Kukla's Korner

Lightning’s St. Louis Keeps Plugging Along

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

I have my own plans for a special feature on the beginnings of Martin St. Louis’ NHL career later in the year but today, The Globe and Mail‘s Eric Duhatschek marvels at the longevity and sustained production that is only a small part of his story:

It is difficult to quantify exactly what is the most unique part of Martin St. Louis’s ongoing and thoroughly heartening success story.

The Tampa Bay Lightning winger, who played his 800th NHL game this past week against the team that originally brought him to the league, the Calgary Flames, is currently fourth overall in the NHL scoring race.

St. Louis is 35, but doesn’t look old. He is 5 foot 9, 177 pounds, but doesn’t play small. Ten years ago, he was the last NHL player paid in Canadian dollars, or before his contract was bought out by the Flames in the aftermath of the 2000 expansion draft. St. Louis lingered on the unemployment line all summer, or until the Tampa Bay Lightning took a flyer on him in late August, signing him for $250,000, which was about as low as you could go in those days without breaching the CBA’s minimum salary floor.

read on…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report: Sabres, Tourism Group At Odds Over WJHC Fan Services

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

From WGRZ-TV:

BUFFALO, N.Y.—The World Junior’s Hockey Tournament will bring thousands of fans to Western New York from all over the world but it seems the local tourist organization will not be offering services to fans, as they have in the past.

The Buffalo Niagara Conventions and Visitors Bureau was at the forefront of the NCAA Tournament held in March here in Western New York, offering informative maps of local hot spots, Twitter updates about transportation delays and volunteers on each corner downtown to point fans where they needed to go. 2 On Your Side is told that because the World Junior’s is an event bid on by the Buffalo Sabres, the CVB will not have an active role in the 11 day hockey tournament.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2010+world+junior+ice+hockey+championships, buffalo+niagara+conventions+and+visitors+bureau, buffalo+sabres, wgrz

If Brian Burke Decided To Replace Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Globe and Mail hockey writers with their opinions…

ERIC DUHATSCHEK

I would wait until the end of the season and see who shakes loose at that point.

The problem with making a mid-season coaching change is your options are limited. Few teams are going to surrender the next Guy Boucher or Scott Arniel if they are already coaching in their system and either a) being groomed for the top job; or b) doing good work in terms of developing their prospects down on the farm.

Accordingly, you’re left with choosing from among the legitimate NHL coaches, on the unemployment lines, still seeking work - Pat Quinn, as mentioned above, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock, Mike Keenan, Andy Murray. All have had success at different times in their careers. None, save MacTavish perhaps, would be a good fit in Toronto.

more

 

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

Kovalev Has Been Picked On His Whole Career

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Alexei Kovalev says he’s been made the scapegoat and that’s why he’s on the fourth line.

Frustrated with coach Cory Clouston, the Senators winger told reporters Friday he doesn’t know why he’s being made the scapegoat for the club’s struggles.

“It looks like it right now,” said Kovalev. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not the only one not playing well and he decides to pick me. It’s been happening my whole career. I accept that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Craig Laughlin Enjoys Shinny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Capitals color analyst with the call…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+laughlin

A New Worst Player This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is hard to remain the worst regular in the NHL for any period of time.  If you look too bad, you stop getting a regular shift.  If you play better, you stop being the worst.  The most recent player I selected as the worst in the league was Kyle Clifford of the Los Angeles Kings.  He is a 19 year old rookie who is using the first year of an entry level deal and struggling in the NHL.  There have been some good signs lately.  He scored his first NHL goal last night and is up to two points in 22 games played.  It’s not a good start in the league, but it appears he is making progress and is no longer the worst regular in the league.

To find a new selection, I do not have to go very far.  He is another Los Angeles Kings who regularly dresses and gets very limited ice time.  He is Kevin Westgarth.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Could You Imagine Montreal/Detroit In The Big House?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Michigan plays Michigan State Saturday afternoon in front of a record 109,901 in Ann Arbor in The Big Chill at The Big House. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would have enjoyed having tonight’s game in that outdoor venue.

“It’s fantastic. To me this should be a weekend combination with the NHL,’’ Babcock said. “I say this every year, the state of Michigan could do all the work for the NHL and they could just have a game here every year.

“To me it’s a slam dunk, the facilities are already set up. We could have played this game out there. It would have been a good deal.’’

Red Wings forward and MSU alum Drew Miller agreed.

“I don’t see why we wouldn’t play there,’’ Miller said. “It’s huge. It sets us up for being the the record book for some time. It’s great for Michigan and college hockey.’’

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

KK- The Canadiens Are In Town & Hello Canadian Club

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I admit I could use a little break and tonight I am taking one.

How could I pass up an invitation to attend the re-branding of the Olympia Room at Joe Louis Arena to the Canadian Club Olympia Room and then stick around to watch the Montreal/Detroit game?

So off I go, around :4:15pm to enjoy a night at the Joe to sample some Canadian Club plus watch my two favorite teams battle on the ice.

Posting may be a little light from me tonight but if anything major does take place, there is a plan in place.

I am looking forward to the game tonight and I suggest Detroit fans watch this short video by Jim Hughson of CBC.

Also, E.J. Hradek and Barry Melrose of ESPN discuss Wings/Habs below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

14 Goalies Since Khabibulin, Lightning Still Looking for a New “Wall” in Net

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

Tonight in Edmonton, the Tampa Bay Lightning will face an old friend, as goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will man the Oiler nets.

Sadly, the 37-year-old Khabibulin still has to be looked at as Tampa Bay’s last consistent, go-to netminder. “The ‘Bulin Wall” was a force for the Lightning during his time in Tampa, with a sturdy 2.39 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 192 games from 2000-2004. These are pre-lockout numbers, yes, but his performance in the current, more inflated era – 2.87/.903 – would still best just about every other Bolts goaltender since his departure after the Stanley Cup season of 2003-04. Tampa Bay has tried 14 different goalies between the pipes in that time, with largely underwhelming results.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, mike+smith, nikolai+khabibulin

Video- The Art Of Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Enjoy the two videos.  My personal taste, video #2 is better, but I am no art critic.

Continue Reading »

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

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