Kukla's Korner

Finding A City For Another NHL Team In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Naylor of the Globe and Mail,

A decade ago, with the loonie tanking and the NHL expanding to non-traditional hockey markets, Canadian fans fretted about the possible extinction of all the country’s NHL franchises, save for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques had already moved to become the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, when American George Gillett Jr. was introduced as the Montreal Canadiens’ new owner in January of 2001. He felt compelled to ease the tension by saying: “These are the Montreal Canadiens, not the Oklahoma City Canadiens.”

Fast-forward nine years. Today, fans are talking about the possibility of a seventh franchise in Canada to go with the thriving six, whether by expansion or relocation. The assumption – it’s not if, but when.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Not Much Has Changed In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

When Ken King bought Darryl Sutter another year, he promised that while his front office would not be altered there would be plenty of change.

A change in attitude, a change in communication and a change in the way the organization used its entire braintrust to help Sutter make decisions for a change.

However, as last week’s free-agent signing of Olli Jokinen proved, it’s clearly the same old thing down at the Dome.

Sutter did little in the way of consulting before signing up to re-try the failed Jokinen experiment, prompting the organization to be mocked from coast to coast.

While the rest of the hockey world alternated between fits of laughter and shock, Sutter had the audacity to say at his press conference reaction to his moves were overwhelmingly positive.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Beating The Ray Shero Drum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

We knew Penguins general manager Ray Shero was good at his job long before his terrific signings of free-agent defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek Thursday. The team’s run to the Stanley Cup final in 2008 and its Cup win in ‘09 are pretty good proof. But we didn’t find out just how great Shero is until after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup this spring. The champagne wasn’t even dry in Chicago when the Blackhawks traded key players Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Colin Fraser, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel because of NHL salary-cap concerns.

Contrast that to the Penguins who have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Martin, Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury signed through at least the 2012-13 season. It will be disappointing if they don’t win at least one more Cup during that time.

No wonder Shero said Friday morning after doing five-year deals with Martin and Michalek for a total of $45 million: “I slept good last night.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+shero

Now What Do The Kings Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

They had anticipated being an attractive option for Kovalchuk and a top-tier defenseman following a season in which they made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and continued to develop an impressive core of youngsters. But like a few years ago, when they chased defenseman Zdeno Chara, and last summer, when winger Marian Hossa said no, they didn’t succeed.

The trade route is their primary option to pick up a productive winger and experienced, top-four defenseman. They could also sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet — the Ducks’ Bobby Ryan immediately comes to mind — but the cost would be steep in draft picks and ill will around the league.

more on the situation…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cold In California

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Happy Birthday Bitches.  Hockey mourning ends tomorrow.  Hope everyone’s summer has been….adequate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Burke Walks For His Son Brendan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,

On the 156th day of the rest of his life, Brian Burke woke up and he tried to keep another promise. He would march, he said. So he marched.

And marching was easier, in a way. Not that it was easy. As Brian Burke walked the streets of Toronto, sweating in the sun and waving at the sea of people at one of the world’s grandest Pride Parades, he thought about his son. He thought about Brendan, his beautiful boy. How could he not? Brendan was why he was here.


thanks to a KK member for the pointer

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

Pay Cut To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Fitzpatrick of Jamie’s Hockey Blog,

July is traditionally the fattest month for NHL free agents.

The shower of cash from teams driven to madness by off-season optimism and desperation is a wonder to behold.

But a new trend is emerging. This summer, many players are settling for less.

As of Sunday, 44 unrestricted free agents had signed new contracts (give or take a fringe player or two).

Using salary numbers compiled from various media sources, here’s how the market is looks:


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Boughner Leaving Spitfires For Coaching Job With Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via tweets from Aaron Portzline,

Multiple NHL sources say Bob Boughner will leave the Windsor Spitfires to join #CBJ coaching staff.

CBJ will make official announcement of Boughner’s hiring on Monday.

added 9:57pm, from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Bob Boughner, who has guided the Windsor Spitfires to the last two Memorial Cup trophies, will join the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on Scott Arniel’s staff, The Dispatch has learned.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and Boughner did not return messages left on their cell phones. Spitfires GM Warren Rychel would not comment. But The Dispatch has learned that an announcement is expected by the Blue Jackets on Monday.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+boughner, windsor+spitfires

Ilitch Empire Could Expand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business,

The attractiveness of owning the Detroit Pistons to Mike and Marian Ilitch may be equaled by a desire to create one of the largest regional entertainment monopolies in the country.

The Pistons are expected to be sold as a package with Auburn Hills-based Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc. — which would give the Ilitches the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the contract to manage Meadow Brook Music Festival for Oakland University.

That is, if the Ilitches are interested. Despite mounting evidence, they’re coy about it, and Palace Sports is mostly silent.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+pistons, marian+ilitch, mike+ilitch

Kings Out Of The Kovalchuk Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Helene Elliott tweet,

Kovalchuk says no to Kings. Lombardi: “We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s.”

added 6:09pm, via Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Sunday afternoon that the high-scoring free agent decided against joining the Kings, who had targeted him as the productive winger they urgently need and a marquee player who might generate some buzz around town.

“We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s,” Lombardi said in an email.

He would not elaborate on where the Kings’ offer fell short or where Kovalchuk might be headed.

added 6:46pm, Just in case you believed those internet reports yesterday that the Avs were interested in Kovy…

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

And, the Avalanche will NOT be part of the mix in the hunt for Ilya Kovalchuk. Colorado just isn’t a player for the still-free star winger.  And who can blame them, really, with Kovalchuk’s purported salary desires.


added 9:46pm, from Elliotte Friedman tweet,

Source: Kings really want Kovalchuk badly, feel he’s exactly what they need…but cannot get him to drop below a contract request of $100 million. Kings feel they have made biggest offer they can without jeopardizing Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson extensions.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

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