Kukla's Korner

Captain Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin took the ice for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens wearing the captain’s ‘C’ on his sweater, introducing him to the Verizon Center fans as the 14th captain in club history. Vice president and general manager George McPhee and head coach Bruce Boudreau made the selection and Boudreau informed his team of the decision this morning.

Ovechkin, 24, is the first European-born captain in Capitals history and the second-youngest captain in team history (Ryan Walter was 21 when he captained the 1979-80 team). The Moscow native is the sixth Russian-born player to be an NHL captain and joins Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk as the only active Russians to captain their teams (Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhamnov are the previous ones). Ovechkin, who has been one of Washington’s alternate captains since his second season in the league, succeeds Chris Clark as Capitals’ captain following Clark’s trade to Columbus last week.

Alex Ovechkin … What Others Are Saying


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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Oilers Behavior Questioned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Look—we’ve all been part of a bad bill before. And, yes, NHL players can become targets in a situation like this one.

But the end result was 20 millionaires didn’t suck it up. Men who get more stuff for free in a year than anyone reading this column does in a lifetime, refused on principle to come up with less than $1,000 apiece for them and their spouse/girlfriend on New Year’s Eve. Instead, they created an incident that stained a once proud organization’s reputation from coast to coast.

Another dent in a train wreck of a season—in Calgary, no less. Like the story of the Oilers dine-and-dash wouldn’t have legs in that city? Sheesh.

Within days, team owner Daryl Katz had canceled a planned golf trip to Palm Springs for the players and their wives. The Oilers say the two incidents had nothing to do with each other, but we can only hope that isn’t true.

Now, the players will stay in minus-20 Edmonton for a mini-training camp instead of teeing it up in the sunshine. And their wives will sip Tim Horton’s coffee instead of Cosmopolitans by the pool.


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

Chelios Picks Up DUI

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chicago Breaking Sports News,

Former Blackhawks star Chris Chelios was arrested early Dec. 28 and charged with speeding and driving under the influence, Westmont police said.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios

West Is Best

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Western Conference is a better brand of hockey. Look at Canada’s Olympic team: 16 of the 23 players are from the West. Or is that because the whole management team is from Western Conference teams; Yzerman and Holland from Detroit, Armstrong from St. Louis, Lowe from Edmonton. But then again Brian Burke’s America has 12 players from the West. (Hey, isn’t that where Burke really cut his teeth as a manager?) The true measure of the balance will be in the final points standings. It could take something in the mid- to upper-90s to get a playoff spot in the West, while it might be only mid-80s in East.

more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Report- Bergeron Out 2-6 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Star center Patrice Bergeron could be out anywhere from two to six weeks with a thumb injury, a source told ESPN.com Tuesday.


added 2:46pm, via Darren Dreger’s Twitter,

Bergeron believed to have suffered a thumb injury. 3 weeks, according to a source.

updated 3:53pm, from a tweet by Daren Millard of Sportsnet,

Plenty of concern regarding Patrice Bergeron. We r told the hand is week to week. His olympics r not in danger.

updated 5:39pm, What I am hearing on this is 2-3 weeks for Bergeron after visiting with a doctor today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+bergeron

Ahem, Diggers?  Wakey, Wakey

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

update 3:40pm (Paul), No Z or Cleary tonight, May in for Leino.

I know.  I know travel’s tough.  I understand that when you hit a rollicking town like Anaheim the nights get a little longer and the sunshine feels like burning lasers on your sensitive retinas. 

But, if it’s ok, could you let me and Drew know whether Hank Zetterberg’s playing tonite?  It’s kind of important to us.  See?

‘member? Yesterday you said we’d know.  You promised.

I think we’re going to decide tomorrow—we’re going to decide after the morning skate.


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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

No Need To Scout The WJC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,

I dialed up the scouts in my Rolodex this last few days. The grumpiest were still in Saskatoon. The slightly less grumpy were ones who were home from the tournament and thawing out. Happiest - or at least as happy as a scout gets - somehow avoided the tournament assignment.

One of the great disconnects between fact and public perception is that the world under-20s is a priority assignment for NHL scouts leading up to the draft in June. Such is rarely the case and maybe in no year has it been so far down the list as this year.

Those NHL scouts who made the trip out to Saskatoon were mostly doing check-ins on prospects that their teams had already drafted. There weren’t really any great discoveries to be made in Saskatoon.


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

Pat Burns With Some Police Work

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from QMI Agency at the Toronto Sun,

Tiger Woods’ disappearing act since he crashed his SUV outside his Florida home in November might be partly due to a pair of missing teeth, compliments of a nine-iron to the face by an angry wife, according to former NHL coach Pat Burns.

Burns offered some details of the now-infamous night to a Montreal radio station Tuesday morning, based on what he’s heard from his Florida police friends.

Burns, who has mostly retired from hockey and now lives in Florida, has contacts with the police sector, where he worked before coaching hockey.

In a conversation with CKAC Sports in Montreal on Tuesday morning, Burns said an old friend in the highway patrol was among those who went to Woods’ home on the night of the crash, on Nov. 27.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+burns, tiger+woods

Say No To Winter Classic In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some emails…

I’m sorry, but a Winter Classic in Dallas just doesn’t sound right. ... Isn’t the point of the Winter Classic to bring hockey back to its outdoor roots? Cold, snow, a biting wind—that is where hockey started; not in the 60-70 degree heat of a Dallas winter. Not to mention that the Cowboys’ stadium is practically indoors so that kind of puts a damper on the outdoor game thing as well….

LeBrun:  I’m with you, I’d rather play the Winter Classic in northern climates, where outdoor hockey actually has a history. But the fact is, this thing is getting so huge, every NHL owner wants a piece of it now. And because of the amazing abilities of the ice plant machine the NHL bought two years ago, it’s believed you can pretty much hold the game anywhere. Eventually, after we’ve had games in New York and Denver and Minnesota and other northern NHL markets, we’re going to have to eventually accept that the Winter Classic will go to more southern markets

more topics…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

It’s Really Late January

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I explain why in my NHL.com blog today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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