Kukla's Korner

Luongo Facing His Old Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of the Miami Herald,

The bottom line is, Luongo always thought a deal was going to be made, and he would remain in Florida. Luongo was the face of the Panthers, and he figured he would be for years. The franchise is led by others now, but Luongo has his piece of its history.

Luongo and the Panthers have moved on. But Friday night’s game is still going to be special.

‘‘I think it’s going to be real emotional for him,’’ said Jokinen, who came to Florida with Luongo in a trade from the New York Islanders in 2000. ``He’s going to have a lot of friends out there.’‘

In the stands, and on the ice, too.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Foote’s Future

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers,

Adam Foote will meet with general manager Scott Howson next week to discuss the team captain’s interest in remaining a Blue Jacket.

Howson wants to have “open and honest” dialogue in the run up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Foote, who has a no-trade clause, is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote

Goalies & Their Mask

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hayley Mick of the Globe and Mail,

...And like divas with their “it” bags or businessmen with polka-dot ties, professional goalies have long expressed their individuality with customized paint jobs on their masks.

Now amateurs are getting in on the act, paying big money for helmet art to illustrate passions and alter egos ranging from Mr. Potato Head to Metallica to portraits of their children.

“I’m just aiming for an expression of my likes,” said Randy Hall, a 43-year-old father from Mississauga who plays senior men’s hockey three times a week wearing a tribute to his favourite band, Rush, on his head.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Karmanos Won’t Hold Rutherford Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Legality and necessity demand Peter Karmanos make Jim Rutherford fulfil his contract to the Carolina Hurricanes.

But Karmanos’ friendship with Rutherford would let the latter go to work for the Maple Leafs….

“First of all, it’s not appropriate to be discussing this when Jim’s in the second of a five-year contract, and a lucrative one, too,” Karmanos told Sun Media yesterday from the offices of the Compuware Corporation in suburban Detroit. “But I would not stand in his way, only if the situation did not allow him to do his job.

“I would grant permission for the Leafs to talk to him, but I would want to hear the level of control he has. It might be something I could help him negotiate.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+karmanos

Forget The Trade Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

I don’t buy into too many trade rumors, but one I read today said the Blackhawks were shopping Martin Havlat. Being a semi-diligent reporter I put in a call to general manager Dale Tallon and he said he’d heard the same rumor.

Turns out it’s not true.

“I’m not shopping him at all,” Tallon said.

Tallon also said he’s not close to any other deal.

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

Leafs Lose It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The game, the arguments, the video reviews, ground in the playoff race, another forward to an ankle injury, another to a three-game suspension; all gone in what was for them a frustrating and heart-wrenching 3-2 overtime defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes.

And in the Toronto dressing room afterwards, their anger roiled over what they felt were injustices meted out on Tobacco Road….

After reciting a litany of decisions he disagreed with, ending with what he said was a “lousy call on Antropov,” a seething coach Paul Maurice snapped: “But that’s my judgment. That’s the way I feel, that’s the way the hockey players feel. That’s what the camera (replays) looked like to me. Let’s just do it this way. We’ve been out here and friendly long enough. If you want to get the story, go ask the people who made the judgments. We disagree. That’s all I have to say.’‘

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ovechkin Scores Four

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via NHL.com,

Alex Ovechkin scored his fourth goal of the night with 1:26 left in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Ovechkin finished with four goals and one assist for five points, but the last one was the biggest. He took a crossing pass from Jeff Schultz and beat Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet from in front for the overtime goal.

The All-Star scored Washington’s first, third, fourth and fifth goals. He also assisted on Viktor Kozlov’s goal. Kozlov finished with a goal and two assists.

AO now has 43 goals this season.

video added 2/1/08

added 9:24am on 2/1/08, via Capitals Insider,

“Today was special day,” Ovechkin said after the team doctor went to work on his nose, which he broke for the fifth time. “I broke my nose, I have stitches, I score four goals. Everything go to my face.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Is Jose Theodore Back?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Terry Frei at ESPN,

Just when you think it’s safe (or advisable) to write off Theodore… He rallies.

Just when you think it’s time to say he’s got his groove back… He falters.

That’s not all that dissimilar to the pattern of his tenure with the Canadiens, but now he’s a 31-year-old goalie trying to save his career.

The guy has more goaltending lives than Felix “The Cat” Potvin.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, goalies, jose+theodore

Bryzgalov Makes Coyotes “Impressively Good”

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Kevin Allen at USA Today,

At the start of this season, the general impression of the Coyotes was that they were still a patchwork team, a mixture of seemingly mismatched veterans and raw youngsters held together with crack filler and coach Wayne Gretzky’s good name.

Since Bryzgalov was plucked from the Anaheim Ducks on waivers, the Coyotes look like a cohesive group of skilled players. The Coyotes haven’t just been good since Bryzgalov arrived, they have been impressively good. The arrival of Bryzgalov has simply allowed us to see the real Coyotes.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, ilya+bryzgalov, phoenix+coyotes

Gary Bettman’s NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,

GB has done one heck of a job. Costs, for the most part, are capped. Revenue is up. Attendance is stable though lower than annually reported since the NHL came off the second of Bettman’s forced lockouts. And—this is most important and dear to every owner’s heart—the value of franchises has risen dramatically on his watch

Example: the expected sale of the Edmonton Oilers. The struggling franchise in what is arguably the NHL’s smallest city is expected to change hands for upwards of $200 million. Compare that to the $50 million cost of an expansion franchise (Ottawa and Anaheim) the day before Bettman was anointed in Palm Beach, Fla. in February 1993. Even with inflation, the increase is staggering—not nearly the value of an NFL or Major League franchise or even one in the NBA (which is hard to gauge because there haven’t been nearly as many in bankruptcy or for sale), but in the NHL, it’s a noteworthy achievement.

more…

*related: an earlier article considering Bettman’s tenure posted on KK today.

Update 6:32pm ET: Pierre LeBrun at the CP flashes back on Bettman’s legacy today as well.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: franchise+value, gary+bettman, hockey+business, nhl

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