Kukla's Korner

Will The Canucks Best Player Deliver a Stanley Cup?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province via Faceoff.com,

Well, as much as the contract represents a home run for the Canucks, it’s still yet to be proven that you can win in the new-world NHL with a goalie as your best player. That’s been the case since the lockout. It was certainly the case again last season. And if it’s the case going forward, what does it say about the Canucks’ chances?

Last season, for example, five of the top-10 goalies in save percentage played for teams which failed to make the playoffs and the only one who appeared in the final four was Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin. The results were a lot more encouraging in goals-against average where eight of the top-10 goalies made the playoffs. But, again, Khabibulin was the only goalie to appear in a conference final.

Now look at the goalies who made the conference semifinals. Luongo was the biggest name there followed by Khabibulin. The others were a mixed bag which included Chris Osgood, Jonas Hiller, Tim Thomas, Marc-Andre Fleury, Simeon Varlamov and Ward.

We’re not saying goaltending isn’t important in the NHL. Far from it. We are saying, however, there are a number of ways to fill that position.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Bill Daly Discusses Numerous NHL Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL HomeIce,

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly spoke to Scott Laughlin on Hockey This Morning regarding several issues including the Coyotes situation, Versus TV battle with DirecTV, and the ousting of Paul Kelly as the NHLPA Executive Director.

continue to listen to the interview…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly

Comrie To Oilers Keeps Popping Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

The Edmonton Oilers are deciding whether or not to give former Oiler Mike Comrie another tour of duty at Rexall Place.

They are not the only team on Comrie’s radar screen right now, but in a development that’s straight out of the Strange But True file, the unrestricted free agent is seriously considering a return to the town that’s heckled him mercilessly ever since his bitter departure six years ago.

While Comrie is warm to the idea, Oilers management is not unanimous in their desire to bring him back.

That, and the fact that Comrie is still speaking with other teams, means this is no slam dunk.

But the fact it’s even being considered, given that Comrie left town in the second-most volatile break-up in franchise history—Chris Pronger remains No. 1 in Edmonton’s hearts—is jaw-dropping.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+comrie

Teams May Head To Camp With What They Have

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

What you see is what you get with the Sabres’ roster. Regier doesn’t anticipate any deals before camp starts Sept. 12. There’s nothing in the works. “No, not right now,” Regier said by phone Wednesday. “The conversations over the summer, we’ve talked about players with other organizations, but I think now the teams have taken, to a large extent, [the philosophy of], ‘We’ve got this group, and we’ll go into camp and assess things as we go through training camp.’

“I think it’ll remain fairly tight. I think you’ll see some movement between the start of training camp and the start of the season — either through waivers or the switching of players from

one organization to another in an attempt to either give the organization or the player a fresh start — but generally I think that the available dollars or the ability to find a trade partner, the difficulty of it will continue.”

Regier says money is the main issue holding back deals.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Valued Goaltenders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The contract actually will bring Luongo’s salary cap hit down a bit. He has one more year left on his current deal which has a cap hit of $6.75 million. After next season, it drops to $5.33 million.

Which brings us to the main point of this post. Marc-Andre Fleury and the relative bargain he has become.

Fleury signed a seven-year deal worth $35 million last summer. That’s a salary cap hit of $5.0 million. Eleven starting goaltenders have a cap hit equal to or greater than Fleury’s:

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Winning Matters In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

There is a new sheriff in town for 2009-10, and the certainty is that Jacques Martin will be under the microscope at least as much as any of the flood of acquisitions who’ll be wearing the Canadiens jersey this season.

He is coming here at a time when nothing less than winning consistently is at the top of the team’s priority list. Anything less is unacceptable. A 2008-09 season when the team came out sprinting in the first half and disappeared in the second is off the board.

You can include me among the group that was surprised - with gusts up to shock - when Martin was named head coach long before Bob Gainey went about the business of putting a new face on the Canadiens. Now, what remains to be seen is what Martin does with it.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+martin

Teams Interested In Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

“More than one team is very interested,’’ said the source.

General manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t offer any insight on a possible trade.

“I don’t comment on contract negotiations,’’ said Chiarelli. “But we really would like to get Phil in the mix. You don’t come across players like this very often. It’s hard to come by players with this skill. We believe there’s still a lot of growth to his game.’’

Wade Arnott, Kessel’s agent, declined to comment on a possible destination for the 36-goal scorer. Arnott, however, confirmed a virtual nonexistence of negotiations with the Bruins. Arnott said the Bruins made only one contract offer, which was quickly rejected, prior to the draft.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Reading A Confidential Report May Have Cost Kelly His Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Some details began to leak out yesterday, including charges that Kelly peeked at a confidential transcript from a private session at the NHLPA summer meetings in Las Vegas two months ago.

The players were burned by the previous executive director Ted Saskin, who was fired after allegations that he monitored players’ e-mails for personal gain. So after learning about Kelly’s actions, mixed in with other concerns, they felt they could no longer trust him after he read the minutes of the private session.

When an executive board member was contacted yesterday to confirm the private session was part of the reason for Kelly’s dismissal, the phone line went silent. He then said, “The players have agreed not to say anything.” The player was given a chance to refute the story and did not deny the allegations.

more

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

Can Any Of The Problems Be Solved?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

It seems like just yesterday that the Winter Classic in Buffalo on Jan. 1, 2008, seemed to suggest the league was getting its act together after blowing up an entire season.

Now, that game looks like the highlight of the NHL’s post-lockout era.

Today, the league is being overwhelmed by multiple quagmires of which the Coyotes are only one. It’s like the highway to the future is suddenly pockmarked with sinkholes.

They include:...

Then there’s the game itself. Last year’s Stanley Cup final between Detroit and Pittsburgh was terrific except for the undeniable truth that the more open brand of hockey produced after the lockout was replaced by something more akin to the old hooking-and-holding days.

Now, officiating boss Stephen Walkom has quit to go back to refereeing, and the NHL, as always, appears set to let the lowest common denominator rule.

When you add up all these issues, there’s a pattern of the NHL allowing serious problems to fester and deteriorate, rather than solving them.

more

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

Bert Is Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

Big, bad Bert claims to be not quite as big nor as bad as he’s been made out to be after enjoying his first informal skate with his new Detroit Red Wings teammates Wednesday at City Arena.

A rather chatty Todd Bertuzzi, the six-foot-three forward who has trimmed down to a svelte 225 pounds, dealt with the usual issues of his weight and the ugly Steve Moore incident before moving on to discuss his good health and the opportunity to return to Detroit.

Bertuzzi had a brief stop in Detroit in 2007 after being acquired at the February trade deadline.

“(I’m) really happy to be back, especially knowing pretty much everyone in the room,” said Bertuzzi, who had five goals and 11 points in his 24 games as a Wing coming off back surgery that season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+bertuzzi

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