Kukla's Korner

Options For Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, So, with about eight weeks to go before the start of training camp, here’s how it’s shaping up for the 21-year-old winger, who potted 36 goals last season. Kessel can:

►Cut a one-year deal, accepting only a slight bump over his 2008-09 wages, and use it as a bridge to arbitration as of next July 1. If he popped in another 36 goals or more in 2009-10, he could ring up the Causeway cash drawer for $5 million per year or more next summer. Remember, the players who scored more than Kessel last year will average $6.5 million in the coming season.

►Take something akin to David Krejci money (three years/$11.25 million), forget about finances for 36 months, and come to the table in the spring of 2012, ideally with a more mature and proven overall game.

►Force his way out of town, either by requesting a trade or refusing to sign, leading Chiarelli to deal away a non-performing asset (probably at the post-Olympic trading deadline).

read on plus numerous hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Get Into The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Best way to become a general manager in the National Hockey League: Be born to the right family. Five of the NHL’s 30 GMs are a son or a son-in-law of a former GM.

• Brian Burke has invested more than $22 million in the Maple Leafs defence, which is about $5 million more than the Boston Bruins will pay for their defence this coming season. The Bruins, for the record, allowed 96 fewer goals against than did the Leafs last season.

• Steve Yzerman doesn’t like to talk much about his future ambitions but he had hoped that if the Chicago Blackhawks were going to change general managers, he would be strongly considered.

• There are almost 150 unsigned free agents in the NHL and all but three or four are players who could disappear without anyone ever noticing.

a few more hockey bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Shakeup Yet In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,

Marleau, who has been a lightning rod for criticism, said he and Wilson have talked about if he should remain the team’s captain.

“We’ve discussed some things and I’m waiting to see how that unfolds,” he said. “But I’ve told Doug that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get this team to the next level.”

Both Nabokov and Marleau said they have not been asked by Wilson to drop the no-trade clauses in their contracts. But Nabokov said he would if the G.M. requested it.

“If the organization wants me to leave, I will leave,” Nabokov said. “I would never stay with an organization that didn’t want me.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sunday Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• The story circulating through NHL front offices, and relayed to Slap Shots by four general managers, is that Dale Tallon essentially had been operating as the Blackhawks’ lame-duck GM since late November or early December, when he agreed to trade netminder Nikolai Khabibulin to Washington for center Michael Nylander.

That ill-advised deal was vetoed by club president John McDonough, who then bided his time until he could come up with a reason/excuse to dismiss Tallon….

• There is, however, widespread belief that Dallas owner Tom Hicks’ financial problems—his team canceled prospects camp in order to save money—will force the Stars to cut payroll . . . with the cutting to feature former Tampa Bay Conn Smythe winning first-line center Brad Richards, who has two years at $7.8 million remaining on his deal.

more hockey talk

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Useless Camp

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHLPA is making news in the hockey world by suggesting that players skip the on ice portion of the Olympic orientation camps that will be held by the Canadian, American, Russian and German Ice Hockey Federations.  Their public reason is that it is not clear that the players have insurance coverage should they be hurt during the camp.  I think the private reason is because these camps are essentially useless.  The Olympics will occur in February 2010.  The camps occur six months early in August 2009.  They are far too short and far too far in advance to teach players a new system (assuming that is a smart move with the best players in the world) or get different players used to playing together.  They are not needed to get players in shape for the Olympics.  NHL hockey players will be in shape and anything they do six months in advance has little impact.  They have developed out of the administrative desire to do something, even if it is useless, to try to gain an advantage in the Olympics.  In theory orientation camps may sound like a good idea, but because of the NHL season, they must be held six months in advance, which is too early to be useful.  That doesn’t stop them from happening.  They are an administrative way to cover the hockey federation.  If a country fails to live up to expectation in the Olympics, they cannot be blamed for not doing enough to orientate players.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Wings Feel Depth At The Goalie Position Is Key

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Despite Ty Conklin’s departure in free agency, the Wings have a slew of talented young goaltenders.

Jimmy Howard, Thomas McCollum and Daniel Larsson are high-round draft picks with seemingly bright futures.

“We like the depth,” said Jim Nill, the Wings’ assistant general manager. “They’ve done a good job of progressing, getting better. They just need experience.”

With Conklin gone, Howard will back up Osgood. Howard has four years of development in Grand Rapids.

McCollum and Larsson will split time with the Griffins, with former Notre Dame goalie Jordan Pearce, an undrafted free agent, likely to be placed in a lower-level minor league.

Here’s how the Wings’ goaltending stacks up, nearly two months before trianing camp begins:


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The ESPN Debate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

But the league struck only a two-year deal with NBC for one very important reason. Its cable deal with Versus expires in two years and the league is hoping that by having both its over-the-air and cable contracts up for renewal at the same time it will have more options when it comes to its next television contracts.

“It was the right deal at the right time,” said one industry insider.

Could that mean the league is poised to return to ESPN in two years? After all, ESPN is owned by ABC, so the league could package both its over-the-air and cable packages in one deal.

A new deal with ESPN would be a welcome relief for those who don’t have access to Versus and are essentially shut out of NHL games. The league left ESPN after the lockout in favor of Versus after ESPN publicly questioned the value of hockey on its network.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: espn, nbc

What A Save

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch the top ten saves from the 2008-2009 season!

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Waiting To Be Signed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

It is a little late, so just in case you missed Eric Duhatschek’s Friday column at the Globe and Mail,

There is a seasonal element to NHL player movement that mirrors the ups and downs stock market – and nowhere is that more evident than in the case of Derek Morris and Mathieu Schneider, two useful players who are languishing on the unrestricted free-agent list, some 17 days and counting after the doors opened for business in the summer of 2009.

Not so long ago – or in the days and weeks leading up to the NHL trading deadline – Morris and Schneider were in-demand commodities whose value was high….

Halfway through July, the net result is that some relatively useful players remain available. The market generally slows to a crawl around now and then picks up again towards the end of August, leaving the players on pins and needles for the better part of the summer, not knowing where they might eventually land. And the competition for players from Russia – which was supposed to be a bigger option – becomes less so because their season starts months earlier than the NHL’s.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Chicago Fans Boo McDonough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,

The most interesting reaction during the opening night of the Blackhawks Convention came from the fans who overflowed the Hilton Chicago grand ballroom for the opening ceremonies Friday.

They greeted president John McDonough with a chorus of boos, a sure indication the club’s most loyal supporters didn’t like the firing of general manager Dale Tallon. McDonough figures to take some more heat today when he’s part of a question-and-answer session with the fans….

(Stan) Bowman received only lukewarm applause Friday, and coach Joel Quenneville and the players were reluctant to discuss the incident.

‘‘It’s a tough business we’re in,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘A lot of coaches have been let go in the last few years, and we’re seeing more managers changed. It’s a negative part of our business, but Dale will still be around, and this gives Stan an opportunity. He’s really looking forward to it. We’ll move on and look forward to getting better.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+mcdonough

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