Kukla's Korner

Modano Still Undecided If He Will Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Meehan of the Dallas Morning News,

Still unsure about his future in hockey, the Stars’ Mike Modano talked about some of his thoughts as he ponders next season.

On whether he feels he is part of the Stars’ plans next season: The vibes haven’t changed much. I have a sense of the direction that the team is going in, and I’m not sure if I’m part of that. I’ll have to see what unfolds in July.

On possibly playing for another team next season
: I can’t say that wouldn’t happen, but for me to go to a different team, it has to be an organization that I’m very familiar with. That way I would feel comfortable.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Penguins Want Gonchar And Hamhuis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

It’s a vision the Penguins like. A lot. They will find out soon if they can bring it to life.

They see a defense that includes Sergei Gonchar, Dan Hamhuis, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski as their top five. They are willing to sacrifice bringing in a high-profile winger or two this offseason to turn it into reality.

“That would be the way we would go with our team, with the strength on defense,” general manager Ray Shero said Saturday. “We would go with the guys we have up front and give some needed opportunity to some younger players.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another American In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Francois Gagnon of Cyberpresse (translated),

There is no reason to be surprised by the selection of an American as the first choice of Canadians in the 2011 entry draft.

Far from it.

Jarred Tinordi Friday became the eighth first-round pick of the Canadiens in the last 10 years the country of Uncle Sam…

Eleven Americans have also been claimed in the first round. That may explain that the Canadian had to follow the parade.  Especially that Quebec had no Louis Leblanc, Vincent Lecavalier and Marc-Andre Fleury to offer.


thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

UFA And Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• The feeling is Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi is lukewarm about going after unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk but team president Tim Leiweke is a marketing guy and thinks Kovalchuk would be good for business. He’s about putting jazzing up the club, and they do play in the same building as the NBA champion Lakers led by Kobe Bryant.

• The Boston Bruins picked the wrong time to try to move Tim Thomas with Finn Tuukka Rask taking over as No. 1. There are too many free-agent goalies who will gladly sign for less than Thomas’s $5 million a year.

• Former Tampa Bay Lightning GM Brian Lawton didn’t do Steve Yzerman many favours. Stevie Y has over $70 million in long-term contracts for people like Andrej Meszaros, Ryan Malone and Matt Walker on the books, and he still has to re-sign Marty St. Louis and Steve Stamkos. Lawton is trying to get back into the agent business.

• The Washington Capitals can’t afford Anton Volchenkov at $4 million to $5 million as a free-agent blue-liner but they would love the Vancouver Canucks’ Willie Mitchell on the open market if his health is good. He has had concussion problems. They badly need a heart-and-soul guy back there who can match up against Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

more and here too...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Observations On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Hard to take the New York Islanders seriously when owner Charles Wang is sitting at their draft table and his chief advisor appears to be “E” from the television show, Entourage, actor Kevin Connolly. The new season of Entourage, by the way, starts tonight.

• There is a variety of opinion on Keith Ballard as an NHL defenceman, but almost everybody outside Vancouver thinks he’s overpaid at $4.2 million this year and for the next three years.

• We know Evgeni Nabakov is gone from the San Jose Sharks. What we don’t know is who the Sharks’ new goalie will be. Marty Turco may be the clubhouse favourite.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pat Burns Should Be In The HHOF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

LOS ANGELES—The home of Angels, where Pat Burns would and will always have a place and where every single member of the 18-man Hall of Fame selection committee should have been ashamed to show his face this weekend.

That’s right, every single one of them, including good men such as John Davidson and Bill Torrey, who did not resign in protest after the committee denied the beloved coach entrance to the Hall last week with a vote that shall live in hockey infamy.

They operate behind closed doors, in secret, and without transparency. Except there is transparency here.

This much is obvious. The selection process is tainted by personal agendas and long-standing grudges.

The Hall of Fame committee: no accountability, no credibility, no heart.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+burns

Wings Want To Extend Babcock’s Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press at Kentucky.com,

The Red Wings are starting negotiations to get coach Mike Babcock signed to an extension.

He has a year left on the three-year deal he signed most recently, but the Wings have been so thrilled with the job 47-year-old Babcock has done - especially this past season - that extending him only makes sense.

“I’d like to keep him, so we’re going to sit down and talk,” general manager Ken Holland said Saturday at the 2010 NHL entry draft at Staples Center. “He likes it in Detroit, and I enjoy working with him. I think he’s done a tremendous job since he came here in 2005. I anticipate this is going to take most of the summer, but hopefully by the time we get to training camp, we’ve got something in place.”...

“I’m staying if they’d like to have me,” Babcock said. “But I haven’t really even thought about it - I just assumed I’m staying.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

UFA & Trade Talk Coming From The Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The focus of the hockey world was in Los Angeles this weekend, and it may be yet again come Thursday when the NHL’s free-agent market opens.

Sources confirmed to ESPN.com yet again Saturday that the Kings will make an offer to the prized jewel of a thin market, star winger Ilya Kovalchuk. They tried to acquire his rights this weekend from New Jersey, but were denied since the Devils remain interested in trying to re-sign the Russian star.

On the back end, Los Angeles also has eyes on a top-four defenseman, and if Dan Hamhuis doesn’t sign with Pittsburgh, the Kings will take a look at him. The Kings also like Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle, but don’t have a fit with Toronto because the Leafs want a top-six forward in return….

Marc Savard remained a Boston Bruin through the weekend. Rumors of his imminent trade were greatly exaggerated. A Bruins source said no trade was imminent, although he did confirm there had been talks with other teams concerning Savard, who has become available because the team obtained a natural center in franchise draft pick Tyler Seguin on Friday night….

more topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers And Marc Staal Far Apart In Contract Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Obernauer of the NY Daily News,

Glen Sather sounded as if he and Marc Staal’s camp were nowhere close to one another in their talks of a new contract for the Ranger blueliner, so he was asked if, really, there was a wide gap between the sides.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a wide gap,” Sather said. “It’s more like a chasm.”

Does that clear it up? As free agency season approaches, it could be laying the groundwork for the sides to dig in through the summer, as happened with Brandon Dubinsky before last season (a battle that John Tortorella thought was pretty “stupid”). Staal is not eligible for arbitration and Sather is planning to use the leverage the CBA affords him, saying today that “sometimes agents don’t recognize that - leverage works both ways.” (Staal’s agent is Bobby Orr. You may have heard of him.)

“I’m not ripping anybody, I’m saying what the reality is: that’s why the CBA’s in place,” Sather said. “If a guy’s a free agent, and if doesn’t agree to a contract he can sit out until December, and then he can’t come back at all for the whole year.”



Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+staal

Cap Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

There are more and more teams that pay no attention whatsoever to the salary cap. Ask a few GMs how many clubs are working under their own budget restraints, with payroll set by the company accountant, and you get estimates all over the map?

“Maybe 15?” figured Mike Gillis.

“Between 20 and 25?” offered Sutter.

St. Louis is under orders from ownership to keep the payroll low. They’ve got to make the $43.4 million cap floor, but that’s it.

In Anaheim, word is they won’t be spending the $6 million that was being paid to Scott Niedermayer before he retired.

“We don’t want to have happen what happened to us a few years ago,” said Ducks GM Bob Murray. “Where you wake up ever day and say, ‘Oh my God, if a goalie gets hurt, we’re really going to be in trouble.’ We’re not going to get there again. Budgets, we’re going to watch much closer.”

more NHL Draft notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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