Kukla's Korner

GDT - W.C. Finals, Game 4: Red Wings (2-1) at Blackhawks (1-2) (3:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Did anyone expect this series to end in a sweep, really?  Of course that would have made for a wonderful world, especially considering the Pens are absolutely obliterating the ‘Canes; but not a very realistic prognostication.  The Wings do have the opportunity for a split in Chitown and a potential clinching game 5 on Wednesday night at the Joe.

The ‘Hawks are convinced that Kronwall’s crucification of Martin Havlat was a dirty deed, and are promising to “finish their checks” on Nick Jr.  The Q-stache, who looked to be extremely rattled in game 4, claims that both ‘Bulin and Havlat (the ‘Hawks leading playoff scorer) are gametime decisions.  The injury news from Wings camp is not good either, Draper is out, and Datsyuk is also a gametime decision.

All Aboard!  This Sunday tilt could get bloody.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Search For Edmonton’s Next Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Here’s the dilemma facing Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini.

Does he hire an older, experienced NHL head coach like Pat Quinn, Marc Crawford or Tom Renney? And if he does go for an older coach, he likely has to get a young gun as an assistant to take over behind the bench a few years down the road.

Or should he go with a fresh new face such as Kevin Dineen or Scott Arniel—both on the Oilers’ short list—but have an older right-hand man to help him learn the NHL coaching ropes?

Tambellini has interviewed Quinn, Crawford, and Renney, along with Todd Richards, the San Jose Sharks assistant coach, who might be at the top of the list with the Minnesota Wild now that Chuck Fletcher has taken over as GM.

But Tambellini is methodical and probably a little anxious. A general manager’s most important hire is his first head coach.


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

Ebersol Talks Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,

“What’s going on in Chicago is fantastic,” said Dick Ebersol, sports chairman of a network that had a profitable fling during Jordan’s reign. “The Winter Classic at Wrigley Field was the highest-rated regular season game in 34 years. Game 1 of this series was the highest-rated game on U.S. TV, not counting finals or the winter classics, in five years. There is an uptick in hockey, especially in Chicago.”

NBC’s contract is up at year’s end, but in a feeble economy, Ebersol hopes the network and league can continue to partner by sharing risk and reward. Ever the contrarian, he touts Versus as the solution, not the problem. From America’s most powerful TV executive, this is not the stuff of fluff.

“Versus treats hockey the right way, not second fiddle as it was on ESPN,” said Ebersol. “Versus is in 20 million fewer homes, but the holes are tightening. And don’t forget, Versus is owned by Comcast. I like that strength. I also liked Bill Wirtz. The new people in Chicago have done a great job, but Bill was a character, and he cared about the sport.”

more on the Blackhawks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Hockey Talk On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Gary Bettman is so stubborn and small in his unwillingness to do business with BlackBerry boss Jim Balsillie that some league people actually are talking about the NHL buying the Phoenix Coyotes rather than allowing Balsillie to get his hands anywhere near the franchise. And to hell with the millions they’ll blow along the way.

• If Niklas Kronwall’s hit on Martin Havlat was illegal, then they should remove Scott Stevens from the Hall of Fame immediately and deem his entire career illegal. And since when does NHL stand for No Hitting League?

• Don’t know why, but there are all kinds of voices in the hockey wilderness—the entertaining Jeremy Roenick being the latest—who seem to rejoice in taking shots at Wings coach Mike Babcock. And all he does is win.

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

No Stopping Malkin & Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In the moments after Evgeni Malkin deftly dropped the puck back between his skates to Ruslan Fedotenko, who ripped a shot past Cam Ward to give Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead, the television cameras panned briefly to Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

In that moment, Seidenberg gave a look—half grimace, half resignation with a dash of, what, maybe admiration—that sums up what the Carolina Hurricanes are now feeling.

Over the course of three straight wins, the Pens have outscored the previously high-flying Hurricanes 16-8, including Saturday’s 6-2 victory, as Pittsburgh now owns a death-grip 3-0 series lead.

That they will advance at some point is now a foregone conclusion, the only question to be answered is when. When they do advance, they will be carried by the most devastating one-two punch the NHL has seen in a generation, maybe since Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux were winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Price For UFA Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he expects free agent contracts to be shorter in term this offseason, in large part because of the struggling worldwide economy.

But as he noted later, that still points to three- or four-year deals, rather than five, six, or more.

Even with the bleaker fiscal picture, a few teams likely will bid aggressively on a small number of players. A sampling of GMs, speaking off the record, pointed to:

Jay Bouwmeester (D) - The star backliner, whom Florida refused to deal at the March deadline, will turn 26 in September. With great wheels and size (6-4/212), he might squeeze out six years and upward of $40 million.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin (F) - The twins, who make up the core of Vancouver’s attack, probably can land five-year deals and each average between $5 million and $6 million.

more plus numerous NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Coach’s Corner Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eight minutes of Don and Ron with numerous topics discussed, including the Kronwall hit.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Let Brent Sutter Go

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It’s time for the general manager to get on with the business of finding a coach who wants to be in New Jersey for the long-term rather than continuing with one who would operate as a lame duck only out of a sense of responsibility.

There’s no need for Sutter to continue to agonize over his decision. Lamoriello should make it for him and make it for him now, even if that would allow Sutter to immediately slide into the head coach’s position in Calgary that became vacant on Friday when GM Darryl Sutter fired Mike Keenan.

There is no point in holding him hostage to a contract. There is no point in holding the Devils hostage to a lame duck whose authority over the team would invariably be compromised. There is no point to having a short-timer in control of the operation.

read on plus more NHL topics discussed, like NBC and referees in the conference finals…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

Perk Up Your Sunday By Inviting Hate Into Your Lives

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’m pretty sure that Wing fans, if not the Wings themselves, are still in recovery mode.  Beating Anaheim was everything.  It was more than the Cup.  Take issue with that?  I understand.  But you know it’s true.  Before Games 6 or 7 you had yourselves convinced that winning that series, flushing that demon, was something you’d take in exchange for the Cup.

That lasted for about two weeks, exactly three games.  Now?  It’s time to move on.  It’s time to move toward this.

I cheered when Peyton Manning carved up the Bears defense in the Super Bowl, it’s the same feeling I get (to a lesser degree) when the Cubs lose year after year.  I hate those people…

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Playoff +/- Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The playoff +/- leader is Daniel Cleary of the Detroit Red Wings.  His +15 rating in only 14 games gives him a surprisingly big lead.  He is three points ahead of Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins and four points ahead of teammate Henrik Zetterberg (who has the second highest +/- rating among players still in the playoffs). 

Cleary has had a good playoff so far.  His thirteen points place him third on the Detroit Red Wings in scoring.  That is not bad for a guy who at one time looked like he would be one of the biggest failed prospects in history.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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