Kukla's Korner

Rangers Need To Strengthen Defensive Corp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of the Record,

The more I think about it, however, the more I believe that the Rangers don’t have enough to win the Cup. The additions of Gomez and Drury clearly make them a better team up the middle. The Blueshirts did nothing, though, to address their biggest weakness, which is their defense.

The hope is that rookie Marc Staal will develop enough over the regular season that he’ll be a top four defenseman by the playoffs. That’s a lot to ask of a 20-year-old.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers

Overhaul Puts Flyers In Position To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Flyers took their lumps in the short term by plunging to the bottom of the NHL standings — something that also gave them a chance to draft James vanRiemsdyk second overall in June’s entry draft — and have reversed field nicely. Their opening-night roster featured five former first-round picks age 25 or under (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Coburn), plus two others on injured reserve (Upshall and R.J. Umberger), not to mention blue-chippers vanRiesmsdyk and Parent, plus the love-him-or-hate-him pest Steve Downie.

Sadly, the Leafs fall into the other category — of a team that perennially tries so hard to compete in the here-and-now that they are forever caught in between, with never enough assets to legitimately challenge for a championship, but never really bad enough to draft blue-chip youngsters or bold enough to trade “untouchable” core players.

read on & other NHL bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: philadelphia+flyers

Taking A Ride On The “Zam”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Harry Hurt III of the New York Times,

I climbed into the driver’s seat of the Zamboni about 15 minutes after the end of the third period. The electronic screens suspended from the ceiling of Madison Square Garden still showed the final score of the season’s first National Hockey League exhibition game: New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3. But by now, almost all of the Garden’s 18,000 seats were empty, and the public address system speakers were blaring the last few bars of Billy Joel’s hit song “New York State of Mind.”

I felt a thrilling, teeth-clenching chill. The Zamboni was parked just inside a gate at the Eighth Avenue end of the rink. A vacant expanse of skate-scarred ice sprawled before me like a wrinkled cotton sheet awaiting an ironing. In a dubious effort to calm my quivering body, I mouthed the words Charlie Brown immortalized in a Peanuts cartoon, “There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice.”

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Believe They’re Heading East in 4 Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun via the Winnipeg Sun,

Almost 10 years after the Maple Leafs moved back to the Eastern Conference to rejoin the Original Sixers in Montreal, the Detroit Red Wings remained trapped in a Western time-zone warp.

But that is bound to change, says Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.

“There’s little doubt that Las Vegas is coming in (during expansion), it’s about four years from now,” Devellano told the Detroit News. “And I truly believe Gary Bettman will move us East at that changing.”

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings

Luc Robitaille Taking Kings Back to Hollywood

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lisa Dillman & Lonnie White at the LA Times,

“I think this city is waiting for us to do something special,” said Robitaille, who acknowledged the franchise had lost focus. “For a long time we didn’t pay attention to our neighbors in Hollywood.”

The first significant move to rectify that was a red-carpet affair and party for the team at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Thursday night, with TV and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who is a Kings season-ticket holder and potential future NHL owner in Las Vegas, serving as host.

more… (*link may require free registration)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: los+angeles+kings, luc+robitaille

Report: GM Lowe Signs Multi-Year Deal with Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP,

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly signed general manager Kevin Lowe to a multi-year contract extension.

According to a report on TSN’s website, the Oilers were expected to announce the signing at a media conference Saturday morning.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, kevin+lowe

Yahoo Still Streaming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

While surfing a few websites tonight, Empty Netters mentioned you can watch the Pens/Canes via Yahoo streaming.

So I went to the Yahoo streaming link in the KK Hockey Links, and sure enough, their streaming schedule is up for the month of October.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Mystique of the Hockey Sweater

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Kay at CBS Sports,

Such are things with hockey sweaters. Football and basketball jerseys may dominate today’s marketplace, while a top-selling hockey jersey (Peter Forsberg) sees sales of around 4,000. To put that in perspective, some 600,000 LeBron jerseys were sold just six months after the then high schooler was drafted.

Yes, the NHL doesn’t have the tentacles or market share of the other big American sports, so its numbers will never reach a parallel scope. But there’s something more to hockey garb. Just like the little boy in Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater, people don’t just pull the old switcheroo on their hockey threads. There’s something that comes with wearing a time-tested Red Wings or Bruins jersey.

more… (*you can vote for your favorite sweaters at the link)

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rbk

Spezza Next In Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,

If Jason Spezza ends up as a RFA come July 1, Kevin Lowe will no longer be the lone rogue GM filing offer sheets on hot commodities.

With Dany Heatley taken care of, the focus for the Ottawa Senators shifts to linemate Jason Spezza, a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

A deal won’t get done soon. Spezza’s agent Rick Curran will probably wait until the New Year to get serious talks going, giving his client time to build up yet another monster season. That’ll give him just a tad more leverage in talks.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza, ottawa+senators

NHL Fashion Police

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have noticed a few players have cut the inseam of their hockey pants and a few others have altered their socks too.

I thought I read a few months ago that the NHL would not allow these types of alterations…  Maybe I am wrong, maybe the NHL just hasn’t caught it, or maybe they will let it go.

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, RBK, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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