Kukla's Korner

Top Freshmen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,

Blues defenseman Erik Johnson manhandled his peers at the Traverse City prospects tournament, to nobody’s surprise.

He dominated collegiate competition for the University of Minnesota. He ran roughshod over junior competition for the U.S. national team. He held up against international veterans at the World Championships.

But what can he do against NHL competition?

We’ll know soon enough, because Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is the cornerstone of the Blues rebuilding project.

read on about nine more NHL rookies…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Babcock In Mid-Season Form

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Nobody brings out the statesman in Mike Babcock like Teddy Kulfan.  Allegedly the Detroit News beat writer, Kulfan exchanged couch-side text messages with the Wing head coach yesterday.  The result?  Our first Mike Babcock Consolidated Quote of the Day for 2007-‘08.

MBCQOTD 12 Sept 2007
“I like our team Teddy.  I like it. I liked it last year and I’m liking it today almost as much as I like string cheese even though I never tear off the pieces of string, just eat it in three bites. Everybody likes their team now though, until about November when you know they won’t be liking anything in Columbus.  Nah, kidding Teddy. Don’t write that. Write this: I’m driving the bus to TC. Kenny told me so. Guaranteed it. You know, lots of people said we wouldn’t make the playoffs last year but we made them then stayed in ‘em for a long, long time. A really long time. Like weeks. Planning on doing that again.  Driver gets to pick the music on the bus.  Got “Rumours” all cued up for the boys.”

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, deep+diggers

Sipple: Cleary Ready For Big Year

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

JV Deep Digger George Sipple, still trying to make his mark in a town that is bursting at the seams with ambitious beat writers, caught up with Dan Cleary and Kris Draper yesterday.  Undoubtedly, Mike Babcock will be relieved to read that both players approve of the lines he’s tentatively floated, the same lines that will change approximately 233 times before Christmas.

“When I look at our team and the depth that we have, obviously management believes we can do it from within,” Cleary said. “Filppula—great young talent. Hudler, Franzen all have the ability to make up the second line.”

Draper agreed.

“You look at Filppula; you look at the year Clears had last year,” Draper said. “From the sounds of it, Pav and Hank are each going to play center. So we can still have a balance of some good lines.”

More from Sipple.

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, cleary, deep+diggers, draper

One Day Down. Cast Your Votes Here.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

It’s been more than twelve hours since I made the bold statement that I sounded exactly like Ozzy on the way home from work yesterday.  It takes a confident blogger to write that.  I’ll bet Paul wouldn’t.  Well how about this?  I sang “Cool Change” by Little River Band all the way to the house this afternoon and I nailed that sucker too.  That’s called range.

Speaking of which, we have ourselves a day of votes to tally.  Some lucky winner will win some winnings and I, for one, can’t wait to walk up to that winner and wistfully wish them well.  One day down, six to go before we determine the official A2Y graphic guru.  We’ll run the entries by you then list the current vote standings at the bottom.  All votes for the next 24 hours will take place in the comment section of this brilliantly written post.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: fire+on+ice, genius+a2y+readers

Columbus Looks To Nash

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via CanadaEast,

“Both Hitch and I have an urgency to get better and get better now but we want to be patient with our younger players,” Howson told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

It starts with star winger Rick Nash, who has gone backwards since his scintillating 41-goal 2003-04 campaign, dropping to 31 goals in an injury-plagued 2005-06 season and then down to 27 last year.

“The challenge for Rick is to play the way he did in the last two and half months last season and through the world championships,” Hitchcock said Tuesday. “If he does that, I think he’s going to be a dominant player in the National Hockey League.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canes Anxious To Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via USA TODAY,

Those rowdy Caniacs couldn’t wait for last season to begin because they hoped the momentum of the Cup run would spill over. But the players say they’re more eager to get back on the ice this season, mainly because they’ve had five long months to rest, heal and stew over their shortcomings.

From the season-opening shootout loss to Buffalo to the too-little-too-late overtime win over Florida that ended the year - and the 80 other games in between - Carolina was only briefly fully healthy and as a result never seemed able to rediscover the magic of the previous season.

Now they’ve had plenty of time to heal their lingering injuries and are hoping for a fast start.

read on

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

Looking West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside at ESPN has his Western Conference training camp preview up….

Detroit Red Wings

Burning questions
• Does Hasek have another season left in him like last season, when he went 38-11-6?
• Can Kronwall stay healthy for an entire season and prove he’s the star material the Red Wings believe he is?
• Just how good can Henrik Zetterberg be?
• Were the no-shows at the normally sold-out Joe Louis Arena during the playoffs a symptom of deeper problems in one of the NHL’s most solid markets?

more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Niedermayer Suspended

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Anaheim Ducks officially suspended Scott Niedermayer on Tuesday, a formality that was expected on the first day of camp with the star defenceman a no-show.

“Yes, he was suspended today,” Ducks GM Brian Burke said during an NHL media conference call. “I spoke with Scott to tell him he was being suspended, which Scotty expected.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

The Rebulid Is Over For The Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Yahoo,

Two days before players report for training camp, the owner proclaimed “the rebuild is over” in an interview Tuesday with Associated Press reporters and editors. After consecutive last-place, low-payroll seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, Leonsis feels the strategy of building with young talent is heading toward fruition.

“Every person in the organization’s expectation is that we will make the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “Because we improved a lot ... and a lot of teams around us didn’t.”

The rebuilding project has centered around rising superstar Alex Ovechkin, who already has 98 goals in two NHL seasons and will turn 22 during training camp. Ovechkin was the lone star in his first season with the team—Washington’s worst in decades—but the Capitals have slowly but surely given him a better supporting cast that includes Alexander Semin and 2007-08 arrivals Michael Nylander, Tom Poti, Viktor Kozlov and Nicklas Backstrom.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis

Shop.NHL.Com Continues To Grow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Twenty-two of the 30 teams increased their Shop.NHL.com sales in August. The Ottawa Senators, who recently revealed a new logo, were the top-gaining team for August, up 332% year-over-year. Other teams to experience noteworthy sales for August were the Buffalo Sabres (304%), Nashville Predators (223%), Vancouver Canucks (154%), Los Angeles Kings (150%) and Washington Capitals (138%).

The excitement from teams unveiling their new Rbk EDGE jerseys has carried over to Shop.NHL.com. Seven of the top 25 most searched terms on Shop.NHL.com in August were related to the new Rbk EDGE jersey.

TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (August 1-31, 2007)

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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