Kukla's Korner

Devils May Have Interest In Kaberle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

While the Devils’ search for their next coach continues with Chicago assistant and Jersey native Mike Haviland believed to be the latest candidate interviewing for the job, sources say general manager Lou Lamoriello may be among the strongest bidders for Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

Kaberle, whom general manager Lou Lamoriello could be targeting, has been a regular trade subject in Toronto at the usual deal junctures, but Leafs GM Brian Burke recently circulated an e-mail to other general managers outlining the upcoming window in Kaberle’s no-trade clause.

Kaberle, 32, is to make $4.25 million next season, the last on his deal before he becomes unrestricted in 2011. The Devils will be making a decision on Paul Martin, who becomes unrestricted July 1 after earning $4.5 million last year. One other possibility is Dan Hamhuis, who also becomes unrestricted on July 1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Guessing Game Continues For Oilers #1 Pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal at the Montreal Gazette,

Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini swears he’s not going to tell Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin ahead of time which one will be the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

He’s going to make them sweat, like everybody else on draft day.

“We’re not making our decision until the final end. Both players know that. I don’t think there’s any wrong answer here. There’s lots of reasons to go either way,” said Tambellini, who just finished scouting meetings in Kelowna, B.C., where the scouts said their piece.

“They were passionate. If they wanted 10 minutes or two hours, they had the floor.”

Tambellini ultimately will make the final call on Hall or Seguin, but won’t put his foot down unless chief scout Stu MacGregor and he are diametrically opposed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mid-June Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

• It’s a shame Detroit area newspapers did not send a beat writer or a columnist to the Stanley Cup Final.  Even covering the last two games would have been appreciated.

• Some people are complaining Jonathan Toews received the Conn Smythe Trophy.  Remember, the trophy is awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team during the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs (not just the Final).

• Yes I write for NHL.com on a weekly basis, but I don’t work for them.  They did a great job during the playoffs including getting stories and videos up quickly for all fans to see.

• It is going to be very interesting to see if Philadelphia puts faith in Ville Leino and moves a higher paid player off their roster this summer.

• The odds are Chicago will be in the SCF hunt for next season, does the same hold true for the Flyers or will the Penguins re-group and make another Final appearance?

• Every team is 0-0-0-0 today and not one team will win the Cup in the summer months.  It may look that way at times, but the games need to be played and I for one will be watching again next season.

• The UFA rumor season is about to begin and remember, KK only reports from reputable sources.  In the past years, I received tons of emails asking about some very outlandish rumors and my answer is always the same, don’t believe it.  I am telling you the same thing in advance this season.

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

President Obama Calls Coach Q

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, In the wake of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory, President Obama on Thursday called Head Coach Joel Quenneville to congratulate him and invite the team to the White House. Obama asked Quenneville to “let team owner Rocky Wirtz and President John McDonough know how impressed he was with their ability to turn the team around so quickly.”

Obama watched some of the playoffs, I was told. The Blackhawks bested the Philadelphia Flyers; Obama and Quenneville joked that Obama has some “bragging rights” over Vice President Biden, a Flyers fan.

Here’s the briefing about the phone call I just got from the White House:


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Coyotes Sign Pair

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA —Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have re-signed defenseman David Schlemko and left wing Ryan Hollweg to contracts.  As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Schlemko, 22, recorded 1-4-5 and eight penalty minutes (PIM) in 17 games with the Coyotes last season to set career-highs in goals, assists, points, games played and PIM.  He also appeared in 55 American Hockey League (AHL) games for San Antonio, collecting 5-26-31 and 30 PIM.

Hollweg, 27, recorded 4-6-10 and 93 PIM while appearing in 53 AHL games with San Antonio last season after signing with the Coyotes as a free agent on Sept. 29, 2009.

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

Late Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Blackhawks will surely enjoy a summer full of celebration, but there are also some well-known financial pressure points. The team has a multitude of stars, several of them coming off entry-level contracts, and is reported to have some $57 million committed to just 14 players for next season. There are contracts the team likely would love to unload—Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet come immediately to mind—but it will be difficult. The most likely not to be renewed is Marian Hossa, a quality player who has been living off a succession of one-year deals in an attempt to find a spot on a Cup-champion (mission accomplished). Look for the Hawks to shop his rights as soon as the parade is complete.

-Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated.  More hockey talk from Jim…

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer on this relaxing day

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Helmet Technology Keeps Improving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Karl at TSN,

Some of the most popular helmets among NHLers comprise a basic plastic shell and thin white vinyl nitrate padding –far from the best protection, and have been around for years.

“At the pro level, we see a lot of what we would call an entry level price point helmet,” says Wes Huether, director of training and operations support at Pro Hockey Life, a major Canadian hockey specialty retailer. “A lot is driven by fashion – the mirror test. The lighter weight, smaller, thinner liner helmets, super comfortable, real nice fit, but certainly not front notch when it comes to protection.”

Some critics argue that manufacturers have not done enough to introduce new helmet technology in recent years. But in reality, all of the major suppliers have made it a priority. Innovations include the use of expanded polypropylene padding, a higher energy impact-absorbing material to replace thin vinyl liners, combined with comfort foams and improved shell designs.

“Helmet technology has certainly come a long way in the last three to five years,” says Huether. “Manufacturers are focusing on what’s going on inside the helmet, trying different types of liners and padding, different technologies.”


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

Very Early Odds For Next Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Thanks to Bodog for the information.

Odds to win the 2011 Stanley Cup    
Chicago Blackhawks             11/2
Pittsburgh Penguins                     6/1
Washington Capitals                     13/2
San Jose Sharks                       9/1
Detroit Red Wings                       12/1
Vancouver Canucks             15/1
Philadelphia Flyers                       15/1
Buffalo Sabres                   18/1
Boston Bruins                           20/1

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Trying To Get Back To Normal In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic,

Phoenix Coyotes executives are upbeat about the team’s ownership picture, season-ticket sales and prospects for having another winning season next year.

President Doug Moss and General Manager Don Maloney met with reporters this week to talk about the Coyotes’ future….

Corporate partners and groups wanting suites that were silent last year are calling sales staff since the team put on a stunning season of wins that culminated in a playoff round against the Detroit Red Wings in the spring, he said.

“We found out the phone does ring,” Moss said.

In the first three days of season-ticket sales that began this week, 500 new fans bought seats, team officials said, almost as many as all of last season. The total number of new season-ticket holders in 2009-10 was 626.



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

Why Not The Blues?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Now that the Chicago Blackhhawks have finally won another Stanley Cup, perhaps the Blues can win one, too.

There are some interesting parallels. Both teams endured long playoff droughts. Both did heavy retooling through the draft, piling up lots of high draft picks.

Both teams lost or fired the executives and coaches who oversaw the organizational overhaul.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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