Kukla's Korner

Jaroslav Hlinka- Rookie At Age 30

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said Hlinka “has had a great camp. ... His poise and patience with the puck, his play selection, are all high end. Being around top players who have a lot of skill, he plays right into that, feeds off of that.”

Was Quenneville skeptical about taking a look at a 30-year-old rookie?

“Well, it’s opportunity,” Quenneville said. “He’s playing at the top level over there, and he’s the top scorer over there, and it can be a matter of giving some guys a break, or having them get discovered. Or some guys just mature a little bit later. ... He’s given us every indication that he can handle this, no problem, and I think he can help our hockey club.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, jaroslav+hlinka

Line Of The Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Calgary Sun,

Iginla pointed out Downie’s hit went too far seeing as he could have made a highlight-reel check without jumping into McAmmond.

“If you don’t leave your feet there, he still gets a big hit. But a lot of us felt it was charging,” Iginla said. “As players, we’re responsible to not put ourselves in that (vulnerable) position, but it happens. You hope there won’t be the full impact, but you can understand and respect when it’s within the rules.”

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

Fighting Remains Part Of The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Rightly or wrongly, fighting remains with us. What the means for the league is a matter of some debate as it will continue to be a source of appeal to some and a source of revulsion to others.

“A good portion of teams will want to copy a team (Anaheim) that’s been successful,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. “But I’m not a believer in an enforcer who plays three or four shifts a game. I think you have to be able to play and I think we have guys on our team who can do that. That’s not an area I’m concerned about at all.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fighting, vancouver+canucks

London Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

The O2 Arena in London opened its doors on June 22 and although some rock concerts have been staged, no ice had ever been laid down.

So three days ago, the NHL’s ice guru, Dan Craig, started work on the surface. In a case like this, more is involved than just dumping some water on the floor and chilling it.

For starters, the floor had been swept after the concerts, but never properly cleaned. So the first job was to make sure that the surface was free from any contaminants that might affect the ice.

Then the boards had to be installed. The O2 Arena was built to accommodate European hockey with its larger ice surface and the stadium’s personnel had used those boards only to control crowds. But Craig had to oversee the installation of boards for an NHL-size rink. That, too, was a first.

more

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

Hits To The Head Will Continue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Moreover, as long as such hits stay in the game, there will be inevitable retaliation and brawls that followed, and you’ll have more of the bizarre scenes like Tuesday when a group of Ottawa players inadvertently trampled the unconscious McAmmond in their rush to exact some form of frontier justice.

The NHL could have taken a hard line on such hits in the summer months, but chose not to. The players’ union sure didn’t demand it, and too many hockey people decreed that the risk of taking body contact out of the game by outlawing hits to the head area was too significant.

Instead, the league has asked its officials to more carefully assess each incident with an emphasis on several key areas:

read on

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

The Changing Dollar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,

People who follow sports don’t necessarily look up currency rates. But a significant benchmark was reached last week when the Canadian “loonie” was valued at slightly more than $.99 compared to the American greenback (the loonie is currently valued at $. 99691). It is the first time since November 1976 that the American and Canadian dollars have been virtually on par.

Running franchises in Canada became progressively difficult as the Canadian dollar started a free fall, and bottomed out at around $.62 by 1998. But because the two currencies are now on par, the NHL and the NFL may start looking north of the American border to expand their business opportunities.

continued

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

Mattias Norstrom Leads Without The “C”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Telegram,

When the Stars acquired Norstrom in February, they got a big defenseman who added a more defensive touch to the blue line. They also got a player who has a take-charge quality about him, be it on the ice, in the locker room—or when they had their team-bonding exercises recently in Colorado.

“He’s a natural leader, that’s just who he is,” coach Dave Tippett said. “When you come in the middle of the year, it’s not hard but you don’t get the full effect of things. He’s come in this year and he’s familiar with the group. He’s very good for us, on and off the ice.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dallas+stars, mattias+norstrom

Hall Of Famer Pilote Enjoys The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Catharines Standard,

Count Pierre Pilote among those who enjoy post-NHL lockout hockey.

Gone are the days of hooking, high-sticking and holding going largely unpenalized.

Like many former players and present-day fans, the Hockey Hall of Famer enjoys watching the skilled players do their thing.

“I’m so glad,” he said between periods of a recent Niagara IceDogs game. “Since the lockout, it’s given the skilled players a chance to play, and they’re doing it.

“It’s in a better state now. When I played (1955-56 to 1968-69), it was all right. Then expansion came in and all of a sudden, coaches were saying, ‘How are we going to win this?’

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre+pilote

Rangers Roster Taking Shape

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Like details of a photograph emerging in a darkroom developing pan, the Opening Day roster for the Rangers became clearer Wednesday.

Based on their performance in camp and preseason games, two prospects seem to have solidified positions: 21-year-old center Brandon Dubinsky, ticketed for the third line, and highly-touted defenseman Marc Staal, who at age 20 seems to have all the instincts and skating ability necessary for the NHL. If the Rangers add just Staal and Dubinsky and keep the roster at 22, not 23, they would squeeze under the $50.3-million salary cap by about $600,000.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers

Brits Paying High Price To See The Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

Tickets for the 17,500 seats, priced at $50, $90 and $130, were sold out in 2 1/2 weeks with very limited advertising, says Lucy Ellison, spokeswoman for the O2 arena, site of the games.

The price on the scalpers’ black market is way above that.

Andrew Morris, a Canadian expat and fan of his hometown Vancouver Canucks, says his girlfriend planned to get him a ticket as a 30th birthday present. She wasn’t fast enough and found scalpers wanted $770.

“It was really amazing not to get tickets,” says a disappointed Morris, who works in a London nightclub. “If you’re a hockey fan, it doesn’t make much difference who is playing. You just want to see the game.”

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, london, los+angeles+kings

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