Kukla's Korner

Think Players First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

It’s a good thing for the NHL that there are a great many positive distractions at this time of year. The Olympics announcements, the Winter Classic and the Olympics have fans drooling for more big events for the league and the game. However, it all comes with a cost.

Multi-purpose arenas, a contracted schedule and poor travel schedules are causing a great deal of stress in the locker rooms, the boardrooms and on the ice. Too many teams and too many players are playing the game at the highest level, at well below 100 per cent health, and that leads to injuries and less than entertaining hockey.

The new stat du jour is “man games lost to injury.” Throughout the NHL, teams have inserted this stat to their daily news releases. Teams like Edmonton, Detroit and Washington are zeroing in on 200 games lost by their injured players. And we aren’t talking about H1N1, or Selanne’s broken wrist, or Khabibulin’s back. This is about guys playing at full speed from game one to 82, playing hurt, playing tired and causing more injuries because of the really wacky schedule that has been foisted on the game.


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

It’s Almost Christmastime In Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

See, if we go back to last September, we find this article posted by Jeff Schultz just before the season began. When asked about Kovy’s contract situation, general manager Don Waddell offered up the following response…“I don’t think we’ll be talking about this at Christmas time”.

Hmmmm… well, given that the weather has turned a bit colder… I still have trips to make to Costco, Macy’s, Walmart and Borders Book Store in the coming nine days…and that the program interrupted a few weeks back by President Obama was “A Charlie Brown Christmas”…it seems as though Christmas is indeed upon us

And we are still “talking about this”....

Now, I have long held the belief that the Thrashers have been looking to sign their Russian phenom at around the rate of about $10 million per season…a figure I come up with by adding Kovalchuk’s current salary with that of fellow countryman Slava Kozlov. I contend that the organization will opt not to re-sign Kozlov…who will be 38-tears of age in May…and simply transfer that $3.667 mil or so from his ledger to Kovy’s.

If so…then the two parties are about a million per and a half per year apart.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

At Least They Haven’t Forgotten How To Skate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Detroit Red Wings forwards Valtteri Filppula, Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen all skated today at Joe Louis Arena, but Darren Helm did not.

Filppula, who is the closest of the injured Wings to returning to action, skated with the team during practice drills and attempted some wrist shots. Filppula has been out since Oct. 29 with a broken right wrist.

“It was fun, a lot of fun,” Filppula said of skating with the rest of the team. “Been missing doing that.”

“Now I can start practicing with the guys. I’m still a couple weeks away, probably, from playing, but I felt pretty good.”


added 1:58pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson can’t quite straighten out his left leg and can’t quite bend it, either, but given that he has no ligament damage to his knee, he is, more than anything, upbeat.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bruins Need A Pure Goal Scorer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

Does anyone really believe that the Bruins are on the road to Stanleyville after losses to the Islanders in overtime – who then got utterly waxed by the lowly Florida Panthers two days later – and a wilt job in the third period against an underachieving Flyers bunch?

The suspicion is that a future trade over the next two months for a scoring force will answer that question for everyone.

With that in mind, there are several names popping up on Boston’s radar, and the possibility that the problem-solving move will come sooner rather than later. Here are the favorites for new facein the Black and Gold clubhouse should Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli makes his move:

The Russian-born Thrashers scoring machine is the Gold Standard, and represents the elite scorer that would immediately vault the Bruins into a role as Stanley Cup favorite. Kovalchuk has nearly twice as many goals as any player on the Bruins roster, and missed six games with a broken left foot.

more names…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kings Lead The West

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I don’t think anyone would have predicted that the Los Angeles Kings would be first in the West Conference in mid-December, but they are.  The Kings have a 22-14 record (with three overtime loss points) to give them 47 points.  Skeptics are quick to note that Los Angeles leads the NHL in games played and some western teams (San Jose and Chicago) have better winning percentages in fewer games played.  Whether or not you think Los Angeles can maintain top spot in the West, it is clear that they are a much better team than predicted. 

They have a good young core of players that is emerging to stardom together.  At forward, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov and Jarret Stoll have significant talent and are leading the team offensively.  Ryan Smyth was a significant contributor as well, before he fell to injury (he may be back soon).  Justin Williams and Wayne Simmonds have also been significant contributors.  This is a deep group of offensive players and many have the potential that they will likely keep improving.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Don’t Believe These Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

• Panthers trying to move Nathan Horton. This first appeared months ago and seemingly refuses to die despite the denials of Panthers management. Here’s why Horton won’t be shopped: He’s leading the team in scoring (32 points in 34 games) and is one of the reasons the Panthers are in the thick of the playoff race in the East.

• Jack Johnson to the Penguins. Why? The Kings are currently first overall in the Western Conference so there’s no need at this time to shake things up, and I doubt the Penguins have the assets they’re willing to give up to land him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fantasy About The Young Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

With Del Zotto racking up more minuses than points, Varlamov on the shelf, and van Riemsdyk toiling on the third line, a new crop of freshman has taken over the month of December. Steady-as-she-goes seasons by John Tavares, Niclas Bergfors and Tyler Myers aside, there are some new faces making noise this month that should be on your fantasy radar.


(December 1 - 14, 2009)

1. Dan Sexton, F, Ana : 2.9 HFI

2. Nathan Gerbe, F, Buf : 2.8 HFI


Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Talking Secondary Scoring In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

More to the point, we’d like to look at their third and fourth lines and that can be tricky because there are nights you need the Hubble telescope to find them.

“We need more from those lines,” was Alain Vigneault’s generous assessment before last night’s tilt with the Los Angeles Kings.

“Secondary scoring from the third and fourth lines and from the defence is one thing we need more consistently. If we get that, it will let us win on a more consistent basis.

“Those are two lines that are supposed to bring a physical aspect but they have to find a way to contribute not just physically but on the scoresheet.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flames Look For Home Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

For the Flames, the rest of December will be a working staycation….

After a road-heavy schedule since the start of November, the Flames finally have an extended spell at home.

They’ll play seven of their next eight games at the Saddledome.

It’s a golden chance to pull out of their losing skid—one win in five outings—provided they remember the task at hand.

“We have to have our focus where it needs to be,” Sutter said.

“We can’t have distractions. We need points, first and foremost, ahead of anything else going on outside. It’s a tough time of year with Christmas and you can get distracted, especially when we’re at home.

“It’s important with a lot of home games, and that’s the responsibility of the individuals to making sure we are focused and playing up to our standards.”

read on

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

Blogging About Bloggers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

IwoCPO, The Chief, Bill, I   think he is a male, whatever you want to call him, gave me a little heads-up about a post he put up this morning

My two cents on this topic is- If you want media credentials, go for it, but surely don’t knock another blogger for his writing style.

Every blogger has their own style and that is what makes the hockey blogging community unique.  Different strokes for different folks.

It doesn’t matter to me if Abel to Yzerman has only 19 followers or 1900.  What matters is what he writes and the style he uses. 

If the Sailor did game recaps, was on me to get him media credentials for every game and sent in an expense report every two weeks, he’d still be blogging under the KK umbrella, but then again, would you be reading?

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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