Kukla's Korner

Will Rick Nash Stay Or Go?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The captain celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday. He has one year remaining on his contract. Beginning July 1, the Jackets can negotiate an extension. Conventional wisdom dictates Nash will re-up this summer or take dead aim at free agency next year—and if the latter course is taken, he will have to be traded, sooner or later, to salvage some value.

One would like to think that Nash wants to stay put. He has said he likes the direction of the team under general manager Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock. He is involved in an assortment of community and charitable projects. He is a quiet sort who does not necessarily miss the din of larger and more rabid markets. He identifies with Blue Jackets fans, and they with him.

While these things will be taken into account, they pale when compared to the import of the contract itself. The next deal Nash signs will likely be the biggest of his career, not only because it will express his desire about where he wants to play, but because he might never again be in a position to make such a monetary windfall.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

KHL Interested In Signing Two Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russia Today,

Two players from the Pittsburg Penguins, who took the Stanley Cup last week in a dramatic seven-game thriller against Detroit, may leave the U.S. for KHL this summer, Sportbox.ru reports.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk is interested in Czech Petr Sykora, who played 76 games for the Pens this season, scoring 25 goals and 21 assists.

The club’s contract with the player has expired and, according to his agent, the team is not going to offer him a new agreement….

Another Stanley Cup winner, Miroslav Satan, is wanted in Kazakhstan by Barys hockey club. The Astana team has ready offered a two year contract worth $6 million to the Slovak player.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, miroslav+satan, petr+sykora

Plenty Of Parties Surround NHL Awards Show

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Melissa Arseniuk of the Las Vegas Sun,

Wednesday, an NHL Charity Shootout poker tournament featuring some of hockey’s biggest card-carrying, card-playing heavyweights will take place at the Rio.

The players will face off against some of the biggest names in professional poker starting at 9 a.m.

Later that night, some of the league’s brightest stars, past and present, will gather at the Palms for an exclusive reception.

The event, which is by invitation-only, will be hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Palms owner George Maloof and held in one of the resort’s sky villa suites….

Also Wednesday night, the Anaheim Ducks will frolic with the bunnies at a private party at the Playboy Club. The sure-to-be-sexy soirée for about 100 will take place from 10:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. in the club’s fireplace lounge.

While the Ducks’ party is a private one, the rest of the Playboy Club will be open to the public. (Cover: $20 for guys, free for the ladies.)


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHLers Going For A Skate In Vegas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Melissa of the Las Vegas Sun,

While the Palms is setting the stage and rolling out the red carpet for Thursday’s NHL Awards, Caesars Palace is rolling out the rink.

The casino has created a skating rink in advance of the annual awards, which are visiting Vegas for the first time this year.

The league has committed to handing out hockey’s highest honors here in Las Vegas for the next three years. What’s more, the NHL Players Association is also holding their annual meetings here this week.

In response, the city and some of its major casino operators are rolling out the welcome mat for the league’s players, managers and fans.

At Caesars Palace, however, the so-called welcome mat is actually a giant skating rink.

OK, technically it’s a synthetic ice surface built with sheets of special plastic, but it skates the same as the real stuff and won’t melt under the desert sun.

Temperatures are, after all, expected to hit the mid-80s today.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will lace ‘em up and go for a skate tonight as part of the demonstration outside the casino’s main entrance.

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will also take part.

read on

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

Questioning Bettman’s Sincerity

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,

The NHL commissioner must prove he is as passionate about us as he was in defeating a rogue billionaire attempting to break in the NHL’s back door. But I worry about Gary Bettman’s sincerity.

He claimed there are four groups interested in buying the Coyotes, something a shrewd bankruptcy judge refuted as “hearsay.” Yet none of the interested parties have stepped forward and spoken publicly. None of them have said an encouraging word to us, the potential customers. Isn’t that strange?

When arguing that hockey was still viable in Arizona, Bettman also cited the work of an advocacy group, Save the Coyotes. Problem is, that group was a small pocket of diehards who gathered in a parking lot like the breakfast crowd at Denny’s, and the paltry attendance made the apathy problem seem worse than it really is.

Don’t get me wrong. Those fans are loving, ambitious and more than the Coyotes deserve. Yet by referencing this small group as a beacon of hope, Bettman revealed himself as dishonest or completely out of touch. Neither bodes well for the future.

read on

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

You Call This A Decision?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

Judge Baum avoided making a real ruling on the Coyotes after several failed attempts to push the NHL and Jim Balsillie towards mediation.

I won’t dwell on what you already know.

You know that because of a ruling Monday night, as of today the Phoenix Coyotes are not coming to Hamilton right away and, by the laws of probability, it would appear no new team is coming to Canada for the 2009-10 season.

A bankruptcy judge in Phoenix, Redford T. Baum, has seen to that.

Does that mean Jim Balsillie’s bid to “Make it Seven” is dead?

Not according to the Balsillie camp.


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

Murray Wants Equal Value For Heatley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

(Bryan) Murray stated that he would like to get a deal done before next week’s draft in Montreal but despite the “off-year,” Murray realizes it will be difficult to get equal value for a sniper of Heatley’s caliber.

“I’m just not going to let him just walk away for nothing as you know. Whether we get the ideal trade or not that is one thing but I have to get something good for this organization coming back.”

The agent for Heatley has also submitted a list of teams that the two-time 50 goal scorer was willing to go to, however Murray stated that list will not necessarily be stuck with if he is unable to find the right deal.

“If he doesn’t want to be in Ottawa and there is team that offers me a deal that I think is a better deal obviously I have to put some pressure on them to accept that or he may end up playing back here.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

Martin Gelinas Named Director of Player Development For Nashville

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

Nashville, Tenn. (June 15, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has named former Predator Martin Gelinas Director of Player Development.

Gelinas will be responsible for following and evaluating prospects drafted by Nashville. The Shawinigan, Quebec native will work with players on all levels throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, assisting them with their maturation process into an NHL player by focusing on nutrition, off-ice workouts and conditioning, practice habits and game performance.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: martin+gelinas

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We didn’t interfere with the players.  We had five calls in the final game, they were all restraining fouls. There were no roughing fouls, no scrums. The first and third periods of Game 7 were the fastest of the whole series. The players were able to skate freely. The credit goes to the players and coaches.”

-game 7 ref Bill McCreary.  More from McCreary from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+mccreary

Talking Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

Infused with hope after a judge’s decision to keep the Coyotes in the Valley, team President Doug Moss is optimistic about the future.

  “As the league said, they don’t give up on their franchises, they don’t give up on their markets,” he said. “I think that the next step is for the league to conduct an auction process and find and owner who wants to operate this team in Glendale and be a success.”

  A September auction is likely, and four bidders could be in the mix. The team needs a new owner to step up and make a commitment to keep the team in the Valley—and one who is willing to make some bold moves in the free agency arena. 

  It will be interesting to see if more than the die-hard hockey fans appreciate an NHL team. This season’s attendance will go a long way in determining that.


added 1:29pm, Shane Doan was on Leafs Lunch today…

He says all this talk about moving the team north of the border makes for a tough situation. “You love Canada and you’d love to come back to Canada, but you’ve been in (Phoenix) for a long time so it makes for a delicate situation.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+moss

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