Kukla's Korner

LB: I Know A Change Has Come

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Following a solid effort against Los Tiberones, the tide may have begun to turn for the Red Wings.

Then again, it may not.  Kronwall is out again.  Apparently Jobu is still alive.

Four unanswered goals is a refreshing change.  A comeback with a solid effort for 50 minutes of shut-down hockey.

Is Puck Possession hockey beginning to return to Detroit?  Or can the team only only rise up to the challenge against tough teams, losing easy points against easy teams?

Well, I’m no pharmacist, but I’m also not a pessimist.  This is my team, and I will stand by them until my last breath.

We are facing our bitter rivals, the *ucks.  Albeit neutered without the knuckle-dragging neanderthal, Chris Pronger, the *ucks are no ordinary rivals.  And our song for the evening is no ordinary song.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Your Up To The Minute Update On Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The Thrashers’ next game is Friday night in Washington. It seems unlikely the team would want Kovalchuk in uniform, while negotiations for his departure are ongoing. His destination, most likely a playoff contender, and a timetable for a deal have not been determined….

Kovalchuk has been seeking the maximum salary allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, which is 20 percent of the salary cap, or roughly $11.3 million per season. Grossman confirmed that he has not come off that number during negotiations and was asking for a “lifetime” contract in the 10-to-12-year range.

The Thrashers have offered multiple deals, none close those terms. Waddell has approached the cap allowance with an offer of $10 million a year, but sought shorter terms (at three, five or seven years). According to Grossman, the Thrashers’ last offer on the table was for $101 million but the deal would span 12 seasons for an annual average of $8.42 million.

more

added 7:50pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

So, all things being equal, the Thrashers would like to put this all to bed in the next few days and perhaps have Kovalchuk traded before the team’s next game on Friday night.

If that happens, no one should be surprised.

But while there are reports that five or six teams are “seriously” interested in Kovalchuk, the dynamic for each of the teams is different, unique if you will, and those expressions of “interest” would appear to run the gamut from tire kicking to legitimate but somewhat cautious interest.

Compounding the muddiness of the picture is what Waddell and the Thrashers expect to get in return for Kovalchuk.

read on

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

Report- Trade Brewing Between Canes & Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a James Duthie tweet,

Carolina and SJ working on a deal that would send Nic Wallin to the Sharks. Wallin has a no-trade clause. It’s believed he has waived it.

and Darren Dreger tweet too,

another trade is close. Canes working on sending Wallin to SJ. Wallin won’t play in Calgary tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Has Happened In the Past, Just Not Documented

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet,

I cringe at the thought of what could have been recorded off the ice when I played pro hockey. Do you think Dion is the first hockey player to grab a microphone and sing a song? You’d love Mark Messier’s rendition of Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds or Kevin Lowe’s Crocodile Rock at the Auction House in New York City.

Limo rides? Heck, the Chicago Blackhawks have nothing on my Washington Capitals team back in the late ‘80s. At least the Blackhawks weren’t wrongly accused of inappropriate behaviour by a teenage girl like my teammates were, and end up the focus of a front-page Washington Post scandal.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hitchcock Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have relieved Head Coach Ken Hitchcock of his duties behind the bench and named Assistant Coach Claude Noel as the club’s interim head coach, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today. 

Noel, 54, joined the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on June 28, 2007 after spending four seasons as the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.  During that time, he led the club to a 183-94-12-31 regular season record, three 100-point seasons and two West Division titles.  He also compiled a 33-21 record in the Calder Cup Playoffs, including two appearances in the Finals (2004, 2006).  During the 2003-04 season, the club compiled a 46-24-7-3 record and went 16-6 in the playoffs en route to capturing the organization’s first Calder Cup championship.  That year, Noel was named the AHL’s Coach of the Year.

