Kukla's Korner

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Finally, a note to fans of the Lightning, Leafs, and Kings: It. Is. Over.

Yes, already.

Miracles are never completely out of the question, but thanks to the NHL’s unbalanced schedule, there is virtually no possibility whatsoever Tampa Bay, Toronto or Los Angeles can leapfrog the five or six teams in front of them to secure a playoff berth. Let the firings and/or fire sales begin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best Off-Season Acquisitions

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Erskine in the National Post,

A few of the best additions are surprising, while a couple of the least impressive pickups should have been expected.

In no particular order, here are the top five best offseason acquisitions.

1. Ty Conklin, Pittsburgh Penguins
No player added to a team has been more astonishing in a positive way than Conklin, who has been nothing short of a godsend for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

more... plus the 5 worst off-season pick-ups, as well

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ty+conklin

A Nasty Flu in Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via Santa Barbara News-Press,

Carolina’s roster has been crippled partly because of a nasty flu virus that seemingly claims a new player each day and has contributed to an irksome slide of losses in six of eight games that has decimated its Southeast Division lead.

No wonder that as the Hurricanes head into this critical stretch, they’re trying to stay germ-free.

‘‘This is not your typical sniffles,’’ coach Peter Laviolette said Monday. ‘‘These guys are tough guys who can play through just about anything, and they are down and out.’‘

Defenseman Niclas Wallin, the latest illness victim, is staying home from Tuesday night’s game at Toronto, Laviolette said. Four players who missed Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Colorado - forwards Ray Whitney and Trevor Letowski, defenseman Wade Brookbank and Wesley - skated Monday and could play against the Maple Leafs, though it’s unclear how close to 100 percent they’ll be.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gaborik Healthy & Scoring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CanWest via the National Post,

A healthy Gaborik has been somewhat of a treat for the Wild this season. He also took home the same honour earlier this season after he became the first player in more than a decade to score five goals in a game, Dec. 20 versus the New York Rangers.

In 2006-07, the 25-year-old native of Trencin, Slovakia, was limited to just 48 games, in large part due to a groin injury. When Gaborik was in the lineup, the Wild went 33-9-6; when he scored a goal, the team was 19-2-2.

Needless to say, as long as Gaborik, and fellow Slovak Pavol Demitra, stay healthy, the Wild will continue to compete for the Northwest title.

“I feel pretty good right now,” said Gaborik, who has 25 goals and 22 assists in 40 games this season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Early Commitment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Grand Forks Herald,

Jason Herter brought his hockey team to his old college campus over the weekend to compete in the Little Caesars North American Showcase.

One of his players, 15-year-old defenseman Garrett Clarke, says he will be back.

Clarke became the youngest player ever to give a verbal commitment to UND this weekend when he told Sioux coaches that he will play for them beginning in 2010.

The Moncton, N.B., native had been a projected top-three pick in June’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft, but after visiting campus, he and his family decided college was the best route.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: garrett+clarke

Savard Replaces Heatley for ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From TSN,

Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard has been chosen to the NHL’s Eastern Conference All-Star team in place of injured Ottawa forward Dany Heatley.

Heatley suffered a separated shoulder in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Detroit and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley, marc+savard

Forsberg Has Many Teams To Choose From

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,

Forsberg said he plans on testing his foot on skates in a few days and is “very hopeful” of a successful comeback. As for the Flyers’ chances of getting him, Forsberg was non-committal.

“It’s nice to hear that they want me back and I enjoyed my time in the Flyers organization,” Forsberg said. “It’s one of many options. I haven’t decided even if I will play yet. And I read somewhere that I am only interested in playing for one of the three clubs I’ve played for (Colorado, Philadelphia and Nashville). But I have never said that. I have a lot of options and Flyers are one of them.”

Forsberg said he will make a decision on his return to the NHL as soon as he believes his foot can withstand the rigors of the NHL. He said he understands the NHL imposes a roster freeze following the Feb. 26 trade deadline, “but I hope it will be sooner than that.”

more

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

Campbell Done Negotiating For The Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Buffalo News,

The chance to re-sign Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell has passed for now. Campbell said today he is done negotiating with the team until the end of the season. Campbell, the Sabres’ lone All-Star, becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

“There’s more important things right now than just me,” Campobell said. “I think it’s for the best.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell

Report: Cujo is a Flame

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

At around 1pm ET, the Fan590 show Hockey Central reported that Curtis Joseph has been signed as a Calgary Flame. 

This has been repeated by EJ Hradek on NHL Live.

Update 1:35pm ET: From Hradek (1:26pm ET) on ESPN,

Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s E.J. Hradek that the veteran goaltender has signed a deal with the Calgary Flames. Details surrounding the deal were not disclosed.

Update 1:44pm ET: As of 1:41pm ET, Darren Dreger at TSN says decision not yet final,

Calgary appears to be the likely destination, but discussions with the Rangers are still taking place.

Update 2:01pm ET: Sportsnet.ca confirms Cujo’s signing with Calgary by their own sources.

Update3:24pm ET: From John Dellapina a Blueshirts Blog (NY Daily News),

Curtis Joseph is not signing with the Rangers. While Glen Sather checked on Cujo while talking about a new contract for Henrik Lundqvist over the weekend with agent Don Meehan, the Rangers weren’t as ready to commit as Calgary. By all accounts, the Rangers did not make an offer, leaving Joseph to back up Miikka Kiprusoff rather than Lundqvist the rest of this season.

Update 3:39pm ET: With the headline “Joseph Chooses Flames over Rangers”, TSN comments,

Looking to take the work load off Miikka Kirpusoff for the stretch run, the Calgary Flames have veteran goaltender Curtis Joseph for the remainder of the season.

Update 4:07pm ET: From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

Curtis Joseph sits there, on the unemployment line for the better part of half an NHL season, with no real interest in his services. Then he goes overseas to play for Canada in the Spengler Cup, and suddenly, there is a bidding war for his services. In the end, Joseph opted to sign with the Calgary Flames, a team desperately in need of an experienced back-up goaltender, choosing their overture over ones made by among others, the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks.

Update 5:12pm ET: Salary update from TSN,

...the Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Curtis Joseph to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.  With half of the season gone, he’ll earn about $650,000 for the rest of the year.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: curtis+joseph, goaltender

Tocchet Waiting in the Stands

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Gintonio at The Arizona Republic,

When assistant coach Rick Tocchet returns from his two-year absence Feb. 7, he won’t be arriving cold. He has been watching the home games from the stands.

“It’ll be a nice addition,” Gretzky said. “Ulfie (Samuelsson) and Grant (Fuhr) have put in a lot of extra hours. It will be nice to have him come back. I know the players are happy to have him coming back.”

continued...

*The conditions the NHL outlined for Tocchet’s return back in November can be found here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+tocchet, wayne+gretzky

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