Kukla's Korner

The Healthy Scratch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Pronger at the Hockey News,

I’m sure most of you have seen the headlines about Jason Blake, Dustin Penner and Brendan Morrison (to name a few) who have been healthy scratches in the past couple of months. I know it’s especially hard on these guys because at this point in their careers they figure this part of the game is behind them.

Not so, my friend. I can tell you from experience - lots of it - that getting scratched sucks. And not just the mental effects it has on a player, but the logistics of it.

Being a healthy scratch for a home game is a little easier because you can usually find a place to hide. You prefer not to see anyone, you don’t want anyone seeing you and you certainly don’t want to have to answer the question, “Why aren’t you playing tonight?”

This is about the time I fake a limp and tell them, “Tweaked my knee in the last game,” and they’re thinking to themselves, “How do you tweak your knee on the bench?” Oh, it can happen….

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avery Will Not Return To Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 3:15pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

As much as Avery is a pariah at this moment, that view might change significantly between now and the March 4 trade deadline.

If Avery shows he’s changed and the Stars brought him back through waivers, he could be claimed by another NHL team at half his salary and half his salary-cap hit. By that time Avery might look pretty attractive to a team that has Cup aspirations but lacks what they see as the required grit to get over the hump.

But that moment is far in the distance.

“There’s no sense talking about it until he gets better,” Hull said.

more


(Dallas, TX December 14, 2008) – The Dallas Stars today announced that Sean Avery will not return to the NHL team. Representatives for both Avery and the Stars said they would continue to work together in support of Avery during “this critical time” for the player. All parties said there is a clear understanding that a return to the Stars is not in the best interest of either the hockey club or Avery. 

“Sean needs to focus on his own well-being while the Stars hockey team must focus on playing hockey and competing for a playoff spot,” said Stars Co-General Manager Brett Hull. “Everyone understands that Sean will not return to the Dallas Stars. We all need to move forward.”

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Spreading Out The Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Empty Netters,

The Penguins’ Jordan Staal and Philadelphia’s Scott Hartnell each reached the 10-goal mark this season yesterday and joined four other double-digit goal scorers on each roster. That moved the Keystone State’s teams into a tie with the San Jose Sharks for the most individual players with 10 or more goals on their roster:

read on for a team breakdown of the 10 or more goals scorers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early Talk Of Wings/Blues Opening Next Season In Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues are in the early stages of negotiations with the NHL to open the 2009-10 season in Sweden.

Looking to gain global exposure, the NHL has opened each of the past two seasons overseas. In 2007, Anaheim and Los Angeles kicked off the league’s regular-season schedule in London, England. This season, four NHL teams played their regular-season openers in Prague, Czech Republic, and Stockholm, Sweden.

The Blues likely would play the Detroit Red Wings in Sweden, but both sides at this point say nothing is firm.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Laying The Ice For The Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Spellman of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

The trucks carrying all the equipment for the next Winter Classic are scheduled to arrive in Chicago this week. A crew of a couple dozen will unload and assemble the boards for a couple of days, clearing the way for Craig and Company to build 1 to 11/2 inches of ice before a short Christmas break. When they return, if everything goes according to plan, all that will be left to do is spruce things up and paint the ice. Even with a warmer-than-normal Christmas Day forecast, the refrigeration system can get the job done.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “You know that it’s coming and you try to prepare yourself for it, but then when everyone gets there, it’s an unbelievable feeling to see so many people enjoying such a great event.”

But Craig realizes there’s no celebrating until he gets that ice just right, which can be a tricky proposition.

“Natural ice freezes from the top down. Artificial ice freezes from the bottom up,” he said. “We want to make sure that you can’t have the top freeze before the bottom freezes.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+craig, winter+classic

Bruins Youngsters Quickly Improve

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

Defenseman Dennis Wideman, a relative graybeard by comparison at age 25, was talking about the explosive development this season of the Bruins’ Baby Bombers — Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Matt Hunwick, Blake Wheeler and even Wideman himself.

“Those guys are all 100 times better than they were last year,” Wideman said, ignoring the fact that his improvement curve is just as steep. “If they keep going like this, and keep getting better and keep working, it’s scary what they could accomplish.”

It’s already frightening to see how far they’ve come just up till now. You can throw Patrice Bergeron into this bunch, too, considering he’s only 23 years old and is showing such remarkable progress in rebounding from that awful concussion of last year.


Without going up and down every roster, it’s clear that there’s not another NHL team that (a) has such a wide array of young talent, and (b) has seen such a drastic improvement in that many players in such a short period of time.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

An In-Depth Look At The KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

“There’s no question the hockey is a lot different,” Jagr said. “You’ve got to skate a lot more here, playing on the larger Olympic ice, and there’s more room. Even if you take a shot from near the boards here, you’re really not that close to the net.”

Game programs are free and there are no air horns, organs or vendors walking the aisles. But rock music reverberates through the stadium during breaks in play and over centre ice an NHL-quality video board shows replays.

Between periods, spectators line up at concession counters, and for about $4.50 at one concessionaire called “Chicken Next Door,” they can buy chicken nuggets or kabobs. A pint-sized beer costs $3.80 and Pringle’s potato chips are available for $6.70 for a large, or $3.60 for a small. Jagr and Cherapanov black home jerseys – they bear a resemblance to those worn by the Buffalo Sabres – are available for about $70 apiece.

much more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Honor Keon Without Him

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

To hell with Dave Keon and all his years of misdirected bitterness. If the Maple Leafs want to honour his jersey they should just go ahead and do it without him.

Really, these ceremonies are for the fans, not the players.

continued pluse more hockey bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+keon

Rumors On A Sunday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There are whispers that if they don’t start winning more consistently, Renney could be in trouble. If that’s the case, Pat Quinn, Team Canada’s coach at the world junior championship, might not be out of work long when the tournament ends Jan. 5. There was talk last year that Quinn could end up with the Rangers. “It might depend on what kind of job he does with Team Canada,” said one league executive.

• Two unrestricted free agents skating near their respective homes not getting nearly as much attention as Sundin: C Bryan Smolinski (Detroit) and C Yanic Perreault (Magog, Que.). Both have been effective NHL players with long careers, but neither can find a full-time job. Teams have asked Smolinski and Perreault to report to their minor-league affiliates, but understandably they believe anybody who wants to bring them in should know their capabilities.

more ‘whispered’ rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Freeze Ticket Prices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Gary Bettman and the NHL should announce an immediate, across-the-board, 30-team price freeze on tickets for this year’s playoffs and for 2009-10 season-subscription packages and single-game purchases.

By doing so, the NHL not only would reap incalculable positive publicity as the first pro sports league to ever initiate such a program, it would create enormous and real good will among its consumers who are the lifeblood of the sport.

Beyond that, announcing a price freeze will be good for a business that relies disproportionately on ticket revenue. A price freeze will stimulate ticket sales. Ticket sales stimulate additional ancillary game-day revenue. It always is better to maximize actual attendance than average ticket price.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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