Kukla's Korner

One Man For The Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...this is one time when the obvious choice for someone to run the ship is also the right one — Scotty Bowman, who briefly flirted with the Leafs in August, but Monday retreated from remarks he made on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday and reiterated that his commitment is to the Detroit Red Wings, where he is a senior consultant.

Well, okay.

To think that Bowman would jump ship in midseason was a mostly irrational hope anyway. The time to woo him again is this summer, after the current season ends and the business of hockey takes centre stage.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scotty+bowman

Hockey Night In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Last Saturday, with the Leafs on the West Coast playing the San Jose Sharks at 10 p.m. EST, Hockey Night aired the Detroit Red Wings-Senators game, the battle of the NHL’s top two teams, nationwide at 7 p.m. The telecast did pretty well, 909,000 viewers, not far off the 1.181 million average for the Leafs’ telecasts.

The Wings-Senators were up against two NFL playoff games on CTV, which were watched by 1.05 million (Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers) and 924,000 (Jacksonville Jaguars-New England Patriots).

Without the competition from football, Wings-Senators would have pulled in an audience probably larger than the Leafs’ average on Hockey Night.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

2nd Line Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Red Wings Corner,

Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk has been a linemate with Ilya Kovalchuk—who will be in town with Atlanta Tuesday night—on the Russian national team, Datsyuk was asked what competitions that he’s participated in with Kovalchuk.

“World Cup. Olympics. Baltika Cup. You put that in for me. Baltika (maker of a Russian beer). Free promotion for Russian business. Maybe they send me send bucks.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Blue Jackets are in the Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via SI,

Of all things, the Blue Jackets - the only NHL team to never reach the postseason - find themselves in the midst of the race for the playoffs.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of ourselves but it’s pretty exciting for our players to know that we’re in the middle of this mess with everybody else,’’ coach Ken Hitchcock said Monday. “We’re right in the battle here to go up the ladder if we can continue to play well, but one bad week and you’re really behind the eight ball. I think it’s going to be like this the rest of the year. It’s going to be close.’‘

Heading into this week’s games, the 7-year-old franchise is off to its best season at 21-18-6. The best previous mark at this stage was 17-22-6 in 2002-2003. Considering the club has never come close to having a winning record, that in itself is an accomplishment.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

An Interim GM in Toronto?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bob McKenzie at TSN,

The beleaguered Toronto Maple Leafs are taking steps to try to replace general manager John Ferguson Jr.

Sources tell TSN that the Leafs have contacted a number of hockey management types to gauge their interest in the job, which is currently held by Ferguson, and, in fact, have asked former Leaf GM Cliff Fletcher if he is interested in taking over as interim GM of the NHL club.

Cliff Fletcher could not be reached for comment. Fletcher remains under contract to the Phoenix Coyotes even though he is no longer working for the organization.

continued...

*hat tip to Puckhound61 for linking to this in the forums

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cliff+fletcher, general+manager, john+ferguson+jr

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Finally, a note to fans of the Lightning, Leafs, and Kings: It. Is. Over.

Yes, already.

Miracles are never completely out of the question, but thanks to the NHL’s unbalanced schedule, there is virtually no possibility whatsoever Tampa Bay, Toronto or Los Angeles can leapfrog the five or six teams in front of them to secure a playoff berth. Let the firings and/or fire sales begin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best Off-Season Acquisitions

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Erskine in the National Post,

A few of the best additions are surprising, while a couple of the least impressive pickups should have been expected.

In no particular order, here are the top five best offseason acquisitions.

1. Ty Conklin, Pittsburgh Penguins
No player added to a team has been more astonishing in a positive way than Conklin, who has been nothing short of a godsend for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

more... plus the 5 worst off-season pick-ups, as well

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ty+conklin

A Nasty Flu in Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via Santa Barbara News-Press,

Carolina’s roster has been crippled partly because of a nasty flu virus that seemingly claims a new player each day and has contributed to an irksome slide of losses in six of eight games that has decimated its Southeast Division lead.

No wonder that as the Hurricanes head into this critical stretch, they’re trying to stay germ-free.

‘‘This is not your typical sniffles,’’ coach Peter Laviolette said Monday. ‘‘These guys are tough guys who can play through just about anything, and they are down and out.’‘

Defenseman Niclas Wallin, the latest illness victim, is staying home from Tuesday night’s game at Toronto, Laviolette said. Four players who missed Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Colorado - forwards Ray Whitney and Trevor Letowski, defenseman Wade Brookbank and Wesley - skated Monday and could play against the Maple Leafs, though it’s unclear how close to 100 percent they’ll be.

more…

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

Gaborik Healthy & Scoring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CanWest via the National Post,

A healthy Gaborik has been somewhat of a treat for the Wild this season. He also took home the same honour earlier this season after he became the first player in more than a decade to score five goals in a game, Dec. 20 versus the New York Rangers.

In 2006-07, the 25-year-old native of Trencin, Slovakia, was limited to just 48 games, in large part due to a groin injury. When Gaborik was in the lineup, the Wild went 33-9-6; when he scored a goal, the team was 19-2-2.

Needless to say, as long as Gaborik, and fellow Slovak Pavol Demitra, stay healthy, the Wild will continue to compete for the Northwest title.

“I feel pretty good right now,” said Gaborik, who has 25 goals and 22 assists in 40 games this season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Early Commitment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Grand Forks Herald,

Jason Herter brought his hockey team to his old college campus over the weekend to compete in the Little Caesars North American Showcase.

One of his players, 15-year-old defenseman Garrett Clarke, says he will be back.

Clarke became the youngest player ever to give a verbal commitment to UND this weekend when he told Sioux coaches that he will play for them beginning in 2010.

The Moncton, N.B., native had been a projected top-three pick in June’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft, but after visiting campus, he and his family decided college was the best route.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: garrett+clarke

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