Kukla's Korner

Everyone Loves a Good Controversy

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Victor Chi at The Sporting News,

For the sake of the NHL, let’s hope that Ducks GM Brian Burke and his Oilers counterpart, Kevin Lowe, continue their verbal sniping.

The league went through the considerable expense of exporting the Ducks and Kings to England for the season openers in hopes of expanding its profile. But the Burke-Lowe exchanges already have generated oodles more buzz than the trans-Atlantic foray, and in today’s fragmented and multi-layered media landscape, relevance is king.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brian+burke, edmonton+oilers, kevin+lowe

Lacroix Misses the Adrenaline

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dave Krieger at the Rocky Mountain News,

Pierre Lacroix never has been big on publicity. As an agent for 21 years and general manager of one of the NHL’s most successful franchises for another 13, he shunned the limelight and met with the wretches at news conferences only when he had something important to tell us.

So receding into the background 16 months ago when he kicked himself upstairs to be president of the Avalanche was not the difficult part. Letting go of the adrenaline highs from a lifetime of deal making and competition was something else again.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, pierre+lacroix

Rich & Famous in the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Neil Stevens at CP via the Globe & Mail,

It might come as a surprise to hockey fans to know that seven goaltenders including Colorado’s backup will bank more than Martin Brodeur this season.

Kimmo Timonen, not Nicklas Lidstrom, will be the highest-paid defenceman.  Bryan McCabe will get more than Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic or Joe Thornton.

And get this: Thomas Vanek’s pay will be more than 10 times Sidney Crosby’s base salary.

There is no simple explanation for all the disparities because there are more than 700 NHL players and the compensation they’ll receive from their teams in 2007-2008, all in U.S. dollars, has in many cases been arrived at differently.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A Slap in the face - A total disconnect.  Those words are being tossed around on the Detroit airwaves today regarding the lack of a sell-out at Joe Louis Arena last night.

I have been beating the drum for over a year now, warning anyone who would listen, the Wings were not doing enough for the great hockey fans of Detroit.  Now, what do they do?

No more spin and blaming the economy, sure that is part of it, but the Detroit Tigers drew over 3 million fans this season.

It is time the Wings look internally, start taking care of the fans, the fans who have been with them for years and right now feel embarrassed for themselves.

Other NHL teams open their practices, have pre-game, post-game parties, entertain the fans and make it a fun experience.  Other NHL teams give access to bloggers, who in turn promote the team and at time take shots at the team too. 

The Wings, they do nothing, and it has caught up with them.  Will they react?- At the point, I haven’t a clue.

See Abel to Yzerman for the print media reaction…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking at the Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,

AL MACINNIS: The Hockey Hall of Famer is the vice president of hockey operations and still another potential NHL GM. He has no interest in serving a ceremonial role with this franchise.

Like Murray, MacInnis has a clear vision of what works and what doesn’t work in the NHL. He gives this hockey operation additional insight and another view on players inside and outside the organization.

more… (*looking at all the Blues’ top management)

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: st.louis+blues

Bettman Visits Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

If the Commissioner were to come forward with a state of the league address in the U.S. this week the big questions wouldn’t centre on what he had to say. They would centre on whether or not anyone would come out to ask them.

It’s different in Canada and especially in Toronto and so give the Commissioner some credit for not just recognizing the obvious, but for wading into what is largely a hostile crowd.

Now there are reasons for that too and not the least of them is that the Toronto Maple Leafs annually offer no hope of success. That seems to keep “da boys” on a relatively sharp edge.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Stories From Espo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News-Register,

Esposito recalled an incident in which he and another hockey great, Gordie Howe, were among the old-timers to lace up the skates for a charity game. They noticed a younger player skating “way too fast,” as Esposito put it, for an exhibition game. Howe, famous for his fisticuffs as much as his scoring touch, took exception to the upstart showing up the old-timers. So when Howe met this opponent at an ensuing faceoff, he suggested he slow down.

When the cocky youngster responded with a derogatory remark to “Mr. Hockey,” Howe’s trademark nickname, he paid for it. Howe took him down hard with some strategically placed stickwork, leaving him writhing on the ice. Let’s just say the fleet-footed upstart didn’t skate too fast during the remainder of the game.

read on... Wouldn’t you like to sit down with Phil one night and have a few pops?

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

Book It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Here are 19 more predictions you can take to the bank. At least that’s what the hockey gods are telling me….

3. The I Wouldn’t Trade For Him With Your Draft Picks Award: Nikolai Zherdev (Blue Jackets)...
4. The player who’ll generate more highlight reel moments than anyone not named Crosby: Vincent Lecavalier (Lightning)...

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Following The Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fro Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Which team will be this season’s surprise story? ESPN.com is picking the Washington Capitals and Scott Burnside will chronicle the team’s travels throughout the season. In Part I, we begin with the team’s newfound vision at training camp.

ARLINGTON, Va.—There is a carnival-like atmosphere inside the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Balloons, booths, NHL trophies and staff decked out in Caps jerseys fill the space between the two ice surfaces on which the Washington Capitals are working out.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: washington+capitals

Kicking Around With Havlat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marcie Garcia at NHL.com,

There are times when the basement of the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, can feel like a soccer pitch. While going through the doors and into the corridors outside the dressing room, sounds of squeaky gym shoes and lively shouts warn of a game in progress.

Right wing Martin Havlat, the Hawks’ big gun, is one of the aspiring soccer stars.

“It’s just a good way for us to warm up,” says the 26-year-old Czech Republic native, by far the biggest soccer fan on the team

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, martin+havlat

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