Kukla's Korner

Does Kovalchuk To San Jose Work?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Often when blockbuster deals are made, like the one we’re expecting with Ilya Kovalchuk, the trade is made with a team that hasn’t been prominently rumored. So while Kovalchuk rumors continue to surround the Kings, Devils, Bruins and Flyers, I set out today to see if I could discover a mystery team I thought was most likely to land the talented Russian.

Following some conversations, some logic and a little leap of faith, I came to my conclusion: The San Jose Sharks.

It made so much sense. There’s pressure in San Jose to win a Stanley Cup. They have the assets to make it happen and a GM not afraid to make a big deal.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Canada’s Prime Minister Talks Hockey And Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Michael Farber spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as part of his Olympic hockey preview for Sports Illustrated.

SI.com: How much pressure will Canada’s men’s hockey team be facing if it plays in the gold medal game?

Harper: It would be incredible pressure. I can’t offhand think of anything in any country where any team would be under such universal expectation of a gold and nothing less ... practically from four years before the event. It’s a big deal, to all of us.

SI.com: A French philosopher wrote that to understand the heart and mind of America, you had to understand baseball. Is that true of hockey and Canada?

Harper: There are parallels. You have in both cases a sport that was developed uniquely within that society, recognizing of course that these are also, in a sense, invented societies, coming into existence in recorded history….

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stephen+harper, team+canada

KK- A Server Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

We are experiencing some slow response time due to a server issue.

It is being looked at as we speak and I apologize for the issue.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Predators Have A Decision To Make On Dan Hamhuis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Poile has spoken with Hamhuis’s agent, Wade Arnott, but it’s uncertain whether Poile can accommodate what Hamhuis will want, both in terms of dollar and term. Now, the $64,000 question is whether Poile makes a pre-emptive move to trade the solid Hamhuis, an invitee to Canada’s Olympic orientation camp in Calgary this past August, before the trade deadline or keep him because he is a key component in the Predators’ quest for a postseason berth (the 12th overall pick in 2001 averages 21:04 a night in ice time).

It’s an unsavory dilemma, and Poile acknowledged GMs are going to have to get more used to watching assets walk away on July 1 in the new NHL. That said, if that was to happen with Hamhuis, “I can’t believe on July 1 I’d be very happy,” Poile said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+hamhuis

Questions Revolving Around Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Why won’t Kovalchuk take Atlanta’s money?

There’ve been some huge offers. One report said $80 million over eight years, another had $101 million over 12. Grossman has a reputation as a bottom-line guy, and there is no doubt the agent is trying to hit a grand slam. A talent like this has never hit unrestricted free agency at age 27.

I reported earlier this year that another Russian player told me that if Kovalchuk is not in Atlanta next year, “He will be in the KHL. It is between Atlanta and Russia.” At least two other GMs (one who considered acquiring him and one who didn’t) believe that to be true, because he can make more there than here.

more including teams mentioned that are chasing Kovalchuk.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Out With The Old, In With The Young

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sports Illustrated,

No GM is going to send a coach off into his good night with the reputation of not being able to work with kids. That’s why you hear things like “the team was not progressing” even though many of the players currently on the St. Louis and Columbus rosters were simply going through the learning experience that comes with having success early and then falling back as teams play against them with greater intensity.

Still, you have to wonder if Murray or Hitchcock will get another chance in the now youth-conscious NHL. You also have to wonder if once the Blue Jackets move past Noel (or the 54-yer old shows them that he can relate to their kids), Howson won’t be placing a call to Filatov.

Mother Russia looks nice right now, but NHL money, a spot on Nash’s wing and no one harping about defensive play can be a powerful lure…especially for a GM who has lost a potential franchise player.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s definitely tough news when you find out you’re not going to be playing hockey for four to six months.

“In the end it’s not an easy thing missing the Olympics—an opportunity like that doesn’t come around very often—but more importantly the Leafs have made a commitment to me and the best thing at this point is to have this surgery and have it take care of by arguably one of the best shoulder guys.”

-Mike Komisarek of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Team USA.  More from Jonas Siegel of am640.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek, team+usa

NHL Surprises

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Duff of the NHL Network at NHL.com,

A quick survey of my colleagues at the NHL Network, who have been immersed in the game in some way, shape, or form for years, finds that they are still amazed at how the storylines of a season evolve far beyond the imagination of anyone.

Former Calgary Flames GM Craig Button
—“My biggest surprise has been the Colorado Avalanche. They were a team with a promising future, but who knew that future was so soon?...

Gary Green, a former NHL coach
—“The Phoenix Coyotes, without a doubt. I thought that they would be hurt by the lack of interest and the summer fallout of the bankruptcy. Not knowing the team’s future has often hurt teams in the standings over history in the NHL.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will The Chicago Goalie Please Stand Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

Well, they have a couple goalies, just not one you’d stake your Stanley Cup life on right now. I realize that the Blues beat the Hawks on deflected shots, so I’m not hanging that specific loss on Cristobal Huet. But that position remains the biggest question because Huet has never won a playoff series and Niemi has never played so much as a postseason minute in the NHL.

And now, Huet can’t handle a small workload. The Hawks’ game of keepaway means their goalies see fewer shots than other netminders, but the quality of the chances against them might be just as high. The last few times that Huet has faced 20 shots or so, he has not given anyone confidence that he can be trusted in the heat of spring. Anyone in the Hawks organ-I-zation, I mean.

Maybe that changes soon. Maybe one of these two guys—- nobody cares which, at this point—- gets it together before April. It appears one of them will have to because this isn’t your father’s NHL trading deadline, where 100 bodies change teams. Nope, this is a salary-cap era that is hamstringing the   Hawks—thank you, Billfold Wirtz—- so Huet or Niemi will need to be Roy or Brodeur.

more

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

PTI Likes The Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,

Here’s how you know the Caps are becoming a big deal: Tony Kornheiser discusses them on national television without using the phrase “choking dogs.”

“Odds the Caps win the Cup” appeared during PTI’s oddsmakers segment Wednesday afternoon. Wilbon put the odds at 49 percent. Kornheiser chose 60 percent. Those aren’t bad odds.

“They’ve got the most points in the NHL, they’ve got an 11 game winning streak and they’ve got the most exciting offensive player in the league in Alex Ovechkin,” Kornheiser began. “But this always comes down to a goalie. And if the guy Varlamov, or however you pronounce that, who was in the playoffs last year, if he’s healthy I like their chances. If Theodore is in the nets, I like them not quite as much, but I still like them. Watch this Reali, 60 percent.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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