Kukla's Korner

4 Days Left…Excitement Is Building

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The votes are pouring in at such a rate that I’m starting to get nervous. My lips are so cold.  Four days remain in our contest to “replace the Fire on Ice marketing campaign with something that doesn’t suck quite as much.”

Below you’ll find the selections and the current vote tally.  All votes for the next 24 hours will be made in the comment section of this post.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: genius+a2y+readers

Wild Questions Answered

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

Q So Gaborik says he’s confident his groin troubles are a thing of the past. If healthy, what’s Gaborik’s ceiling?

A High. Nobody in the NHL has a second gear as fast as Gaborik, and when it comes to his wrist shot, few are better. Health is the only thing keeping Gaborik from contending for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer. In the past two seasons, only Ottawa’s Dany Heatley (.610) has averaged more goals per game than Gaborik (.602). If sidekick Pavol Demitra is also healthy, Gaborik could be on the verge of his first 50-goal season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

AO Hungry For Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Post,

“I’m hungry for hockey,” said Ovechkin, who turns 22 on Monday. “I can’t wait until the season starts. We have a stronger team right now. I can feel it in the locker room. This atmosphere . . . everyone is happier, everyone is hungry.”

Ovechkin says he’s in the best shape of his career, having spent less time vacationing and more time on the ice and lifting weights this summer.

After his production dipped from 52 goals and 106 points as a rookie to 46 goals and 92 points last season, Ovechkin rededicated himself with a rigorous training routine. The Moscow native spent six weeks skating and working out in St. Petersburg with Kozlov, Alexander Radulov, Sergei Gonchar, Alexander Semin and Evgeni Malkin, and three weeks practicing with Dynamo Moscow, his former Russian Super League team.

more (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

NHLPA Responds To Bell Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (September 12, 2007): Following today’s media release issued by the National Hockey League announcing the suspension of Mark Bell for 15 regular-season games, NHLPA Associate Counsel, Ian Penny issued the following statement:

“The NHLPA sees no basis for the excessive suspension Gary Bettman has imposed upon Mark Bell.Mark has fully accepted the serious consequences of his actions. He faces incarceration at the conclusion of the season and has already been suspended without pay as a result of his placement in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program (SABH). There is no legitimate purpose served by adding a substantial league disciplinary suspension to the severe sanctions that have already been imposed.

We are currently reviewing all of our legal options with respect to this matter.”

The NHLPA will have no further comment at this time.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+bell

Ilitch Believes Schedule Change Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit News,

Ilitch also spoke about his ownership of the Red Wings and the team’s sudden attendance challenges. He blamed “scheduling” boredom for fan disinterest and indicated that changes in the NHL schedule will be forthcoming in the 2008-09 season.

“You’re gonna be able to see a lot of teams,” Ilitch said, implying that the division-heavy scheduling of past seasons will give way to greater diversity. “This is history. This will be the last year with this type of structure, I think.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+ilitch

Athletes as Role Models

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, in response to Gary Bettman’s statements today regarding Mark Bell’s suspension,

Bettman’s phrasing is eerily reminiscent of the wording of commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement when he suspended a couple of NFL miscreants (Pacman Jones and Chris Henry) last May. Goodell talked about the “integrity” of his league; how it was a “privilege to represent the NFL” and that its members must meet “the highest standards of conduct.”

All of which sends a clear signal to professional athletes everywhere — that whatever standard of behavior was tolerated in the recent past by the NHL, NBA, NFL and major-league baseball, the rules are starting to change and that part of the “covenant” with their fans that Bettman alluded to is becoming good role models again.

much more…

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

Under The Radar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,

No surprise, really, but I failed for the 26th consecutive year to finagle an invitation to an NHL training camp. Rather than succumb to bitterness, I merely did what I do every year at this time: scour camp rosters to see who was lucky enough to get the call. Most of these guys aren’t any more likely to suit up in the NHL than I am, but there are always a few surprises on the lists. I’m talking about the where’s-he-been guys, the last-chancers, the longshots, the dark horses and the no-names who could be big names before too long if things go their way.

Here are 15 players that caught my eye.
Brandon Sutter (Hurricanes): The 11th overall pick of this year’s draft won himself a lot of fans—me included—with his ferocious performance at the Super Series.

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Toronto’s New Jerseys

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled their own new RBK jerseys a few minutes ago.  This post on HF Boards shows a screenshot from Leafs TV:

image

More on the history of the evolving Maple Leafs sweater can be found here.

Update 3:58pm ET: For another point of view… (ha! okay, sorry…)

Update 4:34pm ET: Here is the broadcast from Leafs TV that unveiled the jerseys earlier today. (opens in WMP)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Hockey Equipment, RBK, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jerseys, rbk, toronto+maple+leafs

Khan(!): Uncle Mike Views Sopel As Top 4 Guy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Ansar Khan(!) was handing out balloons as the Wings boarded busses for the trip to TC today.  He found a few minutes to throw a few questions at his primary antagonist, Mike Babcock.  One subject was potential diamond in the rough Brent Sopel.

On veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, in camp on a tryout: “I think he has a chance to be a real good fit for us. He can shoot the puck, he can skate with the puck. He’s got to take (away) some of the erratic play he’s had. (Wings assistant coach) Todd McClellan coached him juniors, I’ve known him since he was a kid, we have a real good feel for him and think he’s a top-four NHL defenseman. Now, just because we think it doesn’t mean anything, he’s got to relax and let his skill come to the forefront and show us what he brings (though the preseason).’‘

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, deep+diggers, fellow+bloggers, sopel

Refs Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

At least for part of the day Tuesday, the skate was on the other foot for the NHL officials at their training camp at the Beaver Valley Community Center. The officials spent part of the morning playing hockey as their peers worked on their refereeing skills in live-fire game situations.

“That’s the toughest game you will ref all year,” said Dan O’Rourke, one of the referees. “Guys just want to get their time done as the ref and go back to playing because the boys are all over you about everything.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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