Kukla's Korner

Guerin Fighting Slump

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

When forward Bill Guerin received the “C” on his new .Islanders jersey last summer, he embraced the opportunity to set the tone in the locker room. Praise for Guerin’s all-inclusive approach has been universal within the organization, but somewhere along the line, he has misplaced his former identity as “goal scorer.”

Guerin’s 14-game scoreless streak ended Wednesday with an assist on Trent Hunter’s tying power-play goal in what became a 4-3 shootout loss to Atlanta. But Guerin still hasn’t found the back of the net with his own shot since Nov. 1, and now he admits to feeling more pressure to lead where it counts most.


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

Players Think Green

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

A professional hockey player and environmentalist David Suzuki make for strange breakfast companions, but their unlikely encounter in Calgary last year is greening dressing rooms throughout the NHL.

Since their meeting last fall, Andrew Ference, a Boston Bruins defenceman, has become the point man for the National Hockey League Players’ Association on environmental issues. His goal is to slow climate change by changing the mindset of his fellow players.

Friday, Ference and Suzuki will unite for a news conference in Toronto to unveil a partnership between the NHLPA and the David Suzuki Foundation. The two are teaming up to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions produced by NHL players whose jobs require them to travel by planes, trains, buses and cars.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ference, boston+bruins, david+suzuki, environmentalism, nhlpa

Blake Heard No Disparaging Comments From Avery

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP,

If noted New York Rangers agitator Sean Avery made disparaging remarks toward Jason Blake the last time they faced off, the Toronto forward never heard them.

A Toronto radio report following the teams’ previous meeting last month in Canada said a pre-game scuffle between Avery and Leafs counterpart Darcy Tucker was fuelled by a comment that Avery made toward Blake regarding his current battle with leukemia.

FAN 590 reporter Howard Berger had claimed Avery made “cancer-related remarks” to Blake, citing an unidentified Rangers player. Blake was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in October but has continued to play while being treated.


Note: report earlier today that MSG denied Berger access to the press box tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: howard+berger, jason+blake, media, new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Lessons From Reggie Leach

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP,

Alcoholism probably kept Reggie Leach out of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and he’s determined to do whatever he can to help young people avoid the downward spiral in which he became trapped.

He was one of the first big-time First Nations hockey stars. A right-winger, he helped the Philadelphia Flyers win the Stanley Cup in 1975. He scored 61 goals in 1975-76 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after scoring 19 post-season goals. The Flyers were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the final.

His big-league career would have lasted more than the 14 years that it did had he taken better care of himself.

“I screwed up royally,” he said Thursday from his Delaware residence. “I pretty well accomplished everything I wanted to do except I didn’t make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alcoholism, philadelphia+flyers, reggie+leach

Goonery Goes Global

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dave Pollard at Hockey.com,

Well, even goonery is going global these days.  Although most of the league’s tough guys still hail from the frozen North, I’ve noticed a few Europeans creeping into the fistic fraternity.

Chicago’s David Koci calls Prague, not Prince George, home. Raitis Ivanans hails from Riga, not Red Deer. Boston’s man-mountain, Zdeno Chara, grew up, way up, in Trencin, not Thompson.

What do you think of that, Don Cherry?

Geez, I think I saw his tartan jacket just blanch.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fights

Modern Rivalries

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Amber at ESPN,

We all know about the storied rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. The “Battle of Alberta,” the Islanders vs. the Rangers and Detroit vs. Colorado are clashes that will always hold a special place in our hearts.  But with new teams, new players and new story lines, we have some fresh rivalries ready to hit a boiling point. [...]

5. Chicago vs. Detroit
Superman had kryptonite, Seinfeld had Newman and the Detroit Red Wings apparently have the Chicago Blackhawks. Of all the possible Original Six matchups, this is the most improbable of rivalries. Since the last time the Hawks won a playoff series in 1996, the Wings have won three Stanley Cups and seven Central Division titles. But, this season, a rivalry has been revived out of what has recently been a mockery.

read on… for the rest of Amber’s top 10 new rivalries, between players and teams

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

It Probably Started On A Pond

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

Even the most legendary NHL careers had their start on the pond.

Outdoor hockey, it seems, is the one unifying force that intersects the careers of virtually anyone that has played the game at an elite level.

The frozen pond—a welcoming vision for anyone that loves the game, no matter their skill level—has, for time immortal, served as the training ground for great players before they entered the more structured world of organized hockey.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rocky on the Radio

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz will be a guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.

Broadcast can be heard live online here, but not till the program is on the air.

NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.

update 4:07pm, Rocky Wirtz had to re-schedule for next week.  Mark Messier and Stephen Walkom wll be on the show today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, media, rocky+wirtz

NHLPA Changing its Tune

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,

What comes as a shock to long-time observers, however, is that now the NHL Players’ Association wants to get involved, and not necessarily to fight off the suspensions that were handed down by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, as well as the perceived threat of additional suspensions that were hinted at by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly.

Paul Kelly, who barely has found a chair that fits him as the NHLPA’s new executive director said recently that he’s “concerned” about the number of suspensions the Flyers have been given since the start of the season and that not only should the league take a tougher stance, but that his organization should “have a voice in the process.”

Given that he’s not dead, it would be wrong to say that former NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow is spinning in his grave over that one, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Kelly’s statement made his head turn. Criticism of Goodenow within and outside the PA often centered on how he handled on-ice or player-on-player violence. The perception (Goodenow argued it was unfair) was that the PA was quick to come to the defense of any perpetrator, but did next to nothing to protect the health, safety and long-term welfare of the player who was unduly or unfairly assaulted.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, nhlpa, paul+kelly, suspensions

Better Be Nice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

He’s come bearing gifts.

He can be quite jovial.

He has the initials S.C.

I’ll assume your answer is Santa Claus simply because you’re predictably idealistic and frankly you don’t really try too hard at things like this. I will give you half credit, but no, there will be no bonus round for you.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

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