Kukla's Korner

Pre-Draft Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Gordon at Hockey Capital,

Only one day until the NHL draft is held in Ottawa and the trade talk is heating up. since the potential for big deals is one of the most entertaining parts of the day, I thought I’d scour the ‘Net for speculation over who is headed where. Come back after draft day and see if anyone was right!

Atlanta Thrashers

Not too much out there the last few days, though the Atlanta Journal-Constitution predicts this will be the most important offseason in the team’s 10-year history. Star forward Ilya Kovalchuk becomes an unrestricted free agent in two years and his agent has served notice to the team: “Ilya wants to win.”

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Day In NYC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

On the surface, a day-trip to Manhattan to rub elbows with the most powerful men in hockey sounds like a glamorous job.

I’ll let you be the judge, as I chronicle my trip from Ottawa to New York and back within 19 hours….

10:22am - I notice Cam Neely is one of the attendees at the meeting. I wonder how many of the old guard NHL guys know they are sitting at a table with a guy who was in Dumb and Dumber.

11:45am - The lunch carts roll outside the meeting room. I can’t tell what they are having for lunch, but until I see the board of governors eating flatbread sammies from Quizno’s, I’m going to just assume the league is on solid financial ground and the cap is going up next year.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Botterill Would Rather Be On The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Beaver County Times,

Now embarking on his second season as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ director of hockey administration, (Jason) Botterill hardly qualifies as dumb. C’mon, the guy has a master’s degree in business. And though he may have been a jock in his younger days — he did have an outstanding amateur hockey career — Botterill is taking more enlightened pursuits these days.

His job duties include monitoring the NHL’s salary cap, financial forecasting, performing contract research and working on salary arbitration cases.

But make no mistake, given his druthers, Botterill would still like to be on the ice instead of the front office. It just didn’t work out that way.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+botterill

Blues Need Backup Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

The Blues will likely target a backup goalie with NHL experience. Recent trade rumors had them linked with Ottawa goalie Ray Emery and Nashville’s Dan Ellis, so a draft-day deal could be a possibility.

“I think a lot of that will develop once free agency hits,” Davidson said. “You can go and make a trade and get somebody here, that means you’re giving up an asset.

“Or you can see what’s there July 1, and see if you can make a deal.”

Davidson said the ideal candidate would get 20 to 25 games, with Legace handling the bulk of the workload.


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

Bizarre Dealings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

The farther one goes along with this Collective Bargaining Agreement now in place in the NHL, the more bizarre are the experiences that keep arising….

The first is the case of Evgeni Malkin, who gave the Pens and their fans a lift of hope when he announced—much to his agent J. P. Barry’s chagrin—that he doesn’t need to be paid any more than Sidney Crosby on a five-year deal.

After Barry got through rending his garments at his client’s honesty, he thought about the opportunities staying in Pittsburgh might afford the young Russian in terms of competing for championships and came to the conclusion that as long as they limit the term to five years or the loss of just one year of unrestricted free agency, a deal near Crosby’s $8.7 million per season might be acceptable.

read on plus Jeff Carter talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin, jeff+carter

Risky Hire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for NHLers, who have an extremely limited window in which to capitalize on decades of hard work and dedication, defending themselves vigorously against some of the big-time money-grubbers who own teams.

However, when you bring aboard a guy like Healy, who still believes Goodenow’s every utterance should be carved on stone slabs and displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, you run the risk of setting up a needless showdown that could be more about massive egos clashing – which many now believe was at the root of the ’04-05 lockout – than the good of the game.


You can also listen to Healy talk about his new position with the NHLPA.  He appeared on Fan590 in Toronto yesterday morning.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glenn+healy

Rolston Looking For The Best Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Brian Rolston made one thing crystal clear Wednesday night: While the three-time Wild 30-goal scorer still thinks he can get a deal done to finish his career in Minnesota, Rolston is not going to give the Wild a hometown discount because he wants to play in Minnesota.

“They made me a decent offer [Friday], but we’re not there yet,” Rolston, 35, said in a phone interview. “I’m looking for my market value. What is my market value? I don’t want to state it, but I think we have a good understanding of what it is.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+rolston

Keeping Vinny Happy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

And superstar Vinny Lecavalier was thrilled his good friend and linemate with whom he has had so much success has a chance to be back on the MVP line with him and Marty St. Louis. And that is probably most important.

The Lightning has said since February it wants to sign Lecavalier to an extension. That rhetoric was turned up earlier this month when Lecavalier’s agent, Kent Hughes, said he believes the organization is shooting to keep Lecavalier on the team for his entire career. Not that Prospal, 33, will be around that long, but getting Prospal sends a definite message to Lecavalier that the organization cares what he thinks.


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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Feaster would not confirm the various two-month-old reports that Barry Melrose will be installed as the Lightning’s new bench boss, but did admit the new coach will be hired by the new ownership group.

“It’s not my search. I think that the owners have some real ideas in where they want to go,” said Feaster, who jokingly added, “one of the reasons I showed up [at the coach’s dinner last night] was to see who sits down, so I can find out who is my new coach.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+feaster

Pressure On Fletcher

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

So here’s how Cliff Fletcher proves he’s not yesterday’s man.

For the Maple Leaf general manager – let’s drop the interim tag, shall we? – to demonstrate he has a true sense of vision beyond finding a way just to get the club back into the playoffs, he needs to do something other than contradicting himself and hiring old friends.

So how about coming away from this weekend’s draft in Ottawa with not one, but two quality first-round picks?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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