Kukla's Korner

Loving The Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News,

On a snowy night this past February, I became a kid again.

I’ve taken my children to Disney World, been to Sesame Place and walked through more toy stores than I care to remember, but it wasn’t until Ryan - my 4-year-old son - and I walked into Nassau Coliseum on the night of Feb. 3 that I truly felt like I was back in the glory days of my youth.

Being an Islanders fan growing up in Manhattan wasn’t easy. All my friends were Rangers fans, and half the team lived in the building across the street from me, as I would often run into Ron Greschner, Ron Duguay and Barry Beck at the local diner. Sure, I asked for some autographs every now and then, but they were never displayed in my room the way my Bobby Nystrom or John Tonelli signatures were.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It has been a relatively busy summer with free agency and some trades.  It’s died down a bit and I think you’ve seen some GMs show restraint and patience, but there’s still been some big deals out there. I think once the [Dany] Heatley situation is resolved too, you will see more trades and signings as well as when camp gets closer, teams will need to address cap issues and fill out rosters. It will heat up soon.”

-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA.  More about Kelly from James Murphy at NESN.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

Forsberg The Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

The Latest Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Hockey,

Richard Labbe (La Presse) reports former Habs blueliner Francis Bouillon is expected to know the identity of his new team soon. The NY Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed interested in Bouillon. He could have a new contract by the end of this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was erroneously reported earlier this week he’d signed with the Rangers. The Blackhawks and Penguins are in the market for affordable blueline depth so they’d be good alternatives for Bouillon if the Rangers deal doesn’t go through.

more from Lyle on Theodore and Tanguay…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Re-Thinking The Visnovsky Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

If the Edmonton Oilers could get a do-over, would they move Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll for Lubomir Visnovsky?

Would they have felt the crushing need to get the pro’s pro Visnovsky from Los Angeles last summer if they knew that Denis Grebeshkov would evolve into a fine puck-mover in his own right, giving the Oilers a surplus of offensive guys on the back-end? enthusiasm, not to mention his ability to play the body.

In addition, they have yet to fill Stoll’s role on draws, as a right-hander. He wins 56 to 58 per cent of his faceoffs. He may never be the second-line centre they thought he would be in his early days with the Oilers, when he had 68 points one season, but he can (a) play the point on the power play, (b) shoot a ton and (c) check and win faceoffs, something the Oilers could always use more of.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Should He Be On The Football Field?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press,

Michigan State hockey player A.J. Sturges released a statement Thursday to media members criticizing the football program’s decision to reinstate Glenn Winston, the sophomore running back who injured him during an off-campus altercation in October.

“In my opinion, the immediate reinstatement of Glenn Winston to the football team reflects very poorly on Michigan State athletics,” Sturges wrote. “This decision has established weak precedent for future athletes involved in violent crimes.”

Sturges said he suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and had to have five stitches inside his mouth after taking a punch to the side of the head from Winston. Sturges missed the 2008-09 season and said he was forced to drop academic courses because of memory issues and headaches resulting from the injuries.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: a.j.+sturges, glenn+winston

Excitement Building In LA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,

...for the first time in years, there is excitement about hockey in Los Angeles—and it seems real and feels real. At the end of August, the Kings are looking to capitalize on that excitement with a three-day fan extravaganza called “Hockey Fest ‘09” that brings together the present-day team with the club’s stars from the past.

“When I first got here, not one player stayed here over the summer and worked out,” said Lombardi, who’s entering his fourth season as GM. “Here we were in the most beautiful place to play and not one player stayed, which is abnormal.

“This year, we had bunch of guys here at the end of June not only working out but pushing themselves, which is a huge step in building a culture here, building an identity.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Olympic Questions & Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Less than six months until the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Less than a week until the first of the summer orientation camps that will provide a first glimpse into what the United States and Canadian squads might look like come February.

With that in mind, here are some of the burning questions and Olympic odds and ends as the clock ticks down:

American GM Brian Burke has made no secret of how he plans to build his Olympic team, and that’s with plenty of sand. Look for two forward lines with as much skill as the Americans can collect and two lines with a lot of in-your-face personality. Same goes for the blue line, as Burke will want size and mobility that can hopefully withstand opposing forecheckers and move the puck quickly and smartly out of the defensive zone.

continued with many of the Olympic teams discussed…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Balsillie Shot Down By Daly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

According to the National Hockey League, “there is no truth to the suggestion” that the Toronto Maple Leafs are blocking another team from moving into southern Ontario.

PSE Sports & Entertainment, the company Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie formed to pursue ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes, filed a document into bankruptcy court on Wednesday accusing the Leafs of exercising their territorial veto to prevent Balsillie of purchasing the Coyotes and then moving them to Hamilton….

“At no time has the Toronto franchise or any representative of the Toronto franchise voiced an opinion at a Board of Governors Meeting even remotely consistent with the allegation that is being made,” NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly wrote in an e-mail to the National Post Thursday.

“In other words, its a total fabrication, that has no basis in fact or in law.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Like I said last year at the end of the playoffs, now there’s no doubt that Varly and [Michal] Neuvirth are the goalies of the future. They are great goalies.  But for myself, if you look at the season, out of 82 games I still played [57] and had a pretty good record and was pretty consistent toward the end.”

“I don’t see myself as a backup.  My frame of mind was to enter the summer, my off-ice training and the season as the No. 1 guy. [Whether] or not that was the case, that was going to be my approach. We all know in hockey, No. 1 is only a title. It’s still on the ice that you have to earn your points.”

-Jose Theodore of the Washington Capitals.  More on Theodore from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jose+theodore

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