Kukla's Korner

Goaltending Situation For Florida Settled Soon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

“We’ll either go back with the same duo or explore some trades,” Martin said. “There are scenarios we’re studying.”
Ed Belfour, Alex Auld and Craig Anderson, all of whom could become free agents July 1, remain in the mix.
Bringing back Belfour and Auld seems extremely risky. Belfour was excellent last season, but he’s 42, has a history of back problems and has serious off-ice issues. Auld lost his confidence and didn’t win a game after Dec. 7.
Aside from Fernandez, other goalies available in trade include either Evgeni Nabokov or Vesa Toskala from San Jose, backup Ilya Bryzgalov from Anaheim and Jose Theodore from Colorado.

more

Filed in: Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Andrew Ference Gets Involved

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald,

More recently, Ference has also gotten involved in the Right To Play program, which brings sports to disadvantaged parts of the world such as Africa, Palestine and Asia. On June 28, Ference and fellow volunteer, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque, will head to Tanzania to establish athletic programs.
“Where I’ll be going to in Tanzania, we’ll be working with kids who’ve orphaned by AIDS, former child soldiers or refugees, kids who really haven’t had a childhood and have lived five lifetimes in the span of 10 years,” Ference said. “We’re setting up programs where they can have sports, whether it’s through school or community teams. Where I’m going, a lot of the teams the kids can play on will be in the schools so it’s kind of a double-edged sword where you get the kids playing and having fun and interacting with other children and also getting to school because that’s where the sports are. Immunization is also done through sports.

more

Filed in: Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“No Way”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Press-Enterprise,

On Thursday night, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Pronger and Brad May were returning from their appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with the Cup, when one of them had to find a restroom. The limo driver stopped at Denny’s, and two hockey fans happened to be going into the restaurant.
“Jigger and Pronger get out, and the fans say, ‘No way!’ ” Ducks publicist Alex Gilchrist recalled. “The one guy peeks in and says, ‘No. That’s not the Stanley Cup, is it?’
“And Jigger takes it out and says, ‘Here.’ “
Whoever they are, they’ll be dining out on that moment for years.
“That was pretty cool,” Giguere said.

read on

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s A Shame

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

With poker getting high ratings and with the success of all the collegiate sports ESPN has dipped into since dropping hockey, the league would have to beg the network to take the game back. Even then there’s not much likelihood given NBC’s staggeringly poor ratings.
It’s a shame, because at times this spring, the entertainment level during playoffs was high, much better than during the regular season. The pace was sometimes electric and the hitting often spectacular, with the better officials working and some intensity blossoming.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Anniversary We’d Like To Forget

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

Now, on the grassy median that splits Woodward Avenue just south of Big Beaver Road in Birmingham, there is nothing. There is no reminder that this sliver of grass was the site of Detroit’s most notorious limousine accident.
This Wednesday, June 13, 10 years will have passed since that crash, 10 years since this region spilled into the streets celebrating a Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, and 10 years since that celebration was stopped cold after a limousine carrying two Red Wings and the team’s masseur hopped a curb on southbound Woodward, veered into a pole in the median and smashed into that tree, leaving two of them in intensive care.

read on

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canucks Looking For Grit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Watching the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup has reinforced Vigneault’s admiration of old-school, hard-knocks, bad-attitude hockey, something he thinks the Canucks need more of, which should excite any fan of in-your-face hockey.
“There’s a lot of good in the new NHL—less clutching and grabbing and a bigger reliance on speed,” Vigneault said. “But, for me, I’m always going to be a fan of hitting and checking and—I know a lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this—fighting.
“Anaheim had the most fighting majors in the NHL. I’d like us to be a little more grittier in that side of the game.”

more

Filed in: Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Take A Look Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

The commissioner has plenty of work ahead in legitimizing a league that for years was perceived as irrelevant. Hockey’s television ratings, laughable at their height, were down 20 percent in the United States and 18 percent in Canada from last year for the Stanley Cup between the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators.
Bettman spent years trying to sell people on the strength of the league when anybody paying attention knew otherwise. But the opposite is true in this case. The NHL isn’t nearly as weak as TV ratings would suggest. The salary cap is expected to increase again next season, a sign the league has a strong revenue stream.
Take a closer look, and you’ll see Bettman’s vision from the mid-1990s slowly taking form.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Celebration- Ducks Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

More than 15,000 fans crowded into the Honda Center parking lot Saturday evening to celebrate the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions Ducks. Fans arrived as early as 8 a.m. to secure a spot for the celebration, which lasted from 6:30 p.m., rolled on as the sun went down and concluded just before 9 p.m.
After some pregame musical entertainment and video on the several giant screens located around the parking lot, the Ducks arrived via double-decker bus down Katella Avenue. They slowly made their way down the red carpet, stopping along the way to receive congratulations from fans who had staked out spots along the walkway.

continued

image
pic via Reuters

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Interested In Drury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

As an over-35-year-old signing a one-year contract, Brendan Shanahan would be eligible to receive signing, games-played and performance bonuses that would allow the Rangers to exceed the cap by 7.5 percent or alternately be applied against the 2008-09 cap if they didn’t have that space. Thus, Shanahan, who played for $4 million last season, could sign a deal for a cap-applied base of $2 million with readily attainable bonuses to allow him to earn another $2 million without jeopardizing the Blueshirts’ position.
Folks around the league who presume Chris Drury will leave Buffalo to play in either L.A. or Colorado are overlooking the Big Moment Kid’s lifelong desire to play the Big Stage on Broadway, and the reciprocal interest the Rangers’ organization has in him.

more from Brooks, including the cap will now be around $48.5M…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Dave King Interested In Columbus Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

In 1997, Dave King moved to Japan and helped get the country’s fledgling hockey program off the ground in time to play host to the Olympics in Nagano.
In 2000, he became the Blue Jackets’ first coach.
Since being fired in 2003, King, 59, has coached in Germany, Sweden and Russia. He spent two years in Siberia—willingly.
The man loves a challenge. And now, it seems, he’s ready for another one.
As the Blue Jackets’ search for a general manager drags on, King, according to a well-placed source in Canada, has made it known that he would like to be considered.

continued

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

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