Kukla's Korner

Ken Holland Would Like to get an Enforcer

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky:

The question comes up around this time every summer: Should the Red Wings acquire an enforcer?

“Ideally, yeah, we’d love to go out and get an enforcer,” general manager Ken Holland said Monday. “But I can’t make one up. We don’t have one in our organization right now, so I have one of two choices. Either I trade for one or I get one through free agency.”

Holland has a history of adding one agitator to the roster, usually later in the summer or right after training camp. He brought in Brad May after the team returned from Sweden last year. Before that, Aaron Downey, Darren McCarty and Dallas Drake were late additions to the roster.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Sabres’ Myers Reflects on Rookie Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Buffalo News’ John Vogl:

Tyler Myers never really had time to relax during the season. His rapid jump from junior hockey to the NHL — and all the games, travel and learning that came along with it — didn’t allow for many moments of reflection.

That finally changed during the past couple of months. The Buffalo Sabres’ defenseman has spent much of his offseason back home in Kelowna, British Columbia, chatting with family and catching up with friends. It’s helped him realize his first professional season really was impressive.

“It was a long season,” Myers said by phone. “I had a lot of fun with it. It was definitely an adjustment. I think when the season ended I took a little time to actually start to realize what actually just happened, and it was definitely a year I won’t forget.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, nhl-hockey

Bruins Chiarelli in Critical Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy:

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli just might be entering the most important week of his career.

With four picks among the first 45 selections in this weekend’s NHL draft in Los Angeles, Chiarelli has the opportunity not only to fortify the future but also do some wheeling and dealing to get his stuck-in-the-second-round club over the hump.

And you can bet Chiarelli has been and will be hoping to get something, and perhaps something gargantuan, done.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, nhl-hockey

Flyers’ Plans for Leighton still Unclear

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Seravalli:

It has been 13 days since Patrick Kane’s low, blocker-side snipe ended the Flyers’ dream in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said yesterday that he has not spoken to the agent of Michael Leighton, the man who let in the goal that silenced the Wachovia Center and the Flyers’ season.
Leighton, 29, is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

By not talking to Leighton’s agent, former NHL goalie Mike Liut, Holmgren does not appear overly eager to sign Leighton to a long-term contract. And with the NHL draft kicking off Friday night in Los Angeles , Leighton could become a name of the past if the Flyers are able to swing a deal for one of the league’s younger goalies like the Kings’ Jonathan Bernier.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, philadelphia+flyers

Report: Modano Thinks his Days are Numbered with Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From TSN:

Veteran free agent forward Mike Modano doesn’t seem to be expecting to return to the Dallas Stars, according to a report from ESPN.

“The more and more I look at the situation here, I come to believe I’m not in the scheme of things here,” Modano told the network on Monday. “If I had to play, I may have to look at going elsewhere.”

The 40-year-old says he will wait until at least July before he decides on what he will do with his future; free agency begins on July 1 in the NHL.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dallas+stars, nhl-hockey

Halak Deal was Really about Price

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From SI.com’s Darren Eliot:

The Montreal Canadiens’ trade of Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues set the Habs’ fans to wringing their hands en masse. Of course, any move by the Canadiens in Montreal elicits beaucoup emotion. Coming off such an unexpected playoff run in which Halak was the central figure, though, it stands to reason that shipping him out of town for prospect Lars Eller would elicit some debate.

Part of the rancor comes from the fact that the Canadiens have once again handed Carey Price, the other young goaltender in Montreal, the keys to the crease. Price went from prospect to anointed one in short order after the Habs selected him with the fifth pick in the 2005 entry draft. Factor in some off-ice shenanigans and immature responses by Price and now the locals are looking at him through a prism of petulance more so than promise. All this and the fact that Halak’s heroics are freshest in mind.

Still, did anyone really think this would turn out any differently?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: montreal+canadiens, nhl-hockey

Crosby, Sedin Stand in Ovie’s Way for Third Straight MVP

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby:

Alex Ovechkin has often grumped about settling for an individual prize at the NHL awards when he really wanted the big silver cup they hand out on the ice.

Well, move it on over Ovie, you’ll have plenty of disgruntled company Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

The list of various nominees is full of Capitals, Penguins, Red Wings, Canucks, Sharks and Sabres, teams that had started the year in search of Stanley, but lost their bearings. Duncan Keith is the only member of the Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to be represented, up for the Norris Trophy, and you won’t find any members of the Eastern finalist Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens in the mix for the major awards.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey

GM’s Anxiously Await Next Year’s Salary Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Toronto Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts:

There was no news Monday from the National Hockey League Players’ Association about whether it voted to increase next season’s salary cap, which will keep at least some general managers sweating for at least another day.

The final figure means the most to Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks, Paul Holmgren of the Philadelphia Flyers and Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks, all GMs with payrolls at or near the cap. But just as anxious is someone like Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke.

Burke has a lot at stake, too, only he is probably hoping madly that, for the first time since the collective agreement was struck in 2005, the players reject bumping the cap from its present $56.8-million (all currency U.S.) by about $2-million. If they do, it will give Burke a lot more leverage in trying to pry an elite forward out of one of the above teams.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey

Awaiting the Call from the Hall

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Toronto Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle:

The Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee will reveal which of the game’s greats will be inducted this fall Tuesday afternoon. Here is a look at who might get in:

1. Joe Nieuwendyk

Universally well liked and well decorated, Nieuwendyk is as close to a sure thing as there is in this year’s class. Tied for 20th in career goal scoring (564) and eighth in game winners (93), he won three Stanley Cups with three NHL teams (Calgary Flames in 1989, Dallas Stars in 1999 and New Jersey Devils in 2003) along with the Calder Trophy as top rookie in 1988 and Conn Smythe as the playoff’s most valuable player in 1999. Nieuwendyk played in 1,257 regular-season and 158 playoff games despite regularly battling injuries that led to early retirement in 2006.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey

Jason Spezza open to trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Toronto Globe and Mail’s Sean Gordon:

With the NHL draft looming and the hockey world humming with trade talk, Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators can be added to the list of players who may soon have new addresses.

Though the Senators would clearly prefer to retain the stylish centre’s services, general manager Bryan Murray confirmed weeks of speculation on Monday, saying that Spezza is open to trade discussions. “He said he wouldn’t object to one, he didn’t come in and say ‘I have to be traded.’ He didn’t object to, ‘Maybe it’s time,’” Murray said.

The GM added that, “We will look at everything that will help our hockey team, but I’m not going to make a bad trade.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, ottawa+senators

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