Kukla's Korner

Morning Shot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Don’t tell Gary Bettman this, but I haven’t seen a single sign of any National Hockey League paraphernalia anywhere in Beijing. It appears the NHL is just as popular in China as it is in the United States.

-Bob Duff at Duffer’s Dabbles

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Have Too Many Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Although the Wings will head to camp without a glaring weakness, there will be plenty of questions to answer.

The Wings have more legitimate NHL talent than they have available roster spots. Quincey, Derek Meech and Jonathan Ericsson will battle for the final spot on defense.

The Wings will get their first look at Ville Leino, 25, signed from the Finnish league in May. He’ll be vying for a roster spot against the likes of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Aaron Downey and McCarty.

The biggest questions among those projected to make the team are:

Will forward Tomas Kopecky be ready to play after having surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL and MCL?

more

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

Blogger Helps Break Story- Columbus Prospect Quits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Right winger Stefan Legein, the Blue Jackets’ second-round pick in 2007 and one of the top up-and-coming agitators, has decided to quit playing hockey.

I didn’t believe it either, but it’s been confirmed just a few minutes ago by the Blue Jackets. They got a call today from Legein’s agent, Doug Woods, telling them he won’t be at training camp and has decided to hang up his skates. He’ll be 20 years old in three months.

This story is shocking on so many different levels. Earlier today, I got an email from a Puck-Rakers reader, Bethany, of Bethany’s Hockey Rants. Actually, it was a “forward” of an email she got from an anonymous person in Ontario saying Legein had retired.

After a slew of phone calls to sources throughout the NHL, I finally got somebody to tell be off the record that’s it true. Just a few minutes ago, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson confirmed it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stefan+legein

Imagine If They All Left

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Mats Sundin may be getting all the ink, but he is not the only established, prominent NHL player unsure of his plans for the coming season.

Without nearly the same interest or fanfare, three of his contemporaries — Joe Sakic, Teemu Selanne and Brendan Shanahan — are all facing a similar predicament.

Call them the 4-S club, a quartet of future Hall of Famers pondering what a life without hockey might be like and not sure whether the time is right to walk away.

How dramatic would their departures be? Consider that with Jaromir Jagr shuffling off to Russia, that group represents four of the NHL’s top six active-points leaders. All, except Sundin, have won the Stanley Cup.

continued and good to see Eric back, hockey season must be getting close!

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, joe+sakic, mats+sundin, teemu+selanne

One-for-One Trades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

It rarely happens that two marquee players are involved in the same trade but, for argument’s sake, which NHL players are worth the most in a one-for-one swap?

Determining that answer is the exercise that I’m going to undertake here….

Some factors that need to be considered when trying to establish trade value:

1. Contract - It’s better to have a long-term deal, if the price is right for the production, because the team knows that they have that asset for a definite period of time….

Honourable Mentions:
Player: Derek Roy
Position: C
Team: Buffalo Sabres
Age: 25
Contract Expires: 2013
Salary Cap Hit: $4.0M

much more and very well thought out…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Risebrough says he has not had any trade conversations regarding Gaborik and has not gotten any calls from other GM’s (which I find hard to believe on the latter). He says he’s only concentrating on signing Gaborik before the Oct. 11 opener.

He wouldn’t answer hypotheticals when asked if he feels he’d have to trade Gaborik before the season if the winger makes it clear he won’t sign an extension.

Risebrough said he doesn’t plan to respond to any trade rumors during this process. “A lot of people on your side are fiction writers, and I’m not dealing with all the fiction writers. So the best thing is not to deal with any of [the rumors].”

more at Russo’s Rants

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+risebrough, marian+gaborik

Tampa Needs To Get Defensive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

If Smith and Kolzig struggle it’ll not only cost the Bolts on the scoreboard but could also damage the confidence of their defense corps.

Getting the best out of his goalies and young defensemen will be a significant challenge for head coach Melrose, who must prove that he can adapt to the new NHL after being out of the coaching ranks for so long.

The Lightning’s new ownership and management have certainly proven their willingness to make take bold steps. It remains to be seen if that boldness will be rewarded.

more

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Obviously a player of Mats Sundin’s stature…he’s been a tremendous player for a long time,” said Holmgren. “He’s a free agent, and we’ve made inquiries as to his status. We don’t know whether he’s going to play or not. I think Mats is still trying to decide that in his own timeframe. But, if he wants to play, we’d certainly have an interest in seeing if we could fit him in.”

-more from Paul Holmgren at Flyers.com…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin, paul+holmgren

Preparing To Play Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Littman at the Hockey News,

Most people who don’t know hockey very well assume the worst part of playing goalie is the physical aspect. Not so. I would rather have a small rubber disc shot at my head than have a 250-pound defenseman crushing me into the boards. The toughest part of the job is, in fact, the mental aspect. A forward can have a bad game and his teammates can bail him out, but if a goalie has a bad game, there is almost no doubt your team will lose. You have to concentrate every second of the game. If you let up for a moment the puck is sure to find its way to the back of the net.

Before each game, most goalies have a routine they follow to keep focused (OK, most goalies are superstitious, too). As Ken Dryden says in his book The Game, you can always tell which goalie is starting. The starter won’t talk to anyone and the backup won’t shut up. In fact, my entire game day routine was mostly the same for 10 years in the pros.

more

If you are interested in The Game, the great hockey book by Ken Dryden, you can purchase it at Amazon.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+dryden

Hockey Economics

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner responds to a reader question on the impact of the latest exchange rates on league revenue, the salary cap and revenue sharing. 

First, I don’t think the Canadian dollar will necessarily stay where it is. The value of the dollar is tied to oil prices and I expect energy prices to rise, not fall. Second, even if the Canadian dollar continues to fall, the impact next year will not be enough to actually drop NHL revenues. If all other things remain more or less equal - the league “enjoys” a small increase in real revenues - the salary cap would still go up a little bit. Third, any adverse impact of the changing Canadian dollar will fall mostly on the Canadian teams. It will mostly help the revenue challenged teams in the United States if the salary cap level stabilizes.

Read on for more, including how the American economy may continue to negatively affect the NHL this coming season.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: salary+cap

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