Kukla's Korner

A Look At Willie O’Ree

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Black Athlete,

Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.

“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.

He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.

“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.

more

Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week. 

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: snoop+dogg, willie+o'ree

December Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,

A few observations now that most NHL teams have reached the one-third mark of the 2007-08 season:

* Henrik Zetterberg continues to pile up points, as do the Red Wings, making him the early favorite to win the Hart Trophy as Most Valuable Player. Zetterberg would join Peter Forsberg, who won the award with the Avalanche in 2003, as the only Swedish-born players to be so honored.

* While Ryan Smyth has been everything the Avalanche could have hoped for after signing him as a free agent, Scott Hannan hasn’t yet lived up to expectations. Maybe it’s more difficult for a defenseman to adjust to new surroundings, but Hannan is a quality player and he shouldn’t be lugging around a plus/minus rating that looks more like Tiger Woods’ golf score after a couple of rounds.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Andy Murray Not Happy With Power Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News-Democrat,

“To me, the work ethic of our penalty-killing players is not matched by the work ethic of our power-play players,” Murray said. “The power-play guys can say it’s easier to kill penalties, and it is. But we’re also paying some guys some pretty good dollars to make our power play work.”...

For the season, the Blues are successful on 13.3 percent of their power-play chances (17-for-128). And while the team’s overall play has improved since Murray’s arrival last December, the power-play remains a major concern.

“We’re not seeing enough goals on our power play,” Murray said. “We’re not seeing the extra work to battle for pucks, to come up with loose pucks, to make sure you outnumber your opponent around the puck.

“There were some guys trying to be difference-makers, but there weren’t enough of them.”

more on the Blues…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray

Right Head, Wrong Body

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

When goalie Ilya Bryzgalov opened up the Christmas card the Coyotes are sending out this season, he saw his smiling face.

He immediately realized that the leg pads were not his—and then he noticed that it wasn’t his body either.

Since he was not on the team at the time the photo was taken, his face was superimposed over the face of David Aebischer, who is now a goaltender in Europe.

Bryzgalov, taken aback a little at first, joked that he’d have to take somebody to court.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Boston Looking At Columbus As Trade Partner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

One longtime scout, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said last night at the Garden he believed the Bruins were in talks with Columbus, which will be in town tomorrow night.

The Blue Jackets, who look capable of landing the franchise’s first playoff berth, were rumored in the offseason to be trying to move talented Russian winger Nikolai Zherdev, who has a history of being somewhat of a lone ranger on the ice.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canes Not Against Making A Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

“I wouldn’t consider any options at this point, but I do think it’s time for me to look at everything a lot closer now,” Rutherford said Thursday. “All teams are going to go through ups and downs but I think our down has lasted too long. And it’s more the fact that in given games we look really good and given games we look really bad. There’s no in-between with us.

“That’s troublesome. I’m concerned about that. When we can prepare and play so well one night and play so poorly the next night, that’s not a good sign.”

Rutherford said the trade market is stagnant at the moment, although he continues to make calls.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Why The Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

So what happened? What changed?

How did “Not For Sale” change to “About To Be Sold”?

How did this go from Daryl Katz being given the bum’s rush by Cal Nichols and the Edmonton Investors Group to Nichols standing first in line to sell his shares to the Rexall owner?

In August, Nichols announced “a resounding vote to reject this offer.”

Remember the quotes?

continued

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

Kane Returns To Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

It’s just one 19-year-old rookie’s first NHL game in his hometown, but Patrick Kane has been thinking about the Blackhawks’ visit to Buffalo for quite awhile—and with good reason.

The NHL thought it was a big enough deal to schedule a media teleconference so Kane could give his thoughts on Saturday’s game. The Buffalo media sent representatives to Chicago this week to shadow Kane for a few days, and the Sabres took the unusual step of opening Saturday’s morning skate to the public so more fans can see the No. 1 draft pick skate live.

‘‘It’s not just another game. It’ll be a special night for him,’’ Hawks coach Denis Savard said. ‘‘I’ve been through it. There are a lot of distractions. A lot of people want to see you, and you want to see them—but you’ve got a job to do.’‘

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Kaberle Keeping It Simple

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Kaberle admits he had trouble adjusting to the coach’s adage of keeping it simple. Once he did, things got better, although part of that was Maurice reuniting him with McCabe, his familiar partner for so many years. That move made both of them better, mainly because they’re comfortable with each other on the ice.

“We know everyone has to start with himself,” Kaberle said of efforts to improve as a team. “Then everyone looks better afterward and that’s what we did. We simplified our game in our zone and tried to play in [the opposition’s] zone. And keep it simple.

“Sometimes, the big play is not there and the simple play is just getting the puck out of the zone and keep it simple in the neutral zone.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Hold Off The Bolts Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

If nothing else, the attempt being made by Hollywood producer Oren Koules to buy the Lightning put on hold any decision owner Palace Sports & Entertainment could make about cutting payroll.

That means any discussions about trading Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, Brad Richards or Dan Boyle are, for now anyway, off the table

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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