Kukla's Korner

Blackhawks Gamble On Their Core

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

With the Chicago Blackhawks recent resignings of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, we have a very good idea what the core of the team will look like for the next several years.  With their length contracts that would be hard to move, we can assume that Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet will be part of the Blackhawk core as well.  Anyone else will be hard to keep around for salary cap reasons.  There is already speculation that Cam Barker, Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Sopel are among the players on their way out. 

Chicago is clearly a good team.  Their 17-10 record (with three overtime loss points) places them in fifth place in the NHL.  They haven’t won the Stanley Cup.  Last year’s semi-final appearance is their first playoff berth since 2002 and we are already talking about which players the team will have to get rid of to stay below the salary cap.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Habs From The Past Take A Pre-Game Skate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The only thing missing was the voice of Danny Gallivan during the Montreal Canadiens Centennial Celebration last night.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I want players playing hard. I want them running out the door to play the game hard in a system that attacks the puck in all three zones. If you can get a team that works hard, if you can get a team that’s disciplined - not only from the penalty box but disciplined in their life, disciplined in the system that you put in on the ice - if you get a team that cares about each other, there’s nothing that you can’t do. I truly believe that.”

-Peter Laviolette, new Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.  More from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+laviolette

Big Test For DiPietro Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Martin of the NY Post,

Rick DiPietro has made it through months of practice and drills without getting hurt. Tonight, he and the Islanders will see how his body holds up during a game.

It’s been nearly a year since the team’s injury-prone franchise goalie has suited up. Last January, swelling in his surgically repaired knee forced him from the lineup again.

“This is really big for him,” said GM Garth Snow, who will be in Bridgeport tonight to see the Isles’ AHL affiliate Sound Tigers host Springfield with DiPietro in net for the first time since Jan. 2. “It’s certainly been a long road to recovery for him.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+dipietro

Five Players In The Team Canada Mix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

There are only 25 days to go until Steve Yzerman unveils the Canadian men’s 2010 Olympic hockey team and a heated national debate begins.

Interestingly, at this relatively late stage of the process, some new candidates have emerged, players who weren’t even at the Calgary orientation camp in August but have performed so well this season that Yzerman and the rest of the Team Canada brain trust have been forced to sit up and take notice.

Steven Stamkos, the 19-year-old Tampa Bay sniper, is obviously one of those players. Stamkos has 17 goals this season, showing the kind of finishing touch Canada could have dearly used in the ‘06 Games in Turin.


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

Foote Finally Back In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

For almost two years since Adam Foote walked out on the Blue Jackets at the NHL trade deadline, fans have waited for the former captain to walk back into Nationwide Arena.

Foote missed both trips to Columbus last season with the Colorado Avalanche because of an injured triceps, but he’s expected to be in uniform for a game tonight.

“I’ll be ready for whatever,” Foote said, when asked what kind of crowd reaction he expected. “It’s a business. The (Blue Jackets) have moved on, and I’ve moved on. I had a great time when I was here. I got to see a young team changing.

“I’ve moved onto something else, and they’re still going forward, which is good for them and the fans.”

The story of Foote’s departure has become part of Blue Jackets’ lore.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote

John Stevens Fired For Flyers Goaltending

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of the biggest surprises this season is that it took until December for a team to fire a coach.  This makes faux rumors prediction that 25-50% of the coaches who started the 2009/10 season would be fired before game 82 look to be in doubt.

The first coach fired this season is John Stevens, who was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers.  Stevens coached the Flyers for slightly over three seasons.  He found himself coaching a team with a 13-12 record (with one loss counted as an overtime tie), that has his time in tenth place in the East Conference.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

A Great Night In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

Some of the greatest players in Montreal Canadiens history took to the ice Friday evening at Bell Centre as the organization celebrates its centennial.

Hockey Hall of Fame goalies Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy headed to opposite nets, with the skaters including Yvon Cournoyer, Guy Lafleur, Frank and Peter Mahovlich, Serge Savard, Steve Shutt, Guy Carbonneau and current general manager Bob Gainey.

The former star players took several laps around the ice, fired shots on net and flipped pucks into the crowd for delighted fans.


I’ve been glued to the TV watching the event.  Great job by CBC, no commercials on a very special night.  Sure brought back a lot of memories for me.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kessel Returns To Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Good thing for Phil Kessel that Boston sports fans don’t hold a grudge. Just ask Bill Buckner. Or Roger Clemens. Or Johnny Damon.

That Kessel will be booed Saturday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Bruins is a fait accompli. The question is, how many years will fans view him as Public Enemy No. 1.

His exit from Boston was a fascinating one, to be sure.

There have been different tales spun from different camps. No matter whom you believe, it’s hard to know for sure exactly what happened.

For example, one side will insist Kessel essentially asked for a trade during the summer, something the kid himself denied upon his arrival in Toronto. His agent, Wade Arnott of Newport Sports, also said a trade was never demanded.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

A View Of the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

News: Sidney Crosby nets a hat trick against the Rangers on hat night in Pittsburgh.

View: Hollywood can’t make that kind of stuff up.

News: Marian Gaborik leads League with 21 goals.

View: With 80 goals total heading into play Saturday, Gaborik’s importance to the Rangers cannot be overstated.

News: Dany Heatley gets through a tough week.

View: Playing in Edmonton, where he rejected a trade this summer and then against his former team in the Ottawa Senators, made for a nerve-wracking week for Heatley, who can now relax and think about life with the first-place Sharks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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