“This season has been very disappointing for the Blue Jackets organization and our fans and the responsibility for that rests with all of us from management to the coaches and players,” said Howson.  “Hitch worked tirelessly to build an identity for this team that was missing before he arrived and deserves a great deal of credit for those efforts.  He earned and received the opportunity to turn things around this season, but unfortunately that has not happened and it has become apparent that change is in the best interest of our organization.  Claude Noel is a good hockey coach with a proven track record in the American Hockey League.  He knows our team and is deserving of this opportunity.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Now We Can Talk Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Ilya Kovalchuk’s days as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers appear to be numbered.

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell met with the star forward on Wednesday and told him to expect a trade to another NHL team over the next few hours or days.

added 3:44pm, via Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The Kings, Bruins, Rangers, Flyers and Blackhawks are reportedly interested, but all the stories we’re seeing now do not include the Flyers and Blackhawks.

added 3:55pm, via a Tweet from Bob McKenzie,

Teams in mix for Kovalchuk include: Boston, New Jersey, Rangers, Philadelphia, Calgary, Chicago and L.A. Some more. Some less. Auction time.

added 4:06pm, via a Tweet from Craig Custance,

Kovy very much in play, but I’m being told that the Blackhawks aren’t in the mix right now.

added 4:47pm, via a Tweet from Kevin Allen,

Thrashers’ want list hasn’t changed for Kovalchuk deal: they need players who can help now. There are interested teams we don’t know about

added 4:53pm, Another Tweet from McKenzie,

About a half dozen teams still in the mix for Kovalchuk. Likely to take at least another two or three days to sort itself out. No deadline.

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

Leading By Example

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

There’s certainly an element of satisfaction in quieting critics who say the Sedins can’t stand alone.

“I think so,” said Daniel. “We can’t do much about those kinds of things [what other people think], but it is good to know. For him to see he could play that kind of hockey, I think it was huge, and for myself, too.”

Henrik has also changed his game. Henrik has always been the passer, Daniel the shooter. But Henrik potted 10 goals while Daniel was out. Who knew?

“I don’t know if he shot the puck more, but he was finding the scoring areas,” Daniel said. “He really took it upon himself to do things out there and it was great to watch for myself. And for his confidence, it really helped. Once I was back, he just kept doing the same things. I think he got better as a hockey player.”...

“For a coach, you talk about low maintenance or no maintenance at all, he just goes out and does his job, prepares well,” Vigneault said of Henrik. “And he’s a real team guy. His focus is always on what the team needs.”

That’s what a leader does.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

The Trade Deadline Freeze Dates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Some confusion going around regarding the dates and times of the trade freeze for the NHL, so let’s clarify…

via Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The NHL roster freeze goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 12 and doesn’t end until 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 28. The trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET on March 3.

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

Canucks Caught Diving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

The Vancouver Canucks were assessed two diving penalties Tuesday, and neither was to Alex Burrows.

The Canucks actually seem to have benefitted from officiating since Burrows lit a powderkeg three weeks ago by accusing referee Stephane Auger. There was a dubious overtime penalty call against the Edmonton Oilers, a unique no-goal interpretation against the Buffalo Sabres, and the Canucks have had more power plays than penalty kills in seven of the last eight games.

But if Tuesday’s 3-2 Canuck loss to the Montreal Canadiens is any indication, the National Hockey League has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards diving. It’s about time.

Neither Canuck called for flopping — Darcy Hordichuk and Ryan Kesler received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties early and late in the game — admitted embellishing. Both calls resulted in offsetting minors, as Marc-Andre Bergeron knocked down Hordichuk after a whistle, while Yannick Weber tripped Kesler.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Safe Bet When It Comes To Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

No sports fan can go to Las Vegas without checking out at least one sportsbook and I am no different.

It’s a place where you can bet on all sorts of games and most, if not all of the contests, are broadcast for you on huge screens. In the gonzo tradition so closely linked to this city, I offer some fractured reflections on my lovely time in what is essentially a huge awesome rec room.

• Betting the ‘under’ on a hockey game is utterly terrifying, especially when the Sedin twins are involved. On my first night in town, I made what I thought to be a very rational decision to take under 5.5 on Buffalo and Vancouver – made sense, since Ryan Miller and Roberto Luongo are two of the best goaltenders in the world and all.

continued

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

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