Kukla's Korner

Raw Charge’s Five Questions for JJ

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

The staff at SB Nation’s Raw Charge finishes up their Five Questions, Five Answers series today with my responses to their Southeast Division inquries.

Check out the entire piece here, as well as the previous two installments, featuring my The Bolts Beat co-host, Mike Corcoran and Pete Choquette from Bolt Prospects.

As I touched on in closing out this interview, this division as a whole is on the upswing, making the timing of my expanded coverage even more exciting.

Enjoy the Q&A here… And, please, pay my friends at Raw Charge a well-deserved visit.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+meszaros, boris+valabik, brandon+sutter, brent+sopel, brett+clark, bryan+allen, bryan+little, cam+ward, cory+stillman, dmitry+kulikov, dominic+moore, drayson+bowman, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, freddy+meyer, jason+garrison, jeff+vinik, jiri+tlusty, johnny+oduya, keaton+ellerby, maxim+afinogenovbryan+mccabe, michael+frolik, nathan+paetsch, niklas+bergfors, patrice+cormier, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, rich+peverley, ron+hainsey, rostislav+olesz, sean+bergenheim, shawn+matthias, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephen+weiss, steve+reinprecht, steve+yzerman, tobias+enstrom, tomas+vokoun, zach+bogosian, zach+boychuk

Would The Wild ‘Suspend’ James Sheppard?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey New,

James Sheppard’s off-ice ATV accident could end up costing him a significant amount of money, more than $4,000 for each day he is on the injury list, in fact.

Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher made it clear after learning about Sheppard’s mishap in Vail, Colo., that resulted in a broken kneecap, his most pressing priorities were learning the full extent of the injury and getting Sheppard back on the ice as soon as possible.

But with Sheppard being injured while taking part in a higher-risk activity, it puts into question whether or not the Wild will be able to suspend Sheppard and withhold his $803,250 salary this season until he’s healthy enough to play again. Initial reports suggest Sheppard could miss as much as four months this season.

“We’re still looking into the relevant facts and making sure that James is getting the best medical care,” Fletcher said. “At this stage we’re concentrating on helping James speed up the recovery process as much as possible.”

However, Fletcher did contend there are provisions in the collective bargaining agreement and the standard player contract to deal with such issues.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+sheppard

Bruins, JYP Jyvaskyla Reach A Partnership Agreement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bruins announced today that they have entered a partnership agreement with Finnish SM-League Club, JYP Jyvaskyla.  Under this agreement, the teams will be able to transfer players and have them train with the partner club and within the partner club’s developmental system, as well as exchange tactics and scouting information.

JYP was founded in 1977 and captured its first league championship in 2009. Notable NHLers Michael Nylander, Steve Kariya and Jody Shelley have skated for JYP in their careers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jyp+jyvaskyla

KHL No Rival To The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andy Potts of The Moscow News,

The third season of KHL hockey starts on Wednesday – but the Russian tournament’s dreams of rivaling the NHL still seem distant.

In 2008 when the first season introduced three teams from outside Russia – and a raft of new imports from Europe’s top clubs – hopes were high that the competition would become a genuine rival to the game’s biggest tournament.

But a mixture of politics and economics has stalled plans to ice franchises in other countries, meaning the league is still restricted to the former USSR.

And the returning stars from the NHL are overwhelmingly members of the old guard, heading to a salary-cap free tournament in search of a final big payday.


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

Craig Ramsey Plans To Improve The Atlanta Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

When coaching in Boston, Ramsay admitted that they felt comfortable exposing the Thrashers’ Achilles heal saying, “We thought we could take advantage of Atlanta in their own end, but I think we will turn that around…that will be a priority for us”.

But he doesn’t merely want to improve the play on defense… he actually feels it has the potential to become an asset.

“We want to change that attitude, that’s for sure. I think looking at this [team] that our defense could be our strength. That’s what we did in Tampa when we won the Cup. In Boston we were very strong on the blueline. Rick understands that value…and we’ve got good people here and we think they can make this defense work and it can be turned to our advantage”.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+ramsey

Modano On His Way To Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

It’s not like Mike Modano had to pull up the moving van and take all his furniture to Detroit, but Tuesday was nonetheless a challenging day for the former Stars center.

He and wife Mandy (who goes by the stage name of Willa Ford) have rented a home in the Detroit area, and Modano is leaving today to play for the Red Wings, who signed him to a one-year contract. He packed up his clothes and a ton of personal things and had some friends drive it up for him. He will take a flight to Detroit today and start what will be a one-year adventure.

Will it last longer than that? Modano doesn’t know, but the man who was told he would not be offered a new contract with the Stars after 20 seasons with the organization knows he wants to play more hockey, and he knows Detroit is a pretty good place to play it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Marketing The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Brewer, who joined the Coyotes as Vice President of Marketing and Communications in August, recently chatted with Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com about his new gig.

VEST: What are some of things atop your list of “things to do” before the first game?

BREWER: “Now that I’ve found the restroom and the ice machine I can turn my attention to figuring out what resources we have and how best to align those resources to be most effective and efficient in getting the word out about the Coyotes. We need to find new ways to break out of the clutter and raise our profile and relevance in this market. Some of that will be advertising, some of that will be grass roots efforts, some of that will be pushing PR and promotion. But, mostly, we need to make sure that first game is a sellout and we’ll be working hard to make that happen. Thankfully, we have a very good hockey team to talk about, which is critical.”

read on

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

All Jay Grossman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Craig Custance of The Sporting News talks with Jay Grossman, player agent for Ilya Kovalchuk among others…

Grossman on the drawn-out negotiations: “At one point in August, I looked at almost every team and they had 19 or 20 players signed and it’s like, ‘Where’s the money (for free agents) going to come from?’ That’s part of your job to understand what kind of player you’re dealing with. On July 7 or 8, there were people who said that we had blown it and missed our opportunity and they were way off the mark … When you have the Hope Diamond, you can afford to be patient.”

On getting a major deal done in a tight free-agent market: “It speaks to the value of the player more than anything. I said that to Kovy even when, as recently as last week, this was dragging on. Before we submitted the second contract to the league, the question was raised: ‘Are we going down the right path?’ I said, ‘Look, nobody is walking away from you.’ Nobody did walk away from him. Most of all, New Jersey remained absolutely steadfast and determined in the process.”

read on

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

Mesh Pads

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

Trevor Leahy’s daydreaming in a high school chemistry class two years might not have done much for his grades, but it’s having a healthy effect on his bank account.

With a sketch pad at hand, Leahy began doodling a design for the new goalie pads he needed.

In process, the 19-year-old reasoned with the era of swollen goalie equipment ending it was time to enter the age of deception.

“My chemistry teacher will kill me, but it wasn’t a particularly intense lecture that day,” said Leahy, now in his second year at the University of New Hampshire.

“I started with white pads and then it dawned on me to put mesh on it. I sketched it on the computer and then I got actual mesh images and it looked even better.”


Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Solid Signing For Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By The Upper Canadien

Jeff Halpern is a solid signing for the Montreal Canadiens (and, finally, the Canadiens have gotten back at the Tampa Bay Lightning for raiding them this summer…sort of, as Halpern ended the year a King). Over my past few blogs, and just this morning, I’d mentioned three or four names as guys I felt would really help the third and fourth line of the team: Bill Guerin, Owen Nolan, Darcy Tucker and Ryan Johnson. Well, Halpern brings less offence than the first two, less grit than Tucker, and less shot blocking than Johnson, but he’s a poor man’s answer for all four – and with less than $2 million in cap room left, the Habs needed a poor man’s answer.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+halpern

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