Kukla's Korner

All Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Amber at ESPN,

The NHL’s most explosive scorer has Capitals fans thinking playoff hockey.

In this week’s Facing Off, Alexander Ovechkin tells us why The Great One’s single-season record of 92 goals may be tough to break, how he compares to Sidney Crosby and what it’s like to be the NHL’s first $100 million man….

Q: Who is the best player in the league right now?

A: There are so many good players, that’s hard to say. [Pause] I think maybe the best player is Roberto Luongo. He is really tough to beat.

Q: Really? Luongo? What about you?

A: I’m a good player, too [laughs].

Q:The single-season NHL record is 92 goals. Is 93 possible?

A: It’s hard because times have changed. The goalies have changed, and if you see how goalies played in the 1970s and 1980s, it was pretty funny actually [laughs].


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

It Could Happen Again Next Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Fan590 radio in Toronto had a reporter/friend of Forsberg’s on yesterday.  He said Forsberg wants to play in a city that he feels he is comfortable in and sign only for this season.  He would basically showcase himself to other teams for next year, showing he is in playing shape.

Of course, he could do exactly what he is doing now, wait until next February to play, unless the NHL steps in with some type of ruling.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

Tradable Top Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

With the NHL general managers meetings later this month in Naples, Florida, expected to have considerable impact on the activity at this year’s trade deadline - and the quality of the players that might be available - we’ve compiled a list of the ten most compelling players potentially available on or before February 26….

1. San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau’s future remains in questions, too. The Sharks are on the hunt for an offensive defenceman. Can the Wilsons afford another playoff disappointment? Not likely, so the sense is that Doug Wilson will pull out all the stops.

read on for the rest…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Preparing For HDIC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

The National Hockey League begins arriving in Winkler, Man., Thursday as the small town gears up to host the 2008 edition of CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada.

CBC Sports personalities Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell and Dick Irvin, along with several former hockey heroes, will be in Winkler for the daylong festivities to be broadcast on Saturday from 11 a.m. CT.

The city of nearly 10,000 in the Pembina Valley region about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg is buzzing with excitement as organizers make final preparations for the festivities.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Souray Signing Hasn’t Worked Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette, .

..But the biggest free-agent bust is Sheldon Souray, whose season appears to be over because of a recurring shoulder injury.

Souray is a magnificent physical specimen, but he has also proved brittle in a career that has been marked by injuries.

He missed the entire 2002-03 NHL season with a wrist injury and has played more than 70 games only twice in his nine-season NHL career.

That should have set off a warning bell for Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe, but he was blinded by the fact Souray played 81 games last season for the Canadiens and had a career-high 26 goals and 68 points. He set an NHL record for defenceman when he scored 19 of those goals on the best power play in the league.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

The Core Of The Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

While some shudder at the thought of having five players account for $28.5 million in cap space next season, the reality is those five players are all worth far more on the open market.

And outside of Alex Tanguay, they’re all here for at least the next five years.

A Vezina-winning goaltender in Miikka Kiprusoff, the hardest-hitting defenceman in Phaneuf, one of the most fundamentally sound defensive-types in Robyn Regehr and arguably the game’s best captain, Jarome Iginla.

Call them the Flames’ Fab Four….

Now all Sutter has to do is fill smaller holes and roles along the way, which should be even easier given how attractive playing in Calgary is these days.


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

Blues Try To Forget Recent Past

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Now, with the Blues mired in their lengthiest slump since the coaching change, Murray is concerned that the club is reverting to its old ways. After Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay — the Blues’ ninth defeat in 11 games — Murray angrily suggested that a “losing culture” was infecting the team’s postseason hopes.

Asked Wednesday to elaborate, Murray said, “They haven’t won much here for about three years, and we’ve been trying to change that. Is that a culture issue? I don’t think our issues are physical, so are they environmental? I’m not sure.

“You kind of thought we were turning the corner ... you don’t want to slip back, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid right now.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Salary Cap Increasing Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

The Star has learned the NHL’s salary cap will rise by about $3 million (all figures U.S.) next year – the third straight rise in the cap under the current collective bargaining agreement.

“It depends on a lot of factors, but I expect the cap will go up at least $3 million,” said a source.

The rising value of the Canadian dollar is one reason forwarded for an increase in revenues, but commissioner Gary Bettman has said merchandising revenue and ticket sales were up across the league.

more on how the increase of the cap can help the Leafs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Together Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Karen Crouse of the New York Times,

“The challenge of coming back and trying to win the Stanley Cup again appealed to me,” Scott said. Looking back, he said, he simply needed time to recharge. “If Brian had forced my hand,” he said, “I’d still be sitting at home and Rob would still be driving by on his way to practice and wondering what I was doing.”

When they are together, the Niedermayers are like Alphonse and Gaston: they are bracingly polite. That does not mean they do not sometimes needle each other. Rob’s nickname for Scott is Norm, after the George Wendt character on “Cheers.” Scott’s corresponding nickname for Rob is Cliff.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

Creating a Power Forward

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Tim Sassone in the Daily Herald,

“Power forwards are tough to find, and I think [Dustin Byfuglien] fits that position,” Savard said Wednesday. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. I think I’ve got a pretty good eye on hockey players and really strongly feel he’s going to become a good power forward in this league.

“We’re still tweaking with him. We know he can play defense, but I believe he’s going to be a strong power forward in this league. He’s had some good games on defense, too. I’m not saying we’ll never use him there again, but for now he fits up front, and we’ll evaluate everything as we go on.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, dustin+byfuglien

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