Kukla's Korner

Duncan Keith’s Breakout Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

If the NHL had an award for most improved player, Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks should be a strong candidate for it.  I doubt he would win it because players like him often fly beneath the radar of many fans.  Keith is not a top scorer in the league.  He is one of the best defenceman in the league. 

Keith is currently tied for the NHL’s lead in +/- (with Blake Wheeler and David Krejci of Boston) with a +31 rating.  The Boston players come from a team with a better +/-, so their standing is less impressive.  Keith is currently 20th in scoring among defencemen with 32 points and among the league leaders with over 25 minutes played per game.  Defensively Keith is one of the best players in the league.  If the season ended today, I would nominate him for the Norris Trophy ( an award Mike Green should win).

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Best Guess- Pronger Won’t Be Traded This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

My best guess is that the Ducks won’t trade Pronger at the deadline, simply because if they do decide to trade him, they could get a better package this summer.

The Ducks’ issue seems to be that they are being handcuffed by their salary cap, and they need to move one of their major breadwinners to ease their pressure.

Two seasons ago, the Ducks paid more than $13 million for Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger and they won a Stanley Cup. Have they now decided they can’t afford both?

It doesn’t seem as if the Ducks know yet whether Niedermayer is coming back.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Dater Talking Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Lots of rumors flying around tonight. I don’t normally indulge in a lot of “Let’s make up a bunch and hope one of them sticks, then go around claiming we’re a good reporter, while ignoring the 99 we got wrong” type of stuff like many others do. But, hey, it’s getting near deadline time, so let’s trot out a couple I’ve been hearing tonight:

Rumor is the Avs are going to be involved a big, multi-player deal involving an eastern team real soon. Boston or Pittsburgh are the runaway favorite teams said to be likely to be involved. I still can’t get rid of my Chris Drury itch, either. I know that Francois Giguere loves him. But as much I love Drury, too, it’s probably not a great deal for a team like the Avs right now. And I doubt Drury would OK any deal out of New York. But I still rumor-monger about him a bit, I’ll admit.

Could Jordan Staal become an Av? Could be. Could Ryan Whitney? Could be. Could Manny Fernandez? Could be. Could a couple of first-round picks be coming Colorado’s way, along with any of the above players, for someone like Ryan Smyth and/or Jordan Leopold? Could be….

*Update:
Now, some of the folks who were hot on the above rumors are backing off them quite a bit. See how much fun this is, folks? Trying to figure out what hockey GMs will do - basically a giant guessing game.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kopecky’s Turn To Sit

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!) reports Chris Chelios will be a healthy scratch in favor of Brad Stuart tomorrow night, and that the rotation keeps spinning.  Tomas Kopecky will sit too as Kris Draper makes his return after a (misguided) one game absence.

Oh…and a certain scumbag chimed in as well.

The long-time Wings antagonist expects the typical reaction from the Joe Louis Arena crowd.

“No different than what it used to be,’’ Lemieux said. “Don’t expect to become a fan favorite in Detroit, but it’s not a worry of mine. I just worry about playing the game and helping the club as best I can.’‘

 

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Who Knew- Comaring Lecavalier & Stamkos Rookie Seasons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Under Tocchet, the Lightning worked with Stamkos, put him on a weight program, put him in a classroom video situation with assistant Wes Walz. It has helped big-time as Stamkos is playing his best hockey of the season. The there is this: Stamkos, with 10 goals, needs three to tie Vinny Lecavalier’s rookie output in 1998-99, and with 25 points, needs three to tie Lecavalier as well.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos, vinny+lecavalier

Roman Hamrlik Talks to TV Nova in Czech Republic

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Below are some comments from Roman Hamrlik talking about his situation in Montreal, specifically his relationship with Pasquale Mangiola (more on the background available here). Hamrlik was apparently concerned about how his situation has been reported in the Czech press, so the Canadiens gave him permission to speak to one media outlet in his home country.

Here’s the link to the original Czech (including video), but below is the English translation of a segment, provided by a friend of KK who regularly translates material for us.

Canadiens players are not allowed to talk about this to media but Hamrlik was given permission to speak to one Czech TV station and he has chosen TV NOVA.

Lets start with what Hamrlik is saying [about Pasquale Mangiola]:

“When you come to a new city, you don’t know where to go after the games. Sometimes we went for a dinner and that was everything. I provided him with some tickets for hockey games. I didn’t know he was doing some bad things, I didn’t know he has something in common with a, b, c, or d. Drugs or guns or whatever he did. I didn’t know he was involved in this. I didn’t meet this guy this season because I have already known he talks too much about hockey players and he draws attention to himself that he knows us. I didn’t meet him this season. I think this is really big lesson for my next life.”

Important Note: Any errors in this translation are ours, and should not be attributed to anyone else. But it is our belief this is an accurate translation. 

added 2/27/09, Here is a little more thorough translation of the video found at TV Nova…

I provided him with some tickets for hockey games. I didn’t know he was doing some bad things. Where do I know him from? One hockey player introduced us but I wont tell his name. This man used me a little bit, he took pride in knowing me and other players. I think it is difficult to find the right friend here in Montreal - everyone loves you just because you are hockey player, because you play in NHL and because you have money. They dont like you because of who you really are and what kind of person you are. I didn’t know he has something in common with a, b, c, or d. Drugs or guns or whatever he did. I didn’t know he was involved in this. It is sad what happened here but life goes on and nobody is perfect. I know I made mistake that I was somewhere with him but I didn’t meet this guy this season because I have already known he talks too much about hockey players and he draws attention to himself that he knows us. I didn’t meet him this season. I think this is really big lesson for my next life. Every day we learn something new and all of this is unpleasant because of what has been written about me. Nobody knows the truth, just me. I made quite good hockey career during all those years and now it is not good for my name, for my family and especially for my daughter. She doesnt deserve to read those absurdities about her daddy. I am really sorry there are lies in Czech newspapers. When you come to a new city, you don’t know where to go after the games. Sometimes we went for a dinner and that was everything.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roman+hamrlik

Hit Me Mick.  Again.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Once again, I take no credit for this. Well, I do…but I didn’t invent it.  I just read about Jack Edwards Bingo over at Puck Daddy. Read it if you want.  Go ahead.  But when you’re finished?  We’ve got business to attend to.  We’re going to take Live Blogs to an all-new low.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Coyotes Getting Financial Breaks From Glendale

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brahm Resnik of the Arizona Republic,

The City of Glendale has been quietly bailing out the money-losing Phoenix Coyotes for several months, according to documents obtained by 12 News.

A record of lease payments by the Coyotes shows the city has been letting the team play virtually rent-free at Jobing.com Arena for seven months. Based on past payments, the break could be worth up to $4 million over the course of a year.

The city is giving the team the multimillion-dollar break even as it tries to plug a multimillion-dollar hole in its own budget.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keep Or Trade Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

One last point on Kovalev, though. Here’s what one GM told me Monday: “You can’t trade Alex Kovalev, pure and simple. The East is wide open. With all due respect to Boston and Washington, all eight teams that make it in the East have almost an equal shot at making it to the Cup finals. That’s why you can’t trade Kovalev. You won’t be able to replace him for these playoffs.”

read on as Pierre and Scott Burnside discuss trading Kovalev…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Full Speed Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin have a little fun.

This bit is from a Thursday night special on the NHL Network at 7pm ET, featuring “A Day in the Life of Mike Green.”

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, mike+green

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