Kukla's Korner

Germany Hopes To Set Attendance Record

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Top News,

The 2010 ice hockey world championships are to face off in front of a world record attendance of 75,976 in Germany, organizers announced on Monday.

Local organizers said at a news conference that the tournament opener between hosts Germany and a yet to be drawn opponent on May 7, 2010, could draw this maximum crowd in Gelsenkirchen’s stadium which normally hosts Schalke 04 football matches.

The current record is 74,554 fans who attended a college match between Michigan and Michigan State on October 6, 2001, in the American Football stadium of East Lansing, Michigan.

German organizers are confident that the record will fall.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Trouble May Be Ahead For Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Spin, his blog at the Toronto Star,

Mats Sundin, it would appear, has three choices.

Two make sense. One is a terrible risk.

The risky choice is to succumb to the pull of the hockey world and announce a return to the NHL sometime before Christmas.

This, it appears, is what most believe is going to happen. And that’s too bad.

See, the smarter choices for Sundin would be to either retire - which I’ve come to believe is what he really wants to do - or take the season off entirely and then join a new team next summer.

Jumping into the fray now is a recipe for trouble.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Baffling Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.

The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.

Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“...I think Sean needs a strong coach like Mike Keenan. To have him under control. Then a lot of scandals could have been avoided.

Actually, people with a big self opinion will never understand Avery and will always think of him as an outsider. But I can never take Sean seriously. I have never had any problems with him.”

-Jaromir Jagr.  Read more from Eric McErlain at the NHL Fanhouse.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr, sean+avery

Trotz Throws His Hat Into The Ring For Team Canada Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Taylor of the National Post,

When Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Canada’s 2010 Olympic hockey team, it was assumed by some that Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock would be named Canada’s next head coach.

Hearing Babcock’s name was somewhat refreshing considering that for so long the same names always seemed to come up—Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford, Andy Murray.

While Babcock, with his experience handling the highly-skilled members of the Red Wings, would be a terrific choice, so too would a guy who would love to answer his country’s call.

“There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than playing or coaching a national team,” Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “I’ve done it twice at the world championships and they were both among the greatest experiences of my life. “


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz, team+canada

Spending Some Time With ‘The Mick’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Strader at PhoenixCoyotes.com,

This past Saturday night was a special one at Jobing.com Arena. The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings were in town, a vocal crowd of 16,000+ was on hand (thanks in part to some loyal Red Wings fans) and the two teams put on an entertaining show.

But for me, it was also special because I had the opportunity to spend some time with my first TV partner in the NHL, Mickey Redmond….

The first season we worked together was 1985-86 and the Wings weren’t projected to be a very good team. We only televised 15 games that year (thank goodness!). The Wings were 1-13-1 in those contests and the average score was 8-3 for the opposition. Moments before my very first telecast in the NHL in Minnesota, Mick told me to take off my headset and stop staring at the rosters that I was trying to memorize. He said that we had to be prepared for the worst.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mickey+redmond

The ESPN Mindset On Avery - All About The Publicity

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Kix of ESPN, To put it bluntly,

Sean Avery was the extent to which we followed hockey. A sartorially minded on-ice agitator who trashes the new boyfriends of his old exes? That’s reason enough to stay tuned, dude. We won’t any more, now that the Stars have banished him from the team, even agreeing to pay his salary so long as he keeps out of the arena. But with a look at Avery’s sins, one thing’s for certain: Whoever gets the Stars’ sloppy seconds will have to up the tolerance for anarchy, because this is milquetoast stuff.

And the NHL wonders why it can’t expand its audience….

This is the problem with the NHL: It thinks a guy who interns at Vogue and routinely shows up in People and on PerezHilton is bad for the game. You fools. He’s growing the game. Or at least, he was.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

One Bad Prediction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Believe it or not, there was a time just a few months ago when some of hockey’s most well-known experts were saying the Avalanche was a better team than the Detroit Red Wings.

“Colorado,” NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire said quickly, when a couple of us nosy reporters asked who would win the Avs’ Western Conference semifinal last spring with Detroit. “I like how they stack up against Detroit.”

Four games later, the Avs were done. Game 4 was the humiliating 8-2 Detroit romp at the Pepsi Center. Henrik Zetterberg was scoring on backhanders while falling down and Johan Franzen flashed his big Swedish grin for the final of his approximately 46 goals he scored in the series (actually, only nine — but still a Detroit record for one series).

This foolish reporter was actually sipping the Avalanche Kool-Aid before the series, too.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Comfortable In The KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

On a recent Friday night, an unseasonably warm night for northern Russia in late November, Emery was a world away from the scrutiny and was asked what kind of mood he wakes up in most mornings.

“At the start I do the old, `Where am I?’ when I open my eyes but now I’m used to it,” he said. “Sometimes I’m still confused or feel a bit homesick when I wake up. It’s been a pretty good break for the most part. I’m just relaxing. It’s nice not having that microscope on you, being able to live.

“I miss a lot about Canada, North America, just living there, conversing with people. But at the same time, I don’t miss not being comfortable at dinner because people are watching you and you feel eyes on you all the time.”

read on as Westhead continues with stories from Russia…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, ray+emery

How The Rangers Can Clear Cap Space For Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sundin told friends money will not be the prime factor when it comes time to choose a team.

The Blueshirts currently have approximately $1 million of cap space. Pro-rating cap hits, the Blueshirts would need approximately $2.877M of space on Dec. 27 in order to be able to offer Sundin a full-season contract of $5M, half of Vancouver’s standing bid.

Trading or waiving Petr Prucha by Friday would add approximately another $1M of space. Returning freshman Lauri Korpikoski - who has had three straight games of under 10 minutes of ice time - to the AHL Wolf Pack by Friday would add approximately another $635,000 of space.

That would give the Rangers about $2.635M of space - enough to allot Sundin around $4.25M.

Understand, the Rangers are not trading Michal Rozsival to Dallas in exchange for the right to bury Sean Avery in the minor leagues.

They are most certainly not attempting to deal Scott Gomez.


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

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