Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Get ready, Stan (Bowman). Soon the lawyers and NHLPA reps will be advocating that Eager, Fraser, Henry, Ladd and Niemi (or at least whichever of them goes to salary arbitration) won the Cup all by themselves. That’s one of the least enjoyable experiences for a GM and the beginning of the end for the “team concept.”

-Jay Feaster at The Hockey News.  More on this topic from Jay.

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

Captain Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ulmer at MapleLeafs.com,

There are about six billion people on planet earth right now.

There is one captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His name is Dion Phaneuf and he was unveiled to the media today at the new Real Sports Bar and Grill at Maple Leafs Square.

Six billion people. There were roughly that many on planet earth last year, and the year before.

There was no captain in Toronto.

One in six billion. Sounds about right.

The captains of the Toronto Maple Leafs have been men-about-town and abstainers, fancy talkers and quiet farm boys.


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

Video Of The Stanley Cup At Wrigley Field

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Cup takes a tour of the outfield at Wrigley Field.

More videos at Wrigley can be viewed at ChicagoBlackhawks.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wrigley+field

No Cup In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

For the 15th consecutive season the Stanley Cup will reside in the United States.

The Montreal Canadiens were Canada’s last team standing this year, but did anybody - even the most ardent Habs’ fan - really believe they had a shot to win it all? Kind of makes one wonder when we’ll see a Canadian-based championship team again?

It has to happen sometime, doesn’t it?

Here’s a look at the six Canadian teams and their Cup chances down the road.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks are probably the closest thing Canada has to a bona fide Stanley Cup contender. But because they play in the tough Western Conference, even getting to the final is a tough task.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Weight Wants To Return To The Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

Nothing is finalized, but it seems highly likely that Doug Weight, 39, coming off shoulder surgery, will play again next season for the New York Islanders.

  “We’ve had discussions, but we are hopeful we will find a home there,” said Steve Bartlett, Weight’s agent. “It’s not definite yet, but I think our early talks have been positive.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+weight

It’s The Red Wings Way In Tampa Bay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

That includes the recent hiring of coach Guy Boucher. What did Yzerman like about him as his first coach hire, despite Boucher not having any NHL experience?

“First, he is a strong personality,” Yzerman replied. “Second, his experience is rooted in winning, both as a head coach and as an assistant. I have no reservations about his ability to translate that at the NHL level. I look at guys like Dave Tippett, Mike Babcock and Todd McLellan, who had similar traits and were immediately successful as NHL coaches.”

There’s that Red Wings’ perspective again, with Babcock and McLellan cited. Understandable. But what about the task at hand? What about his new team now, the Lightning?

“We have Stanley Cup-winning vets in Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier to go along with young players Steve Stamkos and Victor Hedman,” he says. “But we can’t get things done in one offseason. We have to take a longer, realistic view of our young players and what we should expect them to contribute.”

That statement alone is telling. The Red Wings have long been loathe to rush young players into positions of prominence, and I’m sure that Yzerman brings that developmental sensibility to the Lightning. And that’s just one of many differences Yzerman will find in his migration from Hockeytown to Hockey Bay.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

A Great NHL Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

After a regular season that saw record-breaking business success, propelled in large part by the NHL’s strategy of engaging fans through big events and robust digital offerings, the League built on that momentum with unprecedented success during a Stanley Cup Playoffs that attracted the largest audience across all platforms in the history of the sport.

The landmark playoff run was highlighted by the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in 36 years; the highest audience for an all-U.S. Final in Canadian television history; the most-watched first two rounds on U.S. cable in history; the most-watched NHL game in TSN’s history; record TV ratings in local markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston; television and digital growth in non-traditional markets like Memphis, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Diego; another record year for NHL.com unique visitors; the hottest of all hot markets in Chicago fueling a Shop.NHL.com one-day sales record; in-arena sales for the Final growing by 129 percent; and measurable buzz on platforms like Google and Twitter.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Top 20 Adjusted +/- Ratings 2009/10

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

There are several sabermetric analyses of hockey that I like, but rarely see published in any form online or elsewhere.  I plan to calculate some of them and the associated analysis that comes with them for the first part of the summer and then move onto new sabermetric problems.

Today, I want to look at adjusted +/- ratings.  This first appeared in the Klein and Reif Hockey Compendium.  The basic idea is to subtract off team effects from individual players to compare +/- ratings between teams.  It doesn’t give you a list of the best players in the NHL (no sabermetric method does this), but it gives you a list of players who excelled in the role they played in a given season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

UFA Update In Atanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Meehan did not rule out Afinogenov returning to the Thrashers, but said a deal was not close.  He said it was possible that he would meet with Thrashers officials at the NHL Draft, which will be held June 25-26 in Los Angeles. Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said last week that all the players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents have been made offers that are in line with what the organization is willing to pay.

Meehan said the status of contract talks between his client Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers remains unchanged. After initial contract talks, the sides remain far apart on terms of a new deal. It appears that Armstrong will test the free-agent market come July 1.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

MacTavish Waiting For Work

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

“Not much going on from my perspective ... the trend right now is to hire younger coaches,” said MacTavish, 52. “Look at the job Danny Bylsma did in Pittsburgh, and Joe Sacco had a tremendous year in Colorado ... whether they can sustain it is the true measure, but it’s opened a lot of people’s eyes to the attributes of youth.”

NHL teams seem to want fresh faces. Guy Boucher, who just got the Tampa Bay job, is 38. David Payne in St. Louis is 39. Cory Clouston in Ottawa and Byslma are 40. Sacco is 41. Todd McLellan of San Jose and Peter DeBoer of Florida are 42, Todd Richards of Minnesota is 43. New Columbus coach Scott Arniel is 47.

“Generally, older coaches have a degree of failure on their record and younger coaches don’t. It’s a trade-off between experience and the hardening of the job,” said MacTavish, who has coached 656 NHL games, but now has a seat towards the back of the bus. So does former Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, who is now an “advisor” with the Blue Jackets as he plays out the final two seasons of his $1.3-million-a-year deal there.

Both guys would like another shot, but they will have to wait for the coaching carousel to turn once the season starts again.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish

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