Kukla's Korner

A Refresher Course On Who May Be Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

The standings in both conferences are a jumbled mix of contenders and hopefuls, with only a few also-rans tossed into the fray. It could mean fewer sellers. Of course, players ranging from tweaks to splashes abound, so it could be a few days filled with conference calls.

Splashes

• Jack Johnson, Los Angeles Kings: The 23-year-old helped anchor the United States’ blue line during the Olympics and should be a centerpiece in L.A. However, he was furious in late January after GM Dean Lombardi called him “awful as a hockey player” while skating for the University of Michigan.

• Pavel Kubina, Atlanta Thrashers: The hulking defenseman (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) with offensive talent (29 assists) has a $5 million contract that is expiring.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wild News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

I talked to GM Chuck Fletcher Sunday morning and he said, “We have nothing imminent. Whatever we do, I think it would be closer to the deadline, assuming we even do anything.”

You can read the story in Monday’s paper, but if Marek Zidlicky isn’t signed by Wednesday, it would be absolutely shocking if he is not traded. The priority is to sign him, but Fletcher made clear that Zidlicky is a significant asset in the same category as Kim Johnsson. And as you know, he traded Johnsson in the Cam Barker deal.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Have Interest In Torres, But…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

The Dispatch has learned the Philadelphia Flyers are one of the teams with a strong interest in Jackets winger Raffi Torres. The problem is the Flyers do not have a first- or a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. It’s believed general manager Scott Howson is seeking at least a second-round pick. We don’t think there are serious talks between the clubs, but only that the Flyers have a serious interest in Torres.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

The A2Y Baby Monologues:  J.J. From Kansas Edition

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The penultimate edition of The A2Y Baby Monologues features J.J. from Kansas, one of the most popular posters at A2Y.  Always good for a laugh and a logical argument to battle trolls, J.J. has also succeeded at delivering the goods at home.

The only member of the 19 that I have met in person, I can say J.J. is as great a guy in person as he is online.  Last year he and his family also felt the immense power of Jonny Ericsson, fertility god.  He’s given the 19 Exhibit C in our scientific paper on the fertility powers of Ericsson.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Hey, At Least Hockey Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Deadspin,

It hurts because you care. And maybe you’re already a huge hockey fan, and you understood every nuance of the game. But there are a ton of people out there who are only hurt because they supported their country by tuning in. They just happened to see one of the most exciting hockey games ever. Before Vancouver, maybe they never saw a hockey game. Now, hockey made them care.

Someone made the decision to watch their NHL team’s next game. Some kid just made the choice to play hockey. Someone just learned the names Crosby, Miller, Luongo for the first time. Hockey has some new fans.

People are going to be talking about hockey tomorrow. So while Canada takes home the gold medal — and all due congratulations to them — it’s hockey as a whole that wins.

more

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Crosby To The Rescue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

Thank you, Sidney Crosby.

Thank you for putting the exclamation point on Canada’s record 14 gold medals won here, unequalled by any nation, host or otherwise, in the history of the Winter Olympics.

Thank you for not taking a shift off, even when you were frustrated at every turn by an American body or stick in your way, all day long. Thank you for following that puck into the corner in overtime after you were sandwiched trying to split the U.S. defence, and thank you for heading for the hole when you left the puck with Jarome Iginla and two American defencemen stuck in the corner.

“He was yelling pretty hard for it, so I just laid it in there, hoping I wasn’t too late,” said Iginla, who was fighting off U.S. defenceman Ryan Suter and falling when he made the pass.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Coyotes Won’t Deal Assets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The closing ceremony begins in Vancouver so we may as well start with the trade talk….

from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

Money is not the issue for (Don) Maloney; it’s his belief that success is built and then ensured through a solid foundation. Any deal he makes would fit that parameter.

“I still believe we are growing this franchise,” he said. “We expect to win. We’re a playoff team, and we think when we get there we have a chance to win, so that’s why we’re looking (for) help, but . . . the price right now on some of these players, that’s the challenge.

“This isn’t a money decision for us right now. We’ve been able to save enough in our budget to give ourselves room for paying the next six weeks. This is more of the asset price that we have to give up to acquire, and a second-round pick and prospect for a guy for six weeks, that doesn’t cut it for me at all.

“That’s where maybe somebody else is wiling to pay, but I’m not. We think we’re good enough, and we like the group. If we can find a way to be better, we’ll do it.”

more

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

Breaking Down The Golden Broadcast

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,

NBC’s Al Michaels after Don Cherry, a vision in red velvet, expounded on how the game would go, including his opinions on that ``Lalongo” guy: ``I never knew that Feb. 28 was Halloween in Canada.” ... NBC’s Mike Milbury heading into the game: ``There are two, maybe three guys on the U.S. team who could make Team Canada.” ... The beauty of having a guy between the benches.  McGuire reported early in the first period that Canada coach Mike Babcock was telling his players to get more pucks on net and cease with the fancy stuff. You don’t get that kind of stuff in the broadcast booth. ... Watching the game on CTV, the sound mix made me feel as if I were in the stands. On NBC, I felt like I was in the parking lot.

more

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc, winter+olympics

Be Happy For Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal,

Be happy for Canadians. They wanted this game more than Brett Favre wants to wave another Super Bowl ring at Green Bay. Hockey is a national identity here, and losing may have sent this country into an unfathomable funk. Nobody is supposed to beat Canada in hockey, just like nobody is supposed to beat the U.S. in Kardashians.

This will be one of those games that people will lie about being at for the rest of their lives. However, we have a feeling most of Canada actually was here along with the great Mr. Shatner, who was born in Montreal.

We weren’t among the Maple Leaf plutocrats who plunked down as much as $4,000 for a nosebleed inside Canada’s Hockey Place. We opted for the cozier—and louder—surroundings of the Saskatchewan House—a white tent on the water not far from the arena. Inside was everything a hockey fan needed: a spiffy green carpet, wobbly tables, BBQ bison burgers and $8 plastic cups of Molson Canadian. You could also buy white wine and water, if you didn’t mind being arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

First Game Review

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cushing of Seattlepi,

Well, I guess I picked a good time to watch my first hockey game. Well, I’ve never watched an entire NHL or Olympic hockey game in my life, but I have been to a Thunderbirds game once and a different minor league game when I was in high school. It goes without saying that I know very little about the sport, but I do know plenty about competition and drama and when a team scores with 24.4 seconds left to tie a game, even the most ignorant fan (me) knows it’s a big deal.

Seriously, what an unbelievable finish, and what a great game to watch, even if it is hard to follow the puck at times (although not as hard as I originally thought that it would be) and even if I have no idea who these guys are, I enjoyed every minute of the game. As a hockey-viewing novice, I can’t really tell who the good players are because I don’t have any clue if what a guy just did was routine or a difficult maneuver. It looks bad to me if a guy misses the puck or makes what looks to be a weird/bad pass to a teammate, but I don’t know how common those kinds of “mistakes” are, so it’s hard for me to pass judgment.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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