Kukla's Korner

Pressure Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

All of which suggests a lot of sleepless nights for the 15-20 general managers whose teams sit in that great mud puddle in the middle of the NHL standings. These GMs must examine and weigh their short-term needs (making the playoffs and moving up in the standings to secure a more favorable matchup) against the long view (getting assets for players who may walk away as free agents and trading players they have no intention of re-signing for draft picks and/or prospects).

To put a new riff on an old saying, an NHL GM can’t win a Stanley Cup in February, but he can sure put his job in jeopardy depending on what he does, or doesn’t do.

Here’s a look at six GMs who could well determine their future and the future of their teams, at next week’s meetings in Naples, Fla….

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“NHL Europe” Faces Serious Challenges

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Risto Pakarinen at Hockey.com,

I’m sure you’ve heard about all the great plans for a super league that would challenge the NHL in Europe. Well, let me just say that the NHL already as several great challengers in Europe. There’s the Swedish league, the Finnish league, the Russian league, the Swiss league, the German league ... you get the point.

It all depends on how you define the challenge, I suppose.

However, while thousands of Finns, Swedes, and Czechs begin their days by checking the NHL scores from the night before, the local leagues are also doing better than ever.

But the dream of “NHL Europe” lives on.

continued…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: european+hockey

Doan Played with Broken Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Gintonio of The Arizona Republic,

Two things fans know about Shane Doan: The Coyotes’ captain had a slow start, and then he cranked up his offense to the point where he was the third-leading scorer in the NHL during January.

What was not known: He did it with a broken hand.

Doan just smiled when asked about the injury, which is healed.

“He plays the same way all the time,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. “He played hard at the beginning of the year; he just wasn’t scoring any goals.”

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: injuries, shane+doan

Rumors Galore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen at TSN,

Slumping Jaromir Jagr could be available, the Devils are ready to make moves and the Leafs’ Tomas Kaberle is generating interest.

Rumors, you want them, you got them, go get them...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

There’s Really Only One Solution

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I was gonna hold off on this.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to put the Columbus fans through it because they’re probably tired of it and I like their bloggers.  But then I read something from the Post Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline and now I’m all fired up.  It’s the standard routine, taken right out of the Woody Paige book of babble.  Your team suck? That’s ok. There’s always….this.

What a city, Detroit. I can see the Detroit River from my hotel room. There’s concrete, chain link and police tape down there, too. What a view.

I like one of our views Aaron…the same view we’ve had the last several years: atop the Central.  Looking down, way down, at you. And, no, I’m not done.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Beyond The Apprentice

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News,

On last season’s version of “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” reality show, Heidi Androl - aka “The Hottie” - made it all the way to the final six contestants before the inevitable: Donald Trump fired her.

A few months later, Luc Robitaille hired her.  And the Kings, immersed in their own reality show disguised as the 2007-08 NHL season, may have trumped every local TV station in the process.

More than just an apprentice reporter for the team’s “Kings Vision” element to their official Web site, Androl has become part of a forward-thinking element to TV sportscasting, something that has forced other professional teams to reconsider how they get their message across directly to their fans. In turn, it will alter the big-picture thinking of local news organizations.

more… about both the success of Androl as well as the Kings publicity efforts this season.

Video below shows some of Androl’s work on a recent trip to Vancouver:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: heidi+androl, luc+robitaille, media, the+apprentice

The Importance Of Dan Boyle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

Here is coach John Tortorella after the game:

“As I’ve always said, everybody always talks about the three guys,’’ he said of Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. “But there is no one more important to our team than Danny Boyle. He is our transition key.’‘

Perhaps Boyle, who wants to make the Tampa Bay area, perhaps even St. Petersburg, his long-term home, takes a little less to stay, though he already did that in his current contract of three-years, $10-million. Much could depend on what the Lightning wants to be. Does it want to compete next season under would-be owner Oren Koules, or does it want to take some steps back now to take more forward later. The answer to that riddle may be the key to getting a new contract done.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+boyle

The NHL and the Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From this week’s “Friday Faceoff” with Damien Cox and Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Scott: Hello, Damian. Everywhere I look, I’m reading discussions and debates about the Vancouver Olympics, which are just under two years away. I see you wrote on it earlier this week. I did as well. What’s the deal? Why are people so pumped about an event that’s some 730 days away?

Damien: Well, I can’t speak for the United States of America and how much interest there is there as of yet. But here in Canada, this will be, of course, the first Olympics held in our country since the Calgary Games in 1988.

more, and worth the read.  At one point Cox even remarks to Burnside, “I think you’re just not very bright.” 

I think these two are gradually morphing into a bitter, married couple.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: international+hockey, olympics

Hockey in the ‘Hood

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Detroit Hockey Association,

The annual Hockey in the Hood tournament breaks down stereotypes and brings diverse inner-city hockey teams together for a tournament that is capped off by the presentation of the Willie O’Ree championship trophy, the Willie O’Cup.

This 4th annual event will run from February 15-17th.  For some biographical information on black players around the NHL, past and present, there’s also MisZGoalie’s NHL Connect blog.

Note: For other events happening around the United States for “Hockey Weekend in America”, links can be found at this KK post, put up yesterday.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Therma Blade Increases Testing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ - Therma Blade Inc. announced today that following preliminary testing of its heated skate blade prototypes by five NHL players, it will expand product testing to include some of the 50 NHL players and NHL teams requesting production models of the product.

Four NHL players who have been testing Thermablade prototypes to date will participate in an expanded testing program in which Therma Blade will make its latest production models available to them and to additional players and NHL teams that are on the company’s waiting list for full production models.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thermablades

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