Kukla's Korner

Need A Goalie?  You May Have To Wait

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

- The Blue Jackets are ready to deal G Pascal Leclaire, but his season-ending ankle surgery in January and the two years remaining at an average of $3.8 million (all terms US) are going to scare teams off. Leclaire, 25, had a 4-6-1 record with a 3.83 GAA before being injured and has lost the No. 1 job to Steve Mason. The Senators would likely pass if the Jackets were to offer Leclaire for W Antoine Vermette.

- The Thrashers have held talks with several teams about G Kari Lehtonen, but the sense is he won’t be dealt and Atlanta will wait until the off-season. The talk is the Wings and Capitals have shown interest in the 24-year-old, which means the Senators would likely be at the bottom of the list.

more goalie talk and of course other rumors too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Imagine Pronger & Chara Together

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Whatever fate awaits Pronger, any trade that would send the former Hart Trophy winner to Boston is among the top deals we’d like to see completed.

If you really love the sport, wouldn’t you want to witness the spectacle of Pronger and Zdeno Chara playing together on defence?

Pronger is 6-foot-6. Chara is 6-foot-8. Put them together, and you have 158 inches of the most intimidating defensive pairing the NHL may ever have seen.

Not since Larry Robinson and Gilles Lupien manned the blue line for the Montreal Canadiens would there have been such a towering duo on defence.

Eastern Conference rivals Montreal and Washington play a more finesse game and would find it difficult to deal with the combined muscle provided by Chara and Pronger, especially in a playoff series.

more and other hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Wait A Day, Things Could Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On Sunday, the sense was that the Pronger chatter had lessened from last week’s fever pitch; it doesn’t mean it can’t pick up again between now and Wednesday, as the Ducks try to lower their payroll.

Of the other big names on the block, there is a belief now that Jay Bouwmeester may survive the deadline after all, with the Florida Panthers unable to find a good-enough hockey deal to coax them into trading the potential unrestricted free agent. Bouwmeester had been linked most prominently to the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade scenario, but the Flyers’ Eastern Conference rivals, the New Jersey Devils, are currently the only contender with the cap room to make it work.

In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes’ descent since the all-star break, a 3-12 slide, means they will almost certainly move defenceman Derek Morris and centre Olli Jokinen, Morris in the next 72 hours for sure, Jokinen either now or at the NHL entry draft.

Even if the Montreal Canadiens appear to have turned the corner in the past week or so behind goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s play, Jokinen would appeal to them because he could replace Robert Lang’s scoring.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Keep Your Head Up Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mick Kern of XM204 Blog,

Like it or not, Ovechkin does get away with some questionable physical play on the ice, and one of these games, he’s going to have to face the consequences, like all players do.

Do not get me wrong, and I’m concerned that a legion of Ovechkin apologists will rush to judgement, as they foam at the mouth at even a hint of criticism directed the way of Number Eight; Ovechkin is one of the few true superstars in the NHL, and is very good for business.

He should continue to celebrate goals in the manner which has made him famous, but he should also understand when someone decides to go all Dale Hunter on him.  Oh sure, when a player does that, it’ll be wrong, and should be penalized, so I’m not suggesting someone should do it, I just think it’s a matter of time before someone will do it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Havelid Likely Will Be Moved

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Niclas Havelid is an alternate captain and one of the most respected players on the team. He’s also 35, an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and good enough that plenty of potential trading partners will give up something valuable for the right to have him wear their uniform for the rest of this season.

No Thrashers player is more likely to be playing somewhere else after Wednesday.

“He’s one of the guys that’s certainly got some value around the league,” Waddell said. “He’s certainly well-respected. He’s probably been our best defender over the last four years. It’s got to be the right deal; otherwise we’ll continue forward and see where that takes us in the summertime.”

Center Marty Reasoner also is an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and also has value, as a penalty killer, a faceoff winner, a two-way forward in the midst of one of his most productive offensive seasons.

more including shooting down some rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niclas+havelid

Stars In Fade Mode Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tracey Myers of Five for Fighting,

...right now, it’s hard to see positives with the Stars. So let’s talk about today, shall we?

