Kukla's Korner

The Changing Landscape In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The Stars are going through a lot of changes right now.

Team president Jeff Cogen left Tuesday after taking over for Jim Lites just three seasons ago.

Mike Modano is gone, so is Marty Turco . My guess is Jere Lehtinen also will hang up the skates (although that’s still up in the air). The team is for sale, and that will usher in a new face (or corporate faces) to go with a bunch of coaches we really still don’t know and a GM who is trying to figure this thing out.

It’s really strange when you stop to think about it.

GM Joe Nieuwendyk knows the landscape in Dallas and is trying to mix that landscape with his vision for what the team might become. Maybe Geoff Moore will become president. He’s been with the team since 1993, knows the organization as well as anyone, and appears to have a really good grasp of what the fan wants, whether that be in ticket packages, alternate sweaters or product on the ice.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Predators Look To Europeans For Offense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bryan Mullen of the Tennessean,

When the Predators begin training camp next month, expect a European flair to be added to the typical fare.

A handful of Europeans will have the opportunity to not only make the team, but also to make an impact. And a group of four players will draw most of the notice.

The front office has been raving about Swiss defenseman Roman Josi for the past few months. Then there are Swedish forwards Jonas Andersson and Linus Klasen, and the significant acquisition of Belarus native Sergei Kostitsyn from Montreal.

“If we’re adding all four of those players to our lineup this year at some point, we’re adding a lot of skill to our lineup,” General Manager David Poile said. “One of the areas we want to improve on is our offensive side of the game. I think all of these players have a chance to contribute offensively. They are all very highly skilled.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How Far East Will Staffan Kronwall Go?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun at the Toronto Sun,

According to a report from Sweden, defenceman Staffan Kronwall would prefer to sign a deal in Europe instead of playing the final season of his two-year contract with the Calgary Flames.

And the Flames are trying to accommodate his request.

Sport-Expressen picked up a blog which quotes Kronwall as saying: “I want to leave and play in Sweden or elsewhere in Europe. Not that I’m uncomfortable in any way with the town and the club — I liked it — but because I want to get a bit closer to my family.”

According to a source, the Flames have been working with Kronwall’s agent to either trade him to an Eastern Conference team — which would allow his wife to travel easier if she visited from Sweden — or help arrange for him to play in Europe.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: staffan+kronwall

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The NHL isn’t going to do anything with these deals. Nothing is going to happen.  They’ve been trying to investigate most of these deals for a year.”

“I can tell you they certainly aren’t going to rip up a contract that has already been signed and approved by the league. That’s the difference: The deal that Kovalchuk signed was never approved by the league. The rest of these deals passed the smell test.”

-an unnamed high-profile player agent according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.  Read more on this topic.

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


Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

You’re the GM and control the players and salary cap (well in most cases) as you compete against the rest of the world.

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+11

Looking At Luongo’s Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

The immediate reaction is arbitrator Richard Bloch dropped a potential mess on the Vancouver Canucks’ doorstep Monday with his explosive ruling that goaltender Roberto Luongo’s contract could be retroactively voided.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is not commenting on the decision at the NHL’s request, but you have to wonder whether he smiled wryly when Bloch tossed out Ilya Kovalchuk’s record-breaking deal with the New Jersey Devils. That 17-year, $102-million (all currencies U.S.) deal is similar to Luongo’s 12-year, $64 million contract, and the latter remains under league investigation “with at least the possibility of a subsequent withdrawal of the registration,” Bloch wrote.

The league would have to move quickly to revoke Luongo’s deal – the regular season starts on Oct. 7 – but in that unlikely event, hitting the re-start button could benefit the Canucks in the long-term, particularly if Luongo’s play continues to slip.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Talking About The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

At the Westand Best Buy on Tuesday—during a launch tour of the NHL 2K11 video game—Jack Johnson (Michigan, Los Angeles Kings), Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Vancouver Canucks) and Marty Turco (Michigan, Chicago Blackhawks) said they expect to see the Red Wings among the Western Conference leaders in 2010-11.

“Chicago right now has the target on its back,” said Johnson. “But they’re not the same team (after free-agent losses). Detroit’s going to be among the big guys in the West. Last season, they just had the injury bug. They will be one of the teams to beat this year.”

The Wings have added center Mike Modano and defenseman Ruslan Salei, wing Jiri Hudler returned from Russia, and Todd Bertuzzi re-signed with Detroit.

“They’ll have a great team, especially with the offseason they’ve had,” Kesler said. “Picking up Mo (Modano) was a great addition, then bringing back those guys (Hudler, Bertuzzi). It’s going to be a team to be reckoned with again.”


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

Pointing A Finger At The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

There is a feeling out there, however, that the NHLPA should have been far more picky in choosing an arbitrator for an issue as eventful as this one.

This is a big loss for the PA and one that could lead to further losses if the league challenges a 12-year Luongo deal that pays out 94 per cent of its worth in the first eight years.

Or a seven-year, $34.45 million Pronger deal that takes him to age 42 and pays out 97 per cent of its salary after year 5.

Or Savard’s seven-year, $28.05 million deal, which pays just $525,000 in the final two seasons.

But the Kovalchuk camp was in a hurry and the league was pushing for Bloch.

We never cared much for Bob Goodenow, but he wouldn’t have allowed anyone favoured by the league to preside over something as important as this.


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

Mike Blunden Signed By Columbus

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed forward Mike Blunden to a one-year contract, General Manager Scott Howson announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Blunden, 23, recorded two goals and two assists for four points, 59 penalty minutes and was +3 in 40 games with the Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He scored the first goal of his NHL career against Chicago on March 25. He also collected 7-9-16 and 43 penalty minutes in 25 games with the Syracuse Crunch, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: mike+blunden

Oh So Slow Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So I have a question for you.

Where does Willie Mitchell land and extra credit if you give me the terms of the contract?

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

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