Kukla's Korner

What Will Scott Niedermayer Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray probably cost himself some negotiating leverage and big bucks Friday when he called Scott Niedermayer “irreplaceable” and all but begged the smooth-skating defenseman to sign for another season.

It might be worth the elevated price.

With Niedermayer, the Ducks can retain a strong corps of veterans while easing younger legs into the lineup, a process Murray began with late-season trades that transformed them from a bottom-feeder to a playoff upstart that dismissed the top-seeded Sharks in the first round and took the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings to seven gritty games.

If Niedermayer retires, right wing Teemu Selanne could follow, despite having a year left on his contract. To a team already thin on its second line—Murray’s other priority—losing Selanne might trigger a step backward.

Murray said he needs to know Niedermayer’s plans before the June 26 draft so he can formulate a strategy.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

Is The Future Of Phoenix In Las Vegas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

A new twist in the ongoing Duel in the Desert emerged yesterday, one that might see the Phoenix Coyotes wind up in Las Vegas in a couple of years — with the NHL’s approval.

In a scenario brought to light by a source in Phoenix familiar with the letter of intent — or potential offer, or whatever the NHL is calling the document it has with Jerry Reinsdorf’s signature on it — Reinsdorf’s autograph is the only thing the owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls will put toward the Coyotes, since any cash will actually be provided by a couple of other would-be owners.

Those fellows, the source said, are movie and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Harry Sloan, the chairman and chief executive officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.


added 12:11pm,  from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,

Could the Phoenix Coyotes be heading back to their old stomping grounds of Manitoba after a 13-year absence of NHL hockey in the province?

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told officials with Phoenix Coyotes that the NHL would consider moving the team to Winnipeg but not Hamilton, court filings show.


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

Memorial Cup Preview

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Memorial Cup, the CHL Championship tournament, began tonight in Rimouski, Quebec.  Four teams are fighting for the Memorial Cup.  They are the WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets, the OHL Champion Windsor Spitfires, the QMJHL Champion Drummondville Voltigeurs and the host Rimouski Oceanic.  These teams play a round robin tournament and then a playoff to see who wins the cup.

Here is a look at the four teams in the order of likelihood I think they have of winning:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Hockey Has Been Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

To anyone who believes this league was better 10 years ago, or 30 years ago, well, go watch one of the games from those days, then compare it to what we saw between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, or the between Anaheim and Detroit in what, at least short-term, has replaced the Detroit-Colorado matchup as the best rivalry in the Western Conference….

The 27 second-round games, in general, showcased an excellent brand of the sport, albeit with some controversy and some borderline physicality, such as Walker’s unnecessary fist to Ward’s face and an ugly hit by Anaheim’s Mike Brown early in that series that left Detroit’s Jiri Hudler lying on the ice in a pool of blood.

But in a high-speed sport that sometimes seems akin to watching a science project featuring electrons colliding in a high-speed chamber, you can only get so much artistry in a sport moving that fast. Moreover, the heavy physical toll of the playoffs seems to be mounting, with every team that’s eliminated reporting significant players who were competing with injuries that would have kept them out of regular-season play.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cross-Checked In The Press Box

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from myFOXdetroit,

While the players were on the ice exchanging handshakes, high above in an executive suite Ducks General Manager Bob Murray was seething over the controversial goal that ended his team’s quest for the Stanley Cup.

A Detroit Police report lead to an assault investigation involving Murray. An upset and angry Murray, the report notes, picked up a high bar stool and hit 55-year-old Rachel Paris on the left chest, arm and shoulder area. She was treated by first aid personnel and interviewed by police.

Paris said in a phone interview she was in the press box working as a stage manager for a media outlet that she would not identify. A passionate Red Wings fan, Paris said Murray was apparently upset over her enthusiasm and used a stool on her to express his displeasure.

“I was taken to the boards by Bob Murray and survived the hit. I felt like I was cross-checked and I didn’t even have the puck,” said Paris.

