Kukla's Korner

Banner Day For Joe Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kyle Rea of the Times-Journal,

He is arguably the biggest celebrity to hail from St. Thomas.

And, now, Joe Thornton has a permanent banner at the Timken Centre, marking two decades of hockey accomplishments in St. Thomas and beyond. Unveiled on Friday, the four-by-20 foot banner will hang in the upper level of the Timken Centre’s main rink.

While Joe Thornton was unable to attend, his parents, Wayne and Mary Thornton, were on hand for the official unveiling.

“We would just like to thank all of St. Thomas for supporting Joe throughout the years. They’ve been fantastic,” said Wayne Thornton. “All of his friends are here, everybody has been behind Joe to support him, sometimes financially, sometimes with moral support. The whole Thornton family really appreciates what St. Thomas has done.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Sidney Crosby Is No LeBron James

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Steigerwald at the Indiana (PA.) Gazette,

Sidney Crosby wins again.

I think it’s safe to say that Sidney Crosby is the LeBron James of the NHL. Valid arguments can be made that he’s not the best player in the league but just about everybody would agree that he’s the face of the league. Can you imagine him being involved in a circus like the one that LeBron James starred in Thursday night?

Never happen. Too much class.

You know you’re dealing with a guy who has lost all perspective when he starts referring to himself in the third person.

Thursday night James said, ``I did what I thought was best for LeBron James,’’ when asked about his decision to sign with the Miami Heat.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Crosby (or Mario Lemieux, for that matter) refer to himself by name and I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that I never will.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lebron+james, sidney+crosby

Bruins Have Work To Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

... there’s still work to be done before the puck drops in Prague Oct. 9. Based on conversations with principal players, here’s how this observer sees things unfolding prior to the start of the 2010-11 season:

1. Trade Marc Savard. Sure, there might still be questions about Savard’s character, concussion history, and offensive-centered game. But Savard (left) remains on the block for two major reasons: The Bruins believe David Krejci can be a No. 1 pivot, and that Seguin can start 2010-11 as a third-line center. When the Bruins were negotiating with Savard last year, they never believed the first-round pick Toronto surrendered in the Phil Kessel trade would be a top-two selection. Savard remains attractive — several teams continue to kick the tires — because of his cap-friendly number ($4.007 million per season) and his projected production. Because of the full no-trade clause that activated July 1, Savard has the upper hand in dictating his destination (his three children live in Peterborough, Ontario). But the Bruins could widen the scope by taking a drastic route: threatening to place Savard on waivers, thereby giving 29 teams, starting with Edmonton, a crack at claiming the center and rendering his no-trade irrelevant.

more plus other hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Can Say It Is Howson’s Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

To say Howson has made sweeping changes within Nationwide Arena would be an understatement.

Every player in the Blue Jackets dressing room this season will fit one of the following criteria: he either was drafted, acquired in a trade, signed to a contract or contract extension by Howson.

Only three players who played as Blue Jackets in 2006-07 - Rick Nash, Rostislav Klesla and Marc Methot - are still with the organization.

Further, late last season, Howson fired the coach he acquired upon his hiring - Ken Hitchcock - and replaced him with his own choice, Scott Arniel.

His players. His coaches. His cross to bear if the Blue Jackets flop again in 2010-11.

Howson’s contract with the Blue Jackets expires on June30, 2011, but it includes an “evergreen” clause, which guarantees a one-year buyout by the club from the moment he’s notified that he’ll no longer be retained.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I don’t know why you had to trade him eight days before the NHL entry draft. I wasn’t shocked he was traded, what shocked me was he was traded eight days before the entry draft, before everybody could get hot and heavy, having his name filtered out there. There were no rumours at all ... I mean there was nothing. There was never even an attempt to create a marketplace for him.

“If the Canadiens think that was the best deal they could have got for Jaroslav Halak, I would beg to differ, and I would argue that with them because I know of some teams that were absolutely shocked that he was traded and they didn’t even get a call.”

