Kukla's Korner

Bret Hedican Retiring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

More than two decades after honing his picturesque skating style in the rinks of Minnesota, Bret Hedican is hanging up his skates.

Hedican, the former North St. Paul High and St. Cloud State star, will officially announce his retirement today after 17 seasons as one of the NHL’s smoothest-skating defensemen.

“Looking back, I remember [former North Stars and Blues defenseman] Curt Giles saying my first year, ‘Bret, enjoy every day because it’s going to go by really quick,’” Hedican, 39, said by phone from Alamo, Calif., where he lives with his wife (Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi) and two daughters. “I remember thinking that’s crazy. Now looking back at my 17 years, man, it flew by. I’m really happy at my career and have no regrets.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bret+hedican

Malkin Wants More

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Evgeni Malkin wants more. A lot more.

The Penguins’ prolific center thinks about piling up the trophies every time he looks at his hands. It has nothing to do with how soft those big paws are on shots or passes.

He just sees possibilities that make the team’s successful Stanley Cup run last season one to grow on.

“That was last year,” Malkin said this week as training camp got under way. “I want to win one more time, two, three more times. I have 10 fingers on my hands, and I want to win 10 times. Why not?

“I want to win a couple more trophies, a Hart Trophy. We have a good chance to win. Why not? We’re young kids.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Stanley Cup Or Bust Year For Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Compton of NHL.com,

Just three years after drafting Jonathan Toews with the third pick and less than 48 months following the No. 1 selection of Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks found themselves in the Western Conference Finals. As they enter the 2009-10 season, the word “rebuild’ isn’t even a part of the Hawks’ vocabulary. These days, Kane believes only two words should be used.

“It’s probably (Stanley) Cup or bust this year, and that’s what we want,” Kane told NHL.com. “I think you’ve got to play for those expectations. The better you get, the more the expectations are going to grow. Expectations are probably to the ceiling, but that’s the way it should be. That’s the way we want it.”


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

Gretzky Protecting His Interests

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,

...the beleaguered Coyotes took the ice for Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings with Ulf Samuelsson directing traffic from behind the bench. Gretzky probably was wishing he could watch his team from afar, except the Coyotes don’t have a television contract yet.

That’s too bad. Gretzky should’ve seen how pathetic it all looked inside Jobing.com Arena, with tiny pockets of loyal fans scattered throughout a giant hockey palace. The low turnout was expected yet ominous. The Coyotes didn’t spend a dime on preseason advertising, not with all of the uncertainty in the air. And maybe if the Great One saw it, he would’ve felt twinges of shame.

“Wayne . . . we’ve had regular communication,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. “He’s in a very difficult position contractually.”

No doubt, it’s tough being the Great One.

read on

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

Sharks Get A Visit From The Professor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Igor Larionov, the only player in the Hockey Hall of Fame to ever wear a Sharks’ jersey, is spending a couple days in San Jose at Coach Todd McLellan’s invitation.

“Igor and I created a friendship in Detroit,” McLellan said. “I asked him if he’d like to come out and spend some days with us in training camp. I think bringing the alumni back, especially of his stature, is real valuable. He’s got a very unique hockey mind and I like to bounce some ideas off of him.”

Larionov, who said he and his family have moved back to Detroit from Southern California so his 11-year-old son could participate in a stronger hockey program, said he and McLellan were at the rink at 6 a.m., going over video.

more plus other Sharks topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: igor+larionov

Goalie Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

What happens when 10 current and not so current goalies have dinner at a legendary Dallas steak house? It gets real baby! And they talk goaltending, and they eat like linemen, and Razor shares some of it with all of you.

Andy “Peach” Moog
Tim “Superscout” Bernhart
Daryl “Razor” Reaugh
Mike “Big” Valley
Marty “Turks” Turco

read on as the goalies discuss numerous topics….

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

Legendary Voice Of The Bruins Passes Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chad Finn of the Bruins Blog,

Fred Cusick, the popular play-by-play voice for the Bruins for more than 40 years, has died, his family confirmed to the Globe this afternoon. He was 90 years old.

Cusick, who is scheduled to be inducted to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame tomorrow night, was a signature voice of the Bruins during their 1970s heyday.

His simple trademark call of “Score!” whenever Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely and countless other Bruins put the puck in the net served as familiar punctuation on their goals.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fred+cusick

Lightning May Get The Last Laugh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Don’t laugh. Despite a well-earned reputation as the league’s loosest cannon, (Steve) Downie might be up to the challenge.

A former first-round pick, Downie was seen as the next Steve Ott when he was taken 29th overall by Philadelphia in 2005. An offensive whiz in junior (92 points in just 45 games during his final season in the OHL), he was envisioned as someone who would create space and opportunities with his ferocious checking and willingness to step over the line on occasion.

But rather than learn to pick his spots, Downie seems to have spent his entire career seeking new ways to make people forget that he can actually play the game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+downie

Blues Extend Contract Of Andy Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Jeremy Rutherford of the Morning Skate,

The Blues just announced that they’ve extended head coach Andy Murray’s contract through the 2010-11 season.

added 3:02pm,

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has exercised the option for Blues’ Head Coach Andy Murray through the 2010-11 season. 

“Andy has done a terrific job for our hockey club over the past three seasons,” said Davidson.  “We’re happy to have him in the fold for the next two seasons and continue to guide a competitive team.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray

Holland Talks From Traverse City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Wings boss joins Hockeycentral to talk about the off season moves his club made, as well as an early prognosis for the upcoming season.

listen to the interview at Fan590…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland

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