Kukla's Korner

Leafs Crowd Goes A Cappella Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OK, we can start the season now.

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

Ducks Relying On Niedermayer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Niedermayer is the only defenseman left from the group that was so vital to the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup title. He’s not sure how this season will unfold, but he was intrigued enough by the possibilities to sign a one-year contract in July soon after his previous four-year deal expired.

“I’m going to watch him all day long, watch how he prepares for games, how he does little things,” Sbisa said. “I’m pretty confident I’ll take a lot of things from him this season.”

The man called “irreplaceable” by General Manager Bob Murray must be the Ducks’ glue if they’re going to regroup on defense and compete with the NHL’s elite.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

Ron MacLean Talks Fenway Park Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+maclean

Relocation May Be The Only Option For Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Klayman of Reuters,

The bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes hockey team is likely to leave Arizona because it has not turned a profit since 1996, analysts said, even though the city of Glendale would like it to stay and keep paying rent.

“Under what set of circumstances could this thing possibly stay in Glendale?” said a sports banker, who asked not to be named because he has done business with NHL teams. “This team is worth less than zero in Phoenix.”


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

Hockey Comes First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dakshana Bascaramurty of the Globe and Mail,

It’s why Ms. Stern-Torres, 46, relishes commercial breaks: She’s mastered the art of doing the deed in those brief minutes before her hubby’s focus returns to the glow of the TV screen.

But if Ms. Stern-Torres yearns for a longer session between the sheets, she has to share time with 21 hulking men – her husband’s beloved Rangers.

“There were times when we were having sex and he’s been watching the game,” she said from her home in New York. “If I want to get some and there’s a game on, that’s what we have to do.”

The start of stick-handling season marks a regular wave of change in relationships involving hockey fans. Like Ms. Stern-Torres, many women dread October because it’s when they enter into hockey widowhood. But even male friendships can be affected. While some guys look forward to bonding with their sports buddies, others face being left behind when they root for a different team than their best bud.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Radulov Had No Support In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Boclair of the Nashville News,

The best players in the world play in the NHL, and ones who can score the way Radulov can (particularly at such a young age) are prized commodities. They are the ones who drive the market, even these days when the league operates with a salary cap and an uncertain financial future.

Had Radulov stayed with the Predators through last season, he would have been a restricted free agent this past summer. One way or another, he was going to cash in. Either the Predators would have locked him up with a long-term deal, or another team would have signed him to an offer sheet that would have guaranteed him a hefty salary. And Nashville still would have had the right to match the contract.

Instead, he went home to Russia because he felt like an outsider in his own locker room. His teammates did not support him. His coach did not support him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+radulov

Is Pronger The Missing Link?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

There have been several missing links for the Flyers in their quest to win that ever-elusive third Cup. One was in goal. The other was a punishing defenseman, one who strikes fear into the hearts of wingers coming across the blue line.

If the Flyers are going to unseat reigning Cup champion Pittsburgh as “Beast of the East” this season, they will need Pronger’s on-ice demeanor and off-ice attitude to accomplish the task.

You see, the Flyers of recent past – even under Ken Hitchcock – took losing far too casually. They failed to see the impact of today’s mistakes on tomorrow’s expectations.

Pronger doesn’t.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Playing In Europe Not A Great Idea

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,

The worse thing about starting the season over here is that so few in North America know or even care about it.

Wings goalie Chris Osgood said he got a call from his friend and Lions center Dominic Raiola on Wednesday and Raiola, a big sports fan, didn’t even know the Wings were in Sweden.

This trip hasn’t generated any buzz about the start of a new season where it matters most—in the NHL’s primary markets.

Here’s what the NHL should do instead. At the start of each season, pick a destination city in North America—Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, wherever—and invite the final four teams from the previous year and stage an NHL showcase. Each team gets two regular-season games and you can pair them off any way you want—East runners-up vs. West runners-up, rematch of the conference championships, whatever.


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

The Life Of A Ref

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

It’s a job many onlookers think they can do better than the ones wearing the orange bands after a disagreeable call is made, but there is more to this job than meets the eye through a television screen or reverse replay angle.

Building off the popularity of last season’s ‘A Scout’s Life’ feature, every other week we will explore what it takes, what it means to be and what goes through the mind of an official to familiarize fans with this polarizing corner of the game. We’ll not only touch on NHL referees, but also the minor leagues, junior leagues, all the way down to the local minor hockey level where it all begins.

“I grew up not a great hockey player, so, fortunately, I learned at a young enough age I wasn’t going to go anywhere playing,” said pro referee David Banfield. “My dad was a ref himself, so I came home one day and asked him and I started minor hockey on the eastern shore in Cole Harbour.”


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

My Fantasy Draft Aftermath

Blog: KK Hockey By Hippy Dave

Good god nothing is so draining as crawling back from a 10 hour work day to throw a draft party, but damn it, I did it.  Now comes the deep introspective reflection… “Did I do well?”  I think so.. if only the Zamboners would have stopped talking my ear off during my picks…  “Could I have done better?”  Shoot after looking at WhoFarted IceMelted’s roster I sure know so; the guy drafted only players who score the most power play points, and with that strategy his team looks monstrous.  Though I believe beating the perennial favorite Filth and last year’s cup winner The Fargin Iceholes are well within my sights.

The important thing to realize here is not to have buyer’s remorse following a draft.  I don’t know about you but I love to work the wire, but you can’t go jumping ship after your draft trying to second guess yourself.  My league allows 30 wire moves during the season and I run out of all 30 about 2 weeks before the playoffs start.  That’s how I roll.  But bide your time and see how your instincts pay off for the first few weeks.

It seems there are three basic tacks you can take during a draft:  Pick up proven performers, pick up young guys who promise to bust out this year and next, or pick up guys who were injured last year and can be monsters this year if only they’ll stay in shape.  I took a mix of the first and the latter this year.  I feel about as confident as a Disney lemming right about now, but in three months, things will be different.

So, what do you think?  My fantasy roster for the year:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

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