Kukla's Korner

Goaltending Coach Change May Be Under Way In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

Still trying to confirm rumors that Coyotes goaltending coach Grant Fuhr has been replaced by Sean Burke, and that Fuhr, a five-time Stanley Cup winner with the Edmonton Oilers, would stay with the organization in prospect development.

Burke played 18 years in the NHL, and parts of five with the Coyotes.  He currently is the team’s director of prospect development.

The Coyotes’ official stance is “no comment at this time.”

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

Getting To Know Judge Redfield T. Baum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,

He is Canada’s newest celebrity, and a legal saint in the making depending on what decision he ultimately makes. Judge Baum even has his own Wikipedia page, created, it seems, right around the time the money-bleeding Coyotes entered the orbit of his Arizona bankruptcy court.

Several people have remarked to Toby Baum about his father’s renown in the hockey-mad country to the North. He even heard directly from a handful of Canadians on his Facebook page after his father neglected to rule in Mr. Balsillie’s favour and ship the team to Hamilton at the outset.

“People sent me some pretty derogatory comments about my dad, hate mail and stuff. And I thought: Really? What are you doing? You don’t even know me,” says Toby Baum, who is the judge’s son from his first marriage (he has three step-siblings).

Indeed, we don’t know much about his newly-famous father, although in a case where the two sides do not agree on much, most courtroom observers can agree that Judge Redfield T. Baum—with his Hang-‘Em-At-High-Noon name, folksy delivery and desert-dry wit—has been the star in the latest installment of the serial drama involving the NHL and the Canadian billionaire who will not take no for an answer.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Orr Skate At Fenway?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

According to team principal Charlie Jacobs, the Bruins still hope to include members of the club’s triumphant 1970 Stanley Cup team in a charity event, perhaps a game, while the ice is in place at Fenway Park for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic….

A couple of issues here: 1. Given other civic and charity plans, possibly even public skating, the base paths could be a bit crowded to work in an event of this scale. 2. If it’s not a charity gig, the NHL could raise an objection to a large-scale pay event being staged on its sheet prior to the Winter Classic.

All that said, it would be one fine sight to see Bobby Orr, now 61 years old, take a skate through the Back Bay. Imagine the memorabilia shots of No. 4 cruising through open ice, with the Green Monster in the background.

more topics including Boston GM had no choice but to move Kessel…

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

Kariya On The Road To Recovery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues have been cautious in the early going with Kariya, who is getting his body used to a lengthier skating stride. But the fact that he played in back-to-back preseason games Tuesday and Friday shows that progress is being made.

“I feel better every day,” said Kariya, who missed the opening day of training camp as a precaution. “When I started, my groin and hip-flexor was a little tight. But they’ve loosened up and the hips themselves, the joints feel great.

“The practices are so demanding, it’s tough to get an indication of where your legs are, but I’ve felt like I had good jump in the games. To get a couple games under my belt and have no repercussions ... the body’s feeling good.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kariya

Early Sunday Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• The Phoenix Coyotes are just kidding people by insisting that Wayne Gretzky’s absence from training camp is insignificant. Imagine Leafs camp without Ron Wilson setting the agendas, the lineups, the rules, determining who plays and who doesn’t and how much they play in a game. A training camp without a head coach is a camp without proper direction ... By the way, an e-mailer insists he ran into Gretzky with friends in a Scottsdale bar on the night the Coyotes opened at home and said he didn’t know what he found more odd—Gretzky being out and about or nobody recognizing him.

• “We’re optimistic,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said about the return of The Investment, Rick DiPietro. Snow was so encouraged by DiPietro’s return from knee surgery that he signed Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron over the summer.

• Why you can’t take the Atlanta Thrashers seriously: Nik Antropov is their No. 1 centre.

more hockey notes…


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Burke Gets What He Wants

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

Last winter, the Leafs were an outfit adrift without personality, a club that had scored a bunch of goals early in the season, was terrible defensively, wasn’t ornery to play against and, depending on the game, might fill out half or more of its lineup with skilled European-born and trained players.

Today, the Leafs are destined to be one of the NHL’s goonier teams, a club dominated by North American talent and muscle, a team that surely has a distinct personality sculpted entirely by Burke.

He has changed the roster, added front office personnel, lured one of the game’s top goalie coaches and revamped the pro and amateur scouting staffs. A club that not that long ago seemed unattractive to players with other choices has in rapid succession outbid stiff competition for Mike Komisarek, François Beauchemin, Colton Orr, Christian Hanson, Tyler Bozak, netminder Jonas Gustavsson and, really, Kessel.

For each of these players there were at least three bidders and in some cases four times that many. But Burke got them all.

Suddenly, the Leafs are a destination, mostly because of Burke’s personal touch.


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

Wings Focus On Return To SCF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Go ahead and mention the departures of Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Kopecky, Ty Conklin and Chris Chelios. But be prepared to hear all about future stars like Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino, not to mention returning veterans Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams.

“We didn’t have spots for them before, and now they’re ready to go,” Zetterberg said.

You might be thinking that no team since the Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s has played in three straight Stanley Cup Finals. While you contemplate that, the Red Wings will continue their preparations for another very short summer.

“This is the way the summer is supposed to be,” Zetterberg said. “It’s supposed to be two months because you want to go as far as possible. Spending six weeks in the gym is good enough. You don’t have to be there for 12 weeks.”


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

A Littl Bie Of This & That

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• The Rangers’ Sean Avery won a settlement in his libel case against Toronto radio reporter Howard Berger following mediation earlier this month, Slap Shots has learned. The suit was brought in the aftermath of the pregame incident in Toronto on Nov. 10, 2007, after which Berger alleged that Avery had made comments to Jason Blake relating to the Leaf winger’s previously diagnosed cancer. Terms of the settlement are confidential. Avery has at least one more pending suit relating to the incident.

• The Coyotes, we’re told by an interested party, have received deposits on 1,800 season tickets and full payment on exactly, um well, on exactly none for the coming season. Gary Bettman’s check must be lost in the mail.

• Seems that Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf could have been given a match penalty for intent to injure on his mean, blind-side blow that concussed the Isles’ Kyle Okposo on Wednesday, but neither the league nor PA seems to have a clue how to legislate against technically legal hits to the head, even ones that appear premeditated.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: howard+berger

Brian Burke Introduces Phil Kessel To Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Sharks GM Will Lose His Job If They Experience Playoff Failure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

Now that Dany Heatley has been traded to San Jose, if the Sharks don’t reverse their long history of playoff failure, it will cost general manager Doug Wilson his job….

“We’re completely comfortable with the type of player Dany is, and more importantly, with the type of person he is,” Wilson told reporters. “There are often cases where players have asked for trades. ... Sometimes, it is best for everybody involved. We have zero concerns about that.”

What Wilson should be concerned about, however, is his job. The Sharks have greatly underachieved in recent years, even with the presence of Joe Thornton. They’ve been expected to challenge or outright win the Cup, but have faltered in the playoffs.

more plus other NHL topics, many of which appeared on KK in the past week.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+wilson

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