Kukla's Korner

Goaltending Situation In LA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The job is LaBarbera’s for now. If he can’t decisively claim it, the Kings—for so long so inept at grooming young goalies—have several good alternatives and won’t hesitate to use them.

Unlike last season, when Bernier was stuck with his junior team after the Kings returned him in mid-October, he can be summoned from Manchester any time. General Manager Dean Lombardi tends to be too cautious with his young players but is doing the right thing in letting Bernier regain his timing and rhythm in a low-pressure setting.

“It’s the best place for his development. I’m convinced it’s the best thing for him and the franchise,” Lombardi said.


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

All Tough Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Last season, a lack of grit among some of his Flames teammates led to Regehr bluntly calling them out more than a couple of times.

That sentiment hasn’t softened after a longer-than-expected summer.

“We moved out some really skilled players, but they were players also that didn’t fit our new philosophy as a team,” the big blueliner said yesterday, before the team took off to Edmonton for tonight’s pre-season matchup against the Oilers.

“They were also players that were a little soft sometimes, and that didn’t really bode well for us in the tough games and also in the playoffs.”

read on

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

Senators Need To Keep Alfredsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Alfredsson’s expiry date has become a topic because his contract expires at the end of this season.

There are three option years attached to the deal with this kicker: as revealed in the Sun, if Alfredsson plays 70 games and gets at least 70 points this season, he has the option to accept $3.8 million (all terms US) for next season or declare himself an unrestricted free agent.

If he doesn’t hit the 70-70 combo, the Senators have him for $3.8 million, a bargain. But the Senators certainly don’t want to run the risk of having their captain become a free agent.

Talks between Senators general manager Bryan Murray and J.P. Barry, Alfredsson’s agent, are in the preliminary stages.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Time For Penguins ‘D’ Depth To Make An Appearance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Empty Netters,

When Ray Shero re-signed Mark Eaton back on July 1, many questioned the decision to bring back a player who spent much of his previous two seasons on injured reserve. With some of the Penguins other needs in free agency at the time, why devote a decent chunk of change to an oft-injured defenseman?

Two months later, Shero’s looking like a genius. Granted, he couldn’t have foreseen what would happen to his two most prolific defensemen before the season started, but he saw the value of having depth. With Eaton and Brooks Orpik back in the fold, the Penguins ensured they would have nine NHL-caliber blueliners in the organization. Without Gonchar and Whitney, the Penguins still seven solid reliable players they can dress on the blue line.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Torres Separates Shoulder In Fight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers,

The Jackets’ A team played the Blackhawks’ B team in an exhibition at Nationwide tonight. The Jackets won, 7-1 But they lost left winger Raffi Torres to a separated shoulder. Torres will miss six weeks.

“Very costly. Disappointing,” Jackets coach Ben Hitchcock said. “It works every time. Every time you play against a (largely minor-league) team like that brought in here, something bad happens.”

At 14:29 of the second period, Torres backed away from the faceoff circle and squared off with Ben Eager. Torres apparently called out Eager, a noted pugilist, because Eager had slashed Jackets rookie Jake Voracek across the hands during the previous shift.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

Sens Go As Gerber Goes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

While we can conclude very little from any pre-season, it’s clear we have ourselves an Ottawa Senators team with more question marks than the Riddler’s outfit, and an Eastern Conference as wide open as Saskatchewan….

That leaves it wide open for….take your pick…Montreal, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Washington…


The early line on the Sens is Sesame Street simple.  If Martin Gerber is really good, they finish somewhere between 4th and 7th in the conference.  If Martin Gerber is…uhh…what Martin Gerber was most of last year, then they’ll be golfing by mid-April.


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

NHL Hopes To Increase Brand Presence In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,

Since European players began populating National Hockey League rosters in the late 1970s, their influence on the game has been unmistakable. The N.H.L. hopes to find out what impact it could have in Europe this weekend, when the regular season begins with games in Sweden and the Czech Republic….

“Our goal is to increase our brand presence there,” the N.H.L.’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, said. “We would like to have some sort of permanent presence, whether it is some kind of league office or stores or regular games, but clearly we want to extend our brand in Europe.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

MSM Coverage Continues To Fade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Economic woes combined with cutbacks in the newspaper business will reduce the level of print coverage given to the NHL in some U.S. markets.

In Florida, The Palm Beach Post decided last week to discontinue staff coverage of the Florida Panthers….

The Los Angeles Times has chosen to use just one beat reporter to cover both the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, with Helene Elliott continuing to write hockey columns….

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s long-time hockey writer, Tim Panaccio, accepted a buyout after he was taken off the Flyers beat and assigned to cover the Philadelphia Eagles….

The New York Times will continue to focus most of its attention on the Rangers. In terms of coverage on the road, sports editor Tom Jolly said by e-mail, that the Times will pick its spots….


Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Digging Tuesdays

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Chris Osgood’s your starter.  Groins and Chemistry.  Hudler and Helm.  Visors and vets.  Your Diggers shotgunned us this morning.  Not a single bit of repetition. Everyone doing their own thing.  Refreshing.  And, no, I don’t want to be one.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Tarnasky Traded To Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

The Lightning traded rugged wing Nick Tarnasky to the Predators for a conditional 2009 draft pick. Tampa Bay received a sixth-round pick that would turn into a fifth if Tarnasky plays at least 50 games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+tarnasky

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