Kukla's Korner

No Guarantees In This Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

The consensus among Canadiens fans is that if Sundin signs, the Habs will be holding a parade in June. Detroit, Schmeetroit. Who cares if the Red Wings were already the best team in hockey before they inked Marian Hossa? In the unrealistic way of fans everywhere, they see the equation this way: good regular-season team adds Alex Tanguay, Georges Laraque and Sundin, great playoff team wins the Stanley Cup.

Uh-huh. I’ll believe that when Sidney Crosby checks into an ashram and Henrik Zetterberg decides he’d rather play backgammon for a living. Even with the additions, the Canadiens aren’t a slam dunk to win anything - but with or without Sundin, Bob Gainey has already molded the Habs into one of those quality organizations that will have a chance to win it all. Like Dallas, Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose and Pittsburgh.

Even without Sundin, the Canadiens are, on paper, one of the top five or six teams in the league - and they do need another impact forward to get over the hump and stage another parade.

more

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

Crosby Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Sidney Crosby’s offseason training gets serious Monday when he hits the ice. The only day he plans to take off between then and Sept. 17—the opening of Penguins’ training camp—is Thursday, his 21st birthday.

Yep, Sid’s days as a Kid are numbered. He will celebrate with some junior hockey friends at a barbecue at his home in Nova Scotia….

Q: So what adult beverage does “Sid the Kid” drink?

A: Jack Daniels or Crown Royal.

Q: Of what you have yet to accomplish before your 21st birthday, what stands out most?

A: Not finishing the deal. It’s hard not to think about it. Everybody I see brings it up. I’m reminded by it everywhere. You always see things on TV where guys had the Cup in their hometown. It’s a constant reminder. The memory of losing is not something that just goes away.

more

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

Too Many Loans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Slap Shots has been told by a well-placed individual familiar with the thinking on Sixth Avenue that the NHL will look into the circumstances behind the loan from AEG to Del Baggio, and loans of up to $20 million to Del Baggio from outgoing Nashville owner and current Minnesota owner Craig Leipold.

Think of it. Had Del Baggio remained a part of the group purchasing Nashville, the Kings and the Wild would have had a financial investment in the Predators, and apparently without the knowledge of Gary Bettman or any other member of the Board of Governors.

Reporters from The Tennessean have done a remarkable job in uncovering details of the entangling financial alliances among those invested in the sale of the Predators, one of the NHL’s chronic problem franchises.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goalies Shrink A Bit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

On June 11, the Goalie Equipment Working Group,- ... convened in Toronto to address what could be done to shrink goaltenders, without resorting to hunger strikes.

The result? Knee pads and clavicle protectors will be trimmed for the 2008-09 season.

Because most goalies play the butterfly style, shooters would see the following: a netminder standing tall with his legs spread, inviting them to go five-hole.

read on plus numerous NHL topics.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Could Sundin Play In Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Linda Mankefors at the Hockey News,

Here’s another one: Mats Sundin returns to his mother club Djurgarden IF. Hold your breath, it’s only one rumor of many.

Is there one rumor about Mats Sundin that holds a truth? It is honoring for Swedish hockey a 37 year old veteran still creates so much interest that the whole National Hockey League and its followers is holding its breath where he will land. Well you might end up disappointed. I was talking yesterday to a person inside the Swedish Icehockey Organization who said Mats already has made up his mind, it’s only a matter of missing details.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Snow Wants A Coach That Will Grow With The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Logan of Newsday,

Former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford and current Islanders assistant Gerard Gallant are among the final candidates expected to be interviewed over the next three days, according to an NHL source….

Except for Quenneville, all the other candidates have shown their interest in the Islanders’ job. Snow has made it clear that he’s seeking a long-term partner willing to focus on developing a contender by playing the young prospects and building through the draft.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sounds Like It Is Getting Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sunday Star Times (New Zealand),

Rachel Hunter must be keen on this one - she’s bringing him home! The 38-year-old bombshell has been dating 26-year-old Canadian ice hockey star Jarret Stoll for two years and when she comes back to New Zealand in a few weeks with her kids Liam and Renee, he’ll be coming with them.

The pair are rumoured to have bought a house together in LA and Rachel has even been talking about more babies.

According to friends, Jarret is a lovely guy and absolutely besotted with her, while she’s been quoted in New Idea saying: “I think I would like more children. I wouldn’t want to adopt though. I think I have two years left to have a child naturally if I want to.”

continued

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarret+stoll

From Wall Street To Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

When you make a living working on Wall Street, these stories can be useful.

So he watched as guests explained the dramatic changes they had made in their lives to find dream jobs. And it got Sulliman thinking.

When he wasn’t raising five daughters with his wife, Barbara, he was selling commercial insurance….

Sulliman confided in Maloney, who is now his brother-in-law. He said he wanted to get back in the game. He’d coach anywhere. Junior hockey. College hockey. He didn’t care; he just wanted back in the game.

Sulliman still had plenty of connections and planned phone calls to current general managers such as Lou Lamoriello and Paul Holmgren.

Maloney told him to wait. He didn’t say why—just wait.

“(Maloney’s) a chess player; he’s always thinking ahead,” Sulliman says.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+maloney, donny+deutsch, doug+sulliman

Columbus Invites Matvichuk To Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets have invited defenseman Richard Matvichuk to training camp as a non-roster tryout. The team is still awaiting word on whether the 35-year-old Matvichuk will accept.

He most notably made two Stanley Cup finals appearances with Ken Hitchcock in Dallas in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, but has played in only one NHL regular-season game in the past two years.

Matvichuk missed all but one game of the 2006-07 season recovering from back surgery. Last season, he played 42 games with New Jersey’s AHL affiliate Lowell, contributing a goal and three assists.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: richard+matvichuk

Jason Baird Could Use Some Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News,

A career minor leaguer, Baird recently signed on to play with the Muskegon Fury of the International League, but he will likely never suit up for them.

On July 17, Baird was working a summer job as a landscaper in Youngstown when the riding lawnmower he was steering exploded, engulfing the 27-year-old father of three in flames. Baird received third-degree burns to more than 70 percent of his body and the weeks since have seen the gritty winger in and out of surgery and fighting for his life.

Like a lot of kids in North America, Baird was keeping his dream of playing hockey for a living alive by doing what had to be done. If he could only earn about $500 a week, he would take a job in the summer and make up the income that way.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+baird

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