Kukla's Korner

Russian Players Feel At Home In Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Carrera of The Washington Post,

In planning for his third rookie camp since he was drafted in 2008, Dmitry Kugryshev knew he wanted to come to Washington early - not a week or few days early, but almost a month prior to the start of official practices - to train and work with the Washington Capitals’ strength and conditioning coaches.

But Kugryshev, 20, needed a place to stay, so he called Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin, who spent the offseason in Russia, won’t return to the Washington area until later this week, but he didn’t hesitate to help his young teammate and fellow countryman.

“He just said, ‘No problem,’ ” said Kugryshev, who stayed at the Arlington house with Ovechkin’s older brother Mikhail, until rookie camp formally began this past weekend. “It’s good to have Ovie’s help. It’s better when I come early for me to stay there than be alone. We can talk in Russian all day, have fun . . . it’s more like home.”


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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I wouldn’t be a distraction ... I was planning on coming in, planning on being focused and ready to do whatever to be a professional.

“Why would I have been a distraction? I’m a professional. No one is more anxious to get back on the ice and get myself back to the player I know I can be.”

-Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers after the Oilers told him not to attend training camp.  More from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+matheson

Time Running Out On Darcy Tucker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Darcy Tucker isn’t ready to talk about it.

Not yet, anyhow.

It’s too soon, too personal and too unknown.

For the first time in his adult life it is September and training camp is about to begin all around hockey, just not for him. This competitor has no place to compete. He is available to anyone in hockey, only right now nobody seems to want him.

There has been a nibble or two—him playing the part of a fish—but nothing more than that. There are no invitations of merit. There are no contractual offers. There are no promises of any kind and there may not be any coming.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+tucker

Kesler Should Be The Next Vancouver Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

Henrik Sedin doesn’t seem to be anyone’s exciting first choice to be the next Vancouver Canucks captain.

Soft-spoken. Unintimidating. Confusing, what with that chromosome thing with his identical twin teammate. And — let’s face it — Henrik is too Swedish in the wake of the last Canuck captain, Markus Naslund, before the great goalie experiment that ended Monday with Roberto Luongo’s timely and unselfish resignation.

The only people who seem to really love the idea of Sedin succeeding him are the ones who will make that decision, which is why in a couple of weeks the not-quite-30-year-old Hart Trophy winner will be named captain by general manager Mike Gillis and coach Alain Vigneault.

Ryan Kesler?

No. 1 in our poll, No. 2 in their hearts.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Working Towards A Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers and Marc Staal continue to work on contract negotiations that should yield an agreement by Friday’s opening of training camp, though Paul Krepelka, the restricted free agent’s representative, said yesterday by e-mail, “No deal is done yet.”

It is believed that the Blueshirts and their 23-year-old, first-pair defenseman are working on a deal in excess of the four years for which the club owns his rights under the current CBA. Staal is coming off a three-year Entry Level contract he signed following his first-round selection at 12th overall in the 2005 Entry Draft.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+staal

Let The Players Vote For The Next Montreal Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Head coach Jacques Martin says he will name a captain before the Canadiens open the regular season after discussions with other off-ice officials. Bad move. Coaches and/or general managers don’t select captains. Players do. It’s the players who know better than any coach which player they want as a leader on and off the ice. I can’t think of a single instance when Canadiens players were not asked to vote for their captain.

The responsibility can entail a lot of distractions in a Canadian city, which is why Roberto Luongo decided to relinquish the captaincy in Vancouver yesterday after only two seasons.


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

Look At The Bright Side New Jersey, Punishment Could Have Been Worse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the The Spin,

Unless Kovalchuk turns into Mario Lemieux, he can’t possibly be worth all this. It’s like the Devils got on a speeding bus and just couldn’t get off.

Perhaps they hoped Bettman would let them off the hook after Bloch ruled Jersey hadn’t intentionally circumvented the salary cap. But the commissioner really couldn’t. For starters, teams were clamouring for him to take action. He’d fined the Leafs $500,000 and taken away a fourth round pick for messing with the contract of a middling defenceman named Jonas Frogren. He’d hammered the St. Louis Blues back in 1999 for tampering five years earlier with Devils defenceman Scott Stevens, fining the Blues $1.5 million and taking away two first round picks, effectively.

There was just no chance the Devils were going to get away without punishment. In fact, it could have been worse. Under the collective bargaining agreement, they stood to lose the same amount in cap space that they were fined, a nightmarish prospect given that they are already over the cap.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Very briefly: A solicitation, and Curt Fraser pushes the Red Wings’ prospects on an ‘off day’

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

As I continue upon my “learning curve” during the Red Wings’ prospect tournament, I’d like to make a request before moving onto the my coverage of the day’s events, which involved what might be Griffins coach Curt Fraser’s smartest move thus far—pushing the prospect very, very hard on a “light” day (and a “better day” for me) to ensure that they both have a solid chance of winning the prospect tournament and prepare themselves for the main camp, where Mike Babcock’s patience for “rookie mistakes” will be nonexistent.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Bettman Wrong To Punish Devils

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The news has come out today that the NHL is punishing the New Jersey Devils for their first contract with Ilya Kovalchuk.  This was a 17 year contract with a $6 million per year salary cap hit.  It was strongly front-loaded and had several low cost years added onto the end of it to keep the average contract value and hence salary cap hit down.  The NHL challenged the contract and an arbitrator threw it out.  Eventually, New Jersey signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a second contract.  This was a 15 year contract with a $6.67 million salary cap hit that was front-loaded, but not as badly as the original one.  The NHL took a while to approve the contract and forced the NHLPA to accept a CBA modification to prevent similar contracts in the future in exchange for its passage.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

No Oilers Camp For Souray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from an Edmonton Oilers tweet,

Statement from #Oilers GM Tambellini: Souray was informed last week that he will not be attending Training Camp. More details coming soon.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

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