Kukla's Korner

Wings Thinking Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Caples of DetroitRedWings.com,

While Hockeytown is snowy and frozen this week, assistant general manager Jim Nill and the masterminds behind the Red Wings’ success were meeting in warm and sunny Arizona in preparations for the 2009 NHL Draft.

Nill and general manager Ken Holland gathered the entire Detroit scouting staff to the Phoenix area to decide on what amateur players the Red Wings will target in late June in Montreal.

“What we’re doing is going over each league, and we’re going to rank the players, talk about the players, discuss what’s good and bad about them,” Nill said. “Get all the information on the players then we’ll start to rank them.”

continued

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

Passing Out Grades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside of ESPN passes out his mid-season grades.  We will start at the bottom…

St. Louis Blues: D
Injuries have so crippled the Blues, it’s hard to get a sense of how bad they are or, conversely, how good they might have been. Still, there are a lot of things to look forward to if the play of youngsters T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and David Perron are any indication. Just not now.

New York Islanders: D-minus
How’s that 15-year deal with goaltender Rick DiPietro working out? Yikes. Dead last in the NHL, the Islanders can only hope their bad luck doesn’t extend to the draft lottery and they land the No. 1 pick that their dreadful play suggests is their right. Bad building, bad team. The highlight for them is going to be playing an exhibition game in Kansas City next training camp. How bad is that?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Steve Webb Now Teaching Teens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WHEC (Rochester),

Former New York Islander Steve Webb was known for being a “tough guy on the ice”, but his time off the ice is now dedicated to teaching kids life lessons through sports. He visited one local high school today.

Webb was a gritty right winger known for protecting and inspiring his teammates. He has turned his hard work and will to battle back towards kids.

Webb says, “At that time it was a big learning experience for me.” Drafted by the Sabres in 1994 Webb he was released for being out of shape and unfocused. That tough start in the NHL now serves as his inspirational story for teens.

continued and a Webb tribute video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+webb

Saku Koivu Returns

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Habs Inside/Out,

Captain Saku Koivu, who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain since early December, will return to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils in New Jersey.

Coach Guy Carbonneau confirmed Koivu’s return but said he hadn’t decided which player would sit. The choice is between veteran Steve Bégin or rookie Gregory Stewart.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

Previewing the 2010 Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Over at Gunaxin, they’ve put together a mighty fine 2010 Winter Olympics Ice Hockey Preview, looking at all the teams in the tournament. 

To get you excited, we are previewing the best possible teams for each country. Let it be clear that these teams are the best case scenarios. Certain players have retired from international play, some have chosen not to play in the past, some may simply opt out or be injured. We don’t know for sure what each player will end up deciding a year from now. But countries are already formulating their squads, so we’ll look at the best possible team to give you an idea as to who will show up in Vancouver in 2010.

In this nine part series we’ll profile the “Big 7″, plus have an extra post outlining players to watch on the other squads in the tourney.

Check it out and be sure to scroll down where you’ll find the links to all the individual national preview posts.  Great work.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: olympics+2010

The State Of The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe LaPointe of the New York Times,

Gretzky has spent the last several weeks seeking new investors for a team expected to lose at least $30 million this season. “Yeah, I’ve talked to a few guys,” he said this week. “More or less introductions to meeting with the league and meeting with Mr. Moyes.”

In some ways, his current franchise manifests some of the problems that used to plague the W.H.A. About 20 employees were laid off last month. There have been recent reports, particularly in The Globe and Mail of Toronto, of N.H.L. concern and involvement in the Coyotes’ business decisions.

But team and league officials said speculation about bankruptcy or a move to another city is false. Without prompting, Gretzky said: ``You ask me my gut feeling — is this team going to be here in September? Absolutely.”

read on

added 5:04pm, Just notified this link requires registration, I am working on it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

“We Are Having A Strong Season”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fan590,

The commissioner joins The Game Plan to discuss a variety of topics involving the NHL including the state of the league in spite of the fact that certain teams are in serious financial trouble, the possibility of re-location and the future of fighting in the game.

Listen here, about 17 minutes long.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Stamkos Learning While Watching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Lightning coach Rick Tocchet got into a good discussion today about rookie Steven Stamkos and the program he is undertaking to improve his game. Tocchet said he doesn’t want Stamkos just watching the games when he is scratched. He wants him noticing tendencies and the plays and strategy. He wants him writing stuff down in a notebook so that the next day when he has a 15- to 20-minute “classroom session” with assistant Wes Walz, he has a basis of knowledge.

“He doesn’t just go up there and sit there and look at the ice girls or anything,” Tocchet said. “He’s watching the game.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Setback For Briere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Nichols of Sportsnet,

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Danny Briere is headed back to the doctor after barely practicing at the pregame skate this morning. He will not play tonight against Atlanta.

In what coach John Stevens did not hesitate to call a setback, Briere was not re-activated and was on his way for another re-evaluation because his groin and his abdomen are sore again.

“Clearly, it’s a setback” Stevens said. “If you can add a player of his calibre you want to do that, but at the same time, if he’s not healthy, he’s not healthy and we have to get ready to play a game with the guys that are healthy.

“He’s going to get re-evaluated again and see where it goes from there, but clearly he’s sore where we hoped that he wouldn’t be and he’s not ready to go.”

continued

update 5:27pm, from TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Wednesday that Daniel Briere will undergo an exploratory surgical procedure on his groin area, and will miss at least two weeks of action.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

The Fighting Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

TSN conducted a flash survey of NHL general managers to get a sense where they currently stand on the issue - and it’s clear that change will not come easily.

Asked if they favoured “stiffer punishment” for any player who fights, only two of the 18 executives who responded to the survey said yes. And of those two, neither said they would be in favor of automatically ejecting any player who fights in an NHL game.

read on

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

So when it comes to the topic of the day — what to do about fighting in hockey — the general manager of the Stanley Cup defending champions will admit two things: Personally, he’s not opposed to two equally matched players dropping the gloves and pitching knuckles in the heat of a moment. (Fans enjoy it, he said.) But it’s time.

Time for the NHL to open its mind and ask tough questions because things have changed. They changed the moment 21-year-old Senior A defenceman Don Sanderson died as a result of a hockey fight. Even before that tragic incident, there were shifts and nagging trends that caught the eye.

read on

Update 1:58pm ET (alanah): From Jeff Marek at CBC,

One side has been labeled “dinosaurs” and the other, “pansies”.

Ugh.

Both labels are inaccurate and do nothing more than shut down debate and polarize opinion even further. When I start to hear name-calling I tend to feel the debate has run its course don’t you? Which is probably where we’re at once again with the fighting discussion.

read on

*original post time was 8:15am ET

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

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