Kukla's Korner

The Best Shootout Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The top 10 shootout goals from last season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oilers In Need Of 3rd Line Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

There are plenty of rumors swirling around Edmonton’s apparent need for a third line center, most of it focusing on free agents Manny Malhotra and Blair Betts. No doubt the roster would really benefit from the signing of character guy like Malhotra, but his asking price (thought to be three years, $6 million) is too high. The familiarity of coach Tom Renney with Edmonton native Betts makes him a logical fit, too, but the guessing here is that Oilers stick with what they have and hope that an option emerges in camp.

As if the loss of Joe Sakic isn’t enough for the sad-sack Avs to deal with, it looks like the schedulemakers had to get their shots in, too. Colorado, which had a league-low eight back-to-back games in 2008-09, has 16 of them slated for 2009-10. So who catches a break? That would be the Blue Jackets, who led the league with 20 B2Bs last season, but have just 12 on the new sked…

read on for some NHLPA/Olympics talk…

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

No Rift Between Sykora And Bylsma

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starky of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Veteran forward Petr Sykora will not return for a third season with the Penguins, but his departure has nothing to do with a supposed rift between he and coach Dan Bylsma, according to Bylsma and Sykora’s agent, Allan Walsh.

A recent report in the Czech newspaper “Aha!” quoted Sykora as saying he did not like Bylsma when the two were teammates with the Anaheim Ducks from 2002-04. The quotes implied that Sykora believed Bylsma had it out for him when they were reunited in February, when Bylsma was hired as Penguins coach.

Walsh said the interview never happened. He said “Aha!” is a sister publication of “Blesk,” a periodical Walsh compared to the National Enquirer, and often publishes its stories.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: petr+sykora

Anything For A Story?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

There have been some hints from the Ottawa media that suggest several members plan on crashing Jason Spezza’s upcoming wedding in an attempt to force Dany Heatley to speak.

Personally, I think as a media group we need to act with some class and show a little respect for someone’s special day. Unfortunately, those two words (class & respect) aren’t in many reporters’ vocabularies and it’s a big reason why we are wedged comfortably between telemarketers and personal injury lawyers on the scale of likable professionals….

Jason has asked all of us to respect his privacy on his special day and not show up. He’s hired security to make sure no unauthorized guests (hint, hint, media) try to sneak in. He couldn’t make it any more clear: “I’m nice to you guys 364 days a year. Please give me one day off.”

But I can’t shake the nagging feeling that pack journalism is going to rule the day. Everyone is going to be scared that the competition is going to get the scoop, so we better head to the wedding ourselves.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley, jason+spezza

Top 20 Adjusted Corsi Ratings

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In this summer’s look at sabermetrics and hockey, I have been looking at the Corsi Number as an alternative to +/- ratings.  Today, I am going to list the top 20 adjusted Corsi ratings.  In this case I have adjusted them as a counting stat in the same manner that was developed in the Hockey Compendium by Jeff Klein and Carl-Eric Reif.  I discuss this adjustment method here.  In this method, a team adjustment is calculated from team Corsi Numbers.  Since five players are on the ice, team Corsi Numbers are divided by five to give a baseline team value that is treated as “zero” for that team.  All individual player Corsi Numbers have the team adjustment subtracted off. 

Here are the top 20 adjusted Corsi Numbers in the 2008/09 season among players who played at least 50 games and with only one team:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Taking It Up A Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

These are the teams that for the last few seasons have been taking steps up the challenging ladder to Stanley Cup glory, and all look poised to continue their climb in 2009-10. Maybe one even could reach the top and become the next Pittsburgh Penguins.

1. Chicago Blackhawks—Their run to the Western Conference Finals was a dramatic leap for a team that hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2002, but it wasn’t totally shocking. The Hawks have changed dramatically in the last 24 months by developing a solid young core and have spent to upgrade in other areas.

read on for nine more teams on the rise…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks Still Talking Trades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from SanJoseSharks.com,

The big bomb that some want right away may not have occurred, but there have still been plenty of adjustments taking place.

“We’ve already made some changes,” said Wilson. “There are seven or eight players (notably Mike Grier, Marcel Goc, Travis Moen) that already won’t be coming back, so we’ve made a level of changes there.”

Plus there could still be more to come.

“Are we pursuing some discussions that may lead so some trades, absolutely,” noted Wilson. “I share this with everybody, I think this is a society of instant gratification. ‘Let’s make all these changes right now.’ That’s not really how it works. It’s been busy with a lot of phone calls. We’re entering into another phase of our team building time.”

read on

added 8:05pm, from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the Vancouver Sun,

The Sharks are currently pushing the salary cap limit of $56.8 million US for the 2009-10 season, but their only major long-term commitment is to Boyle, who will make an average of $6.7 million per season until 2014.

If the Senators were willing to take back most of Heatley’s salary in the form of another player or two — Marleau has one year and $6.3 million remaining and Jonathan Cheechoo has two years and $6 million left — there could be room for a deal. (With Heatley and Alex Kovalev currently on the books, the Senators are approximately $2 million over the salary cap, but NHL teams have until September to get under the number).

It all makes a degree of sense and cents. If something was done with the Sharks, Murray would be forced to sell the fans on the merits of an underachieving, overpaid player or two, but that wouldn’t be all that different from the potential Edmonton deal as the Senators would have been taking on Dustin Penner.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Appears Weekes Days In New Jersey Are Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Kevin Weekes said he’s not closing the door a return to the Devils, but the 34-year-old goaltender admits that he probably won’t be re-signing with the team.

“That’s the way it’s looking,” he said today via telephone from Toronto. “You never know in pro sports, but right now that’s the way it looks.”

So, it appears as if Yann Danis or rookie Jeff Frazee will be the Devils’ backup goaltender in 2009-10. Although Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello left the door open for Weekes to return when he signed Danis on July 10, the sides have not been able to reach an agreement and Weekes is exploring other opportunities.

“There’s other opportunities, but it’s also just looking at a lot of different factors,” he said. “Like Lou always says, free agency is always an interesting thing. It’s an inexact science. You can’t always retain all of your free agents and in my case I fulfilled my obligation. I think I brought a lot of value to the role and I played my role with pride, even though I didn’t get to play as much hockey as I would have liked to have played even when Marty (Brodeur) was injured.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+weekes

Evander Kane Signs With Thrashers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,

The Thrashers have signed Evander Kane to his first pro contract, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given that there has been talk that he might make the team out of training camp.  Tavares, Hedman and Duchene (the top three picks) have all signed with their teams, making Kane the fourth of the top four picks to do so.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evander+kane

Montreal Signs Sanford

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

MONTREAL – Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of goaltender Curtis Sanford to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2009-10 season. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

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