Kukla's Korner

Slumping Gagner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

After exceeding expectations with the Edmonton Oilers as the youngest player in the NHL last season, Sam Gagner is struggling to find his form in his sophomore campaign.

Fifth in rookie scoring with 49 points and seventh in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2007-08 as an 18-year-old, Gagner has just two assists through 11 games this season.

While Gagner is loathe to talk about the dreaded sophomore jinx, there’s no question his start to the season has been disappointing after he set the bar so high a year ago.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sam+gagner

Stars Of The Month

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2008)—Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for October.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Matter Of Choice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

Maybe people struggle with the notion of fighting existing at all because it seems like a classic contradiction: a brutish pursuit within a game capable of swift-skating beauty. To me, though, the point is that hockey is the ultimate team game and a sense of togetherness is paramount to competitive relevance. As such, answering physical challenges in the mode of survival of the fittest is often times part of the process. See: Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who took it upon himself to lay Ott out with a crushing hit and then respond in kind to Avery’s fistic retaliation.

Notice I said part of the process. The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup last season with the fewest fighting majors. The previous champ, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, hoisted the Cup after dropping the gloves more than any team. All of which proves that fighting doesn’t guarantee success, nor does it preclude a team from being successful.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Versus Courting the Die-Hard Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy,

Ask hardcore hockey fans if Versus is indeed a “hockey network,” and the majority would argue against the claim. Since purchasing the NHL’s cable rights in 2005, the Versus network hasn’t exactly endeared itself to die-hard hockey fans in the U.S. Between the silly mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds to its reputation, there isn’t a month that goes by without some impassioned rant about its failings as the NHL’s cable home or some fan-driven effort in support of the NHL reconciling with its abusive former spouse at ESPN.

To many fans, Versus is a punchline; a jigsaw puzzle of unrelated (and fringe) sports that viewers still can’t find in many hotels or sports bars around the U.S. Its hockey talent and coverage are much maligned, with even the most optimistic fans left frustrated by the approach to its most prized asset not named Lance Armstrong.

Not that any of this troubles the NHL’s cable host, which is available in 74 million homes nationwide.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+bloggers, media, versus

It Is Not Just A Stick Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Hughson at Blogs and Columns at CBC,

We’ve all heard about and seen any number of scoring chances lost or surrendered because a hockey stick explodes at a critical time in a game. And while most are quick to jump on the manufacturers, their engineers or outsourcing production, how about shifting some of the responsibility to the players?

A knowledgeable industry insider suggests that most sticks are being made to the specifications of the players, who want them lighter and more responsive - qualities that make the sticks more vulnerable.

more plus some Rangers, Thrashers and Bruins talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

GM Meeting Now After The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

...This season, the NHL has gone out of its way to quash this little spasm of media interest. Claiming that the closeness to the trade deadline made it hard for GMs to concentrate on league business, the meetings now are scheduled for the week after the March 4 trade deadline.

Go figure.

A number of GMs have complained quietly to ESPN.com that the move makes no sense—a league desperate for media attention, especially in this day of shrinking newspaper travel budgets, shouldn’t be turning its back on a ready-made media event. But likewise, there is a small group of GMs who aren’t thrilled to see the media hanging around the hallways at the posh resorts where they hold their meetings.

more hockey notes too…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Five Stars of the Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2008)—Anaheim forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne, who produced a total of 28 points in four games as the Ducks posted a 3-0-1 record, have been named co-recipients of the NHL’s ‘First Star’ award for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 2.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was named Second Star and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Simon Gagne earned Third Star honors.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: corey+perry, ryan+getzlaf, simon+gagne, teemu+selanne, tim+thomas

Shanny Shopping

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

And that decision-making process has apparently begun for Shanahan. Sources tell TSN Shanahan is in Philadelphia today to meet with Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren. It is far too early in the process to declare this a good fit. Philadelphia is close to New York but it’s not New York so if Shanahan were to play there and maintain his existing residence, there would still be some significant commuting involved.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

Hemsky’s Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Ales Hemsky scored his first two of the season last night and Gene Principe at Sportsnet.ca makes this observation:

Did you see those goals? Is it possible that prior to Sunday Hemsky had no goals this season or that in fact he hadn’t scored a goal in 18 games?  Could that be true?

It is, but again I point to what Hemsky did on Sunday and this makes no sense. This guy should have two goals a game with his talent, not two goals this season.

It’s always been hard to understand how someone with Hemsky’s world class abilities doesn’t have the numbers to match it.

More at Sportsnet.  Goal videos below:

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ales+hemsky

Phoenix Recalls Garth Murray

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA—Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled center Garth Murray from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. 

Murray, 26, has appeared in nine games for San Antonio this season, recording 4-1-5 and 32 penalty minutes (PIM).  His is tied for the team-lead in goals and ranks 4th in points and PIM.  Murray also scored two goals in seven preseason games for the Coyotes this year.

Murray began last season with the Montreal Canadiens and appeared in one game before being claimed off waivers by the Florida Panthers.  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Murray then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after playing in six games and collecting 19 PIM with the Panthers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: garth+murray

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