Kukla's Korner

Pending UFAs Performance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Nichols of Sportsnet, I

t’s not all doom and gloom for pending UFAs though, clearly. Some players have managed to take full advantage of their opportunities.

Maxim Afinogenov signed a one-year deal with Atlanta and he’s been money, soon-to-be literally, for this team with 40 points in 45 GP. He’s actually only eight points shy of matching his production from Buffalo over the past two years. Amazing what not being buried in the line-up can accomplish.

Calgary’s Rene Bourque is only four points shy of reaching a new career high and the undrafted winger is setting himself up for a nice raise on his current $1.35M cap hit. He has 37 points in 40 GP with a strong 53 PIM for his standard league owners too.

Vaclav Prospal was bought out of his contract with Tampa Bay and he turned that frown upside down by channelling his vengeance with the New York Rangers, where he has mostly played alongside Marian Gaborik. Prospal just came back from injury in last night’s double shutout tilt against the Devils and he has 32 points in 39 GP. All in all, he’s been a great value for both the Rangers and poolies.

Perhaps the biggest success story amongst the pending UFAs is Patrick Marleau…

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Surgery For Khabibulin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EDMONTON - Edmonton Oilers’ General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will undergo surgery Thursday in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disc in his back.

Khabibulin, 37, has appeared in 18 games for the Oilers this season with a 7-9-2 record, 3.03 GAA and .910 save percentage.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Versus NHL Coverage (@VersusNHL) is now following our tweets on Twitter but we can’t follow their broadcasts on @DirecTV #fail

-OnFrozenBlog on their Twitter.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Georges Laraque’s demise as an NHL enforcer

Blog: KK Members Blog By Slasher98

Once upon a time Georges Laraque was one of the most feared enforcers in the NHL. He was even unanimously awarded the ‘Best Fighter’ award from The Hockey News in 2003. In 2008, Sports Illustrated named him the number one enforcer in the league. During his days an an Oiler, Laraque racked up the penalty minutes, 826 in 490 games, while scoring the occasional goal here and there. Also known as “Big Georges” or simply “BGL”, Laraque even scored 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 2001-01 with Edmonton.

BGL’s good old days:

Georges Laraque’s fight compilation

After short stints with the Phoenix Coyotes and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bob Gainey signed BGL to a 3-year $4.5M contract on July 3rd, 2008. Gainey needed to add toughness to a small corps of forwards as his team had been outplayed physically in the 2008 playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: bob+gainey, edmonton+oilers, georges+laraque, jacques+martin, montreal+canadiens

Addressing The Issues Of The Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Two completely unrelated incidents. Two major migraines for the NHL.

In Vancouver, Alexandre Burrows alleges Stephane Auger influences the outcome of a game to get back at him. In Pittsburgh, the Penguins’ television producer hides a replay that would have given Philadelphia a goal.

Let’s do the Canucks story first:

Vancouver fans will hate to hear this, but the best thing Alex Burrows could do for himself and the organization is apologize

continued

One question I have about the Burrows claims.  I wonder if he would have said anything if the Canucks would have won the game?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is The Red Wings Playoff Run Over?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

Could we really be heading towards a post-season sans Wings? This is the 20th anniversary of the last time it happened, but certainly no one predicted it in 2009-10.

Injuries, of course, doomed Detroit in the first half of the campaign and continue to hurt, with Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Holmstrom, Jason Williams and Johan Franzen still on the shelf. Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula and Dan Cleary have also missed games.

Goaltending was also shaky early on, though with the exception of Tuesday night’s debacle, Jimmy Howard has taken the reins in net.

But you know who doesn’t care about those excuses? The cold, unfeeling standings box: The one that shows Detroit in ninth place in the Western Conference right now. With 37 games to go and an Olympic break that will see a cadre of Wings playing through it in Vancouver, there is no rest for the wicked.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Backes Plan - Taking On Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael of The Common Room,

David Backes is an American professional hockey player currently playing for the St. Louis Blues. On New Years, David had the privilege to be named to the USA Olympic Hockey Team.

Since then, he has shown what it means to be a true American hero.

The night after he was named to the Olympic Roster, Backes and the Blues took on the Chicago Blackhawks. During that game, David fought Canadian Olympian Jonathan Toews.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+backes, team+usa

NHL Officiating On Trial

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In order for the NHL to be a credible sports league, the impression must exist that teams decide who wins the games on the ice.  There cannot be an impression that officials (either on or off ice) can decide these things.  Reality is that decisions by officials often impact NHL games.  As long as any influence is random and cancels out in the longterm, it is an acceptable situation for the NHL, but this is not an acceptable position for the NHL public.  Many members of the public must believe that teams are the only factor in deciding who wins games in order for the league to maintain credibility.

That is why the allegations that referee Stephane Auger was out to get Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks in Monday night’s game versus Nashville (which Nashville won 3-2) are serious.  It opens the door to fans who had previously believed that the players decide games to the idea that officials play a much bigger role in the outcomes.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Just Winning In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Just win, baby.

That’s the motto in the Western Conference, where the Nashville Predators have 59 points and are only seven points above ninth in the dog-pile for playoff position.

It’s nuts, said Predators’ all-world defenceman Shea Weber, who had the game’s first goal and an assist on the second by Marcel Goc. Nashville jumped to a 4-0 lead, took their foot off the gas, and coasted to a 5-3 finish for their 10th win in the last 13 games on the road.

All this after getting to their local hotel about 2 a.m. after a gutsy win over the Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Senators Schedule Central Park Skate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Coming off an ugly 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers last night, the Senators will be on the ice in Central Park today for a one-hour skate at 11 a.m.

The Senators will scrap the sticks and pads. All they’ll wear is helmets, their practice jerseys and skates for what shapes up as a light workout. With the team mired in a five-game losing streak, the throwback-style workout might be just what’s needed to lighten the mood around the team these days.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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