Kukla's Korner

Devils Taking Team Approach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,

“We always feel we have to play the season in October,” is how GM Lou Lamoriello put it, “and not the summertime.” Which is true, but he’ll have to forgive fans if they followed the news this off-season and reached the following conclusion:
The Devils might be coming to Newark.
The Stanley Cup isn’t joining them.
“Some of the most talented teams we’ve had in this organization never had the same success as other teams,” Lamoriello said, “because they were teams.”
But the architect of those Cup-winning teams has something to prove, that his golden touch is still intact, that his system can thrive even when the top players take the money and run.
He also has an arena to fill. Two more links to a Stanley Cup past are gone, just when the Devils need to put their best skate forward as they try to convince people that the trip to Newark is worthwhile. The arena will attract new fans. A winning team will bring them back.

read on

Filed in: New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cullimore Interested In Tampa Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Peterburg Times,

“It’s an absolutely perfect fit,” agent Roland Thompson said of his free agent client. “He’d like to come back to Tampa, and we’ve had some discussions. If the opportunity came, it would be his first choice.”
The Cullimore inquiry is part of what general manager Jay Feaster said is an ongoing organizational debate about how to fill out the roster….
Cullimore signed with the Blackhawks after helping Tampa Bay win the ‘04 Cup and last month was traded to the Canadiens, who bought out the last season of his contract.
Cullimore will get $1.25-million from Montreal two-thirds of his $1.9-million salary. He likely would ask his new team to make up the $650,000 difference.
But with $42.34-million of a $44-million payroll budget already committed and forward Ryan Craig still unsigned, Feaster probably doesn’t want to pay much more than the $475,000 league minimum.

more

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

The Kids Will Miss Vokoun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards at the Miami Herald,

‘‘It’s a big loss for Nashville and a big loss for these kids and their families,’’ said Jennifer Miller, a director at the Vanderbilt hospital. ‘When they found out about the trade, it was like, `Are you serious?’ He loves these kids and the kids looked up to him so much. He had such a big heart.
``To them, he could do no wrong. He could walk on water to these kids here.’‘
It’s expected Vokoun—a father of two children—will continue his work once he takes up residence in South Florida. It’s unfortunate, but pain and suffering isn’t restricted to one community.
‘‘Life is not fair,’’ Vokoun said. ``You see kids who are sick, and they did nothing to deserve that. They are just innocent kids with their whole lives in front of them. Yet they’re sick. It’s not fair, that’s for sure.’‘

more and for some bonus material, check out George’s blog, On Frozen Pond...

Filed in: Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Columbus Confident With Their Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

“We’ve had a couple of calls from agents wondering if we have interest in their clients,” Howson said.
But the conversations have been brief, always ending with a “No, thanks.”
“We believe in the two goaltenders we have,” Howson said. “It’s just as simple as that.”
The Blue Jackets will head to training camp with oft-injured Pascal Leclaire and veteran Fredrik Norrena duking it out for the No. 1 job.
It’s not among the most highly regarded 1-2 punches in the NHL, but Howson doesn’t appear worried.

read on

Filed in: Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Moving Gerber Isn’t So Easy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,

Bryan Murray may want to trade Gerber, but he can’t cut off the nose to spite the Senators’ face.
It will require a delicate balancing act to ensure that Ottawa’s net and wallet are not left sparely filled—and it’s a move that could set the tone for Murray’s tenure as GM in this city.
However, don’t be surprised if the other shoe fails to drop before Emery’s situation is settled.
After all, who knows how much longer Gerber will reign as the highest paid goaltender in the city?
Right now, there’s no clear-cut answer on how to deal with Gerber.
But if Murray finds him too difficult to unload, with Emery standing by in the meantime, palms outstretched, the solution may be thrust upon the GM far quicker than he expected.

more

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Buy A Jersey- Help A Big Market Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

Fact is, however, that higher ticket prices beget more revenue, which begets a higher cap, which ultimately benefits the Rangers and every big-market franchise and consumer around the league.
The fans all across Small Market NHL might want to consider that before buying all the new apparel and licensed products the league is creating for this season with its introduction of new uniforms and new team logos, for without any meaningful revenue-producing programs coming from Sixth Avenue, the 2008-09 cap will increase in direct proportion to increased ticket prices and merchandising dollars.

more from Brooks, including Sutter talk, and Larry has a question for Kenny Holland…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kris Draper: Hockey Exec

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

As you may know, Draper has ventured into the hockey ownership/management arena.  He’s entered into a partnership with the Flint Generals and seems to be setting himself up to stay in the game after his retirement in 2020. 

“I had an opportunity to get involved in the business end of hockey, learn how things run, and I’m interested in that. The game has been so good to me. It’s something I’ve done my whole life. When I’m finished playing, just because my career comes to an end doesn’t mean I’m done with hockey.”

More from the Flint Journal.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Small Market Disadvantage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

In fact, big-market teams do have a distinct edge. Teams from larger (see: wealthy) markets, such as Philadelphia and New York, can offer longterm deals loaded with more money up front because they can afford to buy out players toward the end of the contract. The structure of the deals helps them circumvent the salary cap while still drawing the better players.
Understand, the big-market advantage wasn’t the reason the Sabres lost Drury and Briere. They could have kept both for less money over fewer years than the co-captains eventually received as unrestricted free agents. It wasn’t until Drury and Briere hit the open market that New York and Philly could impose their leverage.

read on

added 8:41am, from the New York Times,

But the small-market teams appear to be struggling again. Buffalo lost Drury and Brière without seeming to make a serious move to keep either one. Edmonton struggled to lure players — including Rangers center Michael Nylander, who agreed to a contract with the Oilers, then backed out to go to Washington — until it finally landed Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray last week for five years and $27 million.
The small-market teams have the same amount of money to spend as teams like the Rangers, although some would rather stay closer to the cap’s minimum figure ($34 million next season) than to the top.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Daddy Feds:  My Soul Aches For My Eldest Son

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Within minutes of the story hitting the wires, George Malik posted an article from the Russian daily Sport Express that claimed a Sergei Fedorov return to Hockeytown is an idea brewing in both camps.  Frigging George.  The guy’s a bloodhound.  That was back on July 12th.  If you haven’t seen it, head over there and read it.  When you’re done, get back here because there’s another article from that same edition I want you to see.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

John Ferguson, Sr. Dies

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageFrom TSN,

John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.

Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

more…

*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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