Kukla's Korner

NHL Goes Outside The Box With Awards Gala

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Could the National Hockey League have picked a better summer to step outside the box and move its annual awards ceremony to the city that never sleeps?...

Credit NHL chief operating officer John Collins, who cut his teeth in the NFL and embraces the “thinking big” approach of doing business that has sometimes escaped the NHL, for transporting the awards show from Toronto to Vegas for what is expected to be a three-year run or more if the event gains the kind of traction Collins envisions.

Collins has been a force behind the two Winter Classic games in Buffalo and Chicago, events which have already become staples on the national sporting scene with impressive television ratings and significant buzz surrounding them. The move to Vegas is his baby, too.

Traditionally, the awards have been an afterthought on the NHL schedule, wedged between the end of the Stanley Cup finals and the annual draft, and was given little profile in Toronto.

Collins won’t criticize the previous awards shows, but told ESPN.com this week, “we just felt there was an opportunity to do something more.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Thinking Long-Term In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

A smart betting man would wager that Kesler, not goaltender Luongo, will be the first Canuck to sign a long-term extension this summer.

Canuck general manager Mike Gillis said before leaving for Vegas that he’d be speaking with both to get an idea how they might like to proceed on July 1, when teams are eligible to extend contracts due to expire after next season.

Luongo is due to become an unrestricted free agent 12-and-a-half months from now. Kesler would be a restricted free agency with, likely, a load of leverage in salary arbitration. He’ll make $1.75 million US next year, Luongo $7.5 million US.

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with him,” Gillis said of Luongo, who has said he’ll stay in Vancouver if he feels the Canucks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. “Very preliminary.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo, ryan+kesler

Bouwmeester Likely To Be Moved Before UFA Period Starts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

JayBo is a goner, and the move likely will happen at next week’s NHL draft in Montreal.

That was the candid opinion of Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren, Wednesday, as he met with reporters to talk about the upcoming draft in Montreal.

“I’d say there’s probably a good chance of that happening,” Holmgren said at Skate Zone, when asked whether Florida will deal defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s rights next week.

Just as they were in the hunt during the March trade deadline, the Flyers are one of several clubs expected to make a strong pitch for the 25-year-old blue liner.

continue for more on Bouwmeester and the Flyers…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Burke Not Interested In Heatley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke let it be known that the Leafs will not be in on the Dany Heatley sweepstakes, and he pulled no punches along the way.

In a phone interview with Deb Placey and Billy Jaffe on NHL Live! broadcast on the NHL network, Burke stated that the Leafs had no interest in the two-time 50 goal scorer, largely because of the way he has chosen to handle his trade request.

“We’re not going to be in on that,” Burke stated.  “He’s a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades.”


I was listening to the interview and one thing not mentioned in the above story is Burke was asked about the Phoenix/Hamilton issue.  Burke said he cannot discuss right now, the league is handling the issue, but once he gets the OK to talk about it, NHL Live should book him for an hour, because he has a lot to say on that topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, dany+heatley

Top Ten Players Of The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

In a nod to the great post-season that was, we’re listing our 10 best players of the playoffs. As per usual, we like to avoid repetition, so there can only be one player per team, which means 10 of the 16 qualifiers are represented.

10. Zach Parise, LW, New Jersey
The Devils fell to the Hurricanes in seven games, but Parise did all he could to stop it from happening. His modest stat line – three goals and six points, including a power play goal and a game-winning marker – does not do his dynamic play justice. His 19-plus minutes of ice time per game also led New Jersey forwards far and away.

9. Claude Giroux, RW, Philadelphia
He played 42 regular season games for the Flyers this year, but Giroux’s coming-out party came during the playoffs. The shifty speedster led his team in scoring with two goals and five points in six opening-round games versus the Penguins. And despite his youth, Giroux, 21, proved himself to be a more than capable penalty-killer and was counted on in that role throughout the series.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Caps Coach Not A Pens Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

I couldn’t resist asking Boudreau about watching the rival Pittsburgh Penguins raise Lord Stanley’s mug. Let’s just say he wasn’t cheering for Pittsburgh.

“The rivalry is pretty heated between the two teams, so normally you always want the team that beats you to win the Cup so you can say, ‘Hey, we did great. The only team that beat us was the team that won it all,’” Boudreau told ESPN.com. “But it was really a hard time cheering for them. Now that they’ve won, it’s definitely a motivating factor for me with the team. But I was still hoping for Detroit. I couldn’t bring myself to cheer for Pittsburgh. But since they won, I may as well use it.”

more plus a video of Ovechkin talking about being on the cover of NHL 2K10, the playoffs and the rivalry with the Penguins.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Wings will tender Hossa a multi-year deal this summer and no doubt he’ll only be too happy to sign. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, the Pens came along with a similar offer: Would anybody bat an eye if Hossa said, ‘Thanks but no thanks, I’ll take my chances in Michigan.’?

-Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News.  More on Hossa and other NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Hard To Move High Priced Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,

The NHL’s salary cap for next season is expected to remain close to last season’s cap limit of $56.7 million, which could seriously handicap the off-season plans of several clubs that have already committed a lot of coin toward next season’s payroll.

Speculation suggests the following teams could attempt to move some high-salaried players to free up that valuable cap space:

-The Philadelphia Flyers are currently sitting just under $50 million for next season and are rumored shopping Daniel Briere, who has a no-movement clause, an injury history, and a cap hit of $6.5 million per season until the end of the 2014-15 season.

-The Chicago Blackhawks have been rumored (mainly coming from rumor blogs so take with a grain of salt) to be unhappy with defenseman Brian Campbell’s performance and would like to move him, his limited no-trade clause and his $7.145 million per season until 2015-16 off their books.

more with analysis on why it may be hard to move these types of players…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Scuderi Should Stay In Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman is eligible for unrestricted free agency come July 1 and will definitely get a big raise from the $712,500 salary he brought in this season. His play in the post-season has earned him mentions for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team and though he is a priority for re-signing in Pittsburgh, the Pens don’t have a lot of room left under the cap for next season and sacrifices will have to be made.

So what’s the best move to make if you’re Scuderi? Stay put, sir. You’re literally playing for the best team in the league and with Pittsburgh’s core, that ranking won’t waver too much in the next few years.

Bolting a Stanley Cup champ for greener (as in the color of money) pastures is certainly a nice reward for a job well done, but it certainly hasn’t helped the on-ice careers of those who have made the leap in the past.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+scuderi

Forget It Jim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

It’s all in the numbers. The Phoenix Coyotes aren’t moving to Hamilton. Jim Balsillie’s campaign to have the Coyotes relocated to Canada is toast. His Make it Seven campaign now can be called Keep it Six.

So what else did you expect, even though Balsillie’s spokesman suggested “we’re still here” in reply to the ruling on Monday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court chief judge Redfield T. Baum?

“We look forward to hearing from the NHL soon on its view of our relocation application and an appropriate relocation fee, so as to allow the court to determine if that fee is reasonable,” the Balsillie spokesman added. “We still think there is enough time for the NHL to approve Mr. Balsillie’s application and move the team to Hamilton by September. Mr. Balsillie is willing to participate in mediation if the NHL is also willing to do so.”

Hmph! What part of the NHL’s reaction to the bomb Judge Baum tossed doesn’t he understand?


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

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