Kukla's Korner

This Won’t Turn Out Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

This Alexandre Burrows-Stephane Auger situation is going to get messy. It’s the proverbial can of worms for everyone involved – the league, the NHL Officials’ Association, referee Auger, player Burrows and the entire Vancouver Canucks’ organization – and it’s a story that is not likely to go away any time soon.

If the events of last night unfolded as Burrows has alleged – and there is plenty of evidence, circumstantial and otherwise – to suggest they did more or less, then the NHL will have no choice but to take some form of disciplinary action against Auger, be it a reprimand, a fine, a suspension or an evaluation that could go into his file and cost him playoff games and/or money along the line or maybe even his job.

continued

In case you missed the video evidence earlier today on KK, watch it here...

added 12:47pm, from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell confirmed that a league investigation has begun, and a fellow referee said Tuesday morning that Auger will face serious questioning before being allowed back on the ice to work another game.

Reached in Vancouver Tuesday morning, Auger refused to comment to sportsnet.ca. Director of officiating Terry Gregson did not immediately return a text message requesting comment.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexandre+burrows, stephane+auger

Just Keep Watching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My NHL.com blog today…

Why do I stay awake until 1:00am to watch NHL games that don’t even involve the team I follow?

Why do I get up at 6:00am to catch up on all the hockey news I may have missed during the few hours I was asleep?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gonchar’s Elbow On Clutterbuck Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The Wild fans got Cal Clutterbuck’s back by booing Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar the rest of Monday’s game, but Clutterbuck was steaming after the Wild’s 4-3 victory because Gonchar took a flying elbow at his head in the third period.

Gonchar received a five-minute major for elbowing, although the Wild didn’t score on the power play.

“He better hope he retires at the end of the year, I’ll tell you that,” Clutterbuck said, a cut on the bridge of his nose. “Somebody’s going to hurt him before the end of the year. Someone will. It’s not going to be me, but someone will.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cal+clutterbuck, sergei+gonchar

Cap Issues Ahead For The Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

After deploying our rudimentary accounting skills, it’s hard to see how the pieces fit together for Bob Gainey under the cap next season, what with Carey Price attaining RFA status (to say nothing of the Halaks, Pouliots, D’Agostinis, S. Kostitsyns, Lapierres, etc.) The Habs have $44.8-million committed in salaries for 2010-11 (per capgeek.com), and have 13 players under one-way NHL contracts. Assuming a slight increase in the cap next year, as seems likely, that leaves something in the order of $13-14 million for the remaining 10 guys on the roster.

Although that might be a slight overestimation, as the Habs have dressed 20 players on several occasions this year - perhaps a sign of a Molson austerity regime?

Assuming $4.5-million per year for Plekanec, and that Price and Jaro Halak (also an RFA) average out at something near $3-million each (which sounds optimistic), that leaves, er, nothing for the remaining players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thrashers Franchise Changing Decision

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Ilya Kovalchuk has been the best player in Atlanta Thrasher franchise history.  Ilya Kovalchuk will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.  How will the Atlanta Thrashers handle the likely loss of their best player?  Do they trade him before the NHL trade deadline?  That would trigger a likely end to any hope of contending for a playoff berth this season.  Currently Atlanta sits four points back of eighth seed Montreal in the East Conference with three games in hand.  They are currently mired in a slump where they have won only one of their last eleven games.  Before it started, they looked like a sleeper team that could make some noise in a playoff run.

There are plenty of reasons to imagine that Kovalchuk will not want to return to Atlanta.  Atlanta is a franchise that has never won a playoff game in their history.  Kovalchuk may want a better chance of winning.  Atlanta is not a financially strong franchise.  Atlanta ownership has been fighting one another in court and not put sufficient capital behind the franchise.  They are a strong contender to be one of the next teams that the NHL is forced to keep alive on life support (much like the Phoenix Coyotes).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I see that many people are worried because of my decline in productivity. But the season is long and everybody has slowdowns. Do not worry I will be in my best form by the Olympics and I hope I will not let my country down.

-Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Russia.  More from Malkin at RussiaToday.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin, team+russia

GDT - Game #45: Red Wings at Islanders (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

LAK have “hit the wall”, going 3-7-0 in their last ten, and losing to SJS last night.  IF DET win tonight at NYI (who are 6-3-1 in last ten), they will move into playoff position.  NSH, who did win last night, aren’t setting the world on fire either, 5-5 in their last ten.  Bubba has 57 pts in 46 games; DET are 5 pts back, but have played two fewer games.  Opportunity to close the rankings tonight against an opponent DET should handle easily.  DET is statistically better in every category, and are riding their red-hot Calder candidate again tonight.  Howard, in his last seven games, is 5-1-1, and has a ridiculous .959 save percentage. 

But for the love of gawd, can they do something about the damn PP (not the PK) - - 2-for-42 (4.8%) in the last 13 games - - ugly.

Honestly, I don’t have a good feeling about tonight, then again, I had the same creepy mojo before the Shark game and that ended up pretty well.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Sutter System

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

For more than half a season, (Kevin) Weekes has watched his former coach with his new team and seen Sutter try to implement his way of doing things on a Flames team that has battled through its ups and downs, yet still went into last night’s clash with the Colorado Avalanche atop the NHL’s Northwest Division.

Weekes, who retired after a 13-year pro career, says nothing he’s seen from Sutter has come as a surprise to him.

“He has his system, in terms of the way he wants to do things, what he believes in, why he believes in them and how he wants them executed. He’s very steadfast in those things.

“I know those four things are big for him,” Weekes said.

He understands making things interesting for the coach in Calgary is that New Jersey has had a way of doing things for a generation, compared to a Flames team that had little structure the past couple of years.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

Why Kovalchuk May Leave Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Imagine this scenario: Kovalchuk signs a 10-year contract with Atlanta for $10 million a year. Then, starting next year, outside economic forces push the league’s escrow up from 13 per cent per paycheque to say, 20 per cent.

So now he’s getting $8 million a year.

Then, in 2012, a new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players includes another 24 per cent salary rollback and new limits on term for individual player contracts.

Finally, the Thrashers sell to new ownership, who sensibly give up on Atlanta, moving the team to Kansas City.

So Kovalchuk might end up playing for a sharply devalued, shortened contract in a city in which he doesn’t want to live for owners he doesn’t trust or like.

Now, it’s unlikely all these dynamics would come into play, but they might.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Senators Searching For Help At Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

As the Senators continue their five-game road trip tonight against the Thrashers and struggle to hang onto a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, two league executives told the Sun yesterday that Murray is trying to deal for a centre.

With top centre Jason Spezza sidelined the past three weeks, Mike Fisher struggling and Peter Regin miscast as the No. 1 pivot at the moment, the indications are Murray would like somebody who can play in a top-six role and possibly move to the wing once the team is healthy.

The most consistent centre for the Senators this season has been Chris Kelly, who has looked quite comfortable in his third-line role.

Making a deal is tough with the salary cap, but talk has started to heat up.

“That’s easier said than done,” said one NHL executive. “There’s just not a lot out there right now. Not enough teams are eliminated.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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