Kukla's Korner

Oilers Need To Get Into Next Year Mode

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

NHL championship teams win almost always on the strength of their homegrown superstars, players drafted and developed by the team.

But it’s difficult to see the Oilers current crop of prospects having the talent to one day rise up and become a Stanley Cup contender, let alone champion.

As good as some of the young talent on the team is—namely Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Jordan Eberle, Riley Nash, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid and Theo Peckham—the group needs one or two more big name scorers or defenders to bring this bunch to full potential.

This year—which has gone so wrong for the Oilers due to injury, illness and poor planning—has a chance to go right if the Oilers hockey bosses don’t engage in wishful thinking. They need to start preparing for coming seasons right now, and if they’re not willing to do it, they should step aside.

The best way to rebuild is to trade away 30-something players on expensive long-term contracts, even if those players are still productive.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Detroit News: The NHL Insider’s Advantage

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So, I found this interesting today….


Just how many “insiders” does the Detroit News have? And how much more compelling insight has been kept from us?  Dana’s really hitting this recent scourge of knee-on-knee’s, eh?  What is “with those things anyway” Dana? Do tell.

Well, seeing young Dana with her “NHL Insider” tag this morning got me digging a bit.  I started looking around the News site, just to see what other hockey geniuses they’ve got stashed over there.  And for the love of god and Santa…look who popped up.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

All Sergei Zubov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from RussianHockeyFans,

Former NHL defenceman Sergei Zubov, currently playing for SKA St. Petersburgh of the KHL, answered to fans’ questions on Russian site sportbox.ru.

Are practices in the KHL any different to practices in the NHL?

Not really, I don’t see many differences. I have to give our coach Barry Smith his due. His practices are very productive, he doesn’t lose time. After his practices I feel like I played a real game.

Is hockey level in the NHL really that much better than in the KHL?

No, the level is almost the same. Players in the KHL are as good as the NHL players. There are very skilled players in every Russian team. And our juniors are better than the Americans. However, also there are Canadiens, but I think that our players aren’t worse.

Why then Russian youngsters want to play in the NHL?

Well, despite everything, NHL is the best league in the world right now. And every player who thinks he is talented enough wants to try his luck there.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, sergei+zubov

Call The Dive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kerber of HockeyChats,

With the Olympics right around the corner, it’s a good time to remind all NHL’ers that diving is a summer Olympic event, not a winter event.  Diving continues to be the one call the NHL does not call enough. A player that dives embarrasses the referee, other players, and most importantly the game. It’s not a smart move or a veteran play.  Diving is embarrassing and should be handled that way.  Embarrass the diver.

Before we go further, yes it is possible to have a penalty and a dive on the same play. Not always, but it can happen.  A player can hook another player and the other player can embellish the act and therefore take a dive.  This is where the rule must change.  If a dive is handed out, it should automatically negate the other penalty.  That’s an easy one and hard to understand why it doesn’t happen.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ducks Have No Plans For Changes Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of the OC Register,

The Ducks’ make-or-break homestand is over, and apparently the team is making it for now.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray appears to remain patient after his club went 4-2-1 in its seven-game stretch at home. He made a minor trade Wednesday to acquire Montreal center Kyle Chipchura but said it did not portend a bigger move.

“Do I have a lot planned?” Murray said. “No.”

Ducks players expected roster changes if they didn’t turn around a sinking season during the homestand, which was fruitful despite losses in their final two games.

The Ducks got goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere back into form and their special teams improved.

That’s not to say Murray is entirely content as the team begins a two-game road trip today at Dallas. While he didn’t foresee any immediate impact moves, he said “there’s no drop-dead date for this or that. It’s the attitude of the players and how they play that dictates what we do upstairs.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blackhawks Expected To Sign Trio Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Chicago Blackhawks have called a press conference on Thursday where it is expected the team will announce the signings of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith to multi-year contract extensions.

Sources tell TSN that Toews and Kane will sign identical five-year contract extensions worth about $6.3 million per season.  Meanwhile Keith’s deal is worth $72 million spread over a whopping 13 years at an annual average of $5.5 million.


note 8:12pm:  The text changed from the original TSN story, so I posted it here.

added 10:40pm, Bob McKenzie of TSN discusses what the Blackhawks could do with their salary cap situation.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questioning The Leadership Of The Flyers Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,

Flyers coach John Stevens has received his share of criticism over the past weeks, as the Flyers have lost five of their last six games, slipping from fifth place in the Eastern Conference to ninth place.

Recently, team captain Mike Richards has been a target for blame, as well. Richards has been called out – especially in fan circles – for what has been interpreted as a passive, quiet style of leadership.

Chris Pronger even chipped in earlier this week, saying Richards needed to “show the rest of the players that (the Flyers are) his team.”

Stevens, however, defended the Flyers’ captain at practice Wednesday, and said that it is important to remember there is more than one way to successfully lead a team.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richards

You Wanted Kindl? You Got Some

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

As discussed around our happy little community of blogs most of the afternoon, Jakub Kindl has in fact been called up from Grand Rapids and will join the team for tomorrow’s all important morning skate.  Khan(!), as usual because he’s the Deep Digger captain, is all over this thing...

Kindl, 22, has one goal, a team-leading 11 assists and a minus-2 rating in 19 games with the Griffins. This is the third season in the AHL for the Red Wings’ 2005 first-round draft pick.

“He’s played pretty well, got off to a but of a slow start the first 3-4 games,’’ Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Since he turned pro he’s continued to get stronger, learned to be better in his own zone.

“His strengths are his ability to move the puck. He’s got good size (6-3, 210). He can be an NHL player.’‘


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Enough Celebrating Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

The most extended celebration in the history of sports ends on Friday with a two-and-a-half-hour pregame salute and then an actual hockey match, although given the interminable nature of the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary, Montreal’s storied team and its opponent, the Boston Bruins, should deviate from the schedule and just reenact the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia.

Anyway, this December 4th marks 100 years to the day since the Canadiens, the most significant team in the history of hockey and the most self-important team this side of the New York Yankees, began play. Their origins pre-date the formation of the NHL by some eight years. This probably comes as a surprise to you.

Like unfortunate Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun, you have been beaten over the head with this centennial thing for so long you probably think the actual date was a year ago.


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

Are You Up With This?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

So, in an ode to Saturday Night Live’s What Up With That?, this week we did some number-crunching to bring you a stats package with some of the wackier findings from the first two months of the season.

10. Dustin Penner
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound right winger showed great promise as a sophomore in 2006-07, scoring 29 goals and 45 points, but has disappointed since his controversial signing in Edmonton. Not so any longer. Penner, who despite his size looks to be better suited to a finesse roll, leads the Oilers in every major statistical category and is ninth in the league in goal-scoring and 10th in points. What up with that?

9. Marian Gaborik’s games played
He has averaged just 52 games played per season since the lockout (including a 77-game 2007-08), which is why the Rangers were largely criticized for investing five years and $37.5 million in him last summer. A ‘right leg’ injury kept him out of two games to end October – and must have scared the bejeezus out of GM Glen Sather – but Gaborik has played every other of the Blueshirts’ 27 games, and is second in league scoring. What up with that?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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