Kukla's Korner

Comrie Shooting For #1 Status

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Comrie had offers from Buffalo and Los Angeles, and the Senators were hoping to clear salary to keep him. But despite Smyth’s departure, the more Comrie talked to the Islanders, the more he liked what he heard.
“It’s an opportunity to perhaps be heavily relied on in an environment where a lot of people will count the Islanders out,” said Comrie’s agent, Rich Winter. “This kid has scored 20 or more goals [four times] and on two occasions he’s scored 30 goals. For some reason, people are still saying, ‘He’s a bit small; I don’t know if he can be our go-to guy.’ This is a unique opportunity for the Islanders’ objectives and Mike’s to marry. I believe Mike will establish himself as a No. 1 center…

more

Filed in: New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Here Comes Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

The Flyers have a new look that’s come about through some key summer moves aimed at transforming the worst team in the NHL into a playoff contender next season.
The most miserable 82 regular-season games in the franchise’s 40-year history could be followed by the Flyers getting into the 16-team Stanley Cup tournament next spring.
Philly may have some tough stretches next season, but with the additions general manager Paul Holmgren has made the team should be really competitive in most games.

continued

Filed in: Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Islanders Still Searching For Dman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,

As of this posting, it doesn’t appear the Islanders are going to sign anyone today. Along with Souray, Snow is considering a list that includes Detroit’s oft-injured Danny Markov, Atlanta’s Andy Sutton, Nashville’s Vitaly Vishnevski, Colorado’s Ossi Vaananen and likely a few others. Former Isle Bryan Berard might be a consideration, though he played only 11 games last season and 113 over the past three years because of injuries.
The possibility of trading for Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski has been junked because of his no-trade clause, but a trade for former Islander Bryan McCabe can’t be ruled out even though he has four years worth $28.75 million remaining on his deal.

more

Filed in: New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Turris Knows How To Play The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,

‘I want to put in a good first impression,’’ Turris said after the 90-minute skate Saturday at the team’s practice facility. ‘‘I’m working my hardest.’‘
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky already liked Turris, a 17-year-old player from New Westminster, British Columbia. Gretzky liked him even more in a gray Coyotes practice sweater, with Turris flashing the breathtaking speed that helped make him the draft’s top-ranked North American skater.
‘‘I’m a big fan of his,’’ Gretzky said. ‘‘I think he just plays the game the way the game should be played. He plays with tremendous vision and he’s still only 17 years old. He’s got a lot of great years ahead of him and he just has a tremendous attitude, as do all of the kids we have here….
Turris probably won’t be in Phoenix for a while. He reiterated his decision to play for the University of Wisconsin next season, a move the Coyotes have endorsed. After that, Turris is hoping he won’t have to wait long to make his NHL debut.

more

Filed in: d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

High Compliment For Rafalski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,

“We think he’s a perfect addition to our team,” Holland said. “He’s been a premier defenseman in the League for a number of years. He can play in every situation—power play, penalty kill, against the other teams’ best players.
“With his mobility and puckhandling skills, he is a perfect fit for our style of play. We wanted three puck-moving defensemen—and now with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian and Niklas Kronvall we have that.”
A couple years ago, another player told me; “Forget the size. Rafalski can control a game with his skating, shooting and his smarts.”
The player was Mario Lemieux. Can’t get better than that kind of compliment, can you?

more on Rafalski and the Central Division…

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

Cup Causing Panic In Small Canadian Town

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,

“I’ve never seen this kind of reaction,” she continued. “Winkler is known to be sort of calm. But this has taken it to a new dimension.
“I don’t think it’s just limited to town. I’m getting phone calls from all over: Elkhorn, Beausejour, Carman, Morden — every town on the map. It’s become a southern Manitoba type of event.”
Even people from Grand Forks, N.D., and a few other little places in the States want to get in on the action, which gets underway at 1:30 this afternoon in the Winkler Arena.
“Doors open at 1 p.m.,” Penner said. “We expect lineups well before that.”

more

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

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Kevin Lowe, in a desperate attempt to make his hockey team better, managed to make everything even worse.
Shortly after Vanek signed a $50-million US, seven-year offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres matched the offer.
Lowe, who couldn’t land an unrestricted free agent waving $18 million of budget money around in the air, just made himself a multitude of enemies around the league.

read on

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sens Want To Avoid Emery Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

After making $925,000 last season and helping the club reach the Stanley Cup final, Emery is going to have a strong arbitration case and Murray knows it. That’s why Murray doesn’t want to risk Emery scoring an award of $4.5 million in arbitration. Ideally, the Senators would like to ink Emery to something similiar to the three-year, $8-million deal that Cam Ward signed with the Hurricanes last summer.

more on the Sens including Gerber asks to be traded…

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Miscalculated The Market

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Sulivan of the Buffalo News,

“People ask why we didn’t negotiate with Thomas,” Quinn said. “We didn’t because we didn’t have a party that wanted to, because this was the route they were following. You can tell when discussions get to a certain point that someone has a different option.”
Quinn made it sound as if there had been a long history of talks with Vanek’s agent, Steve Bartlett. That wasn’t quite the case. Asked when he had begun talks with Bartlett, Regier said, “I’ve had a couple of conversations with him.”
Pressed for more details, Regier said he didn’t have an actual date. Finally, he said, “probably a general one a couple of weeks ago.”

more

Filed in: Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nashville Still Attractive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

So when it was time to sign a new contract last month, Nichol had a difficult decision: Should he stay in Music City despite the uncertainty of the franchise’s situation following this season, or should he hit the open market and find a more stable destination?
In the end, he decided that sticking with a city, an organization and teammates he appreciated outweighed the fear of the unknown.

read on

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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