Kukla's Korner

On The Business Side, Battles Still Continue In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

The league, though, is apparently unwilling to settle for its Pyrrhic victory and let bygones be bygones. It is now suing Moyes for allegedly breaking side deals in which he pledged not to take the team into bankruptcy, and not to relocate it or sell it to anyone who would.

Whether or not the NHL has a case is pretty much beside the point (though it’s at least interesting to consider whether the owner of a business can ever really surrender the right to take it into bankruptcy, or whether a handshake agreement could indeed supersede the NHL’s own bylaws on franchise relocation). The lawsuit will go on, probably with a Moyes countersuit added to the mix. Eventually, someone will tire of paying the lawyers, and a settlement will be reached.

Probably the league will get back a tiny fraction of the dough it has frittered away buying the team out of bankruptcy and operating it at a considerable loss this season. Perhaps the NHL will even pass on a little of that windfall to former Coyotes minority owner/head coach Wayne Gretzky – though you’d think that it might have simply found a way to discreetly take care of its most famous son before his estrangement from the NHL hierarchy became so obvious.


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

Stars Had Offers For Modano

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Three teams were pursuing Mike Modano at the trade deadline, but Modano said he did not want to waive his no-trade clause and leave the only team he has been a part of.

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who flew in from the NHL GM meetings in Florida for the Buffalo game, confirmed when asked about the situation that he asked Modano the day before the trade deadline if he wanted to pursue a move. Nieuwendyk said he did not get to a place where he was negotiating deals, because he first had to establish if Modano was open to leaving. Nieuwendyk said he did not want to reveal the teams, but Modano said one was Washington.

“We talked about this a couple of months ago, and we agreed at the time that if there were teams interested, I would bring the information to Mike,’’ Nieuwendyk said. “I did that, and he decided he wanted to stay.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

You Have To Do It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,

Mike Babcock was dripping in sweat. He had just returned from his daily run along the riverfront outside Joe Louis Arena. The sparkle from coaching the Canadian men’s Olympic team to gold in Vancouver only 11 days previous was not evident because of Babcock’s current predicament with the Detroit Red Wings.

He was less than 24 hours removed from a devastating 4-2 home loss to the Calgary Flames. Local reporters were waiting for him to explain what buttons he was going to push to get the Red Wings into the playoffs.

There is concern around Motown. The Red Wings are in ninth spot with 16 regular-season games remaining. Detroit hasn’t missed the post-season since 1989-90.

“You have to do it right,” Babcock said after he finished his briefing session with reporters. “There will time in the summer to reflect on the Olympics when I’m in my boat at the lake.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

More Needed When It Comes To The Head Shot Proposal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Here’s hoping the competition committee—which will assess the proposal at its next meeting in June and decide whether to send it to the board of governors for approval for next season—takes this proposal and puts some teeth into it. For example: If you are subject to supplementary discipline for violating this rule, the suspensions start at five games and go up for each transgression. Or 10 games. Or whatever the level of deterrent is that’s needed to stop people such as Matt Cooke or Mike Richards from leaving the trail of carnage they have left in just this season alone.

It’s not that we don’t trust Campbell, the league’s top disciplinarian, to do the right thing. He could start handing out suspensions that will give this new rule some meaning and make it an agent of change in eliminating the kinds of sickening hits like Cooke’s, which may have cost Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins the rest of the NHL regular season.


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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“He’s got no respect for the players, he’s been doing that for a long time.”

“He knew exactly what he was doing when he came with his shoulder.  He knew exactly that he was going to hit his head and that’s how guys get hurt.”

-Vinny Lecavalier on Matt Cooke.

“There are certain players in this league, that you tend to see on the highlights with hits like that.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it was given by Matt Cooke.  He’s a hard working player, I don’t want to take anything away from the way he plays the game but I think that there are times when guys are vulnerable and he still follows through.  If that hit is not a suspension, I don’t know what is.”

-Martin St. Louis also on Matt Cooke.  More at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

You Want Stats?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Cullen of TSN has them for you…

Roman Hamrlik, D, Montreal - 77
Jaroslav Spacek, D, Montreal - 75
Joe Thornton, C, San Jose - 74
Tyler Myers, D, Buffalo - 71
Hal Gill, D, Montreal - 68
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh - 64
Chris Phillips, D, Ottawa - 64
Lubomir Visnovsky, D, Anaheim - 63
Denis Grebeshkov, D, Nashville - 62
Mike Green, D, Washington - 62

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Human Being First, Then A Hockey Player

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Weekes of CBC,

As a league we’ve evolved from the days where breaking an opponent’s leg with a slash to beat their team was the norm. But in today’s game, we still face the challenge of blind-side hits. The mentality of that type of hockey is simply antiquated. It’s time for clear definition of those types of plays and severe consequences in the result of 10-15 game suspensions and HEAVY fines….

I’m always a player first, and players are the product, but now players need the GMs to protect them from themselves.

At the end of the day, you’re a human being longer than you’ll ever be a player. And your ability to be just that must be protected.


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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The only person who seems to understand Colin Campbell’s pattern of punishment is Campbell himself. The suspensions he hands down are arbitrary and erratic—swayed by non-evidence, hunch, gut feelings, anecdotes and back-channel influence peddlers—and they are almost never clearly explained. He establishes precedent and contradicts it. He makes exceptions based on flawed premises and then concludes his arguments illogically and capriciously. No one, no one, knows what is allowed and what is not allowed. It is Dartboard Justice.

-Jack Edwards of NESN.  More from Jack…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colin+campbell, marc+savard, matt+cooke

Now The Players Must Decide

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Mark it down: March 10, 2010.

It was on this day that the National Hockey League took its foot off the macho gas pedal of all-out combat, and told its players that it’s OK to tap on the brakes once in a while, when a hit starts looking like it might be a little too dangerous.

Now, how long until we see the first Matt Cooke or Colby Armstrong bear down on a first-liner from the other team, then suddenly pass the hit up?

That’s one we’ll have to see to believe, because culture shifts don’t happen over night. And this is a major culture change inside the National Hockey League.

“Yes,” confirmed the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke. “Now, if you’re the hitter you have to make a choice. You can still hit that guy, but you can’t target his head. And sometimes, you’re just going to have to avoid the hit altogether.”


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

Crosby’s Gear Found

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP at TSN,

Sidney Crosby’s missing stick and glove have been found.

Hockey Canada says Crosby’s missing Olympic equipment were misplaced rather than stolen.

Crosby’s stick was accidentally placed in a shipment bound for the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in St. Petersburg, Russia, that ended up getting intercepted in Toronto.

And one of his gloves was put in a bag belonging to Patrice Bergeron, who sat beside him in the locker-room.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby, team+canada

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