-Pierre MdGuire.  More on this topic from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaroslav+halak

Underwood/Fisher Married In Georgia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doug Hempstead of the Ottawa Sun,

It’s officially Mike and Carrie Fisher.

The elite wedding of Senators forward Mike Fisher, 30, and American sweetheart superstar country singer Carrie Underwood, 27, went ahead as planned Saturday in Greensboro, Ga.

The couple, known for steadfastly guarding their privacy, gave exclusive coverage rights to People magazine, which reported Saturday evening 250 friends and family witnessed the event, set to classical music and featured the religious couple’s favourite Bible readings.

Among those in attendance were country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, as well as Ottawa Senators Chris Phillips, Shean Donovan, Nick Foligno, Chris Neil and former teammate Wade Redden.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+underwood, mike+fisher

Other Teams Chasing Kovalchuk?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The Ilya Kovalchuk Saga has gone silent, but there are indications that other NHL teams besides the Devils remain in the chase for the unrestricted superstar.

The Devils likely are the leading candidate to sign the 27-year-old. They made a major commitment by renting him in February, and have redoubled their sincerity. The Post reported yesterday that the Devils have made a front-loaded offer of 17 years worth more than $100 million, of which $100 million is guaranteed in the first 10 years of the contract.

It does not appear that any signing anywhere (accompanied by a TV show, a la LeBron) is imminent, and a revolutionary Russian offer might still capture the prize. The Islanders previously indicated interest without making an offer, and the Kings were in twice.

Still, there are believed to be other unspecified and silent teams still in the chase.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Kovalchuk Needed By The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Tell me the name of the stud cen ter or blue-chip de fenseman in his prime coming up on unrestricted free agency for whom the Rangers should reserve cap space and thus bypass Ilya Kovalchuk.

Tell me the names of the Entry Level kids within the organization for whom general managerGlen Sather will need to reserve space to sign once the deal is done with Marc Staal.

Because I don’t see any Drew Doughtys or Duncan Keiths or Nicklas Backstroms on the depth chart, that’s for sure.

Tell me you aren’t attempting to make an analogy between the Rangers adding the 27-year-old Kovalchuk this summer, and adding the 28-year-old, already-multiply-concussed Eric Lindros in 2001, or between signing Ilya now and signing the 31-year-old, already-fried Theo Fleury in 1999.

Regardless of whether Sather, who has been in touch with the Kovalchuk camp this weekend, ramps up his interest in Ilya and joins the dance, do not tell me that the Rangers need to reserve his spot for a younger player.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Note To Khan(!): Your Captaincy Is In Jeopardy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

While I was galavanting across our nation and avoiding any reminders that the Wings allegedly lost a playoff series, A2Y staffers from Delta Community College outside Saginaw were assigned the task of tracking our Diggers the past few months.  Their findings boiled down to this:  Chris McCosky is finding his voice as not only a Wing beat writer, but…sit down…a guy who’s not afraid to share an actual opinion.

Here’s an example from two days ago.

On another note, god bless Brett Lebda. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who apparently did not have access to any Red Wings game footage from last season, signed Lebda for two years at $1.45 million per. Unbelievable.



Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Everyone Can Relax, Burke Going On Vacation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

So Burke is serious when he says his next move is to take his family to some beach in Southern California where he can dip his toes in the water and sip on a drink with a tiny umbrella in it. After that, he is heading off for his annual fishing trip with right-hand man Dave Nonis and some other friends.

The BlackBerry will be on the whole time, but Burke does not expect to receive any calls.

The question then is: What if the phone does not ring again between now until the start of the season. What if this is it?

Is this team significantly better than the one that finished last in the Eastern Conference last season? Is the penalty kill and power play, which ranked last in the league, better? Is the goaltending, which ranked second-last in the league, better? Is the offence, which ranked tied for 25th in the league, better?

“This is Toronto,” Burke said yesterday from Boston, where he has just picked up his kids from yoga. “There’s question marks over everything. And they’re fair ones. But we’re comfortable with our back end and we’re comfortable with our goaltending. Now, we’ve tried to upgrade our forwards.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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