Kukla's Korner

That Time Of Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets have three pro scouts in Pittsburgh tonight for the Rangers—Penguins game. According to sources in the Steel City, Bob Strumm, the Blue Jackets head of pro scouting, is there with Bryan Stuart and Kjell Larssen.

The easy assumption is that the Blue Jackets are looking at the Rangers, just another night in what has been a long flirtation between the two organizations….

But what about the Penguins? Pittsburgh had two scouts in Nationwide Arena for Saturday’s win over Nashville. Maybe the Blue Jackets and Penguins are having talks and tonight’s opponent is nothing more than a curve ball. Who would the Jackets want?

read on and thanks to Bethany’s Hockey Rants for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Are Those Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

They are stars in the Canadiens’ constellation, but at home they are a couple of 20-somethings who live five minutes from each other in Huntington, guys who work out together all summer, visit each other’s families and fade into the neighborhoods.

“I could wear my jersey out and no one will know who I am,” Komisarek said.

People will know who he and Higgins are Tuesday, when they are back home on Long Island for a game against the Islanders. Amid Montreal’s huge road turnout of fans, a good swath of Nassau Coliseum will be full of their fans, family and friends.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: christopher+higgins, mike+komisarek

Thrashers Prepare For Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Any guess which Wing player the other goalie is?

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

One Man For The Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...this is one time when the obvious choice for someone to run the ship is also the right one — Scotty Bowman, who briefly flirted with the Leafs in August, but Monday retreated from remarks he made on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday and reiterated that his commitment is to the Detroit Red Wings, where he is a senior consultant.

Well, okay.

To think that Bowman would jump ship in midseason was a mostly irrational hope anyway. The time to woo him again is this summer, after the current season ends and the business of hockey takes centre stage.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scotty+bowman

Hockey Night In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Last Saturday, with the Leafs on the West Coast playing the San Jose Sharks at 10 p.m. EST, Hockey Night aired the Detroit Red Wings-Senators game, the battle of the NHL’s top two teams, nationwide at 7 p.m. The telecast did pretty well, 909,000 viewers, not far off the 1.181 million average for the Leafs’ telecasts.

The Wings-Senators were up against two NFL playoff games on CTV, which were watched by 1.05 million (Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers) and 924,000 (Jacksonville Jaguars-New England Patriots).

Without the competition from football, Wings-Senators would have pulled in an audience probably larger than the Leafs’ average on Hockey Night.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

2nd Line Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Red Wings Corner,

Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk has been a linemate with Ilya Kovalchuk—who will be in town with Atlanta Tuesday night—on the Russian national team, Datsyuk was asked what competitions that he’s participated in with Kovalchuk.

“World Cup. Olympics. Baltika Cup. You put that in for me. Baltika (maker of a Russian beer). Free promotion for Russian business. Maybe they send me send bucks.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Blue Jackets are in the Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via SI,

Of all things, the Blue Jackets - the only NHL team to never reach the postseason - find themselves in the midst of the race for the playoffs.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of ourselves but it’s pretty exciting for our players to know that we’re in the middle of this mess with everybody else,’’ coach Ken Hitchcock said Monday. “We’re right in the battle here to go up the ladder if we can continue to play well, but one bad week and you’re really behind the eight ball. I think it’s going to be like this the rest of the year. It’s going to be close.’‘

Heading into this week’s games, the 7-year-old franchise is off to its best season at 21-18-6. The best previous mark at this stage was 17-22-6 in 2002-2003. Considering the club has never come close to having a winning record, that in itself is an accomplishment.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

An Interim GM in Toronto?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bob McKenzie at TSN,

The beleaguered Toronto Maple Leafs are taking steps to try to replace general manager John Ferguson Jr.

Sources tell TSN that the Leafs have contacted a number of hockey management types to gauge their interest in the job, which is currently held by Ferguson, and, in fact, have asked former Leaf GM Cliff Fletcher if he is interested in taking over as interim GM of the NHL club.

Cliff Fletcher could not be reached for comment. Fletcher remains under contract to the Phoenix Coyotes even though he is no longer working for the organization.


*hat tip to Puckhound61 for linking to this in the forums

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cliff+fletcher, general+manager, john+ferguson+jr

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Finally, a note to fans of the Lightning, Leafs, and Kings: It. Is. Over.

Yes, already.

Miracles are never completely out of the question, but thanks to the NHL’s unbalanced schedule, there is virtually no possibility whatsoever Tampa Bay, Toronto or Los Angeles can leapfrog the five or six teams in front of them to secure a playoff berth. Let the firings and/or fire sales begin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Best Off-Season Acquisitions

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Erskine in the National Post,

A few of the best additions are surprising, while a couple of the least impressive pickups should have been expected.

In no particular order, here are the top five best offseason acquisitions.

1. Ty Conklin, Pittsburgh Penguins
No player added to a team has been more astonishing in a positive way than Conklin, who has been nothing short of a godsend for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

more... plus the 5 worst off-season pick-ups, as well

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ty+conklin

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