Kukla's Korner

Running The PA Is…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Maven at Game On (yes, another website for Stan),

Although the NHL Players’ Association fired its boss, Ted Saskin, the union still has to do business with the league. Gary Bettman tells us that one of the triumvirate – at least temporarily – running the Association is none other than onetime enforcer, Stu Grimson. Grimson‘s partner is Ian Penny.

a few more NHL bits from Stan…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Season Tickets For Kids

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Islanders,

In their continued efforts to make New York Islanders games the premier destination for Long Island families, the Islanders are offering a season ticket for young fans that will cost just $10 a game.
“The NYI365 KIDS SEASON PASS came about after (owner) Charles Wang made it clear to us in our off-season meetings that our organization has three primary goals,” said Chris Dey, Islanders Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations. “Our goals are for Islanders games to be the number one entertainment option for Long Island families, to pack the Coliseum for every game and - it goes without saying - to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”

continued... Other teams should take note…

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

Good Day In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Fans in the arena were as enthusiastic as any I’ve seen assembled for the draft. And I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but the crowd’s ovation for Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell before his pre-draft welcome speech bordered on touching.
At that point, anyone in the stands who hailed from Boston or Chicago could have been forgiven for believing they were hallucinating.

more on the Columbus experience…

The view of Columbus from the End of the Bench,

The long anticipated draft weekend has come and gone. I’ve taken a moment to relax and reflect. In the aftermath, I felt exhausted but I’m not really sure why. I didn’t work all that hard, stay up too late, or party too hard. Still, it was a whirlwind twenty-four hours for me….
New Jackets GM Scott Howson stepped to the stage to announce the seventh pick, and was met with thunderous applause, cheering, and chants of “Let’s Go Jackets!” I’m sure he couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the hockey fans in Columbus.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who Won The Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,

Based on the post-draft thoughts of scouts who were asked to assess the proceedings based on which teams made the most of the day, five clearly impressed their peers with their choices.
5. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks entered the day with no first-round pick (having traded theirs to St. Louis in the Bill Guerin deal in February), but left with a pair: Logan Couture (#9) and Nick Petrecki (#28). GM Doug Wilson—again proving himself to be a master of asset management…

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watching The Draft From A Different Angle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Simmons at ESPN Page 2,

4:21: As we wait for Chicago’s pick, one TSN announcer confidently decides, “This is a crucial time for the Blackhawks,” and another adds, “This is a big pick, this is a big pick.” They both have kickin’ Canadian accents. How have I been missing the NHL draft all these years? I feel like someone introduced me to Patron tequila all over again.
4:22: Here’s a cool wrinkle for the first round: Before every pick, each GM walks up to the stage flanked by four cronies, then stands in front of the podium and announces his pick. Imagine if the NBA did this and we could see the likes of Elgin Baylor and Kevin McHale announcing their own picks? Can we make this happen?
Anyway, Chicago GM Dale Tallon is “proud” to introduce tiny Patrick Kane as his No. 1 pick. This kid looks like an altar boy. I’m not kidding—he actually looks like an altar boy. I hope his tremendous upside potential involves puberty.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Look To Build & Unload

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philly News,

Even after using $10.5 million in cap space against this year with the moves he made last week to land Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell from the Nashville Predators, Holmgren said Saturday the Flyers still have enough money to spend in the bidding for the top three centers available: Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, and Daniel Briere.
“We have room to do things,” he said. “And we have room to be creative. We’ll see what happens starting July 1.”...
Beyond what they have to spend, the Flyers will be looking to reduce salary either through contract buyouts or trades. One player being speculated about is 23-year-old defenseman Joni Pitkanen.
Holmgren said that interest in Pitkanen was minimal despite reports to the contrary.
“There has been very little talk about him in the last few days,” Holmgren said. “There’s been more speculation about him by [agent] Larry Kelly and the media. Lots of teams ask about our players, but I’m not sure [Pitkanen] is the one they ask the most about.”

more

Filed in: Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bolts Trying To Improve Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Bay Tribune,

But the real work is going to come in improving the goaltending. The same questions that surrounded the team at the end of the season remain today. And, really, is there anyway to really improve the position right now? Can you look at the free-agent crop that has names such as Brian Boucher, Mathieu Garon, Ed Belfour, Kevin Weekes, Robert Esche or Curtis Joseph?
About the only name that could be enticing is Dominik Hasek, assuming he doesn’t re-sign with Detroit before free agency begins Sunday.
The goaltending has to be better for this team to be better. It could come from within, as Holmqvist showed signs last season, or Denis could bounce back and show the consistency the team needs. And Ramo is a highly touted, but unproven, 21-year-old.
Either way, there is no easy solution to turning the team into a legitimate contender this season.

more

Filed in: Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Impressive Class

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Record,

Stevens and his longtime Rangers’ rival, Mark Messier, are expected to headline one of the best induction classes in the Hall’s hallowed history.
They’ll likely be joined by former Calgary and St. Louis defenseman Al MacInnis and ex-Hartford, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Toronto center Ron Francis.
“It’s a big thing,” Stevens admitted. “I don’t really think of a lot of things, but you think about the Stanley Cup and after that I maybe thought of the Hall of Fame, thinking that would be really neat. That would be some accomplishment to be recognized with other great players.”

more

added 10:15am, Legends of Hockey has a different spin on the class for this year…

Too many deserving members and only 4 positions. My money is on Messier, Stevens, Larionov, and Bure. Francis probably should get the nod over Bure, but somehow I see the Hall making a bit of a political move here.

read on

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

Canucks Looking For Scoring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

The Canucks have 14 players under contract for $40.095 million. Regardless of how high the cap ceiling rises—$48-50 million is a safe bet—landing a top-six forward to spark a 23rd-ranked offence and adding a defenceman will be done through trades. Or, perhaps a cautious foray into free agency.
“We’re going to explore all of our options including free agency in the first couple of weeks of July,” said Nonis. “But those players [free agents] just don’t grow on trees and there are a lot of teams looking to add players.
“It’s going to depend on the price and the term you have to sign certain players, but I’ll expect we’ll find a player or two to fill some holes. But when and where, I don’t know.”

read on

Filed in: Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Emery Could Be RFA Target

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Because of his age, Emery might be the only attractive restricted free agent out there. Should Emery be offered a contract worth less than $4.5 million per season, all it would cost the team making the offer is a first-, second- and third-round draft pick in 2008.
If you think that’s a high price to pay, think again.
That’s pretty much what the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the San Jose Sharks to get goalie Vesa Toskala before the first round of the draft on Friday at Nationwide Arena.
Conversations between agents and teams for restricted free agents can begin today, but no offer sheets can be tendered until July 1. There are plenty of teams—including St. Louis, Boston, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay—looking for goaltending help.

more

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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