Kukla's Korner

20 Years After ‘Wide Right’, One Thing Hasn’t Changed

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

It was 20 years ago today that Buffalo lost a tough one, and by the narrowest of margins.  The Calgary Flames came into town and beat the Sabres 5-4 at Memorial Auditorium.  Rick Dudley was the Sabres head coach, and his assistant was a young and fiery up-and-comer named John Tortorella. 

Sabres fans and media were questioning the toughness of Dale Hawerchuk and Pierre Turgeon and the worthiness of their $500,000 salaries.  Buffalo media legend Ted Darling was in his final full season in the broadcast booth.  There were captaincy issues as Mike Ramsey had just replaced Mike Foligno, who was traded to Toronto.  The Sabres were an average team trodding along with 51 points near the end of January.

It so happens that there was another game that day, with a little bit more at stake, that was of interest to Buffalo fans, and for that matter people all over the world.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dale+hawerchuk, derek+roy, mike+foligno, mike+ramsey, no+goal, pierre+turgeon, rick+jeanneret, scott+norwood, super+bowl+xxv, ted+darling, tim+connolly

CPP- Cost Per Point

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Patrick Hruby of ESPN Page 2,

In short, who’s getting the biggest—and smallest—bang for their bucks?

To answer the above, we’re comparing teams by a simple, bottom-line metric: Player payroll dollars spent per regular-season victory. Using the most recent and accurate salary figures available, we’re also examining which clubs have been penny-wise and which have been pound-foolish.

1. Dallas Stars
Payroll- $47.26 million

Points- 109

Cost per point- $434,000

When the Stars offered newly acquired goalie Kari Lehtonen a three-year, $10.65 million contract extension last spring, it was the sort of gamble cost-conscious clubs often are more likely to take: a former No. 2 overall draft pick by Atlanta in 2002, Lehtonen was talented but injury-prone, dogged by a bad back and questions regarding his conditioning and work ethic. The results? So far, so good. Thanks to solid play from Lehtonen ($2.7 million) and backup Andrew Raycroft ($700,000), the Stars have cut their goals against from 23rd in the NHL last season to 10th this season, a major reason the youthful club has overachieved.

Penny-wise: Loui Eriksson ($3.2 million), Jamie Benn ($635,000) and James Neal ($2.25 million) all provide bang for the buck, tallying 109 combined points.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Alex Edler Will Have Back Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that defenceman Alex Edler will have micro discectomy surgery on his back. Edler will be out of the line-up indefinitely.

“After consultation with our physicians it was decided that surgery was the best course of action,” said Mike Gillis. “The best long term decision for Alex and our hockey club was to have the surgery immediately.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+edler

Semin Signs One Year Deal With Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Capitals.com,

The Washington Capitals have signed right wing Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Semin, 26, is in his sixth season in the NHL, all with the Capitals. He has 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) in 39 games this season, second on the team in goals and third in points. In 366 career games the 6’2”, 209-pound native of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, has recorded 335 points (166 goals, 169 assists) and already ranks 11th in Capitals history in goals and 19th in points.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin

Getting Tired Of Waiting In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

We keep waiting for the Blues to gain traction. First, let me offer all of the qualifiers: I understand that this team has been undercut by injuries. I understand that it takes time for young players to fully mature. I understand that chairman Dave Checketts, club president John Davidson and management entered Scottrade Center in 2006 and stepped into a horrible mess left by previous ownership.

That said ...

Don’t other teams have injuries? The Blues hardly are alone in getting rocked by rotten luck….

Even when the Blues make a heralded move — the acquisition of goaltender Jaroslav Halak, for example — it doesn’t seem to go as planned. At least not yet, in Halak’s case. He has an .896 save percentage in his last 29 games. That includes an .865 save percentage in his last 12 road games through Monday.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Raleigh or Bust!

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

This afternoon, I will begin the trek to Raleigh, North Carolina, for coverage of this weekend’s All-Star festivities.

I have some feature ideas and interview targets in mind, which I’ll post individually as they come together, but one thing I wanted to put out there for the readers is a journal-type account of the trip, including the near ten-hour journey alongside my partner on The Bolts Beat, ESPN 1040’s Mike Corcoran. (Given our argumentative relationship on the show, if one of us doesn’t finally kill the other at some point between now and Monday, the weekend will be considered a roaring success.)

I’ll recap the ongoing revelry several times throughout each day and post those updates in the KK Hockey section of the site continually but I also thought I’d toss out the invitation to follow along on Twitter, if you aren’t doing so already, as this weekend’s happenings are sure to entertain the masses in rapid fire fashion, even while we’re on the road.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+draft, all-star+weekend, nhl+all-star+game, skills+competition

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s funny, I got a text message the other day from somebody at TSN — and this is about the fifth time that the person has asked me about Jarome.”

“And he said, ‘I had a reliable source say that you traded him to the Rangers. Is it true?’

“I text messaged back.  ‘Yep. For John ‘isn’t-it-a-bitch’ Tortorella, Jim Schoenfeld, who is coming out of retirement and will be in our lineup tonight and for the future rights to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti.”

-Jay Feaster, acting GM for the Calgary Flames.  More from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun.

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

Rob Blake Named Manager For NHL’s Hockey Operations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) – A Stanley Cup Champion, Norris Trophy winner and one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, Rob Blake, will join the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department as a manager, the National Hockey League announced today. 

Blake will work with Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and his staff on all aspects of the game.  He will work closely with hockey executives on the Club level and be involved with the Competition Committee and the NHL’s summer Research and Development Camp.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+blake

KK- Relax Mode For A Few Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have to say I was looking forward to the All-Star break, which has always allowed me to recharge and prepare for the rest of the NHL regular season and the playoffs.

This will basically be my last break until late June, so I plan to sleep-in a little longer, go to bed earlier and catch up on a ‘to do’ list a mile long.

I’ve had a few emails regarding a trade freeze until Monday, so let me address that.

There is no trade freeze during the AS break, but if a player is involved in the weekend events, you would like to think a GM would not make the trade until after the ASG.  Besides, what happens if the player gets hurt this weekend, you certainly don’t want to be known as the GM who traded for an injured player.

The possibility exists players not involved in the AS weekend could be traded, but I don’t think you will see any movement until players get back to practice on Monday, if then.

Filed in: KK Website Business, NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Capitals Mentally Tired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Four teams could use the mentally tired excuse, Chicago, Philadelphai, Detroit and Pittsbugth, but haven’t.  Washington on the other hand is mentally tired- from what?

They should be a driven team right now, instead they have used every excuse in the book and that is not a good sign.

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

After a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night that left few answers as to why the Capitals continue to struggle to score, Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if he thought the team might need the four-day break for the NHL’s All-Star Weekend mentally more than physically.

“Maybe at this stage,” Boudreau replied.

The Capitals will have 30 games remaining in the regular season when they resume after the midseason break and intensity will ratchet up for all teams as they pursue playoff berths and better postseason seeds.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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