Kukla's Korner

A Long Time Without A Playoff Appearance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

There is a rather delicious irony in the fact the Phoenix Coyotes are scheduled to host the Florida Panthers Saturday night.

Barring an injury, Olli Jokinen of the Coyotes will play his 735th career game that night against his former team. That appearance will eclipse the all-time dubious NHL record, currently held by former Panthers assistant coach Guy Charron, for most NHL career games played without appearing in a playoff game.

Charron wasn’t aware of the impending history when contacted by The Hockey News Wednesday morning and it’s clear it’s an aspect of his playing career he has grown weary of discussing.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guy+charron, olli+jokinen

Thoresen Finding Swiss Success

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bill Meltzer at NHL.com:

[Patrick] Thoresen elected to play this season Europe because he was unable to get a 1-way contract in the NHL and stood to make more money playing in Switzerland than he would have on the minor-league end of a 2-way deal in the NHL. But his ambition is not to win the Swiss scoring title. He has made clear all along that we wants to return to North America.

“My goal is to play well enough to get a 1-way contract and become an NHL player again,” he said.

more

Thoresen has 31 points in 19 games this season.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+thoresen

Investigating the Bruins’ Buyout of Glen Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Darren Dreger at TSN:

Veteran free-agent forward Glen Murray will have additional ankle surgery on November 11th.  It’s the same ankle that was surgically repaired in Boston in April.

This follow up surgery, according to Murray’s agent Anton Thun is to repair a secondary injury that Murray did not become fully aware of until September when he started to feel pain.

Following initial surgery at the end of last season, the Boston Bruins opted to buy the 35-year old Murray out of the final year of his contract, paying two-thirds, or $2.76 million of the $4.1 million owing.

Murray is physically unable to play and because the secondary injury was discovered after the buyout he and Thun are conducting an investigation to prove this injury is pre-existing and should have prohibited the Bruins from buying him out.

read on

Dreger also states that Murray will be filing a grievance with the NHLPA.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+murray, injuries

Blake Wants Another Cup Shot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,

Goodbye, Los Angeles. Hello, San Jose.

“To be honest with you, I knew I wanted to play after last season,” (Rob) Blake said. “I started to feel better over the summer and I wanted to continue to play. When the option wasn’t there with L.A., I had to look elsewhere. With San Jose being in close proximity, but also being a very hungry team, I looked at it and thought it would be a good fit.

“When I had to look elsewhere, it was ‘Where do I think I can go that has the most opportunity to win?’ At this stage, I follow that.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+blake

Will The Trend Continue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Morrison of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

Okay, we’ve already turned the page on the first month of the NHL season, which is time enough for some patterns to develop.

But will they last?

Meaning, some teams you expected to be near the top of the conference standings are and some teams you expected to be at the bottom haven’t disappointed, either.

For instance, despite a coaching change in San Jose, it figured the Sharks would be strong. Same with the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

In the East, the New York Rangers, at least until they were upended by the Maple Leafs, were on a mighty roll. It figured they would be a leading contender, but perhaps not as good as they were showing.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We have a building in Kansas City that’s ... NHL ready. My view is the NHL would probably lean towards Kansas City first if it has to relocate a team, but I’m not a big fan of that idea. Kansas City has had a NHL team in the past—it didn’t work out real well. I would be much more in favour of a Canadian franchise if you were gonna move one.

“That said, we’d like to see all the franchises succeed. We are a bit concerned when we see drop-off in places like Atlanta, in places like Florida, Phoenix ... I’ve been to those buildings—the people who follow the sport are passionate about it. We just need more of them.”

-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA.  More from Kelly by Randy Sportak of he Calgary Sun.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kansas+city, paul+kelly

Time For Calgary To Hang #14 From The Rafters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Shortly after a first-period video tribute to his career as a Flame, Theo Fleury waved from the owners’ box to acknowledge the hearty applause. And while the gesture was an honourable one the club has made a conscious effort to do more of as it approaches its 30th anniversary, it fell short of the true honour awaiting the Little Big Man.

The next time he’s highlighted at the ‘Dome the 5-foot-6 mighty mite should be looking up—way up—to his jersey being hoisted to the rafters. His No. 14 should be retired.

continued

Update 12:25pm ET (alanah): More on Fleury today, as he speaks about his life and addictions to Christianity.ca:

A loner for much of his life, Fleury learned to escape the pressures of fame and success by turning to his two drugs of choice: alcohol and cocaine. “There’s a lot of pressure that goes along with being a professional athlete. I grew up in a small community so when you live in a city like New York that never shuts down, it’s 24 hours of fun all the time.

He continues, “The NHL isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s not all glamour and fame – people don’t see the sacrifices your family has to make, the hotels and the bus… I owe everything to hockey, everything I have is from hockey, but there’s a heavy price to be paid for choosing that profession.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: theo+fleury

Attracting A New Audience

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,

The Devils have a new starting goaltender for the first time in 15 years, which is major news in the NHL that no doubt barely created a ripple on the streets surrounding the team’s new arena. Even in their second season in downtown Newark, the Devils sometimes feel like they were dropped in from another planet. Would it be any different if residents found out that new goalie was black?

Would that matter?

Kevin Weekes considered that question Tuesday and decided that, well, it couldn’t hurt. He is an outspoken advocate for diversity in his sport who will take a major role on a team struggling to make inroads in a mostly black city. He is living proof that hockey, despite its reputation, excludes no one.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+weekes

Flyers Need To Think Defense First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

In the first three-plus weeks of the season, the Flyers have been mostly about glitter (see their NHL-leading 3.91 goals per game) and little about substance (see their sad-sack 3.64 goals-against average).

That has to change, coach John Stevens said after yesterday’s practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, Camden County.

“We’re almost thinking the game offensively first, and that’s a trap any team falls into at certain points of the season - and it’s one we have to learn from,” Stevens said.

“We’re almost cheating on the offensive side of the puck too many times, and it catches us,” he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Get To The Net To Score

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from P.J. Swenson of Sharkspage,

A new component of the Todd McLellan offense in San Jose is getting traffic in front of opposing goaltenders. A quick survey of ESPN’s excellent flash shot chart feature shows that 26 of San Jose’s 42 total goals this season through 12 games have been scored on shots taken in front of the crease (in front of the net, between faceoff circles).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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