Kukla's Korner

Lawton Wants A Top-Six Forward To Replace Prospal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

“I’d like to add another top-six forward, one that adds a little different chemistry, a little more speed. We want to play a more up-tempo game. And we really want guys that care.”

What free agents are out there? If willing to take one-year deals at lower rates for a chance to play with Lecavalier and juice careers that took steps back last season, Alex Tanguay and Petr Sykora would top the list.

Lawton said he also could trade for a forward, which would better control payroll because of the salary shipped out.

“The question is whether we can get anything done,” Lawton said. “It’s a tough equation. There haven’t been a lot of moves by teams. The faucet was shut off by about July 4, and that is because the league is oversold. But there are some good players out there.”


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

IS The NHL Behind The Lack Of Recent UFA Signings?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

A high-profile agent told Sun Media yesterday that the current environment for free agents is “all being orchestrated” by the NHL and the plan all along was to make these players sit to see if they’re willing to sign for less money.

Four weeks into free agency, players like Alex Tanguay, Petr Sykora, Manny Fernandez, Marcus Nilson, Dennis Seidenberg, Dominic Moore, Rhett Warrener, Miroslav Satan, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang and Brendan Shanahan have yet to sign.

None of these guys are superstars, but they’re household names and in a few cases, it’s a surprise they haven’t been signed. It would appear teams simply aren’t willing to pay their asking price or don’t have the money.

“I think what you’ve got here is something that has been in the works for a while,” said the agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bunch of guys sitting around like this looking for work. This is something teams have been looking at for a while.

“What they’re trying to do is make these guys wait and sweat so they’ll take less money. A lot of these guys aren’t going to do that.”

A league executive, meanwhile, said that’s not the case

read on

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

BOG May Be Talking Panthers Sale Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Got a tip late Tuesday night that the Florida Panthers sale to the Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. is not only not dead, but could be voted on Wednesday.

The NHL’s Board of Governors is meeting in Chicago this week with the sale of the Panthers from the Alan Cohen ownership group to the SPAC apparently on the agenda….

We will see what happens on Wednesday. Bill Torrey is in Chicago representing the Panthers; others may be up there as well.

Andrew Murstein, who led the charge for the SPAC, has previously been reported as the new face of the ownership group….

f Murstein comes in to run the team, I would think Randy Sexton staying on as general manager is probably unlikely (yes, I wrote today I thought he was keeping the job).

Murstein is reportedly close to former New York Rangers/Islanders GM Neil Smith, who I have been told is one of a handful of finalists for the job as it stands today.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canucks GM Talks Long Road Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHLcom via VancouverCanucks.com,

“Obviously when you’re away for that length of time you get concerned,” Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis told NHL.com. “But the Olympic break does break up the trip, so it’s really two segments of a trip as opposed to one long month away from home. We’re making the best of a situation that’s really beyond our control, and we’re trying to manage it and be as competitive as we can.”...

“The Olympics are an extremely important event, and we could possibly have up to eight players participating from our team,” Gillis said. “It’s a huge event for British Columbia and Canada and we’re going to do our part to make sure it’s as positive and as well-managed as it’s going to be. It’s really up to us to manage it appropriately and get our players ready for it and that’s what we intend to do.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis

Previewing Tomorrow’s BOG Meeting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts and Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,

While even the leaders of a group of Canadian and American businessmen admit their 11th-hour attempt to buy the Phoenix Coyotes is a long shot, they will find an attentive audience when they face the NHL’s board of governors tomorrow in Chicago….

In addition to taking part in the examination of the Ice Edge group, they will also question Jim Balsillie about his bid for the team and his relocation plans. Balsillie, the co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion Ltd., has offered $212.5-million (U.S.) for the Coyotes on the condition he can move the team to Hamilton.


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

Wild Name Flahr Asst. GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Brent Flahr Assistant General Manager. Flahr will oversee all aspects of player development and evaluation and assist Fletcher in player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and league related issues.

“Brent is one of the top talent evaluators in the NHL and was an integral member of Anaheim’s scouting staff on their 2007 Stanley Cup team,” said Fletcher.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+flahr

The Blues Are For Real

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

One squad I see having a good chance to surprise again this year is the St. Louis Blues, who finished an eyebrow-raising sixth in the Western Conference last season, but are still considered by many to have been the beneficiary of a weak second-half schedule and plain old good luck.

But in February, March and April last season, St. Louis managed to earn 68 percent of its possible points – winning 20 of 34 outright and earning a loser point in six others. Nine of those wins came against eventual playoff teams, so it wasn’t just about weak opponents and blind luck; the Blues were playing some pretty damn good hockey. And I think that’ll continue; the Blues are for real – a Central Division dark horse, even….

Would I bet my house on St. Louis finishing the season as a top-three seed in the West? No. But would I drop $25 on it in Vegas? You betcha.


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

Calling The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

Whether your favorite announcer is a current one such as Rick Jeanneret, Randy Moller, Chris Cuthbert or Gord Miller, or a historical great like Danny Gallivan, Bob Cole or Foster Hewitt, there are all sorts of different calls and sounds for all sorts of different tastes.

Thinking back to your favorite calls of all-time, there will be some that just make you think: “that was an awesome goal.” There will be ones where you can recite the announcer’s call word-for-word because it was expressed so well.

And then there are the ones that also give you goosebumps, make you feel proud and, perhaps, give you a lump in your throat every time you hear it…even if you weren’t around when it was done live.

In my mind, the best call ever made in hockey is a no-doubter.


While doing some research on the story, I found this video of how the great Foster Hewitt started his broadcasting career.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: foster+hewitt

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

They have not even tendered an offer yet, and would-be owners of the Coyotes already are yapping about having some “home” games in Saskatoon.

Once that news got out, the salivating again began north of the border.

This is, plain and simple, an idiotic idea. What a great way to alienate even more fans, especially season ticket holders. The bottom line is to bring more fans into the fold, not drive them away. For a franchise that prides itself on being fan-friendly, this scheme ranks with the worst of them.

The Board of Governors should squash this one in rapid fashion.

-Jim Gintonio of IceChips at the Arizona Republic.

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

Hockey Fan Beauty Pageant? Uh Oh!

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The NHL Arena is having a midsummer tournament…

imageThe Pageant is an annual tournament of ours asking hockey fans from around the world to post a picture of themselves in an attempt to declare the best looking male and female fans on the planet… well really what it is, is a fun and friendly ice-breaker for fans to meet one another during a long and arduous offseason.

If you would like to enter this contest, simply register up at The NHL Arena, go to your favorite teams’ subforum, locate their Chapter of fans and post a photo of themselves (open to both guys and girls).

Hmmm.  A hockey fan beauty pageant might be a scary thing to some people, but we know better: Just have to flash a little of that hockey attitude and who could resist any of y’all? smile

(Alas, the dog days of summer…. gotta pass the time somehow!)


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

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