Kukla's Korner

Coyotes Fans Have Something To Cheer About

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporing News,

Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney woke up at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and expected to get shut out on trade deadline day. He had needs—that’s for sure. Despite sitting in fifth-place in the Western Conference, his team had one of the league’s worst power plays.

And there wasn’t much depth on the Coyotes’ roster. Maloney desperately wanted to change that, but not bad enough to deal any of his top prospects or a top pick. Or, basically, what every selling GM was demanding for players.

But on Wednesday, Maloney and the Coyotes blew away all expectations. Just like they have all season. And now, what was once supposed to be a throwaway year for a team on its way out of town could be something special.

“It’s exciting. In the past we’ve been part of the trade deadline and it’s usually the other way,” captain Shane Doan told Sporting News. “It hasn’t been fun being a Coyotes fan the last few years. The least we can do is give them something to cheer about.”

continued

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

Sabres Going In The Right Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of hte Buffalo News,

The Sabres have one of the best goalies in the world in Ryan Miller, but they’re not among the elite teams in the league. They have a good team, but they’re a year or two and several players away from going deep into the playoffs and, maybe, possibly, if things fall into place, contending for a Stanley Cup.

This year, there’s a wide gap between the top five teams — Washington, New Jersey and Pittsburgh in the East and San Jose and Chicago in the West — and others such as Buffalo, Ottawa and Vancouver. The Capitals were busy for good reason Wednesday. They’re capable of winning the darned thing.

The Sabres’ chances are slim at best.

I’ve never been the lead attorney on Regier’s defense team, but I’m with him this time around. What they really need is their kids to grow up while they shop for a true No. 1 center, a defenseman who can quarterback the power play and another scorer on the wing. They weren’t getting all three and more this year.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Burke Unable To Move Kaberle On Short Notice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

For a tantalizing 24 hours, Brian Burke had the valued card that he had so badly wanted to play in the months counting down to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.

Tomas Kaberle and agent Rick Curran put themselves in the big game, letting it be known they’d relent and waive his no-trade clause, pending Burke’s exploratory talks with three select clubs.

But Burke either could not make something happen with such a limited field or had too little time, and the day ended with Kaberle aboard the flight to Boston with the rest of the Leafs for Thursday’s game.

Kaberle has been singin’ in the rain for the five years the Leafs have missed the playoffs, convincing himself that sunny skies were coming back.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Not Much Trade Action In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Just how bland was NHL trade deadline day in the Western Conference?

At the end, the most intriguing question revolved around a historical curiosity: How could the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, long-time bitter rivals in the Battle of Alberta, make a trade for the first time in history?

Is nothing sacred?

It took them until the 11th hour yesterday, but the Oilers finally began a much-needed overhaul of their roster, moving out two more defencemen (Lubomir Visnovsky to the Anaheim Ducks and Steve Staios to Calgary). Add in the transaction that sent Denis Grebeshkov to the Nashville Predators last Monday, and three of the team’s former starting six defencemen are now gone. (Sheldon Souray stayed behind, mostly because he developed an infection in his broken hand that reportedly will keep him out for the rest of the season.)

In all, the Oilers received a second-round pick for Grebeshkov, a third-rounder and defenceman Aaron Johnson for Staios, and defenceman Ryan Whitney and a sixth-rounder for Visnovsky.

In the end, Visnovsky was the best player traded in the Western Conference yesterday.

continued

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

Lack Of Activity Surprising For A Few Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Judging from the reaction on our ESPN.com message boards, the angriest hockey fans in North America on Wednesday lived in Philadelphia and Boston.

And the puckheads in Chicago were a little disappointed the juggernaut Blackhawks didn’t improve in goal, which, quite frankly, was never going to be easy given Cristobal Huet’s massive contract.

Did the Blackhawks make a phone call?

“We talked to a lot of people about lots of things, not necessarily about that, but just nothing made sense,” Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman told ESPN.com on Wednesday evening. “It takes two to tango. Sometimes you want to do something and they don’t, and sometimes they want too much and that’s why deals don’t get made.

“It never really got too heated up on any one front, to be honest,” Bowman added. “That’s just the way it went.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Interview For You

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,

A grand total of three reporters were at the Coliseum for the trade deadline today: me, Katie Strang of Newsday and Dan Martin of the Post. An hour after the deadline had passed with no Islanders moves, only Katie and Dan were invited together to speak with Garth Snow in his office while I was kept in a holding cell….

All I miss out on is presenting his quotes straight to you. Judging by what I read today, again I did not miss much.

There are plenty of other places to go for information, and plenty of stories, insights and actual facts (!) still to share. In fact, there is so much more to this story - but we’ll pour the whine a little at at time.

Garth and I used to be pretty good friends. I believe he would tell you I was fairly helpful to him for a few years in his transition from goaltender to GM.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

LB:  The Writing Is On The Wall, The Wings Need To Win It All

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Important Update 21:25: For those who have not yet paid your Hockeytown Cafe deposit to Jen, you only have a couple of days to do so.  DO NOT USE THE PAYPAL ADDRESS YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN.  Jennyquarx requests that you .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to get the updated instructions.  Thanks and you only have until March 5th to pay for your Hockeytown Cafe H2H ticket.

There has been a lot of moving and shaking today.  If you read the signs around the league they will tell you some teams are making a serious bid for the playoffs.  Phoenix and LA are two of the teams who are going to the mat in a fight for a playoff spot.  The Wings have been in a fight for the playoffs since Jobu started fuching with us.  Unfortunately, Toronto is making a bid for early tee times, but I actually feel optimistic that there is hope on the horizon for the first time in almost a decade in Leafs Nation.

Back to Detroit.

The Clusterfaux to the Playoffs is well illustrated by RWBill.  The Wings are leading the Peloton of Suck, for now.  Anything can happen, the team has to read the sign on the wall telling them to control their own destiny.  Win games and leave everyone in the dust behind you.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Can We Talk Goaltending?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In this salary cap world, when a team feels they have a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup, they sgo for it and go for it hard.

Three teams that have this shot are Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington. 

Are you surprised that none of these teams made a trade to improve their goaltending situation and is it a mistake that will cost them once the playoffs start?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Yelle Back To Colorado

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Stephane Yelle and Harrison Reed have been traded to Colorado for C Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth-round pick, says Rutherford

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stephane+yelle

Edmonton/Calgary Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Edmonton trades Steve Staois to Cgy for Aaron Johnson and a third . Done

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+johnson, steve+staois

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