Kukla's Korner

Flyers Goaltending Situation May Be A Good Thing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Yes, it would be nice having a dependable, shutdown goalie like Tim Thomas, Steve Mason or Niklas Backstrom.

But it is what it is. That said, the Flyers’ goalie situation isn’t such a bad thing.

The competition should keep both goalies extra sharp and focused as the team jockeys for a playoff position. Biron and Niittymaki are playing for the right to be the playoff goalie. They are both unrestricted free agents after the season, so they are also playing for new contracts.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Follow The Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am sure Spector will be busy following all the latest trade talk.

He normally updates numerous times a day at this time of year, so make sure to check often.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afinogenov Healthy, Still Not Playing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,

“I want to play, definitely,” Afinogenov told The News on Saturday. “I want to help the team, but if they’re not using me, it’s probably no point for me to be here.

“Anything can happen. We’ll see. If they don’t want to use me here, they’re probably going to move me. I don’t know what’s going to happen right now.”

Afinogenov missed his 24th straight game when the Sabres lost, 2-0, to the New York Islanders. Most of those absences were due to a groin strain, and Afinogenov is still on the injured reserve list. The right winger, though, said he’s been ready to return since the middle of February.

“I was injured, but now I’m healthy,” Afinogenov said after a hard skate in Nassau Coliseum. “It’s like 10 days now. The doctors cleared me to play and stuff, but I’m not in the lineup. That’s why it’s frustrating for me, definitely.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: maxim+afinogenov

Wild Plan To Keep Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

General Manager Doug Risebrough made it clear this weekend that, in his mind, Marian Gaborik will be the biggest acquisition the Wild makes by Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Risebrough said Gaborik, who has played six games all season, is right on schedule in his rehabilitation from left hip surgery. Even if it means the pending unrestricted free agent walks away this summer for nothing, Risebrough said he probably won’t trade Gaborik.

“[Gaborik’s] further along than we thought he was going to be,” Risebrough said. “So, I don’t know what that means other than I know it’s going to be a big shot in the arm for us when he comes back.

“And that’s one consideration when you ask, ‘How comfortable are you [with this team]?’ I’m planning on [Gaborik returning].”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Playing GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

First off, junk the entire third and fourth lines. Start over with younger guys, guys who are faster. This team needs a lot more speed, especially in the depth areas - that includes penalty-killing.

Second, get another goalie. Let Budaj and Raycroft both go, and just start over. If no stud is available in the draft (or a more palatable veteran alternative at the deadline), sign a Manny Legace or somebody like that this summer, give Tyler Weiman a shot in training camp and try like hell to find a gem with your No. 1 pick in the draft.

Drop the stubborn attitude in certain areas. That includes everything from PR and TV (stop trying to fool the fans with don’t-worry-be-happy BS when everybody knows this team is knee deep in doo doo) to being able to admit you made mistakes in personnel areas.

more from Adrian, including trade talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Detroit Fans:  Start At The 2:30 Mark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Don Cherry last night after the first HNIC game talked Wings.  He claims Datsyuk hits are from behind and the Wings are not drawing fans to the Joe because of the Wings style of play.  Also a bit of Lidstrom thrown in too.

Now scroll to the :55 second mark of part 2 of the video below.  More Wings talk…

added 8:01am, George Malik of SnapShots breaks down the video…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Imagine The Boston ‘D’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

No GM is under more pressure confronting Wednesday’s trade deadline than Boston’s Peter Chiarelli, who must properly calculate the risk/reward ratio of potentially jeopardizing the chemistry of his conference-leading Bruins by acquiring difference-maker Chris Pronger at the cost of a package that would surely feature Phil Kessel.

The temptation to unite Pronger ($6.5M per through next season) with Zdeno Chara on what is now a somewhat suspect defense must be overwhelming. One or the other would be on the ice essentially all game, every game. They could form a last-minute shutdown pair….

Blair Betts, a pending unrestricted free agent whose role will apparently change dramatically under the new regime and who has value to a contender as a dependable checker and penalty-killer, is likely available. Detroit is believed to have interest.

more trade and hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Early Mornng Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Wild could be ready to deal goaltender Niklas Backstrom.

Two NHL executives told Sun Media that the Wild might deal Backstrom before Wednesday’s trade deadline rather than risk losing him for nothing as an unrestricted free agent on July 1….

The Flames are looking at dealing for Phoenix C Olli Jokinen. He has a strong relationship with Calgary coach Mike Keenan from their days together in Florida. Calgary was in the mix to land Jokinen before he was dealt to the Coyotes last summer. Edmonton, Columbus, Minnesota, Montreal and Vancouver are also interested.

A league executive insists the Stars have been floating the names of C Brad Richards and C Mike Ribeiro around. Richards has a no-movement clause and it’s doubtful he’ll be going anywhere, but Ribeiro might be an attractive option for the ‘Hawks.

want more of the same?... read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHLPA Trying To Fix Its Problems

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

There was a bit of a stir created when Eric Lindros resigned as NHLPA ombudsman.  Given the past corruption in the NHLPA history, a man to watch the head of the player’s association is a very positive step.  Watching that man leave the position unappreciated and without having given much of a chance by the players in the league was a bad thing.  Worse was Paul Kelly, the head of the NHLPA, openly campaigning for days when there was no ombudsman.  Since the ombudsman’s job is to watch Kelly, there is no way Kelly should be calling for his removal.

The NHLPA is acting to try to fix those problems.  Buzz Hargrove has accepted the position as interim ombudsman.  This shows that the NHLPA is serious about having a qualified ombudsman.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Eye-Gouge Has Ott Facing Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas Stars winger Steve Ott received a match penalty in a scrum that occurred immediately after Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Anaheim and has been suspended awaiting a review Monday with Colin Campbell, the NHL’s chief disciplinarian.

Ott will not be able to play today (Sunday) against Pittsburgh.

A match penalty is given for deliberately injuring an opponent. Ott gouged Anaheim’s Travis Moen in the scrum.

“It was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it,” Ott said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+ott, travis+moen

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