Kukla's Korner

Would Brind’Amour Walk Away From $3 Million?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

The Canes’ Rod Brind’Amour, the oldest player on the team at 39, said today that no decision has been on his future with the team.

Brind’Amour had his exit interview today but said he would talk with general manager Jim Rutherford at a later date about next season. “I want to hear what they tell me. I respect Jim a lot.,” he said….

Brind’Amour signed a contract extension after the Canes’ run to the 2006 Stanley Cup. He is to be paid $3 million next season, although with a cap hit of $3.6 million, and the Canes could buy out the final year for $2 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+brind'amour

Kerry Fraser Made The Right Choices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Before the season started, Fraser was given his choice of two games and he selected the 2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day in Boston between the Bruins and Flyers. His next choice was the season-ender in Philadelphia. Fraser, who grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, is a Philadelphia-area resident.

He also had his choice of officiating partners and selected referee Kelly Sutherland and linesmen Don Henderson and Darren Gibbs. All four wore Fraser’s No. 2 in tribute to the NHL’s senior referee.

“Who woulda thunk it,” Fraser said after the game at a party held in his honor in the Wachovia Center. “It’s 20 minutes from my house and we could assemble everybody and party and be close to home and close to family. Never did I think for a second it would be for the final playoff spot between the two teams. To have it decided by a shootout, you can’t script that in Hollywood.”


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

Souray Wants Out Of Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Another big name player wants out of Edmonton, as Sheldon Souray on Sunday uttered those four words that have come to haunt the Oilers franchise:

“I want a trade.”

“I do,” Souray repeated, sounding a little disappointed at the admission. “Yes, I do want a trade.”

If this isn’t rock bottom for the Edmonton Oilers, an organization that never recovered from Chris Pronger’s trade demand in the summer of ‘06, it’s hard to fathom things getting any worse.


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

If I Had An Award Ballot

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Every year, I write my annual post on who I would be voting for if I had a chance to vote for the NHL awards.  Here was last year’s picks.  These are not predictions of who will win the awards; they are my picks as to who is most worth of winning.

Selke Trophy - 1. Jordan Staal Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks 3. Jay McClement St Louis Blues Here is why I pick Staal and why I dislike several of the other top contenders.  I think that three of Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews and Staal will likely be nominated, so I expect that my other contenders wind up missing out.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Notes On A No Hockey Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• If there was an assistant coach of the year, it should be to Sean Burke. He taught Bryzgalov to take things more seriously, to prepare for every game like he was starting, even if he wasn’t. Bryzgalov is a pretty funny guy, but he needed this lesson.

• Didn’t enjoy watching Crosby and Ovechkin going for trophies in meaningless games Sunday afternoon. (Did understand why Crosby would want 50, though.) It struck me as being beneath both of them.

• How can Mike Modano play again after those awesome send-offs from the fans in Dallas and Minnesota? It would be totally anti-climactic.

more plus Elliotte’s pick for the Hart…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Prediction Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ferraro of TSN,

Out East, if there is a blowout, it will be in Washington. I just don’t see any way that Montreal can stay in this series - even if Jaroslav Halak plays out of his mind. The Caps are too big and skilled and this one ends in five games. The Devils-Flyers series historically have been rugged and drawn out. The Flyers won five of the six regular season games vs. the Devils and have been a puzzle most of the year. But at some point, Marty Brodeur outplays Brain Boucher. This isn’t easy, but the Devils win in six games.

more plus additional hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Boucher Delivers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

When Olli Jokinen flicked a backhand shot toward the space between Boucher’s pads, not much was riding with the puck - merely millions of dollars, a couple of jobs and the fates of two NHL franchises. If Boucher could keep the shot out of the net, the Flyers would beat the New York Rangers and fill the Wachovia Center at least twice with playoff crowds.

If not, the abyss beckoned.

“I remember a Game 7 against Washington a few years ago that was pretty nerve-racking,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “But with the implications of missing [the playoffs], this was even more nerve-racking.”

What implications? Well, Holmgren is one of the people whose security might have been threatened by a collapse of the magnitude required for this team to miss the playoffs. He has no control over the 76ers, but a silent spring in the arena is more than just an embarrassment to Comcast-Spectacor. It is a significant blow to the bottom line.

So there was Boucher, a guy this very organization gave up on eight years ago. You may have lost track in the dizzying goalie-go-round that is Flyers hockey, but Boucher is the last homegrown netminder to take this team on a deep playoff run. That was in 2000.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One thing I know for sure is the national and international hockey media surely will jump on this series and make it the premiere match-up of the first round. How could they not? After all, the Red Wings are the Yankees/Cowboys of the NHL and the Coyotes, despite being the higher seed in this series, are perceived as the NHL’s little engine that could in 2009-10.

-Dave Vest of PhoenixCoyotes.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Good Chance The Cup Will Stay In the East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

The West is the best.

It took 95 points for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to make the playoffs this season compared to just 88 in the East.

So why bother even allowing Eastern Conference teams to compete in this season’s NHL playoffs?

We’re kidding, of course.

I’ll tell you why: Because as good as the Western Conference has been this year, there is a very good chance the Stanley Cup champion will come from the East.

In addition to the fact the Washington Capitals won the President’s Trophy with 121 points, there’s also the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to consider. Also, the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres, with superstar goaltender Ryan Miller, might just have that lethal combination of good defence and depth on offence to go deep into the playoffs.

Then there’s the New Jersey Devils.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Shakeup In Tampa?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

It appears as though there is about to be a housecleaning in Tampa Bay.

XM NHL Home Ice is reporting that according to sources Lightning General Manager Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet will be relieved of their duties on Monday.

update 9:30am, via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Rick Tocchet fired, as per @DarrenDreger.

added 9:36am, Another McKenzie tweet,

Lawton’s firing now confirmed as well.

added 9:51am, via NHL.com,

“Now that the 2009-10 Tampa Bay Lightning season has concluded, we have decided to replace Brian and Rick,” said Vinik upon making the announcement. “Our hockey operations department needs a fresh start in order to help us fulfill our goal of being a world-class organization. I’d like to thank both Brian and Rick for their dedication and service to the Lightning.

“Our search for a Chief Executive Officer is well underway and we are in the process of interviewing candidates. After the new CEO is hired, he will hire our new General Manager in time to prepare for the draft and free agency periods.”

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

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