Kukla's Korner

Points To Ponder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• In a perfect world, he’d (Souray) go to Los Angeles or Anaheim. (His children live in the area.) Not sure the Kings are a fit. They have cap room (18 players signed for next year at $46 million), but the temptation to spend it on a high-impact forward will be great. The Ducks are interesting, also having space (15 players at $32.5 million) and a need for defencemen after this season. (I am assuming a Scott Niedermayer retirement, not that anyone will replace him.)

• Any other Western teams with cap freedom and cash who need a bomber? Calgary (28th on PP)? Enough cash already tied into the blue-line. Nashville and Phoenix (27th and 24th)? No way. St. Louis (29th)? Minnesota (21st)?

more including would Gainey trade Carey Price….

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Is the Starting Goalie In Chicago?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential,

Either Niemi or Huet should beat Edmonton. But the bigger point is what statement Q makes in picking who wins, since both guys know they are likely to a notch an easy W if Q just lays the finger of fate on them rather than giving one guy the finger.

Maybe it’s true the Hawks are blessed to have two dependable goalies. Maybe it’s also true a team without a clear-cut No. 1 goalie won’t win the Stanley Cup, as Jeremy Roenick contended recently.

Q has to start cutting through the haze of what ifs with his goalies and decide what now and what will be. I know he isn’t likely to name his Stanley Cup championship starter today. But Tuesday would be a hell of a time to start parting the fog so we can see clearly.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Patrice Cormier Suspended For Regular Season & Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The verdict is in.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward Patrice Cormier was suspended for the balance of the season and the playoffs by the QMJHL on Monday.

Cormier, 19, created a firestorm of media attention last week when he elbowed Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts in the head, sending Tam into convulsions on the ice and causing him to be taken to hospital with brain trauma and broken teeth.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+cormier

Marleau Answers Critics

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When the San Jose Sharks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, a lot of pressure was placed on Patrick Marleau.  He was the captain of the team but only managed three playoff points.  There was speculation that he may be traded over the summer.  The speculation peaked with rumors of a three team trade that would bring Dany Heatley to San Jose with Marleau heading in the other direction.  San Jose eventually acquired Heatley without moving Marleau.  The idea of trading Marleau would have been difficult due to the fact he has a no-trade clause in his contract.

Patrick Marleau was stripped of his captaincy in San Jose.  He returned to the team for the final year of his contract with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.  He has responded well to that pressure.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Yes It’s True, The Islanders Are In The Playoff Hunt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley at NHL.com,

Kyle Okposo knows what some folks around the NHL are saying about his New York Islanders—that they’re too young, too inexperienced and too short on talent to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race much long.

“What we did in the first half, I don’t think anybody expected us to do outside of the group we have in the locker room,” Okposo told NHL.com. “We play hard for each other every night and we know if we keep going the way we can, anything can happen. We want to stay in the hunt and be playing in April.”

Okposo understands the reason for the skepticism. The Islanders haven’t been in the playoffs since sneaking in on the last day of the 2006-07 season, back when Okposo was a freshman at the University of Minnesota.


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

Senators In A Buying Mood, Who May Be Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

* The Senators would be interested in Carolina LW Ray Whitney, but there’s now talk he may re-sign with the Hurricanes. It’s believed the Senators like Hurricanes C Matt Cullen, who has a cap hit of $2.8 million and is being shopped by GM Jim Rutherford.

* Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is willing to move just about anybody. Naturally, W Dustin Penner would interest the Senators because they had him included in the failed Dany Heatley deal last summer, but Penner has been one the few players who has been consistent for Edmonton this season.

* The Thrashers are expected to deal RW Colby Armstrong, who is making $2.4 million. If the Senators are interested, they won’t be alone. The Flames have been trying to acquire Armstrong for weeks, but haven’t been able to get a deal done.

* Toronto GM Brian Burke wants to deal LW Alexei Ponikarovsky, C Matt Stajan and LW Niklas Hagman before the deadline, but it would be difficult for him to deal with one of Leafs’ top rivals.

* Flames GM Darryl Sutter said publicly Sunday he believes in the group he has. What else is he going to say? Sutter has been trying to wheel and deal. Underachieving C Olli Jokinen is being shopped, as is C Craig Conroy. Both can become UFAs on July 1.


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

Marketing The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

The NHL has made progress in eroding its traditional insistence on being excessively democraticlittle “d” — in its mind-set and promotion.

But the league, meaning both the administrative office based on the Avenue of the Americas in New York, those involved at every level with the 30 teams, plus even the game’s culture, has a long way to go.

Absolutely, it should stop short of the NBA’s self-centered culture and excessive star promotion, but it still could take better advantage of its stars and marquee teams.

That even can be done in a number of ways, from billboards and television ad campaigns, both for individual teams in their markets and for the league internationally; to even scheduling that gets the most possible exposure for top games.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We’re trying to pull each other together here right now and turn this thing around and make this a team that becomes closer.  Sometimes when you have all this negative stuff, it does pull you closer, and it makes you more positive. Instead of giving a guy grief if he makes a mistake, pick him up, help him out. You don’t want to beat a dead horse.

“We’ve had some practise, had a few arguments, and now we’ve turned that around and we’re looking to go in the right direction.”

-Craig Conroy of the Calgary Flames via Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+conroy

Too Much To Give Up For Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Amid speculation that the Thrashers are shifting to action mode in dealing star sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was not at the RBC Center yesterday to see his club’s latest loss, a 5-1 thumping at the hands of the revitalized Hurricanes.

But don’t bet on Kovalchuk, one of the game’s prime goal scorers, coming to the Hub of Hockey. The Thrashers will extract a high price, even if Kovalchuk departs only as a rental, and the Bruins would have to surrender such prized possessions as Milan Lucic and David Krejci to make such a deal.


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

Can The Leafs Draft A Player Like Drew Doughty?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

The Maple Leafs are on the verge of a fifth consecutive non-playoff season, and they have yet to draft a player over that span with the instant, high-level success that Drew Doughty will bring on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings make a rare visit to Toronto.

Doughty, from London, Ont., the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, comes to Toronto with a stellar resumé, and as much promise as any teenage defenceman to stick in the NHL since Bobby Orr.

“Well, I’ve been around a long time,” Kings coach Terry Murray said Sunday. “I remember Ray Bourque coming into the league as an 18-year-old and he was a force for the Boston Bruins right from his first year. I watched Paul Coffey over his career and I coached him in Philadelphia, and he was great as a teenager. I had Scott Stevens as an 18-year-old in Washington, and going back to when I was a player, I can remember (Orr) as a teenager and no one was as good as him. ... That’s a special group of players and Drew belongs in that class.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty

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