Kukla's Korner

Caps Playing Boudreau Style Of Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“You know what, they’re an exciting team,” Gretzky told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

The Great One cited Caps coach Bruce Boudreau and his history as a prolific junior player with the Toronto Marlies (Boudreau posted 165 points in 69 games in 1974-75).

“I think it goes back to when he played for George Armstrong with the Toronto Marlies,” Gretzky said. “He loves that transition hockey, head-manning the puck and going to the net. It’s very similar to the way the Marlies played in 1974-75 when they won the Memorial Cup. Obviously, the players are bigger and stronger these days, and the goaltenders are probably a little more athletic and they have bigger equipment, so it’s tougher to score. But the actual style of play, transition and head-manning the puck is similar.”

And just like Gretzky, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey leading the way offensively on those Oilers teams, the Caps have their own version.

“Their top guys, Ovechkin, Semin and Green, play a hard-tempo game every night,” said Gretzky. “They lead by example and pull the rest of the guys with them.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Boston, Don’t Go Down Without A Fight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Edwards of NESN,

Regardless of any fire alarm that may or may not go off against Montreal on Thursday night to wake up the scorers, the past three weeks have cast doubt upon the heat of the fire within the Bruins’ shooters….

Funny, but Carl Yastrzemski never won a World Series. Yet the first thought that comes to mind when people mention his name is “Champion.”

That’s what Bruins fans are looking for. They don’t have to see the Cup yet. They just need to know that their heroes’ hands are blistered and bloody and that failure is unacceptable.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Waddell Statement On Kovalchuk Negotiations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell released the following statement Thursday afternoon regarding contract talks with winger Ilya Kovalchuk.

“Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract. During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life.  We’ve spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives.  Unfortunately, we’ve reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can’t reasonably go any higher.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell, ilya+kovalchuk

Dallas Looking For Buyer Or Investor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Wilonsky the Dallas Observer,

It took a while, but Lisa LeMaster just sent a statement addressing The Hockey News’s report that Tom Hicks, fresh off closing a deal to sell the Texas Rangers, is also looking for someone to either invest in the team or take the Dallas Stars off his hands altogether. In short: The report was right.

read on for the release from the Hicks Sports Group.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thoughts This Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

• Ever since the work stoppage, the average NHL club’s front office structure has begun to slowly mirror the corporate world. There are, now more than ever, presidents of hockey and of business and coaches have become middle managers. And like the corporate world, middle managers are often the scapegoat when a company fails. The Ken Hitchcock firing is another example of the middle manager being fired. It’s never senior managements’ problem or the workers’ problem, its always the middle managers’ problem. My expectation is that Hitchcock will be near the top of the list to coach Canada at the World Championships, but if and only if, Canada wins gold.

• The NHLPA search continues. They are still looking for that one person to right the ship and probably re-write their constitution. To me, it looks more and more like Donald Fehr, the former leader of the Baseball union, is going to be in that leadership mix. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if he became the Executive Director himself.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Teams To Watch At The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

With about a month to go before the trade deadline, here are my picks for the teams with the most intriguing decisions:

9. New Jersey Jersey Devils: General manager Lou Lamoriello is stealthy when it comes to player acquisition. He is the league’s most secretive general manager, but we certainly know that he looked into the Kovalchuk sweepstakes and we know his team needs more scoring. He never has been shy about moving prospects for proven players. It would be surprising if he didn’t make some move.

10. Ottawa Senators: Nobody is talking about the Senators making big moves, but I believe general manager Bryan Murray is looking at options to improve his team. The recent winning streak has bolstered the team’s confidence. Do they risk undermining team chemistry? I think they will add a player or two.

read on for the Top 8 teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Does Kovalchuk To San Jose Work?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Often when blockbuster deals are made, like the one we’re expecting with Ilya Kovalchuk, the trade is made with a team that hasn’t been prominently rumored. So while Kovalchuk rumors continue to surround the Kings, Devils, Bruins and Flyers, I set out today to see if I could discover a mystery team I thought was most likely to land the talented Russian.

Following some conversations, some logic and a little leap of faith, I came to my conclusion: The San Jose Sharks.

It made so much sense. There’s pressure in San Jose to win a Stanley Cup. They have the assets to make it happen and a GM not afraid to make a big deal.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Canada’s Prime Minister Talks Hockey And Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Michael Farber spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as part of his Olympic hockey preview for Sports Illustrated.

SI.com: How much pressure will Canada’s men’s hockey team be facing if it plays in the gold medal game?

Harper: It would be incredible pressure. I can’t offhand think of anything in any country where any team would be under such universal expectation of a gold and nothing less ... practically from four years before the event. It’s a big deal, to all of us.

SI.com: A French philosopher wrote that to understand the heart and mind of America, you had to understand baseball. Is that true of hockey and Canada?

Harper: There are parallels. You have in both cases a sport that was developed uniquely within that society, recognizing of course that these are also, in a sense, invented societies, coming into existence in recorded history….

continued

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

KK- A Server Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

We are experiencing some slow response time due to a server issue.

It is being looked at as we speak and I apologize for the issue.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Predators Have A Decision To Make On Dan Hamhuis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Poile has spoken with Hamhuis’s agent, Wade Arnott, but it’s uncertain whether Poile can accommodate what Hamhuis will want, both in terms of dollar and term. Now, the $64,000 question is whether Poile makes a pre-emptive move to trade the solid Hamhuis, an invitee to Canada’s Olympic orientation camp in Calgary this past August, before the trade deadline or keep him because he is a key component in the Predators’ quest for a postseason berth (the 12th overall pick in 2001 averages 21:04 a night in ice time).

It’s an unsavory dilemma, and Poile acknowledged GMs are going to have to get more used to watching assets walk away on July 1 in the new NHL. That said, if that was to happen with Hamhuis, “I can’t believe on July 1 I’d be very happy,” Poile said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+hamhuis

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