Kukla's Korner

Time to Start Losing

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,

So here’s the thing, if you are the Los Angeles Kings or the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is probably in your best interest – speaking big picture, that is – to lose the remainder of your games.

It would be better for both teams – and probably Florida, Tampa Bay and Buffalo, too – if they just gave up on this year and did everything in their power to get the top pick in the 2008 Entry Draft; in all likelihood Steven Stamkos.

The problem is: How do you tell 20 players, who are essentially auditioning for next year, as well as a coaching staff whose career might possibly hang in the balance with every victory or defeat, that you want to tank the year?

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: coaching, prospects

Staios Drawing interest

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe has already come out and said he won’t be trading any of his “good players.” An admirable concept, to be sure, but if teams offer him a “better” player for one of his “good” players, Lowe would be a fool not to listen.

And it seems there is interest in at least one of his veterans. As one Western Conference GM (who spoke on condition of anonymity) told thehockeynews.com Tuesday, Edmonton blueliner Steve Staios might be an attractive alternative to a team that loses out on the upcoming Brian Campbell trade deadline sweepstakes.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+staios

A Testament To The Human Spirit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

There is rock bottom and then there is the cold knowledge of what rock bottom will look like. It was 13 years ago that Richard Souray, father of soon-to-be NHLer Sheldon Souray, decided to choose sharing his son’s life over life with the bottle.

“I knew that Sheldon was going to be drafted. And I knew that I would at least be around the periphery of it,” Souray told ESPN.com in a recent interview. “And I also knew he didn’t need a drunken dad around.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Move Sundin To The Ducks & Don’t Re-sign Him

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams at AOL Canada,

If it were left to me, I would deal Sundin by the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline, and send him to Anaheim as a matter of fact. Then I wouldn’t bring Sundin back in the fold this summer when the big Swede is an unrestricted free agent.

This is the ONLY course the Leafs should plot regarding Sundin if, as ownership says, it is serious about making things right with the storied Toronto franchise.

Think of it this way: You have to get bad, and bad for a couple of years, before you can get good. And Sundin is the ticket to both destinations.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Nix The Slogan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune,

Created by a mixture of passion, anger and frustration over a close defeat, the phrase “Commit to the Indian” wasn’t something Blackhawks coach Denis Savard planned on becoming the team’s official slogan.

And it won’t be.

Club President John McDonough said Tuesday the organization won’t pursue using the phrase Savard uttered during a postgame rant Thursday night after the Hawks’ 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

continued (reg. may be req.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Iginla Searching For Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Herald,

Iginla popped in a puck Jan. 5 at Los Angeles—part of a three-point night, not to mention his fifth tally in three outings—but zilch since.

This “little bit of a down cycle”—as coach Mike Keenan refers to it—marks his longest dry spell since November/December 2005 when Iginla went nine games before hanging a two-spot on the New Jersey Devils.

But it hasn’t been for a lack of trigger-pulling.

In these seven performances, he’s cranked 28 pucks on enemy goalkeepers.

“No, no, this is just a little tight patch,” says Iginla. “It feels good. I’ve had some chances. I’ve probably got to get to the net a little bit more. But it’s important not to think about it when the game comes….”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarome+iginla

Move Emery To Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

If Senators general manager Bryan Murray has had his fill of Emery and is already making inquiries about a trade for another goalie, he should zero in on the Atlanta Thrashers and offer general manager and interim coach Don Waddell a package, which would include Emery, to primarily secure the guy who was sent to Atlanta 21/2 years ago for Dany Heatley: Marian Hossa.

Sure, this might be the biggest fantasy or pie-in-the-sky scenario of the year. Yet speculation is rife about a Hossa trade because talks to get the player, who becomes an unrestricted free agent come June, re-signed to a multi-year contract aren’t going smoothly. Hossa, one of the best two-way players in the game, was a favourite in Ottawa before former general manager John Muckler pulled the rug from under him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa, ray+emery

No Sale In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

MacTavish dubbed Tuesday night’s fiasco “a humbling, humbling effort,” which was an accurate, but not quite adequate descriptor for the dreadful occasion.

And, with the Oilers seven points out of a playoff spot and the Feb. 26 trade deadline just 27 days away, don’t expect GM Kevin Lowe to go all Plan B on the faithful and jeopardize the future. But that sort of resolve will be tested by games like this one.

“I like our team overall, and we’re not trading any of our good players,” Lowe had said, earlier Tuesday. “I’m not going to do a deal for next year.

“If there’s something that can help us for this year, I’m not going to mortgage any of the young guys or any of that stuff.”

more on the Oilers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+lowe

No Suspension For Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

As a player, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made a living out of checking opponents into the third row.

So he chose his words carefully Tuesday when asked about Colin Campbell’s decision to let Georges Laraque’s hit from behind on Steve Downie last week go unpunished.

“The fact that Steve was able to come back, does that mean there shouldn’t be a suspension?” Holmgren asked rhetorically. “I’m sure there’s something to that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Posturing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Don’t be fooled by that little charade this past weekend — the one in which National Hockey League Players’ Association head Paul Kelly chastised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for scheduling a game in Europe next season.

It’s all part of the game as Kelly tried to find his footing in his new job.

The source of Kelly’s difficulties is the fact that he represents a diverse group. He’s got some of the bend-over-and-take-it variety. They were the ones who led the revolt against one of Kelly’s predecessors, Bob Goodenow.

continued

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

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