Kukla's Korner

Chris Pronger on Niedermayer’s Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Chris Pronger at The Hockey News,

There are those who wondered about Scott’s decision to take time off, but not his teammates. We understood and so did our fans. Anaheim Ducks fans are delighted Scott has decided to play again. They enjoy the way he plays.

Scott has the right to retire or play, regardless of his contract situation. What some people forget is, when we sign with a team, that team has the right to play us, not play us, put us on waivers, send us down or trade us. Teams own your rights; they don’t own your soul.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chris+pronger, scott+niedermayer

What Will They Talk About

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Leave it to the Toronto Maple Leafs to spoil a good party.

The 27th annual “What’s Wrong With the Leafs?” luncheon will be held at a Toronto restaurant in a couple days and if the boys in blue can top their recent 5-1-1 streak with road victories tonight over the Atlanta Thrashers and tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens on Hockey Night In Canada, there will be precious little downside to talk about at the negativity-in-perpetuity shindig.

continued

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

Kelly Sees Visor Usage Increasing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

“I just think there’s going to be a steady, dramatic increase in visor usage,” said Kelly, hired by the NHLPA in October to replace ousted former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin. “Players are getting the message that they should put a visor on, there are more young guys and European guys coming into the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20 (percent) spike in the number of players wearing visors next year, and another 15 percent spike the year after that.

“Even left to its own natural evolution, visor use will become pretty much unanimous in a matter of two or three years.”

more

Filed in: NHLPA, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thinking 2010

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Looking at how players are performing this season and projecting where they will be in 2009-10, the highly likely Olympians at forward would appear to be Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche), Zach Parise and Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes), Chris Higgins (Montreal Canadiens) and Kane.

Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild) will be 36 in 2010, but my hunch is he will be on the team playing the role of the smart, skilled veteran who can handle a variety of roles.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Look At Willie O’Ree

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Black Athlete,

Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.

“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.

He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.

“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.

more

Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week. 

 

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

December Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,

A few observations now that most NHL teams have reached the one-third mark of the 2007-08 season:

* Henrik Zetterberg continues to pile up points, as do the Red Wings, making him the early favorite to win the Hart Trophy as Most Valuable Player. Zetterberg would join Peter Forsberg, who won the award with the Avalanche in 2003, as the only Swedish-born players to be so honored.

* While Ryan Smyth has been everything the Avalanche could have hoped for after signing him as a free agent, Scott Hannan hasn’t yet lived up to expectations. Maybe it’s more difficult for a defenseman to adjust to new surroundings, but Hannan is a quality player and he shouldn’t be lugging around a plus/minus rating that looks more like Tiger Woods’ golf score after a couple of rounds.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Andy Murray Not Happy With Power Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News-Democrat,

“To me, the work ethic of our penalty-killing players is not matched by the work ethic of our power-play players,” Murray said. “The power-play guys can say it’s easier to kill penalties, and it is. But we’re also paying some guys some pretty good dollars to make our power play work.”...

For the season, the Blues are successful on 13.3 percent of their power-play chances (17-for-128). And while the team’s overall play has improved since Murray’s arrival last December, the power-play remains a major concern.

“We’re not seeing enough goals on our power play,” Murray said. “We’re not seeing the extra work to battle for pucks, to come up with loose pucks, to make sure you outnumber your opponent around the puck.

“There were some guys trying to be difference-makers, but there weren’t enough of them.”

more on the Blues…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray

Right Head, Wrong Body

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

When goalie Ilya Bryzgalov opened up the Christmas card the Coyotes are sending out this season, he saw his smiling face.

He immediately realized that the leg pads were not his—and then he noticed that it wasn’t his body either.

Since he was not on the team at the time the photo was taken, his face was superimposed over the face of David Aebischer, who is now a goaltender in Europe.

Bryzgalov, taken aback a little at first, joked that he’d have to take somebody to court.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Boston Looking At Columbus As Trade Partner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

One longtime scout, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said last night at the Garden he believed the Bruins were in talks with Columbus, which will be in town tomorrow night.

The Blue Jackets, who look capable of landing the franchise’s first playoff berth, were rumored in the offseason to be trying to move talented Russian winger Nikolai Zherdev, who has a history of being somewhat of a lone ranger on the ice.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canes Not Against Making A Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

“I wouldn’t consider any options at this point, but I do think it’s time for me to look at everything a lot closer now,” Rutherford said Thursday. “All teams are going to go through ups and downs but I think our down has lasted too long. And it’s more the fact that in given games we look really good and given games we look really bad. There’s no in-between with us.

“That’s troublesome. I’m concerned about that. When we can prepare and play so well one night and play so poorly the next night, that’s not a good sign.”

Rutherford said the trade market is stagnant at the moment, although he continues to make calls.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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