Kukla's Korner

Jason Spezza open to trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Toronto Globe and Mail’s Sean Gordon:

With the NHL draft looming and the hockey world humming with trade talk, Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators can be added to the list of players who may soon have new addresses.

Though the Senators would clearly prefer to retain the stylish centre’s services, general manager Bryan Murray confirmed weeks of speculation on Monday, saying that Spezza is open to trade discussions. “He said he wouldn’t object to one, he didn’t come in and say ‘I have to be traded.’ He didn’t object to, ‘Maybe it’s time,’” Murray said.

The GM added that, “We will look at everything that will help our hockey team, but I’m not going to make a bad trade.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, ottawa+senators

Minnesota Acquires Sharks fighter Brad Staubitz for 2010 5th-round pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

Per various sources, the Minnesota Wild have obtained enforcer Brad Staubitz from the San Jose Sharks for a 2010 5th-round draft pick.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: minnesota+wild, nhl-hockey, san+jose+sharks

Ehrhoff’s Defensive Improvement

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I think that Christian Ehrhoff had the biggest improvement in his defensive game in the 2009/10 season when compared to the 2008/09 season.  This is not to be confused with Drew Doughty who is a defenseman that was the most improved player in the league.  A significant part of Doughty’s improvement was his jump from 29 to 57 points (an offensive improvement), while Ehrhoff was up from 42 to 44 points with a big jump defensively.

Ehrhoff’s defensive improvement can be seen by looking at adjusted +/- ratings.  In 2008/09 he was eighth worst in the league.  This season he was fourth best.  That is a tremendous leap.  It is uncommon for a player to improve on that level and the improvement is defensive.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Wild and Crazy Guy Brent Flahr Working on Wild’s Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:

Brent Flahr seems like a quiet, innocent, unsuspecting guy, but when you work with him, you learn awfully fast to never turn your back.

Take Shep Harder, the Wild’s director of hockey administration. He’s allergic to mayonnaise, so during a recent meeting, when Harder asked for “no mayo” on a sandwich, Flahr made sure it had extra mayo.

Luckily, Flahr didn’t kill Harder. But it made for a lot of laughs when Harder ran out minutes later with indigestion.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: minnesota+wild, nhl-hockey

Iginla Remembers Nerves, Excitement on his NHL Draft Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall:

Jarome Iginla plans to flick on his television Friday night and take in the soap opera better known as the NHL Entry Draft.

In doing so, the Calgary Flames captain predicts his annual round of sympathy pains for the young men in starched suits and breath-constricting neckties.

“I remember my draft day,” Iginla says via telephone from his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous — or that excited — in my whole life.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calgary+flames, nhl-hockey

Hall of Fame might call on former Red Wing Dino Ciccarelli this year

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Detroit Free Press’ Lee Snider:

Former NHL great Dino Ciccarelli amassed 608 goals in a 19-year career that included four seasons in Detroit (1992-96).

Yet, the scrappy, prolific scorer isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Minneapolis Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo thinks this might be Dino’s year.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

How Clean is Stanley Cup? Read our Lips

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Roe:

Go ahead: Touch it, hug it, give it a big wet kiss.

The Stanley Cup isn’t the germ bomb you might suspect.

The NHL champion Blackhawks’ beloved trophy stopped by the Chicago Tribune newsroom Thursday, and so we took the opportunity to do something the Cup’s keeper said had never been done: We swabbed it for germs.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, nhl-hockey

Blues are Stockpiling Young Defensemen

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford:

The old adage in hockey is that a team never can have enough defensemen. Well, the Blues are proving that wrong, at least when it comes to stockpiling young defenders.

Of the club’s last seven first-round picks, four play on the blue line. With the trade of forward Lars Eller last week, the team’s highest remaining draft pick in each of the past four years is a defenseman: Erik Johnson in 2006, Ian Cole in ‘07, Alex Pietrangelo in ‘08 and David Rundblad and Brett Ponich in ‘09.

With the 14th pick in this week’s NHL draft, which begins with the first round at 6 p.m. (St. Louis time) Friday in Los Angeles, the Blues aren’t expected to be in the running for another defenseman in the first round.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, st.+louis+blues

Steve Yzerman’s No-Trade Assurance Relaxes Lecavalier

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the St. Pete Times’ Damian Cristodero:

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has sent a message to Vinny Lecavalier.

“We’re going to challenge him to be better,” Yzerman said.

But Yzerman also apparently assured the captain, who is coming off two disappointing seasons, he still is part of the plan.

“I’m not going to go out and start shopping Vinny Lecavalier around,” Yzerman said recently at the St. Pete Times Forum.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, tampa+bay+lightning

Ex-Catamount Reaches Mountaintop in NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Tony

From the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa:

Patrick Sharp was born in Winnipeg and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but he’ll always be an adopted son of Burlington, Vt.

The Blackhawks alternate captain, last seen raising the Stanley Cup and partying during the homecoming parade in Chicago, spent two seasons with the Catamounts prepping his game for the pros. Appropriately, among the well-wishers texting Sharp during the finals was former Vermont assistant Damian DiGiulian, who played a significant role in bringing a Canadian youngster with a junior-style game to Hockey East.

“Very happy for him,’’ said DiGiulian, now coach at Rice Memorial Prep in South Burlington. “Great kid, great family.’’

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, nhl-hockey

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