Kukla's Korner

Montoya Aiming To Be First Cuban In NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

The former University of Michigan goaltender and first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers aims to be the first Cuban-American to play in the NHL. His mother, Irina Silva, fled Cuba with her parents when she was 9 years old, arriving in Florida and eventually moving to Chicago, where Montoya was born. "My mom came over right after the Bay of Pigs in Cuba," Montoya said. "They were on the wealthy side and she was able to come over. Typical story — over there she had everything and came over and had nothing. Ended up selling strawberries in Miami and then coming over to Chicago."
read on

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Sabres Plan On Keeping Biron

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Backup goalie Martin Biron apparently will be around Buffalo much longer than he had hoped. Regier indicated the veteran, who will make $2.128 million and be an unrestricted free agent next summer, wouldn't be traded any time soon. "These are the two goaltenders coming into camp and the two goaltenders I expect to start the season with us," Regier said. "I don't have any other plans at this point. When you look at Ryan and Marty, I could argue they should be one of the best tandems in the league or certainly have the opportunity to be." Miller's deal gives the Sabres 24 players under contract for $41.1 million (their payroll was about $29 million last season), but Regier said the club would carry only 22 players. T The Sabres' salary cap figure is within six figures of the $44 million maximum, leaving them little wiggle room. A team's cap figure is the combined value of each player's average contract. "We are up against it," Regier said. "We are not over."
more

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How Long Will Tibbetts Last

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

"Some guys come with baggage," said Park, who, while noting Tibbetts's criminal past, remains a strong supporter of the 6-foot-1-inch, 210-pound forward who grew up in Scituate. "And I mean, baggage? He can use two porters. He's also got every bit as much talent as most NHL players." "It is what it is," said Chiarelli. "It's not a great [public relations] thing for us, but he'll be given a chance, like the rest of the candidates. This is something that Brad's group put in place, and we agreed to have it -- and we will." Chiarelli added, ``Everyone deserves a chance, generally speaking." The club, said Chiarelli, should have paid closer attention to the ``Be A Bruin" mission. "His rap sheet aside," said Chiarelli, ``I think he doesn't fit in the spirit of what was intended."
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Choices For Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

After months of sporadic negotiation between the Blue Jackets and restricted free agent Nikolai Zherdev, a recent flurry of talks is bringing the situation to a head. Yesterday, MacLean said, the team made another offer — $6.9 million for three years. Zherdev had the day to think about it before the offer was pulled from the table. "I’m just not sure where to go," MacLean said. "I’m sort of maxed out right now." "If we can’t get something done, I will be moving into the (free-agent) market," MacLean said. "That’s not a threat. It’s just that I’ve got no choice."
read on

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Jaques Crib

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Demers' favourite room is the TV/theatre room over the double garage. It has rich yellow/gold walls filled with photographs and memorabilia from Demers' distinguished career, including a signed sketch of the coach by the late Charles Schultz, creator of the cartoon strip Peanuts. The room features a 50-inch Samsung plasma TV, four blue chairs, two of which are recliners, and a yellow couch. A medium-brown stained cabinet that holds his beloved miniature replica of the Stanley Cup and his Stanley Cup ring. The family room also has a plasma TV — a 42-inch Samsung. The walls are painted cream and on the floor is a jewelled-tone area rug. There is a beige ceramic gas fireplace .
read on

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Spezza Confident Back Is Fine

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,

Jason Spezza will be ready to roll in the season opener. The Senators centre has been skating for the last two weeks after having back surgery May 31 and he's confident he'll be fine when the puck drops. "It's feeling a lot better than it did at the end of the season and in the playoffs," said Spezza, who had disc surgery. "I should be fine. I'm going to go into camp and see how it feels. I think I'll be able to do everything everybody else does, but I can't make that prediction right now."

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Ovechkin Feeling Stronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

The Washington Capitals' boy wonder sure doesn't look too happy. In fact, he looks like a cross between a clown and an acrobat from the Moscow Circus. His face is contorted in concentration, his tongue is hanging down to his chin and his feet are balanced, precariously, on a giant blue sphere. Elevating the irritation factor is a svelte and perfectly sculpted bundle of muscle named Tony Mark, who keeps lobbing a tennis ball at Ovechkin's midsection. The NHL rookie of the year keeps bunting it back with the blade of a hockey stick. "I'm a little bit scared of it," Ovechkin says of the almost daily balancing act he has been performing for the past four weeks at Balance Personal Training, Mark's boutique gym in mid-town Toronto. "I like more to play hockey. I don't like to practice."
more image

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A Couple Messages

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A2Y has a two messages, one for Detroit fans and the other for... According to Red Wings Central-

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Boyd Devereaux is expected to arrive at the team's training camp in Traverse City, Mich., next week as a tryout, a camp official said Friday night.

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RFAs Still Unsigned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The contentious contract talks between Columbus Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean and forward Nikolai Zherdev show no sign of abating. MacLean's hard-nosed approach has spurred questioning of his tactics from the local media and fans. There's speculation MacLean may have made another offer to Zherdev's agent, motivated more perhaps by Zherdev's threat to play in Russia this season than from local criticism. Time is running out for MacLean to get the talented youngster under contract. If Zherdev plays one game in Russia after the start of the 2006-07 NHL season, he'd have to pass through waivers before he could report back to the Blue Jackets, where he would be plucked away by a rival club. That would effectively make him unable for the Jackets to bring him back this season.
much more on they key RFAs...

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Pittsburgh Rookies Hit The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The young Russian star stepped on Mellon Arena ice for the first time Friday afternoon. It was a moment he had dreamed about since the Pittsburgh Penguins selected him second overall at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. That’s because he grew up idolizing Penguins icon Mario Lemieux. “It is difficult for me to describe my feelings because it was like a dream came true,” said Malkin via translator Olga McQueen. “I felt very proud and excited and, at the same time, a bit nervous. But everything goes so great because everyone shows me so much support that I am really very pleased. The ice is great. I really enjoy my time here.”
more

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