Kukla's Korner

All Ben Bishop, Producer of NHL2K11

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Robinson of The Gamer at ESPN,

Ben Bishop has to be one of the busiest men in all of sports gaming. Jumping from his work on “MLB 2K10” into his main gig on the “NHL 2K” series, Bishop is also working heavily on “NBA 2K11 ” for the Wii.

Talk about dedication to his craft.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Bishop after an extremely bumpy ride in the “NHL 2K11” RV that 2K Sports is currently sending on tour throughout the country complete with flat-screen monitors and gaming stations in order to let fans get their hands on early builds of the game….

Jon Robinson: Why is “NHL 2K11” Wii-only?

Ben Bishop: With “NHL 2K10,” the Wii version was surprisingly successful. It was by far our best-selling version of the game, so we felt like it was a good opportunity for us to step back a little bit and see where we can take the series, while at the same time, continue the surprise we had last year on the Wii. This gives us the chance to see where we are and where we need to go moving forward.

read on

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl2k11

Remembering Charley Finley’s Hockey Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Imagine if Charlie Finley were still around.

It is 40 years since Finley, then owner of baseball’s Oakland A’s, bought the NHL’s Oakland Seals and changed the team’s name to the California Golden Seals two games into the 1970-71 season.

He also made his players wear white skates, colorful uniforms and wanted to introduce an orange puck. The league rejected his puck idea.

The Seals were the first NHL team to put players’ names on the back of their jerseys.

“Charlie was a legendary guy, without a doubt,” recalled former Devils director of player personnel Bert Marshall, who played for the Seals. “I never had a problem with him. Maybe we just didn’t know.

“We were the outcasts, the bottom feeders. We were the black sheep of the whole league at the time, dressed up in Kelly green and whatever that yellow was called. Gold or whatever he called it. He was quite a guy. We didn’t see that much of him, but we sure felt his presence all the time.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: california+golden+seals

Being Patrick Kane

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times,

It’s not hard to reach the conclusion that Kane lives in two completely different worlds. In the one fans are most familiar with, he’s the leading scorer for the Stanley Cup champions and an icon in a sports-crazed Chicago, glitz and glamor included.

The other is one in which he has a father who still nudges him to be better at everything he does, a mother who prepares him steak when he asks, three younger sisters to compete against in backyard games and a group of friends—or goofballs—not afraid to give him a hard time.

But what those closest to Kane want you to know about him is that ‘‘Chicago Pat’’ hasn’t influenced ‘‘Buffalo Pat’’ and that NHL superstar Pat is the same as I-drive-around-with-my-sisters-and-dance Pat. To them, Kane hasn’t changed at all.

But that leaves the question: Who, then, is Patrick Kane?


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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“He’s a lot of fun. He’s a big kid.  It’s hilarious to think that this superstar is almost like your little brother. He’s a goofy guy that jokes around all the time.

“Obviously, everyone is watching him. Everybody looks up to him, not only the fans, but the players, everyone. He’s the king of this place.”

-Brendan Bell, now playing for Avangard Omsk on Jaromir Jagr.  More on Bell from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+bell, jaromir+jagr, khl

Congrats To The Happy Couple

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via OK Magazine,

Congratulations to newlyweds Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie!

A rep for the 22-year-old singer-actress confirms exclusively to OK! that the couple were wed on Saturday in Santa Barbara, California.

Hilary, in a mermaid gown by Vera Wang, and NHL hockey player Mike Comrie, 29, said their “I do’s” in front of a breathtaking sunset and 100 of their closest family and friends.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hilary+duff, mike+comrie

Chara Wants To Play Like Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

• But just as a current contract is undergoing scrutiny, Bloch’s decision is affecting a future deal: the pending extension for Zdeno Chara. The 33-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his contract, and while nobody expected Kovalchuk to be lacing up his skates at age 43, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chara still in uniform in his 40s. Chara, who once relied strictly on brawn and intimidation, has already begun his transition into a Nicklas Lidstrom-type defenseman with an emphasis on positioning, smarts, and stick skills….

• While Philadelphia and San Jose are most likely in the mix for Antti Niemi, the Cup-winning goalie cut loose by the Blackhawks, don’t rule out Washington. General manager George McPhee has been telling other GMs he’s committed to youngsters Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, both on their entry-level deals. But with plenty of cap space and arguably the league’s best offensive duo in Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in their sweet spots, it’s risky to lean on two young goalies.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Leafs May Have Overestimated The Value Of Kaberle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons ot the Toronto Sun,

It’s just me, but I can’t understand why NHL teams such as Colorado, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Dallas, with very little offence from their defence, aren’t lining up to take a run at Tomas Kaberle. The lack of staunch offers for Kaberle almost certainly means whatever the Leafs thought they would get for the defenceman is less than they will end up with.

a few more hockey notes…

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

No Leader Hurting The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Maybe morale was as low when Alan Eagleson was representing the players in a felonious manner. Maybe it was this bad when the players regretfully recognized that Bob Goodenow had been right when he told them they would have to be willing to stay out into a second full season in order to withstand the NHL’s demand for an imposition of a hard cap. Maybe it was this bad when Ted Saskin violated the union’s trust, and maybe it was this bad last year when Paul Kelly was thrown out the door at 3 a.m.

But according to a variety of individuals familiar with the current state of NHLPA affairs, morale within the union and among the players never has been worse than it is now.

The search for an executive director essentially has hit a wall. The fact of the matter is that the five-player search committee that has been in operation for eight months simply has been unable to attract the caliber of candidates for the job that the union expected.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

50/50 Chance Kaberle Will Be Traded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, feels the odds are just “50-50” that the smooth-skating rearguard will be dealt before his no-trade clause kicks back in at midnight Sunday.

Burke, in an email, said he has received “several legit offers” for Kaberle that he and Toronto’s management team will assess but none is yet enough to close the deal. Of course, when you’re trying to extract the highest possible value for an asset, it’s to Burke’s advantage to take an auction-style approach to proceedings. And he does have until midnight.

“Too early to say if we’ll make a deal or not,” wrote Burke.

Curran said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Kaberle remains Toronto property. He sees that scenario being just as likely as his client getting moved to Dallas, San Jose, Tampa Bay or any of the other clubs that have been mentioned as potential trading partners with the Leafs.


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

All Eric Fehr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Bender of the Winnipeg Sun,

SUN: You guys had such a great season, so do you still have a bitter taste in your mouth after losing to Montreal in the playoffs?

EF: Yeah, we weren’t happy with the way it ended. We didn’t play the way we wanted to and Montreal played well. But, at the same time, we didn’t play the way we needed to to win. We’ve got a really good team and we want to make the next round and make up for what we did last year … We haven’t gotten over it yet but once we start the season, we’ll turn the page and start fresh again.

SUN: Where do you need to improve?

EF: I just need to be more consistent and just play a full season. In the past, I’ve had a few injuries that have kept me out of the lineup. So, I’m just trying to stay healthy and contribute game in and game out.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+fehr

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