Kukla's Korner

Captain Nash

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

“Rick started off as a quiet guy who knew right from wrong but didn’t say very much, and now he speaks up,” Hitchcock said Monday morning from Madison Square Garden, where his team will play the New York Rangers later in the evening. “If he doesn’t like what is happening, he’ll more than speak up. He has made for a very good captain. He is really emerging as a strong leader in the NHL community.”

Hitchcock nodded his head in agreement when asked if Nash seems way more comfortable this year than last. Nash didn’t stumble on his words when describing the difference, which he believes is massive.

“At first it was just tough to walk down to the room and say something, but as the time goes on you start feeling more comfortable and you get a better relationship with each other,” Nash told NHL.com. “If I need anything relayed from the players I can go down there no problem. He’s a pretty easy guy to talk to and he’s pretty open with me, too. He lets me know what’s going on in the coach’s room and what he’s thinking for game plans and upcoming events, things like that.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Is Pronger The Leading Norris Candidate?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

If Chris Pronger keeps playing the way he has through the first quarter of the season and remains injury free, he could be on the verge of doing something truly remarkable.

In what has been a rather wide-open race for the Norris Trophy, Pronger has installed himself as the favorite so far. Should he win the Norris, he will have gone eight full seasons (nine years if you include the lockout) between being named the league’s top defenseman, something no other player has ever done before.

Pronger currently leads all players in ice time at 26:47 per game, is on pace for a career-high 73 points and is second on his team – third in the league – to Matt Carle in plus-minus at plus-13.

Anyone who saw this coming, you might want to apply for a job with the Anaheim Ducks, who saw fit to keep Scott Niedermayer instead of extending Pronger’s contract.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Early Playoff Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Mathematically, then, 14 of 16 teams that had a playoff berth a year ago now held on to those positions. If that holds true this year then look for playoff regulars the Rangers, Montreal, Carolina, Anaheim and Vancouver to be on the outside looking in.

more on this topic plus additional NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 23, 2009) —San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 22.

Continue Reading »

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ESPN Power Rankings- 4 Western Conference Teams In The Top 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

1. Chicago
2. San Jose
3. New Jersey
4. Calgary
5. Detroit

See the rest and a comment about each team at ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Rathje And The Flyers Cap

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Mike Rathje has not played an NHL game since early in the 2006/07 season, yet he is an important part of the Philadelphia Flyers salary cap strategy.  At the conclusion of the lockout (in 2005), Rathje signed a $17.5 million five year contract with the Flyers.  This deal turned out to be one that the Flyers soon regretted.  They found a solution which has allowed them to have a payroll exceeding the cap in the many years that Rathje has been hurt.  The Flyers placed him on long term injured reserve with back and hip problems in 2006 and have left him there ever since.  Rathje last attempted to play in the 2007 training camp, but when he couldn’t make the team he stayed on the LTIR. 

The CBA rules allow team to exceed to salary cap by the salaries of LTIR players if this is needed to pay for the replacements for those players.  This means that the Flyers can have up to $3.5 million in extra salary cap room by leaving Rathje on LTIR (assuming they are at the cap when his salary hit is taken each year).  This is a preferable situation to buying out his contract.  If they buy out his contract (although they pay him less), their salary cap room is reduced by the amount of the buyout.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Bruins Getting Healthier With Savard Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Marc Savard, a sometimes impatient patient, did what he was told. For bone strength, he diligently drank milk, although he sometimes opted for the chocolate variety, just to break up the moo-notony.

Once a day, he applied an electric bone stimulator, shooting silent and painless healing rays for 20 minutes into and around the fractured bone in his left foot that sidelined him last month.

“I don’t know if that helps, might be a gimmick, who knows?’’ offered the Bruins’ top center, who is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow night in St. Louis after a five-week absence. “All I know is, I’m ready to get back and I’m glad about that. It will be great to get back in there with the boys.’’

Meanwhile, things have been looking better for the battered Bruins, who got top winger Milan Lucic (fractured finger) back in the lineup Thursday and proceeded to win two straight games.

continued

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

Celebrating Uwe Krupp Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Just writing the name “Uwe Krupp” brought back a little tingle to my fingers.

It’s probably been about three years since I have done that, and that’s far too long. Uwe Krupp will be back in Denver Monday night for “Uwe Krupp Night” at the Pepsi Center, and even though I have Monday off, I can’t miss Uwe Krupp Night. So I’m going to go, maybe just sit in the stands and watch the game with the rest of you. Screw the press box. The view is the worst in the building anyway.

Lots of old memories when Krupp’s name comes up, none bigger, of course, than the goal he scored to win the 1996 Stanley Cup. It’s a night I can never forget, naturally, not the least of which because I still have a t-shirt with the front page of the next day’s Denver Post reproduced on it. Ever see a t-shirt with a story you wrote on it? It’s a weird thing, believe me.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: uwe+krupp

Monday Morning Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

• You watch the Capitals on Saturday night and see Mike Green commit a horrific giveaway in the final seconds of OT and you think there’s no chance the talented blueliner can be part of the Olympic. He’s super-skilled, but oh-so-casual and a little too-cool-for-school.

• Everyone’s focussed on the Phil Kessel trade. But a far more costly transaction for the Leafs in the short term was that which sent Pavel Kubina to Atlanta for Garnet Exelby.

• Georges Laraque sticks out a knee on Nicklas Kronwall, Wade Belak viciously reefs Jarred Boll in the groin - in the grand tradition of the departed Chris Simon, it’s usually the NHL policemen who commit the crimes.

Laraque, by the way, should be gone for 20 games. But don’t hold your breath.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fisher Has Game On And Off The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Mike Fisher made a vow to his girlfriend of almost a year when she wrote a love note to him for all the world to see.

“I told her that when my CD came out, I’d return the favour,” the Senators centre said with a laugh after Saturday’s 5-3 win over Buffalo.

In an exclusive interview with Sun Media, Fisher also chuckled when asked if he had any immediate plans to propose to country singing superstar Carrie Underwood, who he has been dating since near the start of this year.

“Who are you, Ellen?” he joked, referring to Ellen DeGeneres, the popular daytime TV host who last week pressed Underwood with similar questions.

While saying there are no marriage plans in the immediate future, Fisher admitted Underwood is just his second “serious girlfriend.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+underwood, mike+fisher

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