Kukla's Korner

GM Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

At a point in history where image and optics trump truth nine times out of 10, it is paramount not only to be able to walk the talk, but to talk with sufficient verve to make people want to stick around and see if you can walk it.

Rarely has that been more apparent than in today’s NHL, which has a number of teams clearly struggling to mold messages for their fan base – and consequently, taking consistent and predictable public relations poundings because of it.

Where some GMs – Detroit’s Ken Holland and San Jose’s Doug Wilson, to name two – speak freely and easily, offering insight into their organization without divulging crucial inside information, others labor through each and every interaction with the media, speaking as if each word was a massive boulder carried slowly off their tongues and out of their mouths, the way ancient Egyptians moved giant rocks as they built pyramids.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking Strength & Conditioning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MaxGiese of SharksPage,

The 2009-10 season will be Mike Potenza’s third year as the Sharks strength and conditioning coordinator. He is responsible for the team’s overall strength and conditioning programs, including the creation of individualized postseason workout programs and assistance in the rehabilitation efforts for all injured players….

Max Giese: Who are some of the players that have spent the majority of their summers with you in San Jose?

Mike Potenza: Some of the guys like Evgeni Nabokov, Patrick Marleau, and Jonathan Cheechoo live out here and stay throughout the summer. Then there are guys like Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, and Torrey Mitchell who have made the commitment to spend their time here this summer. I actually wanted to talk to those three young players about spending the summer here in San Jose, but all three took the initiative and grabbed me first and asked me if they could train with me in San Jose during the summer. Which is just awesome.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+potenza

Where Will Your Team Finish?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Hockey News has been doing a countdown on where teams in each conference will finish in the standings.  Today, they start listing their playoff teams.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Hire Arturs Irbe As Goaltending Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have hired Arturs Irbe as the organization’s goaltending coach, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Irbe replaces Dave Prior, who recently resigned after 12 years with the club to spend more time with his family.

Irbe, 42, is a native of Riga, Latvia, and served as the goaltending coach for his hometown Dinamo Riga last season in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has also worked with the Latvian national team, which he represented in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics. Irbe is also a former teammate of Capitals’ assistant coach Dean Evason, as both players were with the San Jose Sharks from 1991-93.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arturs+irbe

All Jacques Lemaire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Q: It’s been 16 years since you began your first tenure with the Devils in 1993. Are things a lot different now?

Lemaire: “When I went there (the first time), it was a place that we had good times, we had great success, we had a lot of fun, and a team that was growing and doing well. It will be fun to go back.”

Q: The Devils lost in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons despite having regular season success. In watching film of the team, can you tell if there was something missing?

Lemaire: “It’s hard from the outside. When I looked at the tapes, I felt that the guys really played hard. They were unlucky on certain things. In the playoffs, teams are pretty much equal. It doesn’t take much for a team to go ahead of the other one. A little more confidence, a little more this, a little more that can make it. You look at Detroit and Pittsburgh. I feel that Detroit had a better team than Pittsburgh on paper, but the way Pittsburgh played as a team and the confidence they had, that’s what made them win….

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

A New Era In Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

The Florida Panthers have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since accumulating a franchise-record 98 points in the 1999-2000 season. If the Panthers are to break that drought before it stretches into a second decade, they will do it with a distinctly new look….

Following last season’s near-miss, Jacques Martin, the team’s general manager and former coach, walked away in early June to become coach of the Montreal Canadiens. The Panthers have yet to name a new GM, and front-office duties are being handled by legendary executive Bill Torrey and assistant GM Randy Sexton.

Jay Bouwmeester, the team’s franchise defenseman, was the next one out the door. Unable to get the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent under contract, the club made the difficult, but necessary, decision to move the All-Star defenseman. The deal, after much speculation, went down at the 2009 Entry Draft, sending Bouwmeester to Calgary for defenseman Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick in the 2009 Draft.

Leopold and Ballard will likely anchor a completely rebuilt defense this season. The club also signed European vet Ville Koistinen and returns Bryan Allen and Bryan McCabe.

read on

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

A Big Year For Briere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Too much money, too little return. He was untradable, an anvil around a team unable to improve because of salary-cap restraints.

His heart was questioned. His guts, too. His head.

“People will never say it to your face,” Briere was saying the other day. “I’m aware. I think I’m a realist. I’m aware of the contract and what that means in terms of last year. I think a lot of people maybe don’t quite understand the difference between being injured and not living up to the contract.

“But I’m not really worried about it because I’m confident that last year is behind me and I can now focus on being the player I’m supposed to be in Philadelphia. It’s not really important what happened in the past. It’s what you do in the moment. That’s how hockey and sports operates. It’s what can you do for me now.”

“Now” is a month away.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

The Build-Up Begins For The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Turco Under Pressure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

“The pressure (comes from) missing the playoffs for the first time in my career, a new coach, a new general manager—for all of us in the organization after completing our worst season I’ve been around, there is pressure on everybody,” Turco told Sporting News.

Now Turco enters the final year of a contract that averages $5.7 million, and he could be playing for his future in Dallas….

Along with trying to get his team back in the postseason, Turco wants to keep his job, too.

“I have a family—three kids now. I turned 34 (Aug. 13) and have one year left on my contract. That’s personal. We’re human and this is my job,” Turco said. “That’s pressure different than the arena of sport. I feel fortunate that I don’t feel stressed about my personal situation. As competitive and driven as I am, these things seem to take care of themselves.”

more plus a look five other goalies facing pressure this season…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Hockey Canada Says Insurance Issues Are Cleared Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,

As far as Hockey Canada is concerned, the issue of insurance coverage for the country’s best players has a giant check mark beside it.

“Everything is fine,” Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, said regarding the controversy over insurance coverage for NHLplayers attending the upcoming orientation camp for potential 2010 Olympic team members.

“We have secured insurance to help protect the players - given the low risk there is - to give them peace of mind.”

Peace of mind doesn’t describe the mindsets of the NHL or NHL Players’ Association - at least judging by recent public comments regarding the camp.

continued

added 7:50pm, Icethetics may have the first pictures of what the Team Canada sweater may look like for 2010.

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

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