesn’t need to learn French.

“Yes, it would be a nice courtesy to the provincial majority if he could appear on l’Antichambre and exchange bon mots with les boys, but learning a new language is a substantial undertaking, and Markov has more important things to do in-season and better things to do off-season than sit in a classroom conjugating verbs if he doesn’t want to, which evidently he doesn’t.”

Responded Martineau: “We are not asking Markov to recite by heart the complete works of Moliere, just to be able to get by in French.”

I like Bird, but I have to disagree with him on this one. Markov should make the effort to learn some French, even if it’s just to say “bonjour,” “comment ca va?” and “merci.”


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

How Jay Feaster Started Working In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,

It’s Jacques Demers on the phone. He’s got one simple question.

“Why aren’t you in the National Hockey League?”

The immediate response, as Jay Feaster remembers it, is equally straightforward.

“Because nobody’s ever given me the chance.”

This is 1998.

Demers, new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is looking for an able assistant. Feaster is looking for a leg up.

It appears to be a fit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+feaster

Dump The All-Star Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Anyone miss the All-Star Game in 2010? Didn’t think so. After skipping the event last season because of the Olympics, the All-Star Game will return Jan. 30, 2011, in Raleigh, N.C. It’s a mystery why the league continues to feature the exhibition, especially if it’s to be played in a nontraditional market. The All-Star Game’s fatal flaw is that it bears zero resemblance to what hockey’s core audience appreciates about the sport — fierce, physical battles for the puck and for body position. Fans couldn’t care less about trick shots and obstacle courses that are harder to explain than the Large Hadron Collider. What gets fans and players looking up at the scoreboard during timeouts? Those black-and-blue clips of checks, thumps, and fights, which are all absent from the All-Star Game. It would be a better use of everyone’s time to turn the Winter Classic (Washington vs. Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day) into the sport’s yearly midseason celebration.

more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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