Kukla's Korner

Bertuzzi Playing The Wings Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

“That’s as good a game as I’ve seen Bert play in a number of years,” Babcock said. “I thought Bert was excellent and helped those guys. He’s big and he skated well, and that was important for us.”...

Bertuzzi relishes the chance to play with Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

“I think I’m capable of playing with those guys,” he said. “Be nice to get some chemistry with them and try to contribute when the Mule is out for now. I think it’s a spot I can be successful in.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+bertuzzi

Leafs Hit Broadway

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Let’s face it. If Vesa Toskala continues this sub-par play much longer, maybe he’ll soon be hearing those same jeers from the Marlies fans at Ricoh Coliseum, where many frustrated observers feel he belongs.

In any event, if Toskala and his teammates feel their moribund offence, struggling defence and leaky netminding will suddenly turn around tonight when they face off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, they are in for a rude Big Apple awakening.

With the Rangers set to unleash both their No. 1 goaltender and their top agitator on the visitors, the Leafs might well be starring in their own off-Broadway production of Les Miserables by the time the evening is over if they don’t get their act together in a big hurry.

Winless thus far, Ron Wilson’s troops will have to deal with all-star goalie Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes and the Pickering Pugilist, Sean Avery, in the corners. Neither is an attractive prospect for a Leafs team attempting to shed the shackles of a tough start, one that has seen them manage just one of a possible eight points.

read on

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

Enjoy The Holiday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Two reasons to celebrate today-  Canadian Thanksgiving and here in the USA, Columbus Day.

I’m working, you may not be, so enjoy the day!

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brian Burke Pulls A ‘Kevin Lowe’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,

Burke seems be doing exactly what Kevin Lowe did, trying to win now at the expense of the future. Now, it should be noted, the year that Lowe gave up his first round pick to Anaheim in compensation for his signing of Dustin Penner, the move didn’t kill the Oilers. That Oilers squad went on a year-end winning streak in March 2008 and managed to avoid being one of the bottom six or seven teams in the league.

Will this year’s Toronto Maple Leafs save Burke’s bacon in a similar way?

Me, I’m already taking some delight in each Leafs loss. Nothing (too much) against Toronto, but it would be sweet to see Burke pay big time for his impatience. By making a bold move to pull the Leafs up out of the sewer, he might well have made a super stinker of a move. That’s certainly how I see it.

I take a lot of shots at Burke on this blog. He’s a big target, a big mouth and an Edmonton basher. That said, I’ve always respect him as a hockey man, as smart manager. Until now, that is . . .

more

added 9:15am, from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

If the Leaf GM wants to be bold, he could clear up in the neighbourhood of $8 million (all figures U.S.) in cap space by sending goaltender Vesa Toskala and forward Jason Blake to the minors and eating their contracts. Neither player is making a positive contribution to the Leafs or seems likely to.

Toskala is in the final year of his $4 million per season deal, and theoretically another team (Calgary as a backup to former Sharks teammate Miikka Kiprusoff?) might want him as a backup at half the price after recall waivers.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Was All About Paying Shanahan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post, In order to avoid paying Brendan Shanahan his $1 million salary, and to wipe it off their books for salary cap purposes, the Devils assigned the NHL’s leading active goal-scorer to the minors, The Post has learned.

When Shanahan, who has never played a game in the minors in 21 pro seasons, did not report, the Devils were free to terminate the deal they signed with him Aug. 5. The Devils essentially cut the 40-year-old right wing on the eve of the season, making room on the 23-man roster for a rookie forward.

continued

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

Marketing The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

One boy held up a homemade sign, “Welcome back to Hawkeytown.”

Or is that Hokeytown?

Relax, there’s nothing wrong with hokey. Hokey keeps families coming back for more. After years of neglect, no Hawks fans should ever complain about hokey.

But all the pomp and circumstance of the Hawks’ home opener left this impression: Bold choreography only goes so far. At some point, teams such as the Hawks have to dance the dance. Fans eventually will demand more and expect to end the home season in June the way it began Saturday night: victoriously.

Good for the Blackhawks that they are savvy enough to realize this.

“We think we have a product worthy of the attention,” team President John McDonough said before the game.

more

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

Demitra Could Help Canucks, But Recovery From Surgery Going Slow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Head coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday that Demitra’s recovery from off-season shoulder surgery “is not going as well as we had planned.” Demitra was supposed to miss at least the first three weeks of the season, but it now sounds like he’ll be gone even longer.

“It’s not going as quick as he wanted,” Vigneault said.

The injuries to Sedin and Demitra have left the Canucks looking fairly impotent on paper. Steve Bernier and Mason Raymond, who started as third-line wingers, have been bumped into the top six.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavol+demitra

#9 Would Have Had To Wear Another Number

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MontrealCanadiens.com,

Ever wonder what would have happened had Gordie Howe played for the Canadiens alongside the likes of Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau? Believe it or not, it almost became a reality in the fall of 1946.

During a scouting trip that year that included a look at the Red Wings’ affiliate in Omaha, Canadiens general manager Frank Selke was blown away by the performance of a promising young prospect named Gordie Howe. After doing a little digging, Selke discovered that Howe had been left off the Red Wings’ negotiation list by Knights coach Tommy Ivan, making the future Mr. Hockey available for any NHL club wishing to claim him.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

A Motivated Marleau

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Speaking of Marleau, I floated the notion past Todd McLellan that his former captain actually seems faster, or maybe quicker this season than a year ago.

“I don’t know physically if he’s gotten bigger stronger, faster,” McLellan said. “I just think he’s a very determined individual right now — and that might make him a lot quicker than any of the work he did in the gym this summer.”

more on the Sharks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+marleau

Daniel Sedin Out With Broken Foot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Vancouver Canucks’ winger Daniel Sedin has suffered a broken left foot and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.

Sedin was hit on the foot with a shot in Wednesday’s 7-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

He has been fitted with a cast and is using crutches to get around.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin

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