Kukla's Korner

Bad Blood Between Ladd & Kesler

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

There are so many of the Vancouver Canucks for Blackhawks fans to dislike - Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa, Rick Rypien, the hair pulling Alex Burrows, even goalie Roberto Luongo.

But Ryan Kesler might now be at the top of their list.

Kesler called out Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd after Saturday’s 5-1 win by the Canucks at GM Place during which Ladd got the best of Kesler in a first period fight.

Kesler was looking for revenge for what he said was a hit from behind from Ladd in last spring’s playoffs and wound up taking a punch to the face that opened a cut under his eye. Instead of trading punches with Ladd, Kesler’s only response was to wrestle Ladd to the ice.

“He’s a coward, he’ll always be a coward,” Kesler told reporters after the game. “At least he was man enough to hit me when I was looking this time.”

continue for a look at last night’s game and watch the quick fight below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ladd, ryan+kesler

Sunday Morning Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

• Bruins fans dreaming of a No. 1 pick in June’s amateur draft cheer a little more with each Maple Leafs loss. However, by the looks of the total ineptness in Carolina and Edmonton, the Hurricanes and Oilers will have the most ping-pong balls in the barrel come lottery time.

In Raleigh, just about everyone other than Staal and Cam Ward can be had for an offer. The Oilers, flat as the Alberta plains, will find a taker (Los Angeles or New Jersey) for defenseman Sheldon Souray, whose no-trade clause disappears anyway after this season.

• Ex-Boston College star Patrick Eaves, bought out by the Bruins as part of the deal that sent Ward back to Carolina last summer, keeps busy with third- and fourth-line duty with the Red Wings. His pace, in fact, is about in synch with Bruins winger Michael Ryder. Headed into the weekend, Ryder stood 12-8 -20 in 49 games while Eaves was 6-7 -13 in 38 games. Ryder: $4 million per year; Eaves: $500,000.

more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questioning Kessel’s Conditioning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Every time I see Phil Kessel bent over at the bench sucking wind, I wonder: How do you build the Maple Leafs around a kid who doesn’t seem to be in game condition?

• This is why the surprising Colorado Avalanche will make the playoffs and the Phoenix Coyotes might not: Of Colorado’s final 32 games, 19 are at home. Of the Coyotes’ final 30 games, only 12 are at home.

• If I’m Vince McMahon I’m lining up John Tortorella and Larry Brooks for Monday Night Raw.

a few more hockey notes…

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

Want To Save Money?  Cut The Scouting Staff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

As the recession grinds on, the gap in spending among the NHL’s wealthy and not-so-wealthy teams continues to widen, with scouting becoming one of the key differences.

An informal survey of general managers and scouts reveals that some teams have cut back on their scouting budgets in recent years, mostly the lower-revenue teams, while some of the big-market clubs have thrown more money at finding talent. The way they see it, the more bird dogs you have beating the bushes, the better your decisions will be at the draft table and in making trades….

The size of the scouting departments of NHL teams varies from a high of 22 with the New Jersey Devils to a low of nine with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Colorado Avalanche. The average is about 13, including scouting directors, who also scout players, full-time and part-time scouts.

“It’s one of the easiest places to cut costs,” said NHL Network broadcaster and former Calgary Flames GM Craig Button, who also spent years as a scout and player personnel director. “We have Central Scouting [the NHL’s service] so people ask why not use Central Scouting?”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Lack Compete Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, T

here is no better way to explain what became yet another blowout and yet another shutout, last night in an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to the Canadiens in which the Rangers competed only sporadically for one another and for head coach John Tortorella.

There’s a correlation, you know, between not protecting your goaltender when he’s run, not avenging your captain when he’s concussed, not protecting your all-world scorer when he fights with an opposition enforcer, and lame white flag performances like this that occur regularly.

Team character defects that are so glaring do not develop in a vacuum.

“You can say it’s a lack of preparation, but that’s BS; it’s a lack of competitiveness,” Sean Avery, perhaps the Blueshirts’ best player, told The Post. “We do not play hard enough.

“I don’t have the explanation for it. I don’t know if it’s us not holding each other accountable, or what, but it’s a total lack of respect for our fans and the organization. It’s a joke.”

read on

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

The Leads Are Weak?  You’re Weak.  The Cup Is For Closers

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Pay attention Detroit Red Wings, I am only going to say this once.

Let’s talk about something important.

Put.  That.  Cup.  Down.

The Cup is for Closers only.

You think I’m fuching with you?  I am not fuching with you.

Have I got your attention now?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Man Takes A Walk In The Rafters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

An unidentified man was taken down from a conduit above a catwalk during a Detroit Red Wings game on Saturday night.

Almost an entire section of stands in the lower bowl was cleared out when the man was noticed during the second period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 victory (loss) over (to) the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena.


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

HNIC Hotstove Talk Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mihira Lakshman of CBC,

At least a few NHL general managers are willing to consider a proposal that would give video replay officials at the central office in Toronto more authority on controversial calls, Hockey Night in Canada contributor Elliotte Friedman said during Saturday’s Hotstove segment.

There are also suggestions to bring in a new “coach’s challenge” rule similar to the one used in football, he said.

continue or watch…

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

More Kovalchuk Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Star winger Ilya Kovalchuk is likely to still be with the Thrashers right up until the NHL trade deadline.

While league sources say Calgary GM Darryl Sutter — desperate to shake up his struggling club — has made several inquiries into Kovalchuk’s availability, the indications are suitors such as the Flames, Capitals, Blackhawks, Bruins, Kings and Rangers are going to wait.

Atlanta GM Don Waddell is prepared to take one more run at trying to sign Kovalchuk, but if the Russian goal-scoring machine isn’t willing to budge from his $11-million-a-season (all terms US) demand, he will be dealt before the March 3 NHL trade deadline….

League sources say a couple of teams could reach out to Yzerman if Canada wins gold in Vancouver. He has been engaged in the process of selecting the team, has worked hard and has said he might be willing to look at becoming an NHL GM.

The question is: Where will there be openings?

If the Flyers don’t make the playoffs, the indications are GM Paul Holmgren could be in trouble. Other GMs under the gun include the Oilers’ Steve Tambellini, the Canadiens’ Bob Gainey and Tampa’s Brian Lawton.

more rumor talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Davidson Says Backes Not Going Anywhere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

Without tipping his hand toward any potential trades, Davidson on Friday shot down a Canadian-based trade rumor that had Blues forward David Backes headed to the Vancouver Canucks.

“David Backes isn’t going anywhere,” Davidson said. “There’s nothing to it. We all do our scouting, but the facts are the facts: David Backes isn’t going anywhere. People just love to speculate.”

A report in the Toronto Globe and Mail suggested that Vancouver—which signed Backes to a three-year, $7.5 million offer sheet in July of 2008 that was quickly matched by the Blues—was interested in a potential deal.

The report suggested the Blues were interested in Canucks goaltending prospect Cory Schneider, who is playing for Vancouver’s top farm team, the Manitoba Moose.


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

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