Kukla's Korner

How Will The Flyers Answer These Questions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

As the veterans get ready to begin training camp with their first on-ice workout tomorrow in Voorhees, here are 10 questions to ponder before the Flyers begin the quest for their first Stanley Cup since 1975.

1. What impact will the crease-clearing Pronger have on a defense that wasn’t overly physical last season?

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel calls Ryan Howard “The Big Piece.” Pronger could become “The Missing Piece” - the guy who brings aggressiveness to a defense that was embarrassed as it blew a 3-0 home lead to Pittsburgh in Game 6. Pronger will turn 35 next month, but he is still one of the league’s elite defensemen. He should make life easier for the Flyers’ new goalie.

2. Which Ray Emery will show up?

Will it be the goalie who had a 2.47 goals-against average and .918 save percentage while leading Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, or the one who slumped badly the next season, fought with teammates and opponents, missed practices, and had a penchant for partying and driving like Mario Andretti in his prime?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Chuck Fletcher

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants does an extended Q & A with the Wild GM.

Q: Have you thought about whether Havlat will play with Koivu or maybe Bouchard? Also, Havlat’s biggest problem might be his willingness to go into the gritty areas. Is there a way to help keep him healthy by putting him with a digging winger like Clutterbuck or Owen Nolan?

A: We’ve talked about lots of different scenarios if the roster looked like this and that, but it’ll be important to see who he finds chemistry with right off the bat. But you’ve hit the nail on the head. Havlat’s a competitive player. He’s a player who plays hard every game and because of his skill level, he attracts the attention of other team’s best defenders. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. It’s no different than Gaborik or Crosby or Malkin or Ovechkin. These high-skilled guys compete hard every night and get into situations that lead to injury.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+fletcher

Hockeyville Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

It is all Hockeyville this weekend at Greatest Hockey Legends.  Joe Pelletier with- live coverage, exclusive photos and hopefully an interview or two.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fantasy Top 200

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ESPN Ranks the Top 200 Fantasy Players.

1 Alex Ovechkin, LW, Was
2 Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit
3 Pavel Datsyuk, C, Det
4 Tim Thomas, G, Bos
5 Sidney Crosby, C, Pit


Filed in: NHL Teams, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Filatov Feels He Is Ready For The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Filatov arrived in Columbus on Wednesday night. Today, he will have his physical, the first official task of Blue Jackets training camp. He will be watched closely because he is 19 years old, arguably the most talented player in the team’s stable—and unafraid to speak his mind.

Last month, Filatov caused a stir on two sides of the globe when he told a Russian journalist that he has interest in the Continental Hockey League, or KHL. Filatov said he had been approached by multiple team owners ready to throw some major rubles at him. He said that if the Jackets send him to minor-league Syracuse, he would have to think hard about playing in Russia.

Yesterday, after Filatov finished an informal workout, I sat down with him in the visitors’ locker room in Nationwide Arena. He was candid and unapologetic.

“Why wouldn’t I say this?” he asked. “If I am sent down, of course I might start thinking about it. The KHL is a higher league than the (American Hockey League).”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

Andrew Peters In Devils Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Among those players who showed up at the Prudential Center for physicals Saturday morning was former Buffalo Sabres fighter Andrew Peters.

The 6-4, 225-pound left winger is in Devils camp on a tryout basis.

Peters, 29, has played 200 NHL games and has 557 penalty minutes with seven points (four goals, three assists). Last season with the Sabres, his fifth, he played 28 games and had one assist with 81 PIM.

“We just feel the dimension he brings is unique,” general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “I’d spoken to him on and off. The decision was to come to camp. He’s here. We’ll go from there.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+peters

Danton’s Father Speaks Out On Parole For His Son

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

There is no nice way of saying this: Mike Danton lied to the National Parole Board yesterday.

He told a whopper—and they bought it hook, line and sinker.

The former hockey player, imprisoned for his bizarre and awkward role in a failed murder-for-hire plot, told the Parole Board that the target of his ire was not his disgraced agent, David Frost, but his estranged father, Steve Jefferson.

That is, in a word, nonsense.

“I’m so mad it’s not funny,” Steve Jefferson said yesterday. “I don’t know if you can print what I’m really feeling.

“I can’t believe the judicial system ... I want people to know that the system has failed us again and again and again. One of the conditions of his parole is he is not allowed to speak to me, but he is allowed to see Dave Frost with his parole officer’s approval. Does any of this make sense to anybody?”


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+danton

ESPN Founder Can’t Find Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

As another NHL season gears up, the pioneer of sports cable TV in the United States wonders where hockey has gone in his country. “I used to watch all the hockey with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose on ESPN,” says Bill Rasmussen, who founded the innovative cable network 30 years ago this month with his son, Scott. “I can’t tell you where to find hockey right now. It’s sad.

“I can’t help but think [the NHL] is missing something in walking away from [ESPN]. Look what ESPN does for Major League Baseball on Baseball Tonight – wall-to-wall, full-season coverage of the entire season and playoffs. The NHL had that ancillary programming on ESPN and just walked away from it. I just don’t understand.”...

“The NHL just died in the United States the first time they left ESPN for SportsChannel [in 1988-89]. Then they came back to ESPN. Now they’re with Comcast, and people don’t know where to find them. I think they’ve struggled to get a handle on what ESPN is, whether they think there are too many demands from a schedule point of view. I don’t know. It’s become a lot more complicated than it used to be, that’s for sure.”


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Predators Should Target Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

It’s time to bust the budget for Phil Kessel….

No one’s saying that Kessel is all that separates the Preds from a lengthy playoff run. Far from it. At 21, he remains a work in progress, both on and off the ice. He’s far too predictable when carrying the puck, and far too soft away from it. He requires the kid glove treatment from his coach and a centerman capable of creating his play for him. Bottom line: he’s still got a lot to learn.


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

The Game Can’t Return Soon Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Capitals symbolized a dynamic year for the NHL, on the ice. The season featured three engaging playoff rounds including the Caps’ seven-game loss to eventual champion Pittsburgh in the second round, the revitalization of a pair of Original Six teams (Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks), a successful Winter Classic, and the emergence of a genuine rivalry – Sid the Kid versus Alex the Great.

Since June though, most of the news has focused on the boardroom and courtroom dramas, including the battle for control of the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ alleged veto power, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ownership implosion, the NHL Players’ Association axing its third executive director since July of 2005, Dany Heatley’s pending divorce from the Ottawa Senators, and an unexplainable purge in the Blackhawks front office.

Forever it has been said the NHL must be great to survive the people who run it.

And mercifully for the league, the summer of discontent ends this weekend as training camps open for the 2009-10 season, with the Vancouver 2010 Games on the horizon.

read on

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

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