Kukla's Korner

Hockey Comes First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dakshana Bascaramurty of the Globe and Mail,

It’s why Ms. Stern-Torres, 46, relishes commercial breaks: She’s mastered the art of doing the deed in those brief minutes before her hubby’s focus returns to the glow of the TV screen.

But if Ms. Stern-Torres yearns for a longer session between the sheets, she has to share time with 21 hulking men – her husband’s beloved Rangers.

“There were times when we were having sex and he’s been watching the game,” she said from her home in New York. “If I want to get some and there’s a game on, that’s what we have to do.”

The start of stick-handling season marks a regular wave of change in relationships involving hockey fans. Like Ms. Stern-Torres, many women dread October because it’s when they enter into hockey widowhood. But even male friendships can be affected. While some guys look forward to bonding with their sports buddies, others face being left behind when they root for a different team than their best bud.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Radulov Had No Support In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Boclair of the Nashville News,

The best players in the world play in the NHL, and ones who can score the way Radulov can (particularly at such a young age) are prized commodities. They are the ones who drive the market, even these days when the league operates with a salary cap and an uncertain financial future.

Had Radulov stayed with the Predators through last season, he would have been a restricted free agent this past summer. One way or another, he was going to cash in. Either the Predators would have locked him up with a long-term deal, or another team would have signed him to an offer sheet that would have guaranteed him a hefty salary. And Nashville still would have had the right to match the contract.

Instead, he went home to Russia because he felt like an outsider in his own locker room. His teammates did not support him. His coach did not support him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+radulov

Is Pronger The Missing Link?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

There have been several missing links for the Flyers in their quest to win that ever-elusive third Cup. One was in goal. The other was a punishing defenseman, one who strikes fear into the hearts of wingers coming across the blue line.

If the Flyers are going to unseat reigning Cup champion Pittsburgh as “Beast of the East” this season, they will need Pronger’s on-ice demeanor and off-ice attitude to accomplish the task.

You see, the Flyers of recent past – even under Ken Hitchcock – took losing far too casually. They failed to see the impact of today’s mistakes on tomorrow’s expectations.

Pronger doesn’t.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Playing In Europe Not A Great Idea

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,

The worse thing about starting the season over here is that so few in North America know or even care about it.

Wings goalie Chris Osgood said he got a call from his friend and Lions center Dominic Raiola on Wednesday and Raiola, a big sports fan, didn’t even know the Wings were in Sweden.

This trip hasn’t generated any buzz about the start of a new season where it matters most—in the NHL’s primary markets.

Here’s what the NHL should do instead. At the start of each season, pick a destination city in North America—Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, wherever—and invite the final four teams from the previous year and stage an NHL showcase. Each team gets two regular-season games and you can pair them off any way you want—East runners-up vs. West runners-up, rematch of the conference championships, whatever.

more

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

The Life Of A Ref

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

It’s a job many onlookers think they can do better than the ones wearing the orange bands after a disagreeable call is made, but there is more to this job than meets the eye through a television screen or reverse replay angle.

Building off the popularity of last season’s ‘A Scout’s Life’ feature, every other week we will explore what it takes, what it means to be and what goes through the mind of an official to familiarize fans with this polarizing corner of the game. We’ll not only touch on NHL referees, but also the minor leagues, junior leagues, all the way down to the local minor hockey level where it all begins.

“I grew up not a great hockey player, so, fortunately, I learned at a young enough age I wasn’t going to go anywhere playing,” said pro referee David Banfield. “My dad was a ref himself, so I came home one day and asked him and I started minor hockey on the eastern shore in Cole Harbour.”

more

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

My Fantasy Draft Aftermath

Blog: KK Hockey By Hippy Dave

Good god nothing is so draining as crawling back from a 10 hour work day to throw a draft party, but damn it, I did it.  Now comes the deep introspective reflection… “Did I do well?”  I think so.. if only the Zamboners would have stopped talking my ear off during my picks…  “Could I have done better?”  Shoot after looking at WhoFarted IceMelted’s roster I sure know so; the guy drafted only players who score the most power play points, and with that strategy his team looks monstrous.  Though I believe beating the perennial favorite Filth and last year’s cup winner The Fargin Iceholes are well within my sights.

The important thing to realize here is not to have buyer’s remorse following a draft.  I don’t know about you but I love to work the wire, but you can’t go jumping ship after your draft trying to second guess yourself.  My league allows 30 wire moves during the season and I run out of all 30 about 2 weeks before the playoffs start.  That’s how I roll.  But bide your time and see how your instincts pay off for the first few weeks.

It seems there are three basic tacks you can take during a draft:  Pick up proven performers, pick up young guys who promise to bust out this year and next, or pick up guys who were injured last year and can be monsters this year if only they’ll stay in shape.  I took a mix of the first and the latter this year.  I feel about as confident as a Disney lemming right about now, but in three months, things will be different.

So, what do you think?  My fantasy roster for the year:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blackhawks Need To Adjust To Travel Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Len Ziehm of Inside the Blackhawks at the Chicago Sun-Times,

The Blackhawks might regret spending the last days of training camp and first two games of the regular season in Europe. It’s been a taxing trip on the players, what with the eight-hour time change between Chicago and Helsinki. It was a good project for team bonding and good for the NHL to expose its product beyond North America, but now the Hawks have to adjust their body clocks all over again for the return to the U.S. and still another road game in Detroit on Thursday.  This little stretch of three games is the first good measure of the Hawks this season.

added 2:08pm, from Mike Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential,

Shut up about the Stanley Cup finals being within reach. Shut up about One Goal. Shut up about Cup or Bust.

Once again, the Blackhawks have to learn a hard lesson from the Detroit Red Wings. Drop the puke and play.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

He’ll Be Back Soon

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bill asked me to post this for him-

I’ll be back online tomorrow for a live blog and all is well.  Work has just taken a significant priority the last three weeks.

added 4:25pm (Paul), I am removing my name from this post since the author receives emails of all comments on the post.  It is not that I don’t enjoy the comments, but I think I deal with enough emails on a daily basis and really don’t want to read the through all of them.

I now turn them over to IwoCPO.

 

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Goalies ‘Look’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Lukas of ESPN Page 2,

Uni Watch reader Tyler Hull works for Bauer, and as part of his job, he keeps track of what goalies are wearing. So if you’ve never devoted much thought to goalie pads yourself, don’t sweat it—Hull has already done most of the thinking for you.

“Goalies mainly chose their pads based on their style of play,” Hull explains. “It’s the only sports equipment I can think of that’s based on the athlete’s style. I know baseball players use different gloves, but that’s more for position than style.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shanahan Done In New Jersey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Future Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan has left the Devils and will not be on the team this season.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Shanahan remains on the team’s 23-player roster for now, but a decision will be made on that later today.

Lamoriello said that because of the emergence of young players on the team such as Niclas Bergfors, Matt Halischuk. Rod Pelley and Ilkka Pikkarainen, there was no place for Shanahan on the team’s top three lines, which was a role that Shanahan desired. Lamoriello didn’t rule out completely that Shanahan won’t return to the team at some point this season, but it appears highly unlikely.

continued

added 1:36pm, Tom has more information on this in a new blog post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

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