Kukla's Korner

“A Long, Big Undertaking”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Weinman of the Journal News,

No one understands the enormity of the trip better than the Rangers’ equipment staff, led by Acacio Marques. The Harrison resident already works marathon days shuttling the team’s gear between the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, Madison Square Garden and various road sites. But Europe has been an entirely different endeavor, beginning with something as simple as incompatible electrical outlets for essentials such as skate-sharpening machines and video equipment.

Other challenges have run the gamut from hot to cold - literally.

In the NHL, teams rely on heated rooms to make sure players’ sweaty gear has dried from one skate to the next. At the rinks in both Bern and Prague, there’s no such thing, so the Rangers have been forced to bring over their own space heaters. On the other end of the spectrum, when Marques asked both rinks for 300 pounds of ice a day for the team, he was met with a quizzical response.

more

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

You Wanted Juvenile?  Oh, I’ll Give You Juvenile

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I turn forty this year, real frigging soon. So, you know, I figure I’ll grow up then.

But not yet.  PensBlog asked me to preview the Dynasty.  I was happy to oblige.  A taste?

The core of Detroit forwards was talented before, as you’re all fully and horrifically aware. But with the addition of your boy, it creates the strong possibility that Detroit will average somewhere around 19 goals/game. Just from the two top lines. Offensively, I could make a case that this could be one of the greatest teams ever assembled.

As usual, I elected understatement as my literary device of choice.  Read the rest here, and thanks to Adam, Derek and Charlie for the opportunity to ruffle some feathers.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Bounty Placed On A Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

Eric Assimakopoulos always has been generous with his employees. The owner of the HC Slovan hockey team, which faces the Lightning tonight in Bratislava, Slovakia, said he is trying to become the first league owner here to offer his players workman’s compensation. He has bought thousands of dollars in equipment for local kids, and he said his team was the first in Slovakia to give its players championship rings.

Now, Assimakopoulos, 38, a native New Yorker and real estate investor who said he still dreams of owning the Rangers,  told the St. Petersburg Times that if HC Slovan beats Tampa Bay, he will give each of his players a 10,000 Euros bonus. That is roughly $15,000.

continued

added 10:24am, According to Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes, today’s game will be streamed at osporte.sk.  The game is scheduled to begin at 1pm ET today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hc+slovan

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I think he’s a little bit on a mission himself. Here’s a guy who got [83] points two years ago and then he gets hurt and he misses the last half of the year and the team succeeds without him. He’s come in here and said, ‘I am a good hockey player. I am one of the elite guys in the NHL,’ and he was two years ago when we signed him.”

-Washington coach Bruce Boudreau on Michael Nylander via the Washington Times.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+nylander

Goaltending Situation In LA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The job is LaBarbera’s for now. If he can’t decisively claim it, the Kings—for so long so inept at grooming young goalies—have several good alternatives and won’t hesitate to use them.

Unlike last season, when Bernier was stuck with his junior team after the Kings returned him in mid-October, he can be summoned from Manchester any time. General Manager Dean Lombardi tends to be too cautious with his young players but is doing the right thing in letting Bernier regain his timing and rhythm in a low-pressure setting.

“It’s the best place for his development. I’m convinced it’s the best thing for him and the franchise,” Lombardi said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Tough Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Last season, a lack of grit among some of his Flames teammates led to Regehr bluntly calling them out more than a couple of times.

That sentiment hasn’t softened after a longer-than-expected summer.

“We moved out some really skilled players, but they were players also that didn’t fit our new philosophy as a team,” the big blueliner said yesterday, before the team took off to Edmonton for tonight’s pre-season matchup against the Oilers.

“They were also players that were a little soft sometimes, and that didn’t really bode well for us in the tough games and also in the playoffs.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Senators Need To Keep Alfredsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Alfredsson’s expiry date has become a topic because his contract expires at the end of this season.

There are three option years attached to the deal with this kicker: as revealed in the Sun, if Alfredsson plays 70 games and gets at least 70 points this season, he has the option to accept $3.8 million (all terms US) for next season or declare himself an unrestricted free agent.

If he doesn’t hit the 70-70 combo, the Senators have him for $3.8 million, a bargain. But the Senators certainly don’t want to run the risk of having their captain become a free agent.

Talks between Senators general manager Bryan Murray and J.P. Barry, Alfredsson’s agent, are in the preliminary stages.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Time For Penguins ‘D’ Depth To Make An Appearance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Empty Netters,

When Ray Shero re-signed Mark Eaton back on July 1, many questioned the decision to bring back a player who spent much of his previous two seasons on injured reserve. With some of the Penguins other needs in free agency at the time, why devote a decent chunk of change to an oft-injured defenseman?

Two months later, Shero’s looking like a genius. Granted, he couldn’t have foreseen what would happen to his two most prolific defensemen before the season started, but he saw the value of having depth. With Eaton and Brooks Orpik back in the fold, the Penguins ensured they would have nine NHL-caliber blueliners in the organization. Without Gonchar and Whitney, the Penguins still seven solid reliable players they can dress on the blue line.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Torres Separates Shoulder In Fight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers,

The Jackets’ A team played the Blackhawks’ B team in an exhibition at Nationwide tonight. The Jackets won, 7-1 But they lost left winger Raffi Torres to a separated shoulder. Torres will miss six weeks.

“Very costly. Disappointing,” Jackets coach Ben Hitchcock said. “It works every time. Every time you play against a (largely minor-league) team like that brought in here, something bad happens.”

At 14:29 of the second period, Torres backed away from the faceoff circle and squared off with Ben Eager. Torres apparently called out Eager, a noted pugilist, because Eager had slashed Jackets rookie Jake Voracek across the hands during the previous shift.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

Sens Go As Gerber Goes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

While we can conclude very little from any pre-season, it’s clear we have ourselves an Ottawa Senators team with more question marks than the Riddler’s outfit, and an Eastern Conference as wide open as Saskatchewan….

That leaves it wide open for….take your pick…Montreal, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Washington…

...Ottawa?

The early line on the Sens is Sesame Street simple.  If Martin Gerber is really good, they finish somewhere between 4th and 7th in the conference.  If Martin Gerber is…uhh…what Martin Gerber was most of last year, then they’ll be golfing by mid-April.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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