Kukla's Korner

Walz Announcing Retirement Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russo’s Rants,

The Wild has called a 10:30 news conference for this morning at Xcel Energy Center where 37-year-old center Wes Walz, the Wild’s all-time leader with 438 games played, will announce his retirement from the NHL, two NHL sources confirmed Friday night.

Walz, one of two last Original Wild players along with Marian Gaborik, has been on indefinite leave from the team since Nov. 1. Walz’s 82 goals and 182 points rank second in franchise history behind Gaborik

continued

Update 12:27pm ET— Press Release from the Minnesota Wild:

  SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild veteran center Wes Walz, the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, announced his retirement Saturday morning at an Xcel Energy Center press conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: minnesota+wild, retirement, wes+walz

Weak Drafting Has Hurt The Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Shprintsen at the Globe and Mail,

It is patently obvious the Leafs have had an utterly incompetent collection of scouts during the past 20 years. That must change and quickly, but it’s not that difficult to do. For the $5-million a year the Leafs are paying Kubina, they could hire the best general manager in the business and complement him with the combined scouting staff of the Red Wings, Devils and Avalanche.

This could happen quickly or slowly. Quickly, if the Leafs management were to decide to blow up the current team, getting rid of everyone they could and securing draft picks along with cap space, rebuilding the Penguins’ way by getting high first-round picks for several years. The other — the slow or the very slow — way is to rebuild the team through attrition and gradual smart drafting.

Either way, ultimately, the Leafs’ simplest direct solution is to spend their money to raid the scouting staffs of the most successful teams.

read on to see how the Leafs have drafted compared to othe NHL teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+draft, toronto+maple+leafs

Preparing For China

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

Wednesday’s game was a sort of dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, veteran sports broadcasters based in New York. But today, when the Islanders face Atlanta, viewers who press the S.A.P. button on their remote controls will be able to hear Peng and Chang describe the action on Fox Sports Net.

The broadcast Wednesday, the second such dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, apparently went so well that the Islanders have decided to take the next step in telecasting games in Mandarin.

By the end of the season, the Islanders hope to have at least one of their games telecast in China.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: china, new+york+islanders

Kevin Allen On The Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Don’t get all excited. It’s a day old.  But I just read again the transcript of the Allen interview with Stoney and Bandwagon Bob (Wojo) on WDFN and a few things jumped out at me that I think deserve my genius analysis.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, downey, draper, hasek, howard, osgood

Another Accident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sports Ticker via Yahoo,

One day after the team bus of the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals crashed, three members of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs were involved in an incident with a vehicle in Windsor, Ontario on Friday morning.

Defenseman Jonathan Sciacca, backup goaltender Anthony Peters and assistant trainer Kurt Pearson were injured while taking a walk at approximately 11 a.m. The Frontenacs still were in Windsor after facing the Spitfires on Thursday night.

The injuries were described as non-life threatening, but all three men were taken to the hospital and treated.

continued

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

Line Of The Evening

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Regardless of whether it’s 1-0 or 5-4, you can have exciting hockey games,” said Yzerman. “We made dramatic changes to the game coming out of the lockout and some of them have been very positive and some of them have had a negative effect on the game. I wasn’t really in favour of making dramatic changes three or four years ago and I’m certainly not in favour in making any changes at the time being. Let’s just play the game and continue to develop good young players from all over the world. We cannot keep tinkering.’‘

more on the BOG meeting from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

Well said Steve and this is how I feel about the game.  We have had 2-1 games that have been exciting and 7-2 games that put me to sleep.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

Put The Red Line Back Into Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

...Well, as far as I’m concerned, the verdict is in and removing the red line has been a failure.

None of us has anything more than anecdotal evidence on this one, but I believe that removing the center red line has stifled far more chances than it has created.

The long stretch passes that sprung talented forwards for breakaways are almost non-existent now. Instead, they’ve been replaced by a line of defenders in the neutral zone that has formed because teams are scared to death about giving up the breakaway pass.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals to Learn Aggression

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Howard Fendrich at the Sun Herald,

Heading into today’s game at Carolina, the Capitals are 2-1-1 under Boudreau, giving them the same number of points from those four games as they earned in the previous 13.

“That’s what Bruce is trying to preach: Expect to win every night,” goalie Olie Kolzig said.

Boudreau will have to wait until next week, when the Capitals have five days off in a row, to fully implement his system. It calls for aggressive, attacking play, including asking defensemen to press forward, and it was responsible for an AHL championship in 2005-06, his first season with Hershey.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau, washington+capitals

BOG- Game Is Good - Status Quo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...What they found — with only one or two dissenting views — was all good.

That the so-called “new NHL”, minus most of the hooking, holding and obstruction of the pre-lockout era, was a far better product than what they had before; that hockey-related revenues will establish record highs again this year, meaning the salary-cap will go up for next season; and that even the decline in goal-scoring (almost a full goal per game over the same period two years ago) was not enough to raise alarm bells at hockey operations.

“We need not be revolutionary, we need not be impatient,” said commissioner Gary Bettman. “We need to see how it evolves and how it all settles in and if we need to make tweaks, we shouldn’t be afraid, if we’re convinced they’re necessary.”

read on

added 5:48pm, from the CP via TSN,

But a model that’s already gaining steam possibly in time for the 2009-10 season is the 84-game concept put forward by the Detroit Red Wings. It features 30 games against teams from the other conference - a home-and-home. It’s a proposal that has also caught the eye of new NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly.

more on the proposed schedule…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s Osgood…Again

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Khan(!)‘s report from practice.

Chris Osgood will start for the sixth time in the last seven games Saturday against Phoenix, coach Mike Babcock said after practice Friday. Dominik Hasek will start the next game, Tuesday in Montreal.

“Ozzie’s playing good, but I need to get Dom back in there and get him rolling, too,’’ Babcock said. “It’ll be a good environment in Montreal, a tough test, a good opportunity.’‘

Also reports that Maltby’s out tomorrow, Ellis is in.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, hasek, osgood

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