Kukla's Korner

Something In The Air In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

MacTavish said the players can sense there is something special happening here.

“It brings the optimism up, for sure,” he said of having four high-end skill players making the team together as toddlers.

He said the players can all sense “there’s the making of something real memorable here. If you get that skill with players willing to play hard and sacrifice, we’re going to have something special.”

He said there’s suddenly a foundation here which gives you that feeling of deja vu - “something we’ve seen here in the past when a young team comes together collectively.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

“Singing” Mike Keenan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Herald,

...Anyway, they had an all-girl Western band playing. We’re having a few pops and enjoying ourselves.

“Well, by the end of the night, Mike’s up on stage, Burnsie’s up on stage. They’re both playing guitar and singing—Mike has a very good voice, I’ll have you know—with the band and the place is just going wild. That, to me, is Mike Keenan.  “A funny guy. A personable guy. That other guy, the one you hear about all the time, he’s a stranger to me.’‘

The other guy, the one you hear about all the time, is the Mike Keenan of legend. The snarling, bullying, caustic martinet capable of eliciting either undying devotion or undying scorn from his players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calgary+flames, mike+keenan

Columbus Plans For Their Top Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Sergei Fedorov will center the Blue Jackets’ first line in the opener between Rick Nash and David Vyborny. Fedorov did not play between the wingers during the preseason.

Hitchcock said Fedorov, 37, earned the right with his performance over the last three exhibition games. The coach said Fedorov will not kill penalties in an effort to limit his minutes.

Nikolai Zherdev will play extensively on the penalty-killing units, Hitchcock said. He believes the winger is a smart player who doesn’t get enough credit for his work on the defensive end. Nash also will be a penalty-killing regular.

more on the Blue Jackets…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, sergei+fedorov

Sens Looking For Fast Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Senators coach John Paddock will have captain Daniel Alfredsson back on the right side with centre Jason Spezza and winger Dany Heatley when the Senators open the season tomorrow in Toronto.

With the Senators playing seven games in the first 11 days of the season, Paddock believes it’s crucial the team begin the year on the right foot.

“The last two or three days I’ve looked at the schedule and, obviously, you want to get off to a good start because then the schedule becomes extremely light (for the rest of October),” said Paddock. “We go from one extreme to the other.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ottawa+senators

Nashville Deal In Doubt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The leader of a local group trying to buy the Nashville Predators said Monday that he doesn’t expect the deal to work out.

The group on Saturday asked for new tax money and several improvements to the Sommet Center, where the Predators play. According to leader David Freeman, the city has rejected the requests.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nashville+predators

Sharks #1 Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The Sharks will open their season in Edmonton on Thursday with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo on the same line.

And Coach Ron Wilson is ready for any critics.

“When I hear, ‘Oh, they’re putting all their eggs in one basket.’ . . . If those are the only two eggs we have, people haven’t even watched our team,” Wilson said after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We’ve got eggs on every line.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: san+jose+sharks

“Hockeytown” Under Fire Again

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Ted Kulfan’s weblog last night had a few nuggets you might be interested in.  First off, he mentions the fact that the trend of disinterest continues.  Opening night, against the Cup champs the Wings should have beaten in the West Final, is far from a sell-out.  The only redeeming factor is that the game will be played on Versus!!!, thereby ensuring the majority of the country won’t see the empty seats.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

A Masterpiece from the Detroit News

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There’s a headline I’ll bet you’d never expected to see here, eh?  It’s well-earned.  John Niyo, Ted Kulfan and Bob Wojnowski recently sat down with Mike Ilitch, Jimmy Devellano, Jim Nill, Scotty Bowman and Ken Holland.  Name a hot topic the last twenty five years and they touch on it: the defections from the Eastern Bloc, the brilliant drafts of ‘83 and ‘89, the near-trade of Steve Yzerman and the current mindset of us against the NHL.

Devellano: Kenny Holland and I have been in the company of at least two general managers—and I won’t tell you who they are—(who said), ‘We can hardly wait until we have a salary cap so we’re on a level playing field with you.’ (They were) intimating that once the salary cap is in place, they’re going to come and pass us. Well, one team missed the playoffs last year, now that they’re on an even playing field, and the other just about caught us but didn’t quite do it.

Spend the next three seconds of your life trying to guess who Devellano’s referring to, then read the rest of the story here and the full transcript here.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Tampa’s Injury Epidemic

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Erik Erlendsson at the Tampa Tribune

The training room inside the Lightning locker room resembled a corner coffee house during the preseason - it’s where everyone seemed to assemble.

And it wasn’t all just for social hour.

Tampa Bay’s media relations staff found itself dealing with daily injury reports as much as any other request since training camp opened Sept. 13. It got to be so epidemic-like that by the end of the second exhibition game - and on more than one occasion since - Lightning coach John Tortorella informed his players not to discuss anything related to injuries with members of the media.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: injuries, tampa+bay+lighting

Can Gaborik Play a Full Season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Brian Murphy at the Pioneer Press,

Playing wire to wire is all that remains for Gaborik, 25, to prove he belongs in the same company with Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Marian Hossa, next-generation superstars with equal talent but more durability.

“I think that’s fair,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “The true picture of him persevering for 80 games and being productive in all situations, he’s just got to play the 80 games.”

Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach and current TSN and NBC hockey analyst, said it is time for Gaborik to elevate his stature.

“When you’re talking about great players like Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, no matter what they did individually, over time, you have to prove you can do it for an entire season,” McGuire said. “Very few players can do what (Gaborik) does. But it’s longevity, durability. Do they have the determination? Are they willing to pay the price? It’s a huge recognition year for him.”

more…

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

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