Kukla's Korner

Oilers Will Be Tougher To Play Against

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

With J.F. Jacques growing into the physical presence that they’d always hoped, Ryan Stone shoving his way into the picture and Dustin Penner playing harder for Quinn than he ever did for MacTavish, the Oilers are shaping up to be a lot tougher to play against.

“We’re seeing Jacques become the guy he was expected to be and Pens looks like he’s going to have a good year,” said defenceman Sheldon Souray, Edmonton’s toughest guy on the back end.

“If those two things shape up the way you hope they will, we have two pretty good power forwards—not to mention some of our energy guys a little later in the lineup. We could have a good mix if things work out.”

More grit was at the top of GM Steve Tambellini’s off-season checklist. When he wasn’t able to acquire any in the summer, there was considerable concern.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Caps Convention

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Washington Capitals held their first Capitals Convention yesterday.  Here is a recap of the event.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sunday Morning Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Sidney Crosby isn’t saying this for the record but those around him will tell you he’s pleased that he won’t be named captain for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics. He’d rather be just another player in Vancouver. The betting here is Scott Niedermayer will be named the captain.

• One reason to avoid Versus this year: The very capable Christine Simpson, sister of Craig and Dave, has been dropped by the network.

• Reasons to wonder about the Florida Panthers: Bryan McCabe has been named team captain and apparently he was the only choice.

• Mike Babcock is coaching Team Canada. Steve Yzerman is the general manager. But quietly, the Red Wings will tell you they hope that Nicklas Lidstrom will decide to not play in the Olympics in February. They’d really like their captain to take the two weeks off.

more NHL talk…

Sorry to see Chris Simpson will not be back with Versus.  Who at that station makes the hockey decisions?  Talk about not have their finger on the pulse of the NHL fans!

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Latest NHLPA Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Next Sunday, with the season under way, another conference call will have all union reps on the line for an annual start-of-the-season meeting of the executive board. Penny, Hargrove, and Pink are expected to be part of it, along with the half-dozen divisional reps that were handpicked by Lindros for their jobs in his days as ombudsman. Ex-Bruin Rob Zamuner is one of the six divisional reps, and according to players who have publicly questioned Kelly’s ouster the last month, Zamuner routinely has called them after the fact to, shall we say, impress upon them that they should not support Kelly.

Quite telling, isn’t it? This is a union that takes votes at 3 a.m. that none of the rank-and-file knows about, then dispatches Zamuner to keep the herd in order. Members, at the very least, should understand that their intelligence, integrity, and dignity are being insulted. At the very least, they should inform Penny, their interim executive director, that they don’t like being played for fools. Maybe he could help them.

The tide is shifting here, ever so slowly, and it could shift dramatically in these next two weeks when the annual voting for union reps is held.

much more plus other NHL notes…

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ethan Moreau On The Decline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,

It’s not so pretty when an NHL player loses a step, starts looking awkward on the ice, and talks a better game than he plays.

If you talk to the vast majority of Oilers fans, though, this is the stage of his career that Oilers captain Ethan Moreau is at.

In discussions about the team, Moreau is rarely mentioned as someone who is going to have a good season, even at his so-called specialty, the penalty kill. In fact, there’s outright scorn for Moreau from many fans, and especially scorn for the way Oilers broadcaster Kevin Quinn kept referring to Moreau in excited and reverential terms last season, calling him, as if it was one word, “And here’s thecaptainEthanMoreau.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ethan+moreau

How Long Will It Take For A Monster To Turn Into A Savio(u)r?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

The lanky free agent signee may have moved a big step closer to being one of the most promising in the league with his 15-stop performance.

It took him two nights—20 minutes on Friday and 40 more last night—but Gustavsson recorded a backhanded shutout, was named the game’s first star and will have tongues all around Leafs Nation wagging this morning.

As irrational as the debates will get, there was some added spice when starter Vesa Toskala let in a softy late in the first period on a shot he should have stopped.

Gustavsson had some Swedish accompaniment in one of the last bids to make an impression on management with the regular-season now just four sleeps away.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Prediction: Pacific Division

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I am continuing with my pre-season predictions today.  I have already done the Northwest Division and today proceed to the Pacific Division.

Here is my predicted order of finish of the Pacific Division teams:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Don Waddell- Sports Collector

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Jounral-Constitution,

Don Waddell is a sports fan. Just like most fans, he loves to get an autograph.

The Thrashers general manager has accumulated an extensive collection over his career. While many of his autographs have come because of the executive positions he has held, most have not.

He’s driven to Cincinnati with cereal boxes to get Pete Rose and Johnny Bench signatures.

He’s waited outside Detroit’s Tiger Stadium to get autographs of childhood heroes. He even got the famed double-play combination of Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker to sign the same baseball. It’s one of over 200 signed baseballs has collected, many with Hall of Famer signatures.

He has books signed by Jack Nicklaus, Bill Walton and Howard Cosell.

continued

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

No Rest For The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

Less than two hours after the Blackhawks completed an eight-hour post-game flight from Chicago to this picturesque European capital, the team was on the ice, going through a spirited practice that featured a lively scrimmage and some drills.

“It was just getting the bus legs out a little bit, so to speak,” Hawks captain Jonathon Toews said.

Despite the rigors of flying overnight to Europe and arriving in Zurich in the late afternoon Saturday, the Blackhawks welcomed the opportunity to hit the ice for an hour—even if many of them were slipping on equipment that was still slightly damp from Friday night’s 4-3 win against Minnesota at the United Center.

“I definitely felt a little tired,” said Patrick Kane, who had two goals Friday night. “It was a good practice, though, to get the kinks out.”

read on

Joel Quenneville talks to the media after the Blackhawks’ first practice in Zurich.  Watch the video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Let The Forsberg Talk Begin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Old friend Mats Wennerholm from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet gave this account, with quotes from Foppa:

“I watched Foppa play tonight.He assisted on Modo’s first goal and made the game winning goal in sudden deathI haven´t seen him better in five years.

He was dominating the game and even had a brawl with ex-Shark Marcus Ragnarsson.

All the experts here in Sweden were stunned. The old Foppa was back….”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

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