Kukla's Korner

Wings Still A Force In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

It’s far too early in NHL training camp to get into the silliness of predictions and who will finish where, but I suspect the Detroit Red Wings are going to be a much better team this season than last.

Could they return to their halcyon days at the Best in the West? Perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me, even though there are bound to be many who think the aged Wings are more likely to be on the slide than the rise. 

Defending Cup champion Chicago is still a force in spite of the players it lost. The Hawks’ core is still very much in place. Vancouver should be better and many will see them as a legit contender this season. San Jose will still be a handful. But if the Wings can maintain some semblance of good health, they could be back in a big way.

One has to imagine that Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will revert to form after off-years, where Zetterberg and Datsyuk had only 70 points apiece.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will They Ever Play An Outdoor NHL Game In A Non-NHL City?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Foster of the Times & Transcript,

Hockey fans describe the notion of an outdoor regular-season NHL game in Moncton as “a no-brainer.”

“It wouldn’t even matter who’s playing,” says rabid Calgary Flames fan Kyle Lewis of Riverview.

“It could be Columbus and Minnesota. It wouldn’t matter. Just look at the CFL game. You would have to think the NHL would do even better.”

Lewis was reacting to news the world’s premier hockey league has hired a firm to poll Canadians to gauge how much they’d support an NHL game hosted by non-NHL cities in outdoors venues.

Metro Moncton sports fans say the NHL could have saved on their polling budget by coming to Moncton first, to test the waters. In their unanimous opinion, a game at the Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium would prove wildly successful, with a sell-out guaranteed within an hour of the tickets going on sale.

City officials say they’ll be contacting the NHL about the idea.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brendan Morrison Has To Prove His Worth Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

It’s not what he wanted and, for the longest time, he vowed he wouldn’t attend an NHL camp without an NHL deal. But, as a former linemate of Morrison’s was fond of saying, It is what it is, which is why the kid from Pitt Meadows, who’s now the 35-year-old man from Pitt Meadows, is grateful for this opportunity.

Sort of.

“I don’t know if disrespected is the right word but you feel slighted a bit,” Morrison said before Tuesday night’s preseason encounter with the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena. A time zone away, another version of the Canucks were facing another version of the Flames proving, in addition to being inherently evil, the NHL exhibition season alters the time-space continuum.

Where were we? Ah yes, Mr. Morrison.

“You think you’ve proven yourself. I understand this business is What have you done for me lately? but I thought I had a good year [42 points in 74 games with the Washington Capitals last season].


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+morrison

Islanders Staying Right Where They Are For The Next Five Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post,

Charles Wang has always been a man with a plan. It just happens that since he bought the Islanders 10 years ago, that plan has hardly gotten off the ground.

So after years of contemplating moving the franchise because a construction project for a new stadium complex has not been approved, Wang said yesterday the Islanders would stay put for the time being.

“We’re going to be here until 2015,” Wang said at the team’s media day. “We’re going to pursue every option, but we’re here. 2015 is the date when our lease is up.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Why Not Play The Trap Brian Burke?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

“It’s not entertaining,” harumphed Burke, a trap hater.

“You can dumb this game down and make it successful. We could have five guys stand in front of our net. But we’re in the entertainment business. I believe that our goals against can come down with improved goaltending and better defensive play.

“And yes, I care deeply about our (Leafs) history. But those two, Burns and Neilson, were defensive-oriented coaches. Both of those guys, I admire. Both guys I have or have had good relationships with. It’s just not my cup of tea (trapping).

“First and foremost, I’m in the entertainment business. I make no bones about that.

“We do not trap. We hit in all three zones. We trade chances. We fight. I like the style Ron plays.

“I need people to feel that the team is a good investment on nights we win and on nights we don’t.”


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

Here’s To Malik. And Thid? You Can Just Go Ahead And Suck It

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

If any of you donated a single cent to George’s trek to TC, and wonder where the money went?  Read this.  It’s a great final chapter to one of the best displays of hockey blogging/writing you’ll ever see.

Every report from George out of camp was an amazing collection of insider knowledge, hockey genius and delicious Wing fan bias.  Perfection.  He brought a huge amount of class to A2Y and turned this place into something reputable for 11 days.  And so, as I thank Malik for that, I’ll also say this…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Give The Leafs Some Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

Though the Maple Leafs left an ugly first impression on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre, I might give it until after tonight’s second exhibition tilt — or maybe even Thursday’s match-up with Philadelphia in London — before writing off the entire season. An e-mail arrived late last night from a distraught Leaf zealot wondering how much time Ron Wilson has to “turn this thing around.” Another message bemoaned a “typical Kaberle effort… how [Brian] Burke saw fit to keep this guy is beyond me.”

Such knee-jerk reactions, of course, are commonplace in this apprehensive hockey market, and the Nervous Nellies had plenty of ammunition after the 5-0 stinker against Ottawa.


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

Stajan Out With Shoulder Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

But the Flames lost centre Matt Stajan for an undetermined period of time with a shoulder injury.

“He hurt his shoulder,” said assistant general manager Jay Feaster. “He was examined here tonight. Obviously couldn’t come back. But we won’t know exactly the extent of it until he sees the doctors back in Calgary.”

Stajan suffered the injury near the Calgary bench in the first period when he was reaching for the puck.

“He’s going to miss some time,” Feaster said. “But we’ll wait until we see the doctors.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+stajan

Heading back to Hockeytown shortly, and a scattershot recap of the Red vs. White game

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

Updated w/ links at end of post at 9:57 AM: As I write my final entry from my hotel room in Traverse City, MI, it’s highly likely that the only members of the Red Wings’ organization still awake are the coaches and equipment staff.  After the the Red team defeated the White team 5-3 over the course of 2 25-minute periods on Tuesday, the Wings’ players posed for a group photo with the people that make “Hockeytown North’s” Red Wings prospect tournament and training camp work—the volunteers who give endless hours of their time, energy and effort to make camp happen—and they talked to the media, showered, changed and got on buses or in their cars and joined the caravan of vehicles immediately departing for Joe Louis Arena, where the Wings will practice at 9:30 AM on Wednesday before taking a solid roster (click for the roster; Chris Osgood will start but not finish the game, but Kris Draper’s still out as he recovers from a groin injury) to Pittsburgh and open the Consol Energy Center against a stacked Penguins team at 7 PM.  After that they’ll play seven more exhibition games over the course of eleven nights, and open the regular season on October 3rd.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Koivu Feeling Comfortable In Southern California

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,

One aspect of life that was completely different for Koivu last year was the anonymity he enjoyed in Orange County. Suffice to say, it was a 180-degree change from Montreal, where he was the team captain the previous 10 years and was recognized and hounded everywhere he went.

“It was a really refreshing feeling last year,” Koivu said. “Montreal is a special place, but you can’t go anywhere, can’t hide from hockey or the fans. Last year, it felt good going with the wife and kids to the beach or to a restaurant and just being a regular guy, nobody knowing who you are and what you do.”

Not having the responsibilities of team captain also was different last year, a welcome respite for Koivu in the midst of so much change. But that also could be temporary.

With the retirement of captain Scott Niedermayer, Koivu is an obvious candidate to wear the “C” in Anaheim this season, as are Finnish countryman Teemu Selanne and emerging superstar Ryan Getzlaf. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says he will make that call, with input from his coaching staff and General Manager Bob Murray.

Carlyle said Monday he has written down some names of potential captains but wants to make sure his choice is committed to the responsibilities of the position.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

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