Kukla's Korner

They Could Be Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Spots Illustrated,

Consider a slew of recent signings, such as Tom Gilbert (six years, $24 million), Brent Seabrook (three years, $10.5 million), Shea Weber (three years, $13.5 million), Ryan Whitney (six years, $24 million) and Matt Carle (four years, $14 million). That’s a lot of scratch for a group of players whose games aren’t yet fully on track. So what exactly are teams buying with these deals?

In simplest terms, they’re speculating.

Wideman, who could walk the streets of all 30 NHL cities unmolested even while wearing his Bruins jersey, might seem an unlikely candidate for that kind of scratch, but he actually epitomizes the type of player who is earning this sort of contract.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Jack Johnson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Inside the Kings,

(Jack) Johnson is back home in Michigan enjoying his summer and took a few minutes to talk about his first full season in the NHL…

Question: It seemed at times last season like you might have been holding back a little, playing things conservatively, that at any moment we were going to see some end-to-end rushes or bone-jarring clips like we have seen on YouTube that made you semi famous. Were you in fact holding back a bit last year?

Johnson: I was just kind of feeling things out, and yeah, there were times where I felt like I was holding back and hesitating a little bit. I think it is all about getting some confidence a getting a feeling for the game. It is a lot harder coming in to this league as a defenseman than it is for a forward. The mistakes you make as a defenseman are magnified than when you make them as a forward.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+johnson

Wings Sign Darren Haydar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Milton Canadian Champion,

Still reveling in last month’s Calder Cup title win with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves (affiliate of Atlanta Thrashers), Darren Haydar has signed with the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

Expected to be made public today (Wednesday), the one-year, two-way deal will see the 28-year-old Milton right winger make $525,000 if he sticks with the big club.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darren+haydar

Ducks Extend Carlyle Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed head coach Randy Carlyle to a two-year contract extension. Carlyle had one year remaining on his original contract and is now signed through the 2010-11 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

“In our view, Randy is one of the top coaches in the NHL,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “We’ve had an aggressive, hard-working club each of the past three years, largely due to his influence. He’s clearly been paramount to our success since taking over the reins.”

“Working in Orange County for owners such as the Samuelis is a privilege, and I’m honored to be able to continue representing the Ducks,” said Carlyle. “I’m thankful for the great relationship I have with Brian Burke and our hockey staff and expect more success in the future. We fell short of our goal last year and it’s time for us to respond.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: randy+carlyle

All Messier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen at NHL.com,

Mark Messier is sitting on the sidelines these days, enjoying the early stages of his new life as a retired NHL legend. Even still, few of the game’s legends are as tuned in to today’s NHL as Messier.

He’s opinionated. He’s eloquent. He’s passionate.

NHL.com was lucky enough to hear Messier be all those things and more in an exclusive phone interview Monday morning. We asked him about free agency, the Detroit Red Wings, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Winter Classic and a whole lot more….

NHL.com: Does four Cups in 11 years and having a core group of players — Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and Tomas Holmstrom —  playing on all four championship teams make the Detroit Red Wings a dynasty?

MM: You have to really respect what they have been able to do for a long period of time, without having great draft picks. To call it a dynasty — I don’t know.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+messier

B’s Cap Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With the official signing of Dennis Wideman today…

from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,

The Bruins are $1,536,666 over the $56.7 million cap ceiling. They do not have to be below $56.7 million until the start of the regular season. They can exercise buyouts (the 48-hour window opens this weekend), trades, or minor-league assignments to dip below the cap. “One of the tools we have is the buyout, and that could be anybody,” said GM Peter Chiarelli. “Another tool is a trade or sending players to the minors.”

more on the Bruins…

update 1:57pm, as Jaci mentioned in the comments, Glen Murray has been placed on waivers...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings Heading the Right Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,

It’s not that I have high expectations for the Kings next season; I just like the direction the team is going. By building mainly through the draft, GM Dean Lombardi has ensured that when the Kings get good, they’ll be good for a long time.

I have no doubt there are Kings fans upset about the slow pace in which the team is rebuilding and wish Lombardi would sign a couple of veterans to get his club into the playoff hunt. But if he did, he might as well rename the Kings the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It takes patience to build a winner.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi

Gary Bettman Image Makeover

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:

No matter how high the NHL soars, Gary Bettman continues to be a pesky anchor; everything about him conjures ill feelings and painful memories of cancelled seasons and managerial ineptitude. The fact that he receives the blame for all of hockey’s problems (“Bettman invented the Neutral Zone Trap to steal teams from Canada!”) doesn’t help his reputation, either.

The man needs an image makeover. And we’re just the puckheads to give him one.

And it’s a contest! “Gary Bettman: Portraits in Heroism” is accepting your drawings, paintings, photoshops. etc., looking for the best ideas to rehab the Commish’s image. 

Note: I’ll put my own submission up here later today. I guarantee you’ll find it incredibly inspiring…

Update 3:02pm ET: Mine is in the comments, as are the far-superior efforts of a couple of readers. Awesome.

 

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: contest, gary+bettman

HNIC Still Finalizing Air Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

Milbury’s addition raises the question of what the future holds for another HNIC regular with Boston connections - P. J. Stock. There won’t be much room on the Hotstove with ring master Ron MacLean, Milbury and Scott Morrison taking up three of the four spots. HNIC likes to throw in Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun or Al Strachan in the fourth spot, and that leaves little or no room for Stock.

But CBC Sports head honcho Scott Moore told me yesterday: “We’re definitely keeping young Stock. He has a future.”

Moore said HNIC executive producer Sherali Najak is still putting the pieces of the telecast together, but predicted Stock will have a “slightly expanded role.”

more on Milbury…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Westcott Joins KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers,

Former Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott has signed to play with Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).

Westcott was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets this summer, meaning he’ll earn $600,000 plus from the Jackets over the next four years. He tried to get a one-way contract in the NHL, but found no takers.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: duvie+westcott

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