Kukla's Korner

New Look For FloridaPanthers.com

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Florida Panthers,

Welcome to the official launch of your new FloridaPanthers.com.

While the Panthers build success on the ice, they also continue to enhance FloridaPanthers.com to make it the top site for Panthers fans to get all their news, features, promotions, video highlights, pre-game and post-game reports, and blogs.

The new FloridaPanthers.com has several new features, including enhanced game highlights, additional statistics on Panthers players and their opponents, easier access to promotions and the Panthers official social networks, and superior photographs.


I have noticed a few more teams have gone in this direction too, basically the site is centered on your page and has a look and feel of nhl.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Burke Not Blown Away By Kaberle Offers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke expects Tomas Kaberle to be in the lineup on opening night, and will be shocked if the defenceman is not.

Burke made the comments on Thursday during a press conference where former NHLer Dave Poulin was introduced as the club’s new vice-president of Hockey Operations.

“I’d have to be blown away,” Burke said in response to moving Kaberle before the season. “But that hasn’t happened and I don’t see what happening.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Ruutu Agrees To Terms With Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Tuomo Ruutu on a three-year contract. Under the terms of the deal, Ruutu will be paid $3 million in 2009-10, $4 million in 2010-11 and $4.4 million in 2011-12.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tuomo+ruutu

Underrated UFA Signings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

As soon as the clock struck noon on July 1, the names started coming off the board and some of them were big. However, a bulk of the summer signings came and went off the transactions page with little fanfare, even though they all could be key acquisitions.

With that in mind, we offer you NHL.com’s Top 10 list of the most underrated signings of 2009.

1. Mike Knuble, Washington—The Capitals learned during their seven-game series against Pittsburgh that they were lacking a net-front presence. Knuble gives them exactly that. Look for him on the right side of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin this season, especially on the power play. That could be a lethal line, with Knuble’s grit serving as the perfect complement to the European flair of Ovechkin and Backstrom.

2. Rob Scuderi, Los Angeles—Every team that wants to compete for a playoff berth needs a gritty, gutsy, reliable, stay-at-home defender, which is exactly what Scuderi is….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Expected To Succeed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Here’s a look at a player from each of the 15 teams in the Western Conference under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:

Jonas Hiller, Anaheim—Hiller took the No. 1 goaltending job from Jean-Sebastien Giguere and was superb for the Ducks down the stretch and in the playoffs, leading them to a first-round upset of Presidents’ Trophy winner San Jose and nearly knocking off Detroit. Now it’s up to the 27-year-old to prove he’s capable of being a full-time starter at the NHL level on a team from which big things are expected.

Chris Osgood, Detroit—Osgood atoned for the worst regular season of his career with a superb showing in the playoffs, getting the Wings to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. With backup Ty Conklin gone to St. Louis after a superb season in Detroit, the Red Wings can’t afford to have Osgood struggle again—especially because there’s no proven backup behind him this time.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Not So Feel-Good Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,

The Hawks have more than enough scoring to compensate even if Hossa is unable to make the season-opening trip to Finland. But after making all the right moves during the organization’s dizzying ascent from the bottom to the top of the Western Conference, the franchise has left itself open to scrutiny and criticism with decisions made since Hossa inked his record deal.

The failure to send out qualifying offers to restricted free agents before the deadline—resulting in the Hawks paying more than they would have otherwise to re-sign some of their own players—the subsequent ouster of popular general manager Dale Tallon and McDonough’s awkward explanation are reminiscent of the old Hawks.

Now this. If the Hawks knew about Hossa’s injury, isn’t it risky bordering on reckless to sign him to a $62.8 million deal without so much as a physical?

Recent news seems symptomatic of a sense of urgency bordering on desperation that has gripped the franchise since the season-ending loss in Detroit. It’s troubling. When organizations begin to cannibalize themselves, diners can become dinner and the feel-good vibe around a team evaporates.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dave Poulin Added To Leafs Management Staff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,

More than 30 years ago, when Dave Poulin was skating for the Dixie Beehives junior club in Mississauga, he couldn’t get a single NHL team interested in drafting him.

Today, he’s found a new home with one of the league’s most historic clubs.

The Star has learned that Poulin, 50, will be announced at 10 a.m. today as the new vice-president of player development for the Maple Leafs, essentially moving into the third slot in the Leaf executive lineup behind president/GM Brian Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+poulin

Name Players Still Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

There are still about 40 “name” unrestricted free agents out there who are looking for work.

At the top of the list is F Alex Tanguay, though it has been rumoured for a while that he is on his way to the Panthers with a couple of other teams (the Islanders and Predators) rumoured to be in the mix.

Some of the players are close to the end of their careers (or may already be there) like D Sergei Zubov and Fs Brendan Shanahan and Mats Sundin.

But there are plenty of other players still available who still have something to contribute: G Manny Fernandez; D Derek Morris, Dennis Seidenberg, Martin Skoula, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Francis Bouillon; and Fs Robert Lang, Petr Sykora, P.J. Axelsson, Jason Williams, Taylor Pyatt, Maxim Afinogenov, Mike Grier and Miro Satan.

more plus a look at Martin Gerber playing in the KHL…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Paul Kelly Talks About The Heatley Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Campbell of 630 CHED,

Speaking exclusively on 630 CHED’s “Inside Sports with Dan Tencer”, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly broke his silence on the Dany Heatley saga on Wednesday night.

“I think that this been kind of twisted in a negative way, which is unfortunate for Dany. I think he’s just a victim of a bad set of circumstances,” said Kelly about Heatley, who requested a trade earlier in the off-season.

“While it is true that he requested a trade, it was not Dany Heatley or his agent that made that fact public. I think Dany’s been unfairly treated by the media and by the (Senators) organization.”


Update 3:05pm ET: More on Heatley from Chris Yzerman at the CP

While Cory Clouston introduced the newest member of his staff Thursday, talk turned to what’s becoming an old story for the Ottawa Senators coach: what to do about Dany Heatley.

Clouston, speaking on a conference call after the Senators announced the hiring of former NHLer Brad Lauer as an assistant coach, said he’s yet to speak with his disgruntled star. It’s Heatley’s unhappiness over his diminished role and ice time since Clouston took over as head coach that’s been cited as the reason for the left-winger requesting a trade out of Ottawa this spring.

“I’m more than willing to listen and talk to anybody, but nothing’s changed at all,” said Clouston, who was “surprised” at Heatley’s request.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley, paul+kelly

Talking All The Islanders Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Ah, but the question, WHO is the back-up?

Martin BironBetter still, Heaven only knows who’ll be the Numero Uno between the pipes when the Autumn leaves start to fall.

One thing is certain, one Islander goalie surely will fall because Garth Snow has produced yet another center-ring gem.

By signing Martin Biron to a one-year contract, the Isles’ general manager has lined up number one goalies the way Paris Hilton lines up gossip items.

And believe The Maven, there’ll be plenty of gossip over Rick (Remember Me) DiPietro, Dwayne (All The Way From Edmonton) Roloson and the aforementioned Biron between now and you-know-when.

For starters, having a triumverate of goalies ever-so-clearly suggests that the black cloud hovering over DiPietro’s netminding future will not easily dissipate until he proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he CAN endure a good season of puck-stopping.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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