Kukla's Korner

Can Salary Cap Hits Help Predict The Stanley Cup?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In the first season of the salary cap 2005/06, teams were adjusting to the new economic system and this made for some teams that had very tight finances as they were very close to the salary cap.  These teams were unable to add significant talent at the trade deadline, so it turned out that the Stanley Cup was a battle between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers.  There were two teams who left themselves enough salary cap space to add some key players.  Carolina added Doug Weight and Mark Recchi.  Edmonton added Dwayne Roloson and Sergei Samsonov.  That is one reason that they were the teams that wound up in the finals.  In the next two years, teams better adjusted to the new system and the next two Stanley Cup winners in the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings managed to leave a bit more breathing room. 

This season, there is a change in how the salary cap is calculated.  Because it is potentially the last season of the CBA (the NHLPA can chose to end it this summer), all potential bonuses are counted against the cap this year until which time they cannot be achieved.  This “helps” the NHL maintain cost certainty under this CBA, since it does not allow teams to exceed the cap with bonuses which are then charged to next year’s cap.  As a result, we have more teams that are close to the salary cap than in the last two years.  Thus, it might be a similar situation to 2005/06 where the eventual cup winner is a team that left itself cap space to make trade deadline additions.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Don’t Forget The Southeast

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

Despite the fact that two of the last four Stanley Cup winners have come from the Southeast Division, teams residing in that sector of the Eastern Conference haven’t exactly instilled fear into the rest of the League in recent seasons.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flyers Defense Hurting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Fish of phillBurbs,

The procession to the operating room appeared to continue on Thursday when Flyers defenseman Randy Jones disclosed he probably needs right hip surgery.

Jones could be out two months or more.

He joins defenseman Ryan Parent, who is waiting to have surgery for repairs on a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Parent is expected to be out 12-14 weeks.

Jones has undergone several MRI tests, and the pictures are being sent to specialist Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville.

“It’s been bothering me,’’ Jones said at the Skate Zone. “I can’t point to one incident. The last couple years, it’s been coming on and getting a lot worse.’‘

more and I do believe the Flyers are just a few thousand dollars short of reaching the max on the salary cap.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: randy+jones

It Started In Strathroy For Brian Campbell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Ballantini at ChicagoBlackhawks.com,

It’s easy to imagine the grunt from a hard check into a snow bank. Pass a garage, and you’d swear there was the loud thwack! of a tennis ball against the door. And if you listen hard enough, you can hear an argument between brothers over who gets the first half-hour in the basement, practicing slap shots and wristers.

It’s here that the town’s first and only NHL player, Brian Campbell, learned how to outhustle bigger boys, outsmart older players and outhit slower ones.

Strathroy offers a pastoral setting to newcomers. Its vast blue skies, fields blooming with soybeans, corn and wheat, and pastures brimming with cattle, mirror the smaller towns you’ll find on the outskirts of Chicago.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell

Leipold Hopes To Sign Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press,

Craig Leipold, who on Saturday begins his first full season as owner of the Wild, figures he has a playoff team.

“I think it’s very fair to say we’re a playoff team,” said Leipold, a former owner of the Nashville Predators. “We have the same players basically (as last season’s division champions). My expectations are high, and I think we’re going to go a long way. I like this team — there is high energy — and I think everyone on the team would be disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs.”

As for the contract extension stalemate with all-star player Marian Gaborik, Leipold said he still hopes to sign the team’s top scorer, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.  Gaborik’s future in Minnesota is basically up to Gaborik, Leipold said.

a few more hockey related bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Coaches Under The Gun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

The nine new coaches aren’t going to be let go so capriciously, and there are at least that number who either earned another full season after 2007-08 success or are entrenched veterans — Boudreau and Claude Julien being in the first category, and Lindy Ruff and Dave Tippett among those in the latter group.

That only leaves, at most, about a dozen candidates who could be sent packing before the season is out. Here are five of those candidates:

Peter Laviolette, Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have yet to reappear in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canadiens On The Offensive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

It’s an ironic and somewhat startling move that reveals much about this coach: a calculated decision to do away with the role he personified during a stellar 19-year playing career.

As the Montreal Canadiens kick off their 100th season, Guy Carbonneau is electing not to ice a line of specialized checking forwards.

Instead, he will throw his lot in with a rotation of three offensive lines that will share more or less equal slices of ice time, and an aggressive, physical “energy” line that will likely play only sparingly.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Ice No Place For Politics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

When Palin drops the puck, there inevitably will be photos taken of the Ranger and Flyer participating in the ceremonial draw. When circulated throughout the Internet, these photos are likely to imply endorsement. If the Governor of Alaska is presented with a Flyers’ jersey—or appears wearing one—it will represent the implied endorsement of the NHL team.

Snider’s Comcast may own the Flyers, but he, like all NHL owners, are merely leasing their teams and their teams’ trademarks from the league. The Flyers logo and the Rangers logo are property of the NHL. Snider has no right to use these teams and these players as props to further his own political agenda.

The Flyers’ colors have historically been orange and black. The owner is now attempting to use this storied franchise in order to turn his home state red.



Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ed+snider, sarah+palin

Keep An Eye On Bouwmeester

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,

Watch Jay Bouwmeester. He’ll tell the whole story of this Panthers season. Everyone wonders if keeping a failed coach as general manager makes sense, if trading the top scorer was smart, if there’s finally a blueprint to the playoffs and not another skate through the wilderness.

Watch Bouwmeester.

He’ll answer your questions.

We talk a lot these days about how pro athletes don’t care enough, how they put money before winning or get long-term contracts and quit working. Bouwmeester did exactly what fans want star athletes to do.


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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Oh, I’m sure there’s a lot of people with crayons right now writing down a parade route.  But it’s one game, and it’s part of the process. Tonight, we were fortunate enough to not make many mistakes and our attention to detail was pretty good. I’m really proud of the group, they paid attention. We’ve really only had eight practices and to have the game figured out somewhat tells you a lot about our players.

“They bought in, and we’ve had a lot of fun. They’re having a great time in there right now and they should—they beat the Stanley Cup champions. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and it can only do good things for our confidence, I hope.”

-Leafs coach Ron Wilson after defeating Detroit last night.  More on the Leafs/Wings from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

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