Kukla's Korner

Rookies Know Their Place

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The CP at TSN,

As NHL training camps open Friday, dozens of young players will walk into locker-rooms for the first time and sit down near Jarome Iginla, Henrik Sedin or Chris Pronger.

But chances are, the rookies won’t speak to the star veterans unless they are spoken to first.

“It’s pretty intimidating, especially when you’re sitting across from the big-name players,” said Oilers defenceman Jordan Bendfeld, who has been to a pair of main camps.

“I definitely don’t walk up to people and start conversations. You just kind of stay behind with the younger guys and hang out with them. Once you get going, maybe you start talking to one of those older guys.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lilja Goes Camping With San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sharks.com,

The Sharks are bringing in defenseman Andreas Lilja as a tryout player for training camp.  Lilja spent the past five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan is very familiar with him from his time as an assistant coach in the Motor City.

“He’s going to make it a more competitive camp because he’s a veteran player,” said McLellan.  “He is familiar with the coaching staff and our system because it is similar to what he came from.  Once camp starts, he is like any other player and his play will dictate whether he (gets a contract).”

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andreas+lilja

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I really need to step up and it’s about that time.  We feel that it’s our time to win this. It’s not just one or two guys that need to be leaders; it’s everybody. That’s including me.”

-Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.  More from Green by Carrera of Capitals Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

Laviolette’s First Full Year In Philadelphai Should Help The Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Reimenschneider of PhillyBurbs,

A healthy hunger has, for the most part at least, replaced the heartbreak.

Peter Laviolette has a full season, rather than a sizeable fraction of one, to coach and condition.

The Flyers won’t have to leap midstream into Laviolette’s perpetually-pressure-the-puck system, which should fill the physical and mental sinkholes into which the team sank immediately following Laviolette’s arrival last December.

“We just couldn’t keep up with the tempo that he wanted us to play when he first came in,” center Danny Briere said Wednesday at the Flyers Skate Zone, where the team hit the ice for initial workouts prior to this weekend’s training-camp start.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Post-Kovalchuk Thrashers Deep on ‘D’, Look to New Faces and Young Guns for Offense

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

For the Atlanta Thrashers, a team with just one playoff appearance in ten National Hockey League seasons (and not a single post-season victory to their credit), the time for a fresh start was clearly at hand.

By first turning a negative into a positive in moving on from superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk late last season and then raiding the cabinet of the cap-crunched Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta begins their new era, under both a new general manager and head coach in Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay, with a wealth of promising youth and several veterans with recent championship experience.

They may no longer boast an individual showstopper but that formula wasn’t producing a consistent winner in Blueland anyway (and that alone rarely does as much anywhere). The post-Kovalchuk Thrashers appear to be headed for greener pastures, though there will be that little issue of replacing his 45+ goals, of course.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: akim+aliu, alex+burmistrov, andrew+ladd, arters+kulda, ben+eager, boris+valabik, brent+sopel, bryan+little, carl+klingberg, chris+mason, christoph+schubert, clarke+macarthur, colby+armstrong, craig+ramsay, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, freddy+meyer, fredrik+modin, fredrik+pettersson, ilya+kovalchuk, johan+hedberg, johnny+oduya, mark+popovic, martin+brodeur, marty+reasoner, matt+cooke, maxim+afinogenov, nhl+previews, niclas+bergfors, nigel+dawes, nikolai+antropov, ondrej+pavelec, patrice+cormier, paul+postma, pavel+kubina, rich+peverley, rick+dudley, ron+hainsey, southeast+division, spencer+machacek, tobias+enstrom, todd+white, zach+bogosian

Time To Increase Drug Testing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Justin Bourne at PuckDaddy,

When players show up at training camp after a summer of lifting, as they will this weekend in the NHL, they’re as jacked-up as they can possible get.  Hell, even I usually felt pretty good about my situation. So it rarely ever crossed my mind that anybody may have used performance-enhancers in the off-season. It was possible that a guy or two worked a little harder than me.

Then I walked into a teammate’s bedroom one day and saw his “medical kit.” It didn’t blow my mind, but it definitely caught me off-guard. It would be the first and last time I ever saw steroid paraphernalia, but it was just the beginning of my awareness that the occasional player in professional hockey cheats.

That blind pursuit of a better opportunity or better contract was something I came to understand and grudgingly accept. But I stopped being so understanding when guys like him started climbing up our organization’s depth chart.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Ken Holland And Steve Yzerman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

What is your philosophy to building a successful franchise?

Holland: “Stability. We’ve had the luxury of stability at the ownership level, management level, scouting level and coaching level. Also, in the time I spent with Scotty Bowman, I saw how he valued veteran players. We’ve continued to move our kids slowly and have always had a veteran presence, which has worked for us.”

Yzerman: “You try to bring in the best possible people in all positions, whether they’re players, managers or coaches. I want good people, passionate people, hard-working people and people who know the game. You want players who have skill, who compete hard and are intelligent.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland, steve+yzerman

All Dustin Byfuglien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Wright of Thrashers.com,

What is it about playing defense that makes you prefer it over playing up at forward?

BYFUGLIEN: It’s just coming up the ice and being able to see everything and being able to read the game. You control so much more of the game back there. It’s just something I enjoy doing.

What went through your mind when you were told about the trade?

BYFUGLIEN: Right away I was actually bummed. After coming off of winning the Cup, it wasn’t even two weeks after we won. You’re still in a celebration mode, but once I got off the phone and sat down and really thought about it I was excited. I was ready to get out of there and get ready for a new change and set new goals for myself. I’m excited and I can challenge myself for new things in life. It’s just another step.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

Oilers Better Without Souray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Peter Adler of The Cult of Hockey,

It seems Tambellini comes from the old school of people who seem to think we all should be responsible for our actions. Looks as if it was a perfectly novel approach to some. What Tambellini, by the action he had taken, told his players (and, by unspoken extension, sundry employees) is quite straightforward: think before you put match to bridges. You’re responsible for your actions, and you will be held as such. You’re an adult, after all, you can vote, you can run for public office, even, so, there it is. Know when to speak. Know what to say. Know how to say it. And, last but not least, know to whom you’re talking.

Sheldon Souray ignored all of this. Now, he’s paying the price. A steep price, too.

And the Oilers, even if they happen


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

Did The Rangers Overpay Staal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

Now comes the news that restricted free agent Marc Staal has agreed to terms on a five-year, $19.875 million deal, one that will take him one year into unrestricted free agency before he can negotiate again.

Too much for your basic stay-at-home defenceman? A smart deal to lock up a 23-year-old core asset? A deal that should scare the heck out of the Maple Leafs, with Luke Schenn likely to be comparing himself to Staal when his contract expires in July?

With the NHL, it’s always difficult trying to compare apples and apples, let alone apples and oranges. Anaheim signs Bobby Ryan to a deal that’s roughly 25 per cent more than Staal’s, but Ryan is a 30-goal scorer with potential to score 50. There are so few of those kinds of scorers that its hard not to imagine that the price differential between the players should be greater.

Moreover, Staal had no real leverage with the Rangers. No offer sheet or a realistic expectation of one. No rival league. No arbitration rights.

But they paid up anyway, ostensibly to lock Staal up and obviously believing there’s greater upside to his game, particularly his offensive game, than has been demonstrated so far.


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

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