Kukla's Korner

Flyers May Look For Defensive Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

With Marty Biron ($3.5 million) and Niittymaki ($1.225 million) scheduled to become free agents this summer, there is very little chance both will be back next season.

Neither would render much of a return in a trade. The market for goalies is relatively thin this winter, but there are a handful who will become unrestricted after this season, including Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin, Colorado’s Andrew Raycroft, Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson and even prodigal son Brian Boucher.

The Flyers might be better off letting Biron and Niittymaki duke it out and direct their attention to a hard-edged defenseman.

With Ossi Vaananen currently in Stevens’ doghouse (less than 5 minutes of ice time the past two games) and Braydon Coburn not as dominant as expected, the Flyers could use a no-nonsense 25-minute-a-night defenseman to pair with Kimmo Timonen.

The top defensemen on the market are Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester and Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Somber Anniversary In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Feb 10 is the 20th anniversary of Blues announcer Dan Kelly’s death. Below is Kevin Horrigan’s obituary for Mr. Kelly that ran Feb 11, 1989.

A voice that once was called the ‘‘purest, most knowledgeable, most accurate’’ in hockey was stilled Friday morning. St. Louis Blues broadcaster Dan Kelly, 52, died at his home in Chesterfield after a five-month struggle with cancer….

‘‘In sports, we talk a lot about ‘franchise’ players,’’ said Michael F. Shanahan, chairman of the board of the Blues. ‘‘Dan Kelly could easily be said to have been a franchise broadcaster. There were times in the last 20 years he was this franchise to the hockey fans.  ‘‘He did what he wanted to do, and nobody ever did it better. How many of us get to say that?’‘

read on and watch Dan Kelly’s call of a famous Bobby Orr goal below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+kelly

Decision Time Coming Up For Dominic Moore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

As a waiver pickup last winter, Moore stands as one of John Ferguson’s better acquisitions during his time as Leaf GM. He’s making $900,000 (U.S.) on a one-year contract, certainly one of the cannier moves Cliff Fletcher made last summer.

Now it’s up to Burke. Trade Moore before the deadline with his value arguably at its peak? Sign him to a multi-year deal this summer? Let him walk as a 28-year-old free agent?...

Moore’s never had much relative financial security in the game, so maybe he’s thinking this is his chance to nail down a solid contract a great deal closer to the league’s $2 million average salary.

Then again, neither he nor his agent, Larry Kelly, has yet broached the matter with Burke.

Going to Harvard might make you smarter, but it doesn’t make you a soothsayer. As the Leafs try to figure what Moore is, he can only wonder where he’s headed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dominic+moore

Panthers Get Creative With Ticket Sales

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Give the Panthers’ marketing brass credit for one thing: They’re creative. Oh, and they have plenty of brass. So make that two things.

The latest out of One Panther Parkway comes a playoff guarantee.

Basically, the team is saying if you buy a four-game pack of tickets to this year’s playoff run and the team doesn’t make the postseason, you score four freebies next year.

Which you can probably parlay into tickets for 2010-11 if they don’t make the playoffs again next season. It could be the gift that keeps on giving!


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canadiens A Mess

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

This is what the bottom of the barrel looks like.

The Canadiens lost Monday night, and they lost horrendously, surrendering two shorthanded goals while rolling over 6-2 against the Calgary Flames to begin a six-game road trip.

This is a team, head coach Guy Carbonneau almost need-lessly said, that needs to rediscover its passion. And more.

“A fear of losing is okay. It makes you play better. But a fear of playing is (not), and that’s where we are right now,” Carbonneau said, ashen-faced. “We’re afraid to play. Afraid to make mistakes, afraid to let down the other guy.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How MacTavish Can Continue Coaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples at the Cult of Hockey,

It would be an over-statement to say that Edmonton Oiler fans are divided over the future of Coach Craig MacTavish.

That’s not at all the case.

In recent months, a consensus has grown up among the vast majority of Oiler fans—even those most loyal to and believing in the Lowe/MacTavish regime—that the coach known as “MacT” to the fans and as “Mac” to the players is no longer doing an adequate job as coach of the Oilers.

Most fans would have had MacTavish fired by now. A minority of fans haven’t called for that, but they do need to see something in coming months to be convinced that MacTavish is the right man for next season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish

Some Rangers Should Join Avery In Hartford

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sean Avery is on his way to Hart ford, where, The Post has learned, he will be assigned today by the Stars for an indeterminate period before going on re-entry waivers that all but assuredly will lead back to Broadway.

After last night’s display in the 3-0 loss in New Jersey that extended the losing streak to five games (0-4-1) in which they have been outscored 21-5, not only can’t Avery’s return come soon enough, but a handful of Rangers on the current roster should feel fortunate not to be making the reverse commute to Hartford, themselves.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tuesday With The Diggers

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Hello. Good morning.  A few ditties I’d like to bring to your attention today as we emotionally prepare ourselves for another stirring Original 30 matchup.  Tick Tock’s being shady. Charlie Buckets is kicking Slugworth ass again.  The circus is back together and there is so much joy.  So much of it.  Plus, the Predators have announced they’ll be unveiling the “Kiss Your Cousin Cam” tonite at the SoGay.

That last part is not true.

Oh, and we have some magical juvenilicity at the bottom. 

But first, let’s get serious.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Uneven Conferences

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is important to keep in mind how much better the West Conference is than the East Conference.  Tyler Dellow has a post that shows how this has been true over the last several years.  He shows the winning percentage of the west in games against the east since 1999/2000 and shows that the West Conference has a significant winning record every year except 2003/04.  This season, the west has a .559 record (treating games that are tied after 60 minutes as ties).  That is the highest winning percentage for the west since 1999/2000.  Western dominance is not going away.  If anything it is getting bigger.

Given the level of player movement in the NHL, such a trend is surprising.  With free agency, one would expect things to even out.  If one conference was better at one time, it would quickly be evened out as free agents move throughout the league.  This is not what has been observed.  The west is better than the east and has been almost consistently for a decade.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Mikko Tekee Kohta Maalin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Snow at MinnesotaWild.com,

If you did not see them yesterday at Xcel Energy Center, perhaps you heard them, 30 Finns seated at bar rails on the Club level, in uniform (autographed red No. 9 Koivu jerseys) and in unison.

They chanted: “Mikko tekee kohta maalin, Mikko tekee kohta maalin. Eika kukaan sille mitaan voi! Ei voi!”

In English: “Mikko is going to score, Mikko is going to score. And no one can stop him! No one!”

Turns out they were right.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

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