Should Murray be charged with a criminal misconduct? Paris said “no” and declined to file a formal police complaint.


added 9:22pm, On the hockey side of things, Bob Murray spoke to media members today, read the transcript at AnaheimDucks.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+murray

Thanks Cindy…It’s Been Fun

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Tomorrow we update the starboard side with links to the Chicago papers and the Hawk bloggers.  And already, I’m seeing evidence that they may not be fond of you.  I’m just sayin.  But that’s tomorrow.

Tonite?  A final word from the youngest Brady sister.

Adam Brady

I watched the game last night in a Newport Beach sports bar with about 30 fellow staffers, and there was a mix of reactions when that final horn sounded on the season. Some gazed at the TVs in disbelief. Some stared at their feet. A couple of the girls even cried. All of us felt sick to our stomachs. “Well,” a friend of mine said somewhat crudely, “at least we didn’t go down like [expletive]s.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Fedorov Wants To Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,

“I cannot imagine myself retired; I don’t know why,” the 39-year-old veteran said. “I still have got some legs left and I’m still enjoying the game and I’m certainly enjoying this group of young and very talented players. I didn’t think about retiring. By saying that, I would like to continue to play. With the young legs around me, it’s really helpful.”

Fedorov said his agent, Pat Brisson, spoke briefly to GM George McPhee about an extension back in February. But that discussion was put on hold—at the team’s request—until after the season


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+fedorov

(Insert Team Name Here) Will Win If

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

Red Wings will win if... They can stay out of the penalty box. Killing penalties has been a rare Achilles’ heel all season—Detroit was 25th during the regular season at 78.3 percent and has only seen that number get worse as the calendar inches toward June. The quickest way for the Wings to fall behind in this series will be to give the potent Hawks’ offense a bushel of power-play chances on which to unleash their young talent.

Blackhawks will win if... They continue to play fast and work the transition to their advantage. While that may be a tough chore against Detroit, there is something special about this group, particularly on home ice where they are 5-1 in the postseason. The Hawks forced both the Flames and Canucks to play their style of game and it would certainly work to their advantage to force the Red Wings to do the same.

much more...

Penguins will win if... Pittsburgh will win if: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin create matchup problems for the Hurricanes. Let’s face it, these two make it a tough road to hoe for any team. If they get into a game of “Can you top this?” the Penguins will be tough to stop.

Hurricanes will win if... Cam Ward is the best player in this series. The Hurricanes love to play low-scoring, tight games in the playoffs. Paul Maurice calls it being comfortable in the grind, but basically, the Hurricanes want to keep games close so they can stay in their system and exert mental pressure on an opponent, waiting to exploit whatever cracks appear. To do that against the explosive Penguins, Ward will have to be at the very top of his game.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Your Conference Finals Officials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com.


Paul Devorski (160)
Eric Furlatt (35)
Dave Jackson (64)
Marc Joannette (64)
Dennis LaRue (45)
Bill McCreary (275)
Dan O’Halloran (72)
Kevin Pollock (91)


Derek Amell (59)
Greg Devorski (108)
Shane Heyer (108)
Brad Lazarowich (174)
Steve Miller (42)
Jean Morin (147)
Pierre Racicot (97)
Jay Sharrers (125)

(previous playoff games listed in parenthesis)

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bettman On Moving The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Eichelberger of Bloomberg,

Research in Motion Ltd. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie’s effort to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Ontario may endanger the stability of all U.S. sports leagues, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said….

“You can not have a stable league if franchises can be uprooted at the blink of an eye on a personal whim,” Bettman said in an interview at league offices in New York. “It is up to the partners to decide who would be a good partner.”...

Bettman said he would only consider moving the team to another city if he can’t find a buyer, which is unlikely.

He said he understands how much Canadians love hockey, although more research has to be done before deciding whether Hamilton, a city of about 500,000 some 40 miles from Toronto.

“It’s not anything we’ve looked at, and before you make a decision that will involve hundreds of millions of dollars, that is something that is going to have to be studied,” he said. “It’s the reason we have relocation procedures.”


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

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