  1, Five straight losses. So much for February being their hot month. So much for home ice being so advantageous. The Stars had a great opportunity to keep pace in the Western Conference and they squandered it.

  2, Top guys are gassed. The Stars’ top players have given all they’ve got, according to coach Dave Tippett, and they may be running out of steam. Stephane Robidas? Mike Ribeiro? Jere Lehtinen? A ton of minutes, a ton of work, and that wears you out after a while, which brings me to our next topic…

read on

added 8:40am, from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,

Put a fork in the Stars. They are done, or they are going to be really soon if they keep this gutless nonsense up.

This is not an overreaction to Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh or about how this fifth consecutive loss has precipitated an ugly free-fall from contention but rather because what I know for sure is a team that does not stand together does not stand a chance.

And watching how this Stars team failed to rally to Steve Ott’s defense on Saturday certainly raises some troubling questions about this Stars team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Where Will Guerin Land?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Iorfida of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

Pittsburgh, Carolina, Buffalo, Montreal, Florida, Boston and New Jersey all told Hockey Night in Canada they weren’t the teams looking to acquire Bill Guerin, who was scratched before Saturday’s game and didn’t practise with the New York Islanders on Sunday.

The contending teams in the East not on that list are Washington, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+guerin

Keith Aucoin Running Away With AHL Scoring Lead

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Barring a major surprise in the remainder of the season, Keith Aucoin of the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals affiliate) will win the AHL scoring title.  Aucoin currently has 82 points for a nine point lead over teammate Alexandre Giroux and a nearly twenty point lead over anyone else. 

Keith Aucoin is an AHL superstar.  It is interesting to see where AHL superstars come from and why they are not NHL players.  Aucoin is currently 30 years old and likely playing the best hockey of his career.  He went undrafted by the NHL after a high school hockey career in Massachusetts and chose to attend the Norwich University.  This is a division III school in the NCAA.  While there, Aucoin was a star.  He graduated as the school’s all time leader in goals, assists and points.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Road Teams Get More Penalties Called Against Them

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Stock of the Edmonton Journal,

New research confirms what many NHL hockey fans have long suspected, that referees consistently call more penalties on visiting teams.

In a sampling of more than 2,300 power plays from Jan. 1 through mid-February, home teams had 11.5 per cent more man advantages than did visitors.

National Hockey League teams have won 55 per cent more points and games at home than on the road this year — a statistic which fits nicely into the 54- to 56-per-cent advantage home teams have enjoyed throughout this decade.


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

Enough Don

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn Lavigne of the XM204 Blog,

I have enormous respect for Don Cherry but there are weeks when I watch ‘Coaches Corner’ where I just scratch my head in bewilderment at some of the stupid comments he makes. Last night on his ‘hockey pulpit’ he talked about the theatrics of Alexander Ovechkin and the ‘boring Europeans’ on the Detroit Red Wings and after 25 years of this anti-European garbage spewing from his mouth it motivated me to share my thoughts.

As broadcasters most of the information that we comment on is our opinion but unfortunately in Canada when it comes to Cherry it is suppose to be taken as religion with his anti-european cult of followers. Trust me I’ve been in sports radio and television for 15 years and heard it all from callers and hosts who bow down to the Great Wall of Cherry.

continued & if you missed the Cherry videos, you can see the Ovechkin one here and a two-parter on the Wings can be found here...

added 5:51pm, from Nate of Welcome to the Show,

Cherry is entitled to his opinion, of course, but it raises a good question: do we have to listen to it? Specifically, for those of us in the U.S., should NHL Network subject us to this garbage on a league-owned network?

Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Hockey Night in Canada when I had the chance to watch for four years in Michigan. I wish Jim Hughson could follow me around and describe my every move for a day.

And there’s room for criticism on NHL properties; you’ll see it on NHL.com and hear it on NHL Live and On the Fly. But Cherry’s xenophobic, misguided and frankly wrong comments have no place on a league-owned network.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

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