Kukla's Korner

Sutter Abandoned The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Two years later, Sutter is in Calgary and the Devils are looking for another coach with another personality that will require adjusting to and, possibly, more system alterations.

Brent Sutter did not fulfill his promise with the Devils. He abandoned them after two seasons in which he could not get them out of the first round of the playoffs. He had his reasons for leaving, but he abandoned them nonetheless.

So, there is reason for the players to be uspet with him for leaving them. It’s also understandable why owner Jeff Vanderbeek said he was left with a bad taste in his mouth by Sutter’s quick move to Calgary.

As GM, Lou Lamoriello’s job is to stay even keeled. Vanderbeek was a fan before he was an owner and, in some ways, he still thinks like a fan.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

A Little Miscalculation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anna Mehler Paperny and David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL has been underfunding its players’ pension plans by millions of dollars, shortchanging widows over a number of decades, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found.

The decision means the league will have to top up its pension fund by as much as $30-million and may have to make retroactive payments to the widows of deceased players.

The suit, brought forward last year by the NHL Players’ Association, charged that errors in the calculation of pensions for players who died before 1986 meant their widows received as little as 10 per cent of the funds entitled to them.


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

Hall Of Fame Inductions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The annual Hockey Hall of Fame inductions occurred today.  They went as I predicted.  In are Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman.  Also inducted was New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello who enters as a builder.  He built a New Jersey team that has won the Stanley Cup three times.  All are well deserved choices.

Next year, the class may not be as strong.  There are two first time eligible players who I think deserve induction in Eric Lindros and Joe Nieuwendyk.  They will also look to past candidates who have been eligible for a few years and likely induct from that group due to a smaller class of first time candidates.  Doug Gilmour heads that group.  It is quite likely that four players will not be inducted next year.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Possible Bouwmeester Destinations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post,

If a deal is made for Bouwmeester, it probably will be at or before the NHL Entry Draft being held in Montreal on Friday and Saturday.

Speculation in Philadelphia is that the Flyers would be willing to send 25-year-old right winger Joffrey Lupul to Florida in exchange for Bouwmeester’s rights….

Vancouver also is expected be in the running, and goaltender Roberto Luongo, who knows Bouwmeester well from their time in Florida, could be a selling point.

While Calgary already has a high-end young defenseman in Dion Phaneuf, there has been speculation the Flames could deal Phaneuf to Ottawa for disgruntled sniper Dany Heatley, leaving a major void on the blueline.

Edmonton is probably not in the mix because of repeated failures of other hometown products, who typically face ridiculously high expectations from the hometown fans.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

The Sutter Plan Starts Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Peter Zuurbier of CalgaryFlames.com,

“Our job (as coaches) is to give the players an environment that they have the opportunity to succeed in. Obviously the standards in this organization are high, and to be quite honest I can speak on behalf of the whole coaching staff that we wouldn’t want it any other way. Those are our standards too, and that starts today, the process starts today and I’m very excited about it,” said Brent Sutter.

Flames general manager Darryl Sutter sat next to his brother beaming, unable to hide his pleasure and optimism about the team going forward.

“To me it’s a big day, to be able to get who I think is the best free-agent coach out there. And to add the group and see how they’re going to work together is an awesome thing,” said Darryl Sutter, who made it clear quickly the exact dynamic of the relationship between the two brothers.

“I’m the general manager, Brent is the head coach, and this is our coaching staff. They’re the very best people available and it really doesn’t matter what their last name is.”

read on

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

Blackhawks Talking To Their UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Tallon planned to meet with Havlat’s agent, Allan Walsh, Tuesday night or Wednesday and said he would “like to get something done this week.” The sticking point could be length of the deal, as the Hawks must reserve money for after next season when they will need to re-sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, among others. Havlat just completed a contract that paid him $6 million per season.

As far as Khabibulin, Tallon said he spoke with Jay Grossman, the goaltender’s agent, Monday and also will meet with him in Montreal.

“We’ll see what it’s going to cost,” Tallon said of re-signing Khabibulin, who completed a deal that paid him $6.75 million per season. “It all comes down to the [salary] cap and how much money we have. It’s time maybe for our young guys to step up; [Antti] Niemi and [Corey] Crawford to battle. We have confidence in our goaltending depth so we’ll see.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Winning The Court Battles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Milton of the Hamilton Spectator,

Lawyers for the NHL verged on giddiness in court Monday, as they talked of the imminent Reinsdorf bid. The NHL knows Baum will be going over every clause with a fine-toothed legal comb, so their confidence has to be founded on the bid’s strength. After a very rough start, the NHL has been winning a lot of significant, if small, battles in Baum’s court recently, suggesting they’re learning to read his wishes.

But there have to be some big parachutes aboard this plane to nowhere. Nobody in their right financial mind will chain themselves to an irrevocable deal to stay in Glendale for another couple of decades. To fracture the old joke, the best way to create a billionaire is to take someone with two billion and let him run the Phoenix Coyotes.

So, there will be some kind of escape plan behind this bid that will let the NHL regain control of the desert from what, so far, has been Balsillie’s schedule. You can hardly blame the league for wanting to control its decisions, just as you can’t blame Balsillie for trying to put those decisions into court, where the NHL, with its sometimes questionable reasoning, doesn’t have the steering wheel.


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

Penguins Need Guerin Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,

The Penguins don’t have much room under the cap—roughly $8 million— and they have Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Fuslan Fedotenko as unrestricted free agents. Guerin earned $4 million last season, and they can’t pay him that. They also (could) be reluctant to give him a multiple-year deal. But I suspect that both the Penguins and Guerin both realize this a a good fit, and this deal should get done.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+guerin

Lamoriello On Sutter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

So, instead of insisting that Sutter sit out a year while still under contract, Lamoriello decided to move on. He granted Flames GM Darryl Sutter permission to sign Brent with no strings attached.

“You know once you give consent, because of the new rules in the NHL there is no recourse and no compensation,” Lamoriello told me Tuesday afternoon. “I certainly believe there should be compensation in situations like this for all the obvious reasons, but there isn’t. That’s a league rule and you accept it.”

Lamoriello doesn’t believe Brent Sutter had this type of a defection in mind during last season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter, lou+lamoriello

Flames Announce Coaching Staff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary, AB - General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today Brent Sutter has been named as the head coach of the Calgary Flames. Additionally, Ryan McGill, Dave Lowry and Jamie McLennan have been named as assistant coaches

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

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