Kukla's Korner

Team USA North

Blog: KK Members Blog By Anthony Murphy

The fate of Head Coach Ron Wilson is a major issue looming over the Maple Leafs as the new season approaches. His job is secure for now, but consensus is that if the Leafs put together a start as poor as last season’s, Wilson will be out by December.

The work Wilson got out of the Leafs in 09-10 was some of the worst the city has seen in years, but in a three week stint in February, Wilson coached a rookie squad of Olympians all the way to overtime in the gold medal game against the best team in the tournament. Observing the levels of focus, commitment and execution Team USA brought to each game, it was clear the bench had bought into what Wilson – and GM Brian Burke – were selling.

The Olympic Games left Leaf fans hoping the momentum these two old soldiers brought out of Vancouver would carry over into the Leafs dressing room. In order to capitalize on their success, the path is clear for Burke: to get as many Team USA members as possible on Toronto’s roster. No easy task, as the Olympic squad was made up of some of the best young talent in the game, but Burke was able to capitalize on the Chicago’s cap-crunch and add Kris Versteeg to the Leafs’ Team USA members Phil Kessel and Mike Komisarek, who sat out the tournament with injuries.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, maple+leafs, ron+wilson, team+usa, tim+kennedy, toronto

The Improving Southeast Division

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

Every team in the division has gotten better,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The 24 games we play within the division are not going to be easy for us. For the most part, we’re a very similar team to what we were, so they will know what they’re facing whereas, with some of these teams that have changed more than the others, we’re facing the unknown.”

No team may have altered the landscape more than Tampa Bay as new owner Jeff Vinik brought in Steve Yzerman, who has simultaneously bolstered the franchise’s credibility while overhauling its on- and off-ice personnel in his first few months as general manager.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Have Kovalchuk, Devils And NHL Reached Common Ground?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

This contract is supposed to stick. For the umpteenth time since July 1, the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk are believed to be on the verge of a deal Friday, the difference being that this one is expected to receive approval from the NHL.

Kovalchuk reportedly issued a deadline of this weekend for receiving league approval of a Devils deal, or he would have embraced lucrative offers from St. Petersburg of the Russian Kontinental League.

Details of the latest attempt were unavailable, but presumably answered NHL objections to the length of prior contract offers, their drop to near-minimum salary levels, and the ease by which the Devils could get out of the final seasons of the pact.


added 2:10pm, via Tom Gulitti tweet,

It’s looking like Devils got a thumbs up on a contract proposal with Kovalchuk. Waiting for a confirmation.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Torres May Be A Bargain For Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province at Canada.com,

Raffi Torres didn’t feel great about getting to late August without a contract.

“It sucked,” he said.

Things did get better this week. But with a catch.

Torres signed a one-year, $1-million-US deal with the Vancouver Canucks. Not a lot of comfort or security there. It doesn’t mean this is his last chance. But you can see it from here.

Truth is, Torres has too much talent for this. He can skate, pound and aggravate. He has size, sandpaper and soft hands. He can play anywhere in the lineup. He was a fifth overall pick, scored 27 goals in a season and is in his prime at 28 years old. Talent wise, he should be playing for $3 million right about now. Instead, he’s on his fourth NHL team in three years.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

Grand Rapids Extends Curt Fraser Contract

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday announced that Curt Fraser has signed a new two-year contract to remain the team’s head coach through the 2011-12 season.

Named the eighth head coach in Griffins history on July 23, 2008, Fraser has compiled records of 77-64-9-10 (0.541) in the regular season and 4-6 (0.400) in the playoffs during his two seasons behind the team’s bench.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

Recognize The Bloggers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

Bloggers tell more stories. Bloggers reach every nook and cranny of fan interest. Bloggers are passionate and talented. They care about your franchise.

As long as they abide by published and official guidelines I will always support the blogosphere as well as the mainstream media.

As an aside, if there are 150 million plus bloggers today, ISN’T IT TIME WE RECOGNIZE THEM as MAINSTREAM MEDIA?! Can’t get more mainstream than 150 million people.

Bloggers covering sports teams is like oxygen - get used to it!


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Defamation Suit Settled

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

NHL player Shane Doan and longtime Liberal MP Denis Coderre have reached an out-of-court settlement to bring an end to their defamation dispute.

During the 2006 election, Coderre demand Doan be barred from Canada’s team for the Turin Winter Olympics.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

Edmonton Related Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• Nikolai Khabibulin will likely find out Friday if he’s going to jail.

The Edmonton Oilers goaltender will have his driving under the influence and speeding case heard before a judge in Scottsdale Municipal Court in Arizona Friday afternoon….

• Former Oilers winger Fernando Pisani, who had been on the ice for three weeks and said he felt “great health-wise,” was hit with an attack of back spasms while off-ice training a few days ago and couldn’t skate at Perry Pearn’s three-on-three pro camp.

Pisani told an Oilers veteran that he was feeling better after the scare, but this isn’t what the hard-luck Pisani needs with the Chicago Blackhawks camp opening in mid-September….

• Unrestricted free-agent winger Patrick O’Sullivan, the former Oilers, hasn’t had any real interest from other teams with camps opening in three weeks. That’s semi-surprising, considering his age (25) and he would come cheap because he was bought out.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

World Hockey Summit Wrap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Podnieks a IIHF.com,

Anyone who might have been cynical at the start of the week as to what the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit might or might not accomplish certainly would have left the Sheraton Hotel with tail between legs after four days of productive speeches and contentious discussions.

Did the NHL step up to the podium on day one and announce its players were going to Sochi? No. But did that happen six months after Lillehammer in 1994? Did that happen six months after Canada won double gold in Salt Lake City in 2002? No. To have expected such an announcement was ridiculous. It would have been wonderful, of course, following the unprecedented success of Vancouver 2010, but realistically, this will be an announcement that will be made two years from now in conjunction with a new CBA.

What was overlooked in all the Olympic hoopla during Wednesday’s global agenda session was that everyone, absolutely everyone, agreed that international hockey must be considered in four-year cycles. As Brian Burke said, the Olympics aren’t going anywhere


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

Joe Sakic Not Ready For Full-Time Work

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Yet Sakic, 41, added that a year into retirement, he isn’t ready to serve in a full-time executive role.

“Whatever they need, I’m here,” Sakic said at the Sanctuary Golf Course. “I’ll be able to go to the rinks and give my input, or whatever they want me to do. As an actual job, a title, I’m not really ready for that yet.

“My kids are at such a great age, I want to be home with them, and I’m coaching the boys’ (Chase and Mitchell) hockey and Kamryn, my daughter, is in gymnastics. I’m really enjoying that. I’m watching (the Avalanche) every game, and they know I’m here. I’ll be at the rink once in a while, and if they need anything, I’ll be there for them.

“I know when I’m ready to make that next step and be more committed and be more full time, it’ll be available. But right now, things are going pretty good.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

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