Kukla's Korner

Ovechkin Had Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Alex Ovechkin may have behaved badly away from the ice this week, but perhaps The Great 8 simply had had enough of the home country’s jingoistic approach to critiquing his game and his rivalry with Sidney Crosby. As if Ovechkin is going to get a fair shake there.

• There is much speculation within the industry that the new Tampa Bay ownership will reach out to former Minnesota and Calgary GM Doug Risebrough to take over the Lightning, but Slap Shots has been told that permission has not yet been requested from the Rangers to talk to Risebrough, who is under contract to the Blueshirts as a scout.

Regardless, the future of current GM Brian Lawton is as uncertain as what has happened and will happen to the Lawton family’s significant financial investment—believed up to $10 million—into Tampa Bay’s former OK ownership deal. Lawton’s wife, Angelina, is the club’s VP of corporate communications.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’ve been in the room when owners have said, ‘We’re not going to the Olympics,.  Some of our markets are challenged, attendance-wise. To close our doors and say, thanks for your patronage, come back in two-and-a-half weeks. ... If any other business did that, people would be giving them the award for imbecility.”

-Team USA General Manager Brian Burke.  More from Burke on this topic from Mark Whicker of the OC Register.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

All Mike Babcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Dan Rosen of NHL.com sits down with Team Canada coach Mike Babcock,

Do you view pressure as something good in this case?

“Oh, I think pressure is a real positive. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I didn’t love it. I mean, it’s about adrenaline and you’re an adrenaline junkie if you’re in sports. All you have to do is watch the skiers and watch the speed skaters. The highs are very high. If you have been in the Olympic village all week like I have, you have seen people totally elated and you’ve seen people totally crushed. But the reason they are in it is because there are two sides of the equation. That’s what makes your job exciting and I think that’s what this is all about. The people in Vancouver, when I walk around this city, are so jacked up to be Canadian right now, and to be here at this event and enjoy it. I think it’s all fantastic. To me, I think the good part outweighs the pressure.”

more

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

Red, White & Bruise

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,

The timid and the faint-hearted are gone. What we have left are two teams that play North American-style hockey.

They get in your face ... and ribs.

“Absolutely,” said Edina’s Brian Burke, general manager of Team USA. “The two teams that have advanced played black and blue hockey. I like it.”

The Americans and Canadians square off for the Olympic gold medal this afternoon. There will be plenty of physical play on the NHL-sized ice surface in Vancouver.

“Some of the other teams, I don’t want to say they cower, but this style doesn’t suit them well,” said forward Bobby Ryan. “Every inch is going to count.”

“NHL sheet,” said defenseman Tim Gleason. “There’s no place to hide.”

continued

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

Will Early Start Help Team USA?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

Drew Doughty plays for an NHL team, the Los Angeles Kings that schedules a lot of Saturday matinees in the second half of the year, so the early start to the gold-medal final - 12:15 PST - isn’t going to effect him.

Still, it is an interesting development, since the U.S. team has played the noon game throughout the tournament, a source of dissatisfaction to them early, but something that may be an advantage today, given that they’ve had a chance to adjust their routines to the unusual start times.

Team captain Jamie Langenbrunner said as much the other day - that any little edge helps. But according to Doughty, “I don’t think it’s going to affect anyone.

read on plus numerous topics in regards to the gold medal game…

Also from Eric, a look at Team Canada as they prepare for the game tomorrow.

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

Canada Cannot Lose To The USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,

To lose to Russia in Vancouver would have been very painful, but not incomprehensible.

However, unfairly or not, the Americans are viewed as cocky interlopers. To have them win would be unbearable. Why? The reasons are multifold.

The average Canadian fan feels that Americans don’t really understand hockey. If they did, why, for instance, would FOX TV have experimented with the infamous FoxTrax “glowing puck” between 1996 and 1998 in order to help U.S. viewers more easily spot the little black disc?

It goes further. Many Canadians believe that Americans don’t really appreciate the sport that Canada invented. If they did, why are so many NHL markets in the southern United States struggling to keep their attendance up? This, at a time when Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary regularly sell out home games, while hockey-mad cities like Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Hamilton hunger for NHL franchises. Not to mention the unprecedented popularity that IIHF tournaments – World Juniors, World Championships, and Olympics – are enjoying in the “True North strong and free.”

more

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

The Gold Medal Belongs In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Dan Tandt of the Toronto Sun,

Oh say can’t you see, you damn Yankees, that our glowing hearts are pounding with the need to win Olympic hockey gold?

So unhand that medal, you rapacious hockey interlopers. Don’t you know there’s been a script written here, one that has been read to us at every bedtime — never mind ‘round the clock for the last year — that Canada is the master of the hockey universe and the entire success of these Olympic games, nay, our very identity, can only be truly forged by mining hockey gold on home ice?

It all comes down to this. The dream final. One game, one final three-period showdown set for high (Pacific) noon Sunday. An entire nation wrapped in red and white, poised on the edge of its chair, brew in hand, praying for the only gold medal that really matters.

continued

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

Will Kovalcuck Play In The KHL Next Season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The Kontinental League is poised to make a huge offer to future unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk this summer, while quietly working with the NHL to come to an agreement that would prevent it from poaching players who are under contract.

KHL president Alexander Medvedev said in an interview with THN.com and ESPN.com Saturday morning that SKA St. Petersburg, which is sponsored by the Gazprom company of which Medvedev is deputy chairman, will make an offer better than any NHL team can under the current CBA when Kovalchuk’s contract expires. If that happens, it will mark the first time the KHL has managed to lure a superstar player from the NHL in his prime.

continued

added 6:53pm, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN with his take on the same topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk, khl

No Fire Sale For The Panthers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

As for Sexton, he told me he’s been really busy talking with GMs the past week after a slow first week to start the Olympic break. Sexton said he’s moved closer to making a trade and that there aren’t just a couple of possibilities, but “a whole host of deals” being discussed.

The Panthers could get back players, prospects, draft picks or a combination.

That said, Sexton told me, “make no mistake — there will be no fire sale.”

He said he doesn’t feel like has to make a certain number of deals by Wednesday. He also said he wants y’all to know that the trade deadline is just the beginning of his plans when it comes to changing the makeup of the roster.

“Phase 1 is until Wednesday. Phase 2 is the draft. Phase 3 is free agency. Phase 4 is right around training camp, start of regular season,” Sexton said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Capitals Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

I see no reason to deviate dramatically from the plan this coming week. We need to keep our core group of young players together.We need to reward young players for their hard work and loyalty.

I don’t see us doing anything dramatic this week. I want to temper folk’s expectations.

We want to improve the team but NOT take risk of trading young assets now for older players with big ongoing contracts that would hinder us from keeping our core together. That would take us off our plan….

We won’t do anything dumb. We won’t get too far off our plan.

more

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

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