Kukla's Korner

New Coaches - New Challenges

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

(Jacques) Lemaire, however, is not likely to find the magic again in New Jersey. The Devils led their division last season before losing in the first round to Carolina, but John Madden and Brian Gionta were lost during the offseason and no replacements of note were added.

You don’t make progress by standing still, leaving Lemaire with a high mountain to climb if the team he inherits is to repeat as division leaders.

My choice as the coach to do the best job is (Brent) Sutter.

The Flames lost Mike Cammalleri to the Canadiens. They will miss Cammalleri’s 39 goals, but the blow will be softened considerably by what Ollie Jokinen, who was acquired at the trading deadline last season, brings to the table.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Is Going On With Goalie Mask Art?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Colby Cosh of the National Post,

The painted goalie masks of the past were, by and large, bright abstract designs easily legible from the cheap seats. Most of the great, enduring ones were thought up by the father of mask painting, design student/goalie Greg Harrison. The masks from that time are the ones we still revere as canonical: Ken Dryden’s concentric red-and-blue “targets,” Mike Palmateer’s classic Leafs mask, the bicentennial special Ron Low wore with the Caps, Murray Bannerman’s elegant “kabuki” number. When goalies switched to the combined mask-with-caged-visor style of today, things began to get slightly more representational and crude, but some of the best literalist designs of the ‘80s and early ‘90s were still simple and tasteful, executed in a minimalist spirit: Mike Richter’s Lady Liberty, Andy Moog’s Bruins bear.

But now things have gone completely to hell.

more

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

Chiarelli Says Teams Interested In Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

“Nothing has really changed,’’ Chiarelli said, noting that at least three clubs have contacted him in recent weeks to try to trade for Kessel, who last season scored 36 goals. “I’d like to have him in the mix, but obviously he’s not . . . and obviously teams are interested.’’

Some four months after his club lost to Carolina in the second round of the playoffs, and with Kessel still unsigned, Chiarelli said he finds himself at what he referred to as a “philosophical impasse’’ in regards to signing his third-year right wing.

“While you like to bring along players of skill and youth and keep them in your organization, I also have to be cognizant of other dynamics,’’ said Chiarelli.

Such as a payroll already at about $55 million. Such as a roster that on July 1 will have top scorer Marc Savard reaching unrestricted free agency and young standouts Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler reaching the same restricted free agency plateau where Kessel now stands.

more

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

Heatley Prepared To Attend Sens Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Senators winger confirmed he’ll be in Ottawa later this week in time to participate in the club’s annual golf tournament Friday at Kanata Lakes and take part in medicals Saturday at Scotiabank Place, but his agent, J.P. Barry, told Sun Media he believes there’s still time for a trade.

While Barry isn’t sure if the deal Heatley requested in June from the Senators is going to happen by the weekend, the agent said the disgruntled winger is willing to meet with GM Bryan Murray and coach Cory Clouston before camp opens.

Heatley will also likely have to address the situation with his teammates.

“He’ll do whatever they want him to do and if they want to sit down, that’s fine,” said Barry, who represents Heatley along with Stacey McAlpine. “The situation isn’t any different. He’ll be there when camp opens and he’ll be ready to go. But I want to make clear that there is still time for a deal. This situation isn’t totally in our control.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

New Contract Expected Soon For Vigneault

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,

After his team’s playoff demise last May, Vancouver Canuck general manager Mike Gillis expressed his intent to extend the contract of head coach Alain Vigneault.

It’s now September, main training camp opens this weekend and no extension has been announced. But, like Christmas, it’s coming, says Gillis.

“There are a few things left to do but we expect to have a deal done before the season,” the GM said Monday as he watched his prospects skate at UBC before a full house. “Not necessarily before training camp starts [Saturday] but before the season.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Balsillie Sweetens His Offer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Camwest Newservice/National Post,

Jim Balsillie is sweetening the pot in his bid to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes.

On Monday, lawyers for the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion filed a revised purchase agreement with the bankruptcy court in which he has made an offer to buy the city of Glendale out of the Jobing.com Arena lease for a minimum of US$40-million.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Can The Wings Score Enough Goals?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

The Detroit Red Wings didn’t make any splashy free-agent signings or major trades to replace guys like Marian Hossa and Jiri Hudler. And that’s meant with all due respect to new additions Todd Bertuzzi, Patrick Eaves and Jason Williams.

But expectations haven’t lowered in Detroit. The Red Wings expect another Stanley Cup contending team, despite the departing offense. Here’s how they can replace those lost goals:

1. More from Hank: Marian Hossa’s 40-goal season and a trip to the Stanley Cup finals overshadowed a quiet offensive season from Henrik Zetterberg.

continued

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

Teams Showing Interest In Babchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

I’m up in Traverse City, Michigan for the Red Wings annual prospect tournament. It’s usually a great place to get a look at some of the better prospects in the league, and I’ll have more later in the week on some of the young players. But I’ve spent most of the day today talking to coaches and GMs, trying to gather information for our NHL season preview in Sporting News Magazine.

During a conversation with Carolina GM Jim Rutherford about the Canes, the conversation shifted to the future of defenseman Anton Babchuk. Babchuk is coming off a 16-goal season but the restricted free agent rejected Carolina’s one-year offer. He changed agents, from Jay Grossman to Don Meehan and wants to play in the NHL next season. It won’t be with Carolina, but Rutherford said he sees a solution to Babchuk’s situation before training camp.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+babchuk

Women’s Canada Cup Medal Round

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The medal round of the Women’s Canada Cup has been played in Vancouver, British Columbia this weekend.  For preliminary round results look here

In the semi-finals, USA met Finland and Canada met Sweden.  Here are the results:

USA 4 Finland 0  This was a re-match of the only preliminary round game that USA lost.  This time they had a better game.  Meghan Duggan scored a hat trick for the US team, with Gigi Marvin assisting on each of the goals.  Jocelyne Lamoureux added the other US goal.  Jessie Vetter stopped 19 Finland shots for a shutout.  Noora Ratty was in goal for Finland.

Canada 7 Sweden 2  The outcome of this game was never really in question.  Canada took a 6-0 lead into the dressing room at the end of the second period.  Emotions got a little out of control and a couple near brawls occurred.  In the third period, Sweden managed to get on the scoreboard but it was too little too late.  Hayley Wickenheiser and Sarah Vaillancourt each scored two goals for Canada.  Kim St Pierre was the winning Canadian goalie.  Isabelle Jordansson and Danileja Rundqvist scored the Swedish goals.  Sara Grahn was in goal for the losing Swedish effort.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Proven Goalie Needed In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ross McKeon of Yahoo,

It’s hard not to get sucked into the hype, but it’s really hard to be considered a top-flight Cup contender without a more proven goalie so that’s where the Hawks fall short. Chicago will finish second in the division again, slip to between fifth or sixth in the conference and won’t last long in the postseason.

more on Chicago….

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

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