Kukla's Korner

Other Teams Get Better While Sabres Don’t Do Much

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Minority owner Larry Quinn says he wants to compete for a Stanley Cup, but champions aren’t built by accident. The best teams refuse to make excuses, identify their shortcomings and aggressively address problems. The Sabres have done none of the above in recent years, and there’s little reason to believe it’s going to change any time soon.

Buffalo stocking up on bruisers in the draft was a good sign, but it was two years after it became clear they weren’t tough enough to win it all with the talent they had. Now, they don’t have the talent or the toughness to compete.

That’s why they’re, well, here. They blame injuries when it’s really a lack of depth and character. They point toward big contracts when they could have kept players for less. They preach patience when it’s really status quo. Meanwhile, teams across the league make honest attempts to get significantly better.


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

lkka Pikkarainen Signed By Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the New Jersey Devils,

The Devils announced Thursday that they have signed forward Ilkka Pikkarainen.

“Ilkka Pikkarainen is a forward who brings size, strength and toughness to our roster,” said Devils’ President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello. “We welcome him back to our hockey club.”

So the mystery man is signed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lkka+pikkarainen

Team Canada Orientation Camp Roster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Follow the link to Hockey Canada for the roster.  46 players have been invited.

added 10:18am,

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced on Thursday the roster of 46 players that will attend Canada’s National Men’s Team orientation camp from August 24-27 in Calgary.

These 46 players have been identified as candidates for upcoming international events in the 2009-10 season: the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 IIHF World Championship.

The camp roster includes five goaltenders, 16 defencemen and 25 forwards. The list of players includes 40 players with senior international experience, either at the Olympics, IIHF World Championship or World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup, while 36 of the 46 players played for either the National Junior Team or National Men’s Under-18 Team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Burke Gets Busy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Well, let’s just say right now only the thick and misguided would have much doubt about what the plan is for the Leafs with Brian Burke at the controls.

Get tough. Get more North American. Then get tougher.

Last weekend, Burke drafted seven players, including among them one of the better fighters in the Ontario Hockey league and two big lads, one 6-foot-5 and the other 6-foot-6.

If they ever make it, it won’t be because they’re good stickhandlers.

Yesterday, after making a fruitless trip across the ocean to make a face-to-face pitch to Henrik and Daniel Sedin, only to find they’d signed back with Vancouver before anyone else could make them an offer, Burke didn’t whine or complain.

He got busy.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Woke Up This Morning…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

,,, with what feelings about the first day of the UFA signing period.

I woke up feeling refreshed after a very long day and night.  Now waiting for the Wings to sign someone, anyone and keeping an eye on some the bigger names available, wondering where they may end up.

How about you?

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

Anderson Always Wanted To Play For The Avs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

It used to be everybody wanted to come to Denver to play for the Avalanche. Not so, anymore, as a last-place finish and a much tighter payroll have taken some of the luster off Colorado as an NHL destination.

To Craig Anderson, however, the Avalanche might as well still be considered Shangri-La.

Spurning offers from several other teams, Anderson signed a two-year, $3.6 million free-agent contract with the Avs on Wednesday and is expected to be the team’s No. 1 goalie this coming season.

“It’s a dream come true,” Anderson said. “It was the place I wanted to be, a city I’ve always loved. I think it’s a great opportunity for me, and I want to be part of the solution bringing the team back.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson

Kings Had Interest In Hossa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,

OK, here are all the quotes from tonight’s interview with Dean Lombardi. I typed fast, so excuse any typos.

Can you go through the day, and talk about anything you might have been close to getting done?

LOMBARDI: ``Obviously we went into this for wingers. Like I’ve said, it’s one of the positives of being in our situation now, as opposed to three years ago, when we were looking for everything and signing seven guys. The No. 1 guy we targeted was Hossa. I got permission to talk to Hossa at the draft. There were three teams, us and two others. Detroit gave me permission, and we started the dialogue at that time. Detroit, if he got signed, they would get compensation.

read on for more on the Kings…

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

Rick Nash Contract Extension Talks Start Off On The Wrong Foot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Disptach,

After an early-evening meeting with his agent, Joe Resnick, Nash told The Dispatch last night that the initial offer from Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson yesterday fell short of what he had in mind.

“Things didn’t line up the way I anticipated them lining up,” Nash said. “I thought we had a solid chance of getting (a contract) done, especially with all the interest they said they had going into this.

“If this doesn’t happen in the next week, and we can’t hit a number where we’re both satisfied and we both feel it’s fair … if they want me that bad, they’ll get it done.”

Neither Howson nor Nash would reveal specifics in the contract, but sources indicated to The Dispatch that the offer had a five-year term.

read on

I am a bit surprised Nash would say anything after the first day of negotiations.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

One Big If For The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Last night’s conference call in which the Rangers announced the signing of marquee free agent Marian Gaborik was interrupted after just about 30 seconds.

Let’s hope this was not a harbinger of things to come.

If he’s healthy, Gaborik is a great player; an electric offensive machine as capable of carrying his team as he is at carrying the puck and creating scoring chances for himself. He’s a pure finisher; a dynamic skater with remarkable offensive instincts and skills; and a creative soloist.

He is the go-to force the Rangers haven’t had since Jaromir Jagr in the first year after the lockout.

He is all that. He is all that if he’s healthy and can stay healthy.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Quenneville: Hossa May Start Next Season In Goal

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Here’s what you do when you reach the Conference Finals and you fall short.  You spend some money.  And you spend it with one thing in mind and that’s taking the next step.  You came so close that getting past the team that beat you is an obsession.  We know all this.  The Wings have been there.  Twice in the last twelve years.  A Conference Finals loss does weird things to you.

In Chicago’s case, it led them to sign Marian Hossa and his Mini-Marian, Tomas Kopecky. They also signed John Madden.  They became stronger and they are going to be giving the Wings one heck of a run for the Central Division title next year.  We knew this the moment Hossa signed.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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