Kukla's Korner

Top 5 List

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Players across the NHL are packing their bags and heading for training camps.

Here’s Sun Media’s look around the league with camps set to open.

TOP 5 ON THE RISE

1. Chicago: GM Dale Tallon was aggressive in the off-season. Not only did he sign Campbell, but he also picked up G Cristobal Huet in free agency. There’s a lot of talk G Nikolai Khabibulin is either going to be dealt or waived before the season begins.

much more and other Top 5 categories too, including teams on the slide and Top 5 movers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gaborik A Tough Read

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,

Gaborik’s appetite for staying in Minnesota has been hard to read. Never what you would call emotional, he nonetheless appears indifferent, saying repeatedly he is “willing to stay.” Although the sides are negotiating, it’s frankly hard for the layman to understand the holdup.

The bottom line is the Wild have offered the right winger a long-term contract that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the NHL, with an average salary in the $8.5 million range. And the seven-year, $57.75 deal signed Thursday by Carolina’s Eric Staal — whose potential and career trajectory is similar — seems to fortify this as a reasonable offer.

So, if Gaborik were completely sold on the Wild, wouldn’t he have signed by now?

“That’s why this is scary,” Nanne said, “because it’s not a money issue.”

more

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

Brandon Sugden Reinstated

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Singer at HockeyFights.com,

I just got a call from Brandon Sugden.  Bill Daly called him earlier tonight and said he spoke with the teams that were blocking his removal from the retirement list and that they’ve all agreed to unblock him.

When I asked him how he felt, Sugar said it’s a huge weight off of his shoulders and he’s looking forward to attending Islanders training camp, which starts Thursday in Moncton, New Brunswick.  He added that he has every intention on making the team and he feels he can help the Islanders.

continued…

For more on today’s developments, check out TSN. For the complete back-story, an earlier article at HockeyFights.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+sugden

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I want to be a consistent team from start to finish, a team that plays with speed and pace and tempo and energy and has work habits and intelligence. And I’d like to see a little better balance between our goal production and our goals against, more of a gap…We can place a premium on production, and every team does; I put more of a premium on being the best team on the ice every night. We believe with what we’ve been able to do with our roster is create a little more versatility in our offensive punch, we have some guys whose offense has been great in the past and we believe will continue here,...”

-New York Rangers Coach Tom Renney.  More on the Rangers by Steve Zipay at his Blue Notes Blog.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+renney

Brunnstrom Taking It A Step At A Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

What the Stars like is the fact that despite all of the attention surrounding him during the recruiting process, Brunnstrom appears humble and enthusiastic.

“You go in there, and he’s lifting weights and doing the work, and that’s very encouraging,” Tippett said. “He wants to be on our team, he really wants to succeed, and he wants to put the work in. You love to see that.”

Brunnstrom said he understands the pressure and simply wants to take this one step at a time. He called the process “an adventure.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom

Seven Guys to Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jason Kay at The Hockey News,

There are a handful of players – guys between the ages of 23 and 25 who’ve been in the league a few years and have had the opportunity to make a big splash – who have fallen short of expectations. It’s their time to show whether they’re going to enter an upper stratosphere or remain in the OK-range.

Here, in alphabetical order, are seven guys I’d like to see more from:

Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta, 24 (drafted second overall, 2002).
The Thrashers goalie was a two-time THN minor pro prospect of the year. His career goals-against average is a middling 2.82 and he has yet to win a playoff game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Berard Hopes To Make Flyers Roster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The eye isn’t much of a problem. In fact, said Bryan Berard, he barely ever thinks about it, more than eight years after the sight in his right eye was all but extinguished when he was gouged by Marian Hossa’s errant stick.

“To be honest, the eye’s not an issue anymore,” said Berard, not long before finishing his summer workouts here in Boston and heading south with only the promise of a tryout awaiting him in Philadelphia. “It took a couple of years to get used to it, for my brain and body to adjust, but I don’t even think about it now. Not an issue.”

More delicate and irksome of late, though, has been Berard’s back, along with other niggling injuries.

continued and many more NHL topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+berard

Zach At Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Zach Bogosian’s Blog at NHL Connect,

So I’m in Traverse City playing with the Atlanta Thrashers’ team at the 2008 Traverse City Prospects Tournament. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’d probably compare it to the CHL Top Prospects game because these are all the best young prospects who aren’t in division I hockey of the organizations that are here.

Maybe I’d even compare it to the world junior camp I went to in lake placid when I played against the Swedes and the Fins, too. When you get a group of guys who are drafted and all want to make the team, you know it makes the competition that much better.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+bogosian

A Look At The Red Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

There isn’t a team in the National Hockey League has been run more successfully over the last 15 years than the Detroit Red Wings, and the team proved its worth on and off the ice once again last spring, winning their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 seasons.

And they have what it takes to do it again this season.

No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Wings did it in 1997 and 1998, but this year’s addition of the team - which kept the core of its lineup intact over the summer and even made some dramatic improvements - doesn’t seem to have any obvious weaknesses on paper.

read on

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

Blackhawks Turn It Over To The Kids

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Center Kevyn Adams, who played 27 games with the Hawks last season, and left wing Geoff Sanderson, who appeared in 41 games with the Edmonton Oilers, have been invited to training camp, which begins Sept. 20. Tallon said “there’s a good possibility” Adams will be re-signed to add leadership and strong defense as a fourth-line center.

“It’s time to give our kids a good opportunity,” Tallon said. “We have Kontiola, Bolland and we can put [Patrick] Sharp [at center]. We have a lot of depth [and] we feel we wanted to go younger. Lang was good for us, but I’m confident those kids are ready.”

The departure of Lang, who has recorded at least 50 points in eight consecutive seasons, puts a dent in the Hawks’ offense, which will be counting on the healthy return of winger Martin Havlat from shoulder surgery. He played just 35 games in ‘07-08.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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