Kukla's Korner

Building In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

Although he has a vast array of investments and business interests, Gretzky prefers the hockey life to a life of leisure. He will arrive at the rink hours early for game-day practices, and he still holds to a ritual of an afternoon nap and pregame meal.

In this, the third season of Gretzky’s Act II as a coach, the Coyotes are still expected to lose more often than they win. But this has been a year of major adjustments for Gretzky. His legendary playing career, which earned him a place between Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr on the sport’s Mount Rushmore, is now eight years past.

His team, after two seasons at the bottom of the standings, is rebuilding with highly regarded prospects who are learning on the job

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

KK- Radio Alert

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I will be on the air tonight at 9:00pm ET on Long Island’s AM1240-WGBB.

The show can also be heard online at nyhockeytalk.com.

Filed in: KK Website Business, KK Interviews, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We’ll Give It A Go

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

What the heck.  How ‘bout a live blog?  We’ll start it here and even invite the Canes bloggers to join in.  And for you Cane fans shafted out of TV coverage tonite, here’s a gift...courtesy of Matt Saler, a Wing fan.

To help you pass the time until the puck drops?  Here’s Bruce MacLeod.

The Montreal beat writer couldn’t resist.

“It must be nice to cover a team that wins so often,” he said. “All we have here are controversies. Every now and then controversy is fun, but when it’s every day you hate it.”

This is coming from a writer in the most hockey crazy city in the world.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Warning Signs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,

While I don’t believe hockey is in dire straits or in need of an overhaul, there are areas of concern that shouldn’t be glossed over.

Let’s start with what’s transpiring on the ice. The entertainment value this season is, on the whole, OK. I’ll give it a C+....

From this vantage point, it would seem there are more dud games now than during the season after the lockout ended and longer stretches within contests when not enough is happening to captivate the audience….

This doesn’t mean the NHL is on its deathbed; the product is still relatively solid and the bottom line isn’t brutal. But erosion is taking place, the U.S. market is still apathetic and it would be foolish for the game’s guardians to ignore the warning signs.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Head-To-Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Forget the game, it was a head-to-head that people will be talking about for days, maybe years.

It was two of the best players in hockey, Vancouver’s stalwart netminder against Pittsburgh’s wunderkind forward in two head-to-head battles.

With the spotlight all to themselves, it was Sidney Crosby versus Roberto Luongo in overtime. And then again in a shootout.

continued

I stayed up late last night and caught the whole game and I must say, one of the better games of the year. 

Did anyone else catch the stare-down Luongo gave Crosby after stopping his shootout attempt?  Watch for yourself (game highlights)...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo, sidney+crosby

Blame The Americans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Connolly of the Daily News,

On the one hand are the hockey purists and more learned observers found mostly in Canada who like the game played hard and clean at high speeds.

On the other hand is the vastly larger number of American fans less enthused about game quality than physical violence, with insatiable appetites for bare-knuckle brawling.

With only six Canadian governors out of 30 sitting at the NHL board making decisions concerning the direction of the league, guess which side wins?

A prime example of how influential one governor can be is Bettman confidante and boardroom bully Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that has reinvented itself as the 1970s’ Broad Street Bullies.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Other Side Of Steve Downie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

Latchford didn’t know a whole lot about Downie when she opened her Peterborough, Ontario, home to him two years ago. She had heard about his on-ice fight with junior teammate, Akim Aliu, but other than that, she knew very little.

But as their relationship grew, so did Latchford’s affection and appreciation for Downie.

She was there for him when he lost a 19-year-old friend to leukemia and a 20-year-old friend to meningitis. She has seen a side to Downie very few people in the hockey world has seen.

“He’s been through a lot, but he doesn’t want anybody to feel sorry for him because he lost his father,” Latchford said from her home in Peterborough. “Other kids have been through things, too, but nobody knows about them because they’re not in the limelight.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+downie

Lots Of Should, Would, Could and Question Marks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

But No trades!!!

Spector breaks down the latest trade talk.  More denials than actual trades these days.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

O’Ree Still Has Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Devon O’Neil of the Boston Globe,

By 1996, most of the sports world - and, for that matter, the rest of the world - had forgotten about Willie O’Ree. Which explains how he found himself working in San Diego at the historic Hotel del Coronado as a security guard, making about $9 an hour, a soft-spoken black man with gray wisps of hair from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, creeping through his 60s politely and privately.

Every so often, O’Ree would bump into someone who knew who he was. Like the time before he took the job at the hotel, when he was assigned to work security for Michael Jordan at a pro-am golf tournament. Jordan grinned when he saw O’Ree. He knew he’d been the first black man ever to take the ice in an NHL game, that he was, as it’s said, the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”

read on (take some time out to read this lengthy story) & more hockey bits.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+o'ree

Raod Trip Could Define Flames Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

Their lives will be a mad jumble of airports, buses, hotel lobbies and restaurants.

They’ll bump into such recognizable faces as Jonathan Toews, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Olli Jokinen, Rod Brind’Amour and Rick Nash along the way….

The Flames will either return in a little under two weeks time still very much in the mix in a Western Conference that’s looking more and more like one of those ‘50s campus stuff-the-telephone-booth fads, or find themselves staring at an empty Yuletide stocking.

Christmas is always the close of the unofficial first half of any season. A chance to stop momentarily, inhale, and take stock of what’s gone right or wrong, individually and collectively. For a team stutter-stepping along, groping around in the dark, piling inconsistency upon inconsistency, a disastrous road swing just before the spiked-eggnog break could prove catastrophic.

more

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

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