Kukla's Korner

How Will Heatley Respond?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Let’s see how San Jose Sharks left winger Dany Heatley handles this delicious new career challenge. With the Sharks’ power play stuck in an early season slump, coach Todd McLellan bumped Heatley down to the No.2 unit for last Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.

Predictably, the move to reunite last year’s top unit of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi paid immediate dividends as the Sharks went an efficient 2-for-3 with the man advantage, with Thornton turning in a virtuoso performance. Heatley, remember, demanded a trade of out Ottawa last season after his role was “diminished” by Senators’ coach Cory Clouston, in part because he was shifted to the second power-play unit.

Since pouting in his new NHL home is not a viable option, Heatley’s patience – and the ability to bite his tongue – will be put to its first test of the new season, as the Sharks’ six-game trip continues tonight in Manhattan, against the streaking New York Rangers.

continue for a few more nhl bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

Shanahan Should Be A Leaf

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

If the Maple Leafs are smart, they might want to get to Brendan Shanahan before the NHL Players’ Association does.

Could Shanahan fix all that ails the Leafs? No, not even close, unless he’s got a mask and some pads lying around his garage that he knows how to use.

But even after 21 seasons, with a lot of miles on his chassis, Shanahan surely could add something as an early-season pickup.

Can’t believe a lot of fans wouldn’t like seeing a boy from Mimico take his last meaningful strides with the team of his boyhood daydreams. It’d be a lot better than organizing tributes for ex-Leafs skating for other teams.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

Lucic On LTIR

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Neil Keefe of NESN,

Milan Lucic will have to wait a little longer to make good on the three-year contract extension he recently signed. The Bruins placed Lucic on long-term injured reserve with a broken finger on Sunday and recalled forwards Guillaume Lefebvre, Brad Marchand and Vladimir Sobotka from the Providence Bruins.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+lucic

Kovalchuk Concentrating On Hockey, Not Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

While the Thrashers captain and his team were here Sunday practicing at the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena in honor of their fallen teammate, Kovalchuk’s contract talks were brought up after the skate.

When asked about how the Thrashers were cautiously optimistic he would soon sign a contract extension, the superstar winger answered: “Hopefully. I like it here. And I think they did a lot of good things during the offseason to sign some guys and I feel it’s the best team we’ve ever had. They took some good steps. So we’ll see. My agent is talking to them. I just want to focus on hockey.”...

I asked Kovalchuk about the rumors coming out of Russia, where a few KHL teams are believed to be interested. He essentially dodged the question.

“We’ll see ... I like it here, and hopefully we’ll figure out something,” he said.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

Is There Bias Against Francophones?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Graeme Hamilton of the National Post,

With the number of hockey stars that Quebec has produced, from Maurice Richard and Guy Lafleur to Mario Lemieux and Vincent Lecavalier, one wouldn’t think racism was holding back players from the province.

But a book published Monday by former National Hockey League player Bob Sirois, examining four decades of professional drafts, comes to the explosive conclusion that francophone Quebecers are systematically thwarted by an “anti-francophone virus” plaguing the NHL.

continued

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

Wild Trade For Chuck Kobasew

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

The Wild has traded Craig Weller, a second-round pick and the rights to Alex Fallstrom to the Boston Bruins for forward Chuck Kobasew.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+kobasew

Is Goalie Interference On The Upswing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

After getting the wind knocked out of him, Ryan Miller thought he was trading goal posts for ring posts. The New York Islanders may as well have been Jimmy Snuka of the Fiji Islands.

“Just a good old-fashioned WWF knee drop to the back,” Miller said after his night of wrestling in the crease.

Buffalo Sabres fans howled for several goaltender interference calls Friday when the Isles visited HSBC Arena. They got one when Tim Jackman sat on Miller, which resulted in a pummeling by Paul Gaustad, who rushed to his goaltender’s aid.

“He was trying to spark his team by doing that,” Gaustad said. “It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed in this league, to be purposeful of trying to injure somebody to spark a momentum change for the team.

continued

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

The First 100 Games Of This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

• Goals. No final score has been more frequent this season than 4-3; in 2003-04, that result ranked fourth behind 3-2, 2-1 and 3-1.

• Close Games, part 1. Teams have been tied or separated by one goal two thirds of the time (66.2 percent).

• Close Games, part 2. The margin of victory has been one goal for nearly half the games played to date (49 of 105, 47 percent).

continue for 97 more facts…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oh Huet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

Great Swiss sieves from past include Marty Gerber, Tobias Stephan - and now the Struggling Swiss-Franc, Mr. Huet. All of them graduates of the Equipment-Cheat, Fall-On-Your-Knees School of Swiss Netminder Capitulation.

I’ll admit I let in some bad goals in my time, and I’ve witnessed some goose-down soft tallies covering the National League of Hockey with my eyeballs and throat, but I have never been privy to a more “WTF Were You Doing?” goal than Stephane Robidas eventual game winner that bewildered Huet and devistated the Hawk Nation in Chicago last night.

I’m on the flight back home trying to figure out how a $5M goalie can let a puck shot from center, that was aimed 40 feet wide of the net, and hit a glass support, bounced twice, was then headed in front of the goal to the other corner, get past him.

more and in cased you missed the goal, it can be viewed here...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet

The Chelios Plan For The NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

According to several sources, Chris Chelios has a plan. The future Hall of Famer wants change and will propose an enormous one. Over the past few weeks, he has been reaching out to several highly respected former players, asking them to join a kind of “leadership council” that will run the union until a new executive director is found. It’s why Chelios has yet to report to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves – he’s been working on this.

Among those contacted: Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin (both, apparently, have declined); Mike Richter (still considering); Brendan Shanahan (still might play or join an organization) and Trevor Linden (who has accepted). The most interesting thing about this move is that it involves Linden and, potentially, Shanahan.

continued

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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