Kukla's Korner

A Successful ‘Team’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

...as the Wild officially begins its next chapter tonight against the Blue Jackets, the new regime—GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Todd Richards—promises collaboration.

“He still will have final say on line combinations and usage of players and I’ll still have final say on trades and player signings,” said Fletcher, beginning his 17th year in the NHL and first as a full-time, non-interim GM. “But to think we operate independently of each other in today’s NHL is naïve and really dangerous.

“Maybe I have a different perspective because I grew up the son of a very successful NHL GM [Cliff Fletcher] who had terrific relationships with his coaches. But I believe if the coach and the manager are not completely in synch and supportive of each other in terms of decision-making, you have no chance of being successful.”

more plus some interesting notes on some Risebrough/Lemaire issues when they were with Minnesota…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Too Many Teams In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,

According to the Arizona Republic, the Coyotes were close to a sellout for the regular-season home opener Oct. 10 thanks to cheap tickets and a “Welcome Back WhiteOut” campaign that includes a white T-shirt and pom-poms.

While that may work as a short-term emergency strategy, it simply erodes long-term revenues even further, said Powers.

“What was a difficult sell previously has become an impossible task today with the uncertainty of relocation hanging over the team. This team is finished in Phoenix – it is just a matter of time.”

Roger Noll, a professor of sports economics at Stanford University, said the league is about five teams too heavy for the economic realities of professional hockey.

“(Bettman) should have stopped five teams ago,” he said. “It isn’t going to work.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Victory For Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

If either Gary Bettman or his deputy, Bill Daly, is thinking about asking for a raise, now is the time to do it.

The NHL commissioner is the toast of not only the league’s owners after U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum rejected Jim Balsillie’s bid for the Phoenix Coyotes, but he’s being hailed by other professional sports owners as well.

The NHL may be stuck with massive legal bills and the obligation to continue paying for the Coyotes’ financial hemorrhaging, but Bettman’s win – and this is very much considered a personal win for him and NHL deputy commissioner Daly – means a court affirmed the league’s right to choose who owns its franchises and, most important, where they operate.

Bettman is taking shots from angry hockey fans in Canada, who blame him for blocking a second NHL team in Southern Ontario.

But as far as the owners are concerned, it is his biggest victory since the 2004-05 lockout, when he broke the players’ union, which has since degenerated into a laughingstock.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Reaugh & Strangis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News,

More than any other play-by-play and analyst team, they are ambassadors for their sport. Back when the Stars were looking for a new analyst in 1996, Strangis was among those who recommended Reaugh. They are not particularly close away from the ice but exhibit rare chemistry in the booth.

On the eve of another season, Hot Air, in separate interviews, posed 10 probing questions to each:

If you could work with a different partner who would you choose?

Reaugh: “Danny Gallivan. He was my idol. He was the voice of Hockey Night in Canada when I was growing up. He had the most eloquent, intelligent call of the rises and falls in a game.”

Strangis: “Howard Cosell. “He broke a lot of conventions and gave people a different view of what sports broadcasting can be.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daryl+reaugh, ralph+strangis

Semenov’s Family Says No To The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Zipay of Newsday,

On Wednesday, the Rangers thought that 28-year-old Alexei Semenov was signed and sealed as a No. 6 or 7 defenseman. Now, they’re hunting for his replacement.

Semenov, a second-round draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers who recently played in San Jose and Florida, had called general manager Glen Sather for a training camp tryout and played well enough to earn a one-year, $600,000 contract. The team announced that the 6-6 Russian had come to terms Wednesday evening and on Thursday, Semenov’s agent, Allan Walsh, posted it on Twitter.

But Thursday, an “issue” developed, the team said. Friday, Semenov, who made the trip here but watched the Penguins’ morning skate with Sather in the stands, left the team.

“He agreed, his agent agreed, but his wife didn’t,” Sather said. “He couldn’t talk his family into it. In all my years of dealing with players, I’ve never had that happen before. He was crying.”

a bit more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+semenov

Samuelsson Bring A Little Wings Structure With Him To Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

It’s fine to pass around the praise, but Samuelsson made a smart play and he was acquired in free agency to contribute points and poise to the Canucks. Did he not take that from being in the Red Wings fold?

“That’s a good question,” said Samuelsson. “What did I take? I don’t know what I took, but it was a great atmosphere with a great structure and everybody knows what they are doing. What more can I say? They don’t expect anybody to sneak under the radar.

“If you’re not accountable, you’re not on the team. And that’s a good thing. It puts pressure on you, but if you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be there anyway. They expect a lot.”

more on the Canucks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikael+samuelsson

Quick Glove

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chris Mason was the dfference in the Blues win over the Wings today.

Check out the glove save on Dan Cleary.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+mason

Kovalev Joins The RDS Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Kovalev at RDS (translated),

It is with pleasure that I join the team of the first RDS.ca to keep contact with you, but also to let you know what happens with my new training. I also take this column to comment on topical issues, as the sad news that will force Andrei Markov to miss the next four months of operations.

At first, I want to talk about my team, the Senators. I’ll be on the second trio with Peter Regin (center) and Mike Fisher, who left his position as center. I am confident that things will go well because, first, I feel very good and secondly because I know we have a solid team. Just look at our first trio (Michalec-Spezza-Alfredsson) to understand that we will be dangerous.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+kovalev

Lightning Have A New Co-Assistant GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The Lightning made a notable administrative move Friday, naming Imran Khan as a co-assistant general manager after the contract of Claude Loiselle, in the job since 2005 but hired by then-GM Jay Feaster, was not renewed. His contract actually expired on July 31 but remained with the team through Sept. 30.

GM Brian Lawton said the change was part of a process of getting the organization to “run more efficiently.”

In an interesting twist, Khan is a former intern of Lawton’s at the Octagon sports management agency, where Lawton ran the hockey division; interesting, because Loiselle also is a former Lawton intern. But Khan, a 2005 Yale graduate, is only 26 and never has held such a high-level position on a team. For the last year he was in charge of business development and strategic planning for the Lightning.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: imran+khan

Stars Extend Loui Eriksson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

FRISCO, Tex.  – Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the hockey club has signed left wing Loui Eriksson to a six-year contract extension worth $25.5 million. Eriksson, who’s current contract was set to expire at the end of this season, is now signed through the 2015-16 season.

“We are very pleased that we were able to agree to this long-term contract extension with Loui,” said Nieuwendyk. “He is a big part of our present and future and we feel his potential is just scratching the surface. Loui made great strides in his game last season and he has continued to impress as one of our best players in training camp. The future is very bright for him and we’re excited that his future will be with the Dallas Stars.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: loui+eriksson

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