Kukla's Korner

The Fun Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The days leading up to the NHL draft are a fascinating time for GMs and player agents. Scheduled meetings in hotel rooms, hotel lobbies and, of course, hotel bars—the chatter is through the roof as the trade talk intensifies leading up to Friday night’s first overall pick.

There’s more trade talk than usual for two reasons—all 30 GMs are in the same town and the first-round picks can be involved in possible deals. Once the first round comes and goes Friday night, fewer moves usually happen.

“The draft, to me, is an opportunity to improve your hockey club,” Thrashers GM Don Waddell said Wednesday. “We have the fourth [overall] pick in the draft. We’re looking for a top-six forward and a top-four defenseman and you may acquire that either via trades or free agency. Certainly we’re going to look at the trade market.”

In other words, the fourth overall pick is in play from Atlanta—for the right price.

One guy who won’t be moved this week is Thrashers star winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who is one year away from free agency, a critical time when a player of his caliber must either be signed to an extension or moved in order to get maximum value for the asset.

read on for more talk..

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Top Plays Of The Recently Announced Hall of Famers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof

20,000+ People Will Have Their Eyes On Snow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,

With only two days remaining before the Islanders make the first pick of the NHL draft in Montreal, excitement for the draft party planned by the club Friday night at the Coliseum is building as free ticket requests have climbed past 22,000. Team president Chris Dey said that’s a great indication of the vitality of Long Island as a hockey market, but there’s no mandate from the business side to general manager Garth Snow to draft fan favorite John Tavares ahead of Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman.

While the Islanders’ marketing department has worked hard to hype the draft party, Dey said, “It’s not like we put anybody’s name on it. We did what we normally do. We came up with a good idea to ticket the party. If we did it the way we normally do, which is just open the doors, we wouldn’t have had any idea what to expect.

“Fortunately for us, from a planning perspective, we decided to ticket it. Now, we know. It’s exciting. When you work hard every day, you hope you can get this kind of excitement and momentum behind what you’re doing. It’s a great time for us.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Your Team Canada Asst. Coaches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV Olympics,

Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Lemaire will be assistant coaches to Mike Babcock on Canada’s 2010 men’s Olympic hockey team, sources tell CTVOlympics.ca.

continued

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

Talk Surrounding The Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

• This weekend should also provide some drama on the Anaheim Ducks’ front. GM Bob Murray should know imminently whether defenseman Scott Niedermayer will return for at least one more kick at the can (the smart betting is he will). With Murray’s shrewd acquisitions of Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of room economically or ice-time-wise for veteran Chris Pronger, who has one more year left on his deal at $6.25 million and/or soon-to-be free agent Francois Beauchemin….

• Another guy bound to be in the middle of about a million rumors this weekend will be Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi, whose young Kings took a big step forward last season by hanging around the playoff picture well into the second half. Lombardi is now on the hot seat to get the Kings into the playoffs for the first time since 2002….

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Taking Notice Of The NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

(Bob) McKenzie remembers when the NHL draft went glam. “That had to be 1984 when Mario (Lemieux) was the first choice and wouldn’t put on the Penguins jersey in front of the cameras,” says TSN’s veteran draftnik. “That was high drama. Then Montreal spirited Peter Svoboda out from under the stands in the Canadiens’ jersey, and the Habs fans at the Forum just went crazy. It really hasn’t been the same since.”

Okay, it wasn’t the “J-E-T-S” groupies losing their minds at the NFL draft, but for the sleepy NHL draft the 1984 Lemieux soap opera was a revelation.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+draft

Do The Devils Have Enough Cap Room To Keep Gionta?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Brian Gionta wants to continue playing for the Devils, but he wonders whether the team will have enough cap space to keep him.

Gionta, who earned $4 million last season as part of a three-year, $12 million deal he signed in 2006, told me on Tuesday there has been no communication with general manager Lou Lamoriello. He becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

“We have not touched base at all yet,” Gionta said. “I don’t think it’s surprising because of the cap situation this year. The cap isn’t set and no one knows where it’s going to go. Teams don’t know what they have to work with.

“The problem is the cap will be determined late this year.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+gionta

Cheilos Looking East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chris Chelios said today he still wants to play and prefers going to an Eastern Conference team.

Read the AP story via Yahoo.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios

Doubtful Lecavalier Gets Moved At The Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Kevin Allen’s Twitter,

Told today that it is unlikely that Vinny Lecavalier will be traded at the NHL draft. We can’t completely rule it out, but it’s not likely

added 1:57pm, Kevin has more on this at his Mucking and Grinding blog,

The natural conclusion is that it will be challenging to achieve a Lecavalier deal that both BArrie and Koules could sign off on.

  The other issue, which is even more important, is that the Lightning haven’t been impressed by any offers they have received for Lecavalier.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Steve Yzerman Talks About Going Into The HHOF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof, steve+yzerman

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