Kukla's Korner

Chara Wants To Play Like Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

• But just as a current contract is undergoing scrutiny, Bloch’s decision is affecting a future deal: the pending extension for Zdeno Chara. The 33-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his contract, and while nobody expected Kovalchuk to be lacing up his skates at age 43, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chara still in uniform in his 40s. Chara, who once relied strictly on brawn and intimidation, has already begun his transition into a Nicklas Lidstrom-type defenseman with an emphasis on positioning, smarts, and stick skills….

• While Philadelphia and San Jose are most likely in the mix for Antti Niemi, the Cup-winning goalie cut loose by the Blackhawks, don’t rule out Washington. General manager George McPhee has been telling other GMs he’s committed to youngsters Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, both on their entry-level deals. But with plenty of cap space and arguably the league’s best offensive duo in Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in their sweet spots, it’s risky to lean on two young goalies.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Leafs May Have Overestimated The Value Of Kaberle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons ot the Toronto Sun,

It’s just me, but I can’t understand why NHL teams such as Colorado, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Dallas, with very little offence from their defence, aren’t lining up to take a run at Tomas Kaberle. The lack of staunch offers for Kaberle almost certainly means whatever the Leafs thought they would get for the defenceman is less than they will end up with.

a few more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

No Leader Hurting The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Maybe morale was as low when Alan Eagleson was representing the players in a felonious manner. Maybe it was this bad when the players regretfully recognized that Bob Goodenow had been right when he told them they would have to be willing to stay out into a second full season in order to withstand the NHL’s demand for an imposition of a hard cap. Maybe it was this bad when Ted Saskin violated the union’s trust, and maybe it was this bad last year when Paul Kelly was thrown out the door at 3 a.m.

But according to a variety of individuals familiar with the current state of NHLPA affairs, morale within the union and among the players never has been worse than it is now.

The search for an executive director essentially has hit a wall. The fact of the matter is that the five-player search committee that has been in operation for eight months simply has been unable to attract the caliber of candidates for the job that the union expected.

continued

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

50/50 Chance Kaberle Will Be Traded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, feels the odds are just “50-50” that the smooth-skating rearguard will be dealt before his no-trade clause kicks back in at midnight Sunday.

Burke, in an email, said he has received “several legit offers” for Kaberle that he and Toronto’s management team will assess but none is yet enough to close the deal. Of course, when you’re trying to extract the highest possible value for an asset, it’s to Burke’s advantage to take an auction-style approach to proceedings. And he does have until midnight.

“Too early to say if we’ll make a deal or not,” wrote Burke.

Curran said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Kaberle remains Toronto property. He sees that scenario being just as likely as his client getting moved to Dallas, San Jose, Tampa Bay or any of the other clubs that have been mentioned as potential trading partners with the Leafs.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

All Eric Fehr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Bender of the Winnipeg Sun,

SUN: You guys had such a great season, so do you still have a bitter taste in your mouth after losing to Montreal in the playoffs?

EF: Yeah, we weren’t happy with the way it ended. We didn’t play the way we wanted to and Montreal played well. But, at the same time, we didn’t play the way we needed to to win. We’ve got a really good team and we want to make the next round and make up for what we did last year … We haven’t gotten over it yet but once we start the season, we’ll turn the page and start fresh again.

SUN: Where do you need to improve?

EF: I just need to be more consistent and just play a full season. In the past, I’ve had a few injuries that have kept me out of the lineup. So, I’m just trying to stay healthy and contribute game in and game out.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+fehr

Moving Defensemen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun at the Toronto Sun,

Who will be first to make a deal? Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke or Vancouver Canucks counterpart Mike Gillis?

Both are dangling veteran defencemen and are desperate to make moves.

It might be mid-August, but trade talk is finally alive and well. Discussions between GMs are heating up again with training camps only a month away.

While Sunday could be D-Day for Leaf Tomas Kaberle with the trade window in his contract closing at midnight, sources say Gillis has been working harder than Burke trying to move Kevin Bieksa.

continued with many rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

How much does a club in a non-traditional market, with scant playoff history, surrender for a player who has only one year remaining on his deal? It’s a tough question. I think Kaberle-to-Columbus remains a long shot, but it makes for an intriguing weekend.

-Tom Reed of Puck-rakers.  More on is Kaberle a fit in Columbus.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Wings Window Closing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Douglas Flynn of NESN,

The Red Wings have made 19 straight playoff appearances and won four Stanley Cups in the last 13 seasons, but their championship window may finally be closing. Last year they were passed in the Central Division by Original Six rival Chicago, which now sits atop the hockey world with its prized shiny chalice held high and young core of stars ready to defend it. Will the grizzled old warriors from Detroit be able to wrest it back, or will the Wings fall further down the standings as Father Time becomes an even tougher opponent for their aging nucleus?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Do You Expect On Friday The 13th?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

It was nearly a devastating doozy, but breathe easy Chicago fans and Buffalonians because the first malfunction of Patrick Kane’s day with the Cup has been rectified.

Kane and the Cup were stuck about three stories up in the bucket of a fire engine for about 20 minutes because the motor that controls the ladder had stopped working. After calling in the technicians, the firemen finally got their ladder working and Kane was returned successfully down to earth.

As he stepped off the ladder he was visibly shaking.

“It was a little scary, but anything with this (the Cup) is unexpected,” a clearly relieved Kane said after making his way down. “I’m just happy to be out.”

You can read more from Dan on Kane’s day with the Cup.

Also, a video is posted below with Kane stuck in the bucket, but the music is bad and all you see is some people in the bucket…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Kaberle Could Fit In Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Given Tampa Bay’s needs on defense, it is naive to believe general manager Steve Yzerman hasn’t at least inquired about getting Kaberle into a Lightning uniform.

Is Kaberle a good fit for the Lightning? Seems like it on the surface. Kaberle, 32, is a sturdy, efficient puck-moving defenseman who had seven goals and 49 points in 82 games last season for Toronto. He averaged 22:21 of ice time. Yes, he was minus-16 on a bad team. But he had three goals and 25 points on the power play.

Kaberle also has one year left on a contract that will pay $4.25 million next season. Even without the expected salary going to other way in a trade, Kaberle fits under the $59.4 million salary cap as Tampa Bay has about a $10 million cushion. It also means the Lightning is not locked into anything long term. That fits perfectly with Yzerman’s idea of evaluating his roster over the next season or two as he reshapes and rebuilds the organization.

more including why he may not fit…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

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