Kukla's Korner

A Look At The Central

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

Detroit is starting to feel some heat in its own backyard though, with three other young and improving Central teams making the playoffs last season. The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues entered the postseason for the first time since the lockout and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first-ever time. And lurking not far behind it are the Nashville Predators, who had to deal with several key injuries yet still narrowly missed the postseason cutoff line.

Here’s a graded looked at what they’ve been doing so far this summer…

Detroit still has some tweaking to do with a lineup pushing against the cap and needs a couple more depth players, but what matters here is that the very good core remains intact and ready for another run. Grade: B

Dale Tallon was retired as GM, ostensibly because qualifying offers weren’t mailed in time to several restricted free agents. That cost the team serious re-signings premiums and cut into the cap space for retaining several key young players whose contracts are coming due next year. But Tallon wasn’t replaced by his assistant Stan Bowman until the middle of July. After making all the roster moves. Bowman, by the way, was previously the Blackhawks point man when it came to contracts, and is the son of legendary coach Scotty Bowman, a trusted consultant to team president John McDonough. Grade: C


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flames Sign Dustin Boyd

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary, AB – Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today that the Flames have resigned forward Dustin Boyd. 

Boyd, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is coming off a career year netting 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 71 games. Entering his third season with the Flames, Boyd has scored 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points in 132 career NHL games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+boyd

Bill Daly On The Hudler/KHL Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

In an e-mail to Sporting News Today, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote that Hudler lost his free agency rights when he elected salary arbitration on July 5.

“It continues to be our position that Hudler is contractually obligated to the Detroit Red Wings,” Daly wrote in an e-mail to SNT. “It’s just another example of the KHL having no regard for NHL contracts.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, jiri+hudler, khl

Flyers Sign Tollefsen

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have agreed to terms with 6’2”, 211-pound defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to a one-year contract, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Per team policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to add Ole to our team,” said Holmgren. “Ole is a defenseman with size and defends very well. At 25 years old he is an ideal fit to the core of our team.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

Proposed New Rules

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,

New Rule No. 1: Regular-season standings must change

If a game is tied after the traditional 60 minutes, it is recorded as what it is: a tie. Should a team prevail with an extra goal in overtime or a shootout a team is awarded “bonus points,” points that are noted as such in the standings. In that scenario, there would be no “Win” recorded in the standings or personal coaching or goalie stats for a victory in extra-session time….

New Rule No. 2: Team options on the playoff seedings and formats

The higher seeds get a variety of options. It could be they retain the 2-2-1-1-1 format if they think it fits their travel plans or their view of what plays to the their strength (unbeatable at home or really good history of success after winning Game 1), or exploits an opponent’s weakness (poor road record or possible fatigue from a closing kick that could cause problems with a long-trip to a quick series start)....


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

Zubov Signs With KHL Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

After a 16-year NHL career, Sergei Zubov is heading home as the 39-year old blueliner has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, sergei+zubov

The Flyers Philosophy By Bob Clarke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Bass of The Hockey News,

The Flyers have consistently been a tough team to play against throughout its history, owning the NHL’s second-best all-time winning percentage behind the Montreal Canadiens. Clarke attributes that to the tremendous support of owner Ed Snider.

“We were allowed to spend the money, we always tried to win,” Clarke said. “We didn’t do what Pittsburgh did; lose seven years in a row so they could get good. They did it twice, in fact. They went through six or seven different owners. We’ve had one owner.”

Clarke finds the strategies of some current teams appalling when considering the way other organizations have built competitive teams.

“It’s somewhat embarrassing that three of the last teams (in the 2009 playoffs) missed the playoffs six or seven years in a row; Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh,” he said. “Now they’re good and the teams that try to win all the time get penalized. Our philosophy has never changed since 1967.”


thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+clarke

All Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pronger recently chatted with Sporting News Today hockey writer Craig Custance about his work with the NHLPA, his fit in Philadelphia and facing Sidney Crosby.

Q: While we were covering your playoff series against Detroit, somebody pointed out that they thought you toned down your game. Has there been an evolution in your style of play as you’ve gotten older?

A: No, I don’t think so. There’s a time and place for a lot of things. I had a shorter temper but you mature, get older, have kids and you understand yourself a little better – what buttons to push, what buttons not to push and things of that nature. You are going to evolve, learn how to play the game better….

Q: One of your jobs will be to make life tougher on Sidney Crosby in front of the net. Will you be sending a message to Sidney the first time you play the Penguins?

A: I don’t know, I don’t [send messages] most of the time - sometimes I do. Most of the time, it’s my job to clear the front of the net and let the goalie see the puck - whether it’s [Crosby] or whoever. I don’t need to tell you what I’m going to do or if I’m going to send a message, that’s how I play….


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

The Value Of A Fighter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carl Bialik of the Daily Fix at the Wall Street Journal,

On Puck Prospectus, Gabriel Desjardins tapped into the fan-generated database at hockeyfights.com to find out when fights happened last season, and who was deemed by voting fans to have won each tussle. Then he cross-referenced each fight with what happened in the rest of the game, when players were focused on scoring goals instead of landing punches. The result: A fight’s winner boosts his team’s goal differential by 0.07 over the next 10 minutes.

That may suggest that it’s good for the goons to drop the gloves more often, but few hockey pugilists win more than half the time — and for each who does, there’s another who’s a habitual loser.


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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“You want to be an example with the way you carry yourself.  I’m representing the Phoenix Coyotes, the NHL, and all hockey players who played before me. And you want to communicate that message to the younger players. When you ask the media, they’ll say hockey players are the easiest to get along with—and it’s our job to continue that.

“I think it’s really important to help out the new guys on the team. Maybe the most important thing you can do as a captain is make sure every player knows you appreciate him and what he does.”

-Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Much more on Doan from John McGourty of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

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