Kukla's Korner

Questions For The Bolts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Peterburg Times,

What are the biggest concerns? Here are 10 burning questions…

What’s with the goalies?

Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist were really bad at times last season, and statistically they were among the worst. Karri Ramo played 70 minutes, but it was Denis and Holmqvist who were most responsible for the team’s .884 save percentage, last in the league, and a 3.11 goals-against average that was 24th. Holmqvist, with 27 regular-season victories, showed promise, though he couldn’t carry the team in the playoffs. Denis is the bigger concern. If Tampa Bay could have dealt him over the summer it would have, but his $2.8-million salary wiped out any market value. Now it hopes he resurrects his career.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL > NFL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duvall of the Tonawanda News,

It’s football time again, and for Bills fans, that means it’s the time of year where we get our hopes up….

One thing I could do without, though, is the pomp and circumstance surrounding the NFL’s kickoff. Big-time musicians, fireworks, lasers — all to celebrate day one.

I greatly prefer the NHL, which usually starts its season under cover of darkness. Sportscenter keeps the game highlights to 30 seconds and about 45 minutes into its hour-long broadcast. Fine by me. This is hockey country and we don’t much mind skipping the Faith Hill performance before a largely meaningless game nine months before a trophy is handed out.

Besides, I don’t know a ton of hockey fans that would want to hear Faith Hill. The Tragically Hip singing “50 Mission Cap” is far more our style.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Willie Mitchell Deals With Popularity

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Times Colonist,

“Hockey is popular in Minnesota [where Mitchell spent more than three NHL seasons with the Wild], but being back playing in a Canadian city is a whole different ball game with the crazy amount of attention you receive,” says Mitchell.

And this isn’t just any Canadian team Mitchell finds himself with, but the home-province team he grew up adoring as a kid.

“It gets a little crazy, but it’s all part of it and I enjoy what I do,” said the product of the North Island Eagles minor hockey teams.

“I’m lucky to be doing it. But it can be a little overwhelming being a Canuck in B.C. and trying to balance that with personal and family time.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Setting The Record Straight On Briere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Canadiens president Pierre Boivin angrily denied there was any truth to a La Presse story that suggested free- agent Daniel Brière turned down an offer from the Canadiens because general manager Bob Gainey would not guarantee that he would play on a line with Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder.

“I was privy to the negotiations and I can tell you that this was never discussed,” said Boivin, who said the story was filled with “lies.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Where Does Hockey Stand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carter Gaddis of the Tampa Tribune,

Year Three, A.L. (After Lockout) is dawning. Training camps are upon us.

The National Hockey League is about to begin its annual search for identity south of the 49th parallel. For every plus, there is a minus. For every slap, a shot.

In Canada, where folks are taught from birth the sanctity of the blue line and they know without being told that Don Cherry is not a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, there is no debate.

Hockey is king. End of discussion.

In the U.S., the debate rages. Well, perhaps not rages. Stirs with quiet desperation among those who care, maybe.

There is no escaping the debate, though, not after pro hockey shared a spot with men’s golf in the most recent annual Harris Poll to determine the favorite sport of Americans.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We Are Close

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hockey fans begin preparing for the new season…

image


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blues Owner Goal- Not To Lose Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Belleville News-Democrat,

Can NHL teams make money with such a relatively small national television contract in comparison to the NFL or Major League Baseball?

“There’s a lot of teams in the league now that are making money, especially the teams that are in the big markets with access to big local television revenues and big season ticket prices,” said Checketts, mentioning Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, the New York Rangers and Montreal as examples.

“I want to get to the point where we’re not losing money, that would be the best thing for me,” he said. “People are supportive, they want to see us do well. They know that a good team and a good organization is important to the community.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who, What, When…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

CAMP CHATTER

Newcomer Brian Rafalski looks to be the one to play alongside Nicklas Lidstrom ... Niklas Kronwall, if he can remain healthy, is pegged to be part of the second pairing ... The Wings are considering splitting up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to give the club more offensive balance ... Surprising Valtteri Filppula is pegged to be second-line centre.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will this team ever show it’s age? Lidstrom looks like he can play another decade, Chris Chelios is defying the laws of nature and goalie Dominik Hasek had an outstanding bounce-back season. Time eventually will catch up to these key players, we just don’t know when.

read on for a breakdown of every NHL team…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

That Was Fast

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fro Jim MAtheson at the Edmonton Journal,

• Former Calgary Flames goalie Jamie McLennan’s experience with Magnitogorsk in the Russian Elite League was a short one.

The club signed him over the summer but had a parting of ways before the season started.

• Former Flames winger Jeff Friesen could be off to Europe.

His agent, Jeff Helperl, dismissed talk a few weeks ago about his client going to Europe, but a Swedish newspaper says he’s signing in Leksand. That’s where former NHLer Eddie Belfour is hanging his mask these days.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sabres Prepare Without A Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

While the Sabres will be minus a captain when they report to HSBC Arena for physicals on Thursday, they sound genuinely comfortable with who they are already.

“There’s that small bit of uncertainty surrounding the captaincy position,” Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said, “but I don’t think anybody around here should be worried about it.

“We have a young group, and we might even get younger this year, but I think the core group of guys has seen enough and been around long enough to understand what to expect and to know what kind of attitude you need to